Growing "Wild" Garlic

DocG

Full Member
Dec 20, 2013
732
51
Moray
I recently bought two dormant wild garlic (Allium ursinum) plants from a herb nursery on Black Isle. My garden is generally well drained as we are on sandstone and the garden used to be part of a farmyard so there are lots and lots and lots of lovely stones to aid the drainage. I do have a lower corner where there is an old apple tree growing. The corner is partially shaded by a cedar hedge that prevents rainwater falling for about 6 inches directly under the hedge. Beyond that rain shadow, however, the ground is moist and seems to suit a couple of decorative ferns (which I did not plant). I am thinking of planting the garlic in the damp ground underneath the apple tree. Does anyone have any guidance about this idea or any experience of growing commercially produced "wild" garlic? Insights gratefully received.
 

Toddy

Mod
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Jan 21, 2005
35,960
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S. Lanarkshire
Once you've got it, you'll not get rid of it :)

Here it grows under deciduous trees, it comes up through the leaf litter every Spring. I don't grow it in the garden because it's growing in the woodland just outside my garden fence.
I have grown some of the bulbs in pots though.
Just keep them moist, they seem to like loamy soil rather than the heavy clay though.
I grew them in pots because I wanted to cook with the shallot type bulbs, but usually it's just the leaves we take.

They self seed prolifically, and those seeds do well in gravel topped pots and just left to come up next year. They come up a bit like grass at first.

I think they ought to do fine beneath your apple tree :)
 

slowworm

Native
May 8, 2008
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Devon
Yes, once it's established it doesn't seem fussy. If you leave it to go to seed it'll spread all around the garden, which isn't a problem if you use it.

I've seen it growing on well drained chalky soil so it can cope with dry. Giving it some compost or leaf mould would be good. Don't let it dry out when it's growing for the first year.

Here's an old thread that might be interesting: https://bushcraftuk.com/community/threads/domesticating-the-wild-garlic.92982/
 
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DocG

Full Member
Dec 20, 2013
732
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Moray
Here it grows under deciduous trees, it comes up through the leaf litter every Spring. I don't grow it in the garden because it's growing in the woodland just outside my garden fence.
I have grown some of the bulbs in pots though.
I think they ought to do fine beneath your apple tree :)

Thanks for the information. I have to hike to the local river to find garlic and it tends to be taken by others, hence my desire to plant some of my own.
I may try a couple of big pots first as I intend to cook with it. I would not worry if it went wild but some of my neighbors might, so a pot seems the best at present.
 

DocG

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Dec 20, 2013
732
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Moray
Thanks
Yes, once it's established it doesn't seem fussy. If you leave it to go to seed it'll spread all around the garden, which isn't a problem if you use it.

I've seen it growing on well drained chalky soil so it can cope with dry. Giving it some compost or leaf mould would be good. Don't let it dry out when it's growing for the first year.

Here's an old thread that might be interesting: https://bushcraftuk.com/community/threads/domesticating-the-wild-garlic.92982/
for your input. The article is useful.
 

Paul_B

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Jul 14, 2008
4,744
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Lancashire
My partner makes wild garlic pesto. The garlic breath lasts longer than food with commercial garlic cloves. Very strong taste so a little goes a long way as pesto.

I'm fortunate living interest Arnside and Silverdale AONB in that there's loads of woodland with wild garlic. Limestone area so wet when very wet but otherwise fairly dry ground. Can't escape the smell in spring. Judging by how much is around it's certainly a plant thst survives and spreads. It's under shade but also partial sun and even full sun in places I've seen. I'd say we see more wild garlic than bluebells in the woods.

I have no I'm idea whether picking wild garlic is legal but IMHO there's so much around here it can't do any harm. We leave the main path as far behind as possible then pick a little in each area. Prefer away from paths because that means we leave the poo bags behind!!!
 

Robson Valley

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Nov 24, 2014
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McBride, BC
Can you transplant some existing wild specimens?
The way the Alliums propagate, should be easy to increase the population.

Don't forget to pot up some grocery store ginger root. The greens are grassy, maybe 1m tall
and have a really nice taste in a fine dice.
 
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DocG

Full Member
Dec 20, 2013
732
51
Moray
Thanks Robson - nice advice. Foraging law in U.K. does not permit the digging up of roots, tubers etc without specific permission, so I'll have to wait until next season as I don't wish to upset anyone.
 
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