Bear’s garlic, which is also called “wild garlic”, is a wild vegetable and aromatic plant and is related to garlic, onions and chives. However, daffodils and lilies are also some of its relatives. The taste and smell of wild garlic are very reminiscent of garlic. It is said to have an antibacterial and blood pressure lowering effect. In addition, the vitamin C content is very high. Bear’s garlic also has positive effects on the intestinal flora and blood vessels and has a vasodilating effect. This leafy plant can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels and break down pathological deposits. This lowers the risk of heart attacks and strokes. Diseases such as thrombosis and arteriosclerosis can also be reduced. The entire plant can be used. As a rule, however, only the leaves are used.

The cultivation of wild garlic

Wild garlic can be grown by sowing or you can plant the onions. The onions are easier to cultivate. They sprout almost all year round. The seed needs a cold period to sprout. He’s a cold germ. Once you have successfully planted wild garlic in the garden, it is practically a sure-fire success if the conditions are good. As long as you leave the onion in the ground and only harvest the herb, the plant will multiply. Then it can even happen that there are too many plants and one has to contain them.

location

In nature, wild garlic only grows in nutrient-rich and shady regions, often in wooded areas. Then he also appears en masse. It forms dense clumps.

  • Partially shaded place, best under deciduous trees or deciduous shrubs
  • Since wild garlic retreats into the ground in summer, you should be careful to choose plants as neighbors that cover the gaps, e.g. ferns, astilbe, woodruff or other shade-loving plants.

Plant substrate

Wild garlic likes it neither too wet nor too dry. But damp is definitely better than dry. However, standing moisture is unfavorable. The best thing is forest soil, on which the plant thrives and, above all, stays healthy for many years.

  • Soil slightly acidic to slightly alkaline
  • A slightly moist, calcareous, heavy and humus-rich substrate is ideal.
  • Definitely not acidic soil.
  • Sandy soil is also not ideal.
  • A lot of decaying leaves on the plants and around them are cheap.

Planting

In spring, wild garlic plants are often offered by the gardener. If you put these in the garden, you can harvest the following spring. But you should really only remove a few sheets at the beginning. The plants need a few years before they are properly grown and fully operational. When they begin to reproduce on their own, the full harvest can begin.

  • The intended bed should be well marked out so that the wild garlic cannot spread out uncontrollably.
  • It is best to secure it with vertically dug boards or stone slabs (rhizome barrier)
  • It is best to plant the wild garlic in groups of up to 5 bulbs
  • Planting distance between the individual groups – about 30 cm
  • Planting depth about 5 cm
  • The top of the onion should be 5 cm below the surface of the earth.

sowing

It is important for sowing to use only fresh seeds. But even then it is not easy to put on wild garlic. The sowing is often unsuccessful. In the case of self-harvested seeds, it can sometimes take up to two years for the seeds to sprout.

  • Sow directly in the field
  • Best time – summer or autumn
  • Cover 2 cm with soil
  • The area must be absolutely free of grass and weeds.
  • Cold germ – needs frost to germinate
  • The first plants appear in spring
  • Connoisseurs recommend covering the seeds with damp foliage and always ensuring a little moisture.

If you want to prefer the seeds, you can simulate the cold phase. To do this, the seeds are mixed with sand (ratio 1: 3). The sand is slightly moistened and stored in a bag (4 weeks at 20 to 25 ° C). The bag is then placed in the refrigerator or freezer for 4 weeks (temperatures between –4 ° C and + 4 ° C. Then you can sow. Sowing in containers is rather unfavorable because it is difficult to keep the substrate evenly moist for such a long time It can take up to a year or more for the seeds to sprout. Also, moss forms over time and this prevents germination. It is better to sow on the spot.

Put onions

Alternatively, you can buy loose bulbs and plant them in groups or in rows. Pinning onions is easy. You can buy them in garden centers or in online shops. If you plant them early enough, you can harvest the first leaves in the coming spring.

  • Like other onions, they are simply stuck in the ground.
  • The tip must point up and be covered with an inch or two of soil.
  • The onions can be planted all year round, except of course when there is frost and frozen earth.

Care of wild garlic

When caring for it, it is important to remove all weeds from time to time. If the wild garlic has spread, they have no chance anyway. Otherwise it has to be watered every now and then, but mostly only in spring. There is no cutting, wintering is no problem and everything has already been written about propagation. Diseases and pests are also virtually unknown. Only the vole should not be accommodated in the garden.

Watering and fertilizing
The wild garlic should not be completely dry. But you don’t really have to water it much. It is only important in spring that sufficient moisture is available. The rest of the year the plants usually get along well on their own, at least if they don’t get too much sun.

  • Watering in prolonged drought, but only during the growing season.
  • Sufficient moisture is important in spring. If it doesn’t rain enough, water it every now and then. Especially important from February to May.
  • Once it has grown properly, it does not have to be fertilized.

Cutting
Wild garlic does not have to be cut back. There is nothing to cut apart from crops. What you should do is to clear out if the population is too small. But you don’t do that until autumn, when the leaves have moved in. Take out a few onions from stocks that are too narrow. They can be implemented or they can be used in the kitchen.

Wintering
wild garlic is hardy. The plants are happy about a layer of leaves as cover in autumn. This comes very close to their original locations in the forest.

Propagation
Propagation takes place by sowing and planting onions. Seeds are often carried away by ants and often spread throughout the garden.

Diseases and pests

Bear’s garlic is actually a robust and not susceptible plant. Of course, insects can appear from time to time, but they hardly cause any damage. It looks different with voles. They can endanger especially freshly planted stands. Every now and then there is leaf damage.

harvest

It is only after three to four years that the wild garlic has grown so that it promises a rich harvest. You can harvest in previous years, but the leaves are then still quite small and sparse. It all takes time. The leaves are harvested in the first few months of sprouting, otherwise they will turn yellow. This is due to the warming of the soil and the temperatures.

  • It is harvested by severing the leaves from the plant with a sharp knife.
  • You can’t cut off too many leaves. The plant needs these for photosynthesis in order to store the nutrients in the onion and to drive them out again in the next year.
  • Do not press sheets
  • Do not cut off the flower stem. Seeds should form, which then ensure further reproduction (self-sowing)
  • If the leaves cannot be processed straight away, they can be placed in a freezer bag, inflated and tied tightly.
  • The leaves lose their freshness quickly and should be used up quickly.
  • Store in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator
  • Wrap stems with kitchen towels soaked in water

It is best to use wild garlic in its raw state. If it is heated, it loses important nutrients and also taste. If you add it as a spice to hot dishes, then always only towards the end of the cooking process. Wild garlic pesto is particularly tasty.

Conclusion
Wild garlic is tasty and healthy. It’s also easy to grow if you don’t have sandy soil like me. The plant likes it shady and a bit damp, like in the forest, where wild garlic thrives. My parents in the Black Forest have entire forests whose ground is covered with wild garlic in spring. As far as the eye can see, only wild garlic. In good conditions, these wild vegetables can also spread widely in the garden. One should take action against this. A rhizome barrier and cutting off the faded flower stalks makes sense. No seeds are allowed to form that are then carried away, otherwise you will soon have small wild garlic plants all over the garden. But it’s not that easy with the cultivation. I know some people who have tried to plant wild garlic a few times. You were out of luck.

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