Wild garlic is a species that grows spontaneously in some woods, where we can recognize it by its fleshy leaves with a bright green color, and an intense smell similar to that of common garlic. It also emits many delightful white flowers which, however, should not be confused with those of the lily of the valley.
This wild garlic, just like the garlic we all know, acts as a natural antibacterial and has a repellent effect for many harmful insects, so its cultivation in the vegetable garden or the herb bed is excellent, alongside the most well-known species. . As if that weren’t enough, even bees appreciate it, so we can say that it is a species that is very suitable for a synergistic vegetable garden and in general for organic farming.
Let’s find out more about this interesting plant and learn how to grow ramson in the field or in pots.
The Allium Ursinum plant
Allium ursinum is a perennial herbaceous plant belonging to the Liliaceae family. It grows up to 1000 meters above sea level, spreads easily in deciduous forests and along waterways, where it forms vast expanses of flowers.
The plant has dark green oval-elliptical leaves. Flowering occurs between April and June, and its white flowers are starry and gathered in curved umbels.
Wild garlic is an edible spontaneous plant that we can easily find on our walks through the woods. It is not difficult to recognize its fleshy leaves and white flowers, however, who is not sure better forget it to avoid running into danger.
Exposure, climate and terrain
This plant, as anticipated, grows spontaneously in the woods and near rivers, and this makes us realize that wild garlic does not like full sun, but prefers a light filtered by partial shade or even moderate shade. The direct sun in fact exposes the leaves to the risk of dehydration. We can therefore take advantage of the less used areas of the garden, enhancing them with this essence.
Wild garlic prefers temperate climates and resists the winter cold up to -15 ° C.
As for the needs of the soil, unlike many other species, bear’s garlic appreciates a fair amount of limestone, which we can add, for example, with products based on calcareous algae or even more simply with well-chopped eggshells…
The soil must be rich in organic and draining substances. In nature, we find wild garlic in the undergrowth, which is always very rich in humus. Therefore, even in the vegetable garden, it is necessary to recreate good fertility conditions, distribute a good quantity of ripe compost or manure every year, or practice green manure.
As with the cultivation of common vegetables, the soil must also be carefully prepared for the wild garlic.
The main processing can be carried out with the spade or with the boring fork. The latter is a better choice because it allows you not to turn the horizons of the soil and reduce fatigue significantly.
After digging, you have to hoe and rake by incorporating compost or mature manure into the first layers of soil. The ideal arrangement of the land is that of raised flower beds, which allow excess water to drain, especially after heavy rains.
Sowing or planting ramsons
Wild garlic is a plant that occurs spontaneously, but we can also decide to grow it in our garden, as well as in pots. In this case, we can choose whether to start from the bulb or from the plant.
For the sowing of wild garlic we can use the bulbs, as is done for garlic, shallots, onions, and flowering lilies. But we can also transplant the seedlings into the alveoli.
Autumn is the best time to bury the bulbs, while spring is the right season to transplant the seedlings. However, we must know that with sowing it is then necessary to wait two or three years to see the first blooms.
The bulbs are buried in groups of three, at a depth of a few centimeters and with the tips facing upwards. If the seedlings are transplanted, on the other hand, proceed as for vegetables, burying them up to the collar.
How it is grown
Wild garlic loves a constantly humid soil, such as that of the forest, which is why it requires regular but moderate irrigation, always avoiding stagnation, which leads to root and bulb rot.
The space around the seedlings must be kept clean of spontaneous grass, with manual weeding or with a hoe or other tools.
As for parasites and diseases, apart from the aforementioned rottenness, particular adversities are unlikely to occur.
Cultivation of wild garlic in pots
We can also grow wild garlic in pots or other containers, indeed, we could say that it is one of the species that most gratify those with slightly shaded balconies and think they cannot grow anything.
It is always advisable to choose a good soil, to which to add, in addition to compost or manure, also ground eggshells that provide the limestone that the species loves.
Collection and use of the leaves
We can collect the leaves of this plant throughout the season. If instead of collecting wild garlic grown on our own in our garden or on the balcony, we intend to collect the plants that grow spontaneously, it becomes important to distinguish it well from other inedible species, such as the autumn colchicum and lily of the valley.
We can use fresh raw leaves to flavor fish-based dishes, cheeses, potatoes, and mixed salads, or even freeze them. Wild garlic can also replace classic garlic in condiments and can be used in the preparation of the so-called “wild pesto”.
The beneficial properties of wild garlic are similar to those of common lily crops: purifying, antiseptic, and cholesterol control.
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