Wild garlic (Allium ursinum) often forms dense stands in semi-shaded forest clearings, which are most easily recognized by the white wild garlic flowers. For the establishment and propagation in your own garden, there are different procedures.
Features of the propagation of wild garlic
In order for wild garlic to propagate and spread well after planting, the choice of a suitable location is very crucial. A shady to semi-shady place under deciduous trees and shrubs is optimal for wild garlic, since such a location comes closest to the conditions at the natural sites of wild garlic in the forest. Basically, wild garlic can be propagated by dividing and transplanting the bulbs or by sowing the seeds. For both types of propagation, the rule is that seeds and bulbs must be placed in the ground as fresh as possible at the planned location. In addition, you should spare the plant in the first two standing years, so that you can later harvest all the larger quantities from a naturally reproducing stock.
Propagate wild garlic via bulbs
Since wild garlic collected in the forest always poses a certain risk of infection with fox tapeworm or confusion with poisonous plants, you can alternatively purchase wild garlic bulbs in specialized stores. If you have permission from the landowner. you can also dig up some bulbs of wild garlic at a wild site in the forest. However, you will need a digging fork or a spade to do this, as the wild garlic bulbs sit in the ground at a depth of up to 15 centimeters and cannot simply be pulled out of the ground with the leaves. Purchased and wild dug bulbs alike are not storable and must be kept moist from August until fall for transport and then dug back in place as soon as possible.
Sowing wild garlic yourself
Fresh seeds of wild garlic usually remain germinable for only about 4 to 6 months. It can either be purchased in a specialized trade or collected with the wilted inflorescences of wild garlic. Consider the following factors when sowing:
- Wild garlic is sown as a cold seedling in summer and fall.
- The seeds can sometimes take up to two years to germinate
- Direct sowing works better than preplanting in pots due to uniform soil moisture
Tips & Tricks
When sowing or planting bulbs of wild garlic, make sure to plant them over a wide area, as the stand will later become dense anyway due to self-propagation.