Farming Base (farmingbase.com) is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This site also participates in other affiliate programs and is compensated for referring traffic and business to them.
It’s time to cleanse the body, fight spring fatigue, it’s time for wild garlic, ramsons, buckrams, broad-leaved garlic, wood garlic, bear leek or bear’s garlic. Whatever you call it, this wild plant restores energy to the bears after winter sleep, it is their first spring meal, enhances them and provides everything they need. If it’s good for bears that can weigh 1100 pounds or more, it’s good for humans as well.
In this article you can find:
- Sowing and planting wild garlic
- Plantation maintenance
- Wild garlic harvesting
- Wild garlic storage
- Medicinal properties of wild garlic
- Wild garlic in cooking
- Interesting facts about wild garlic
All parts of wild garlic are edible, from bulbs to green fruits, but the most delicious are young leaves that are recommended to harvest before the flowering stems.
The leaves of wild garlic are long, pointed, elliptical, and at the base of the leaf, they narrow into petioles from. The plant grows to a height of 8 to 16 inches. The inflorescence takes the form of a shield. The stem is round or triangular at the cross-section. There is a white, thin and erect bulb in the ground, which is also wrapped with whitish skins.
In spring, usually two bulbs of dark green emerge from the bulbs, narrowing at the bottom in the petiole. The stem is erect and leafless, and usually develops white flowers, the shape of which resembles asterisks. The wild garlic flowers are bisexual, and the fruit is pomegranate shaped and contains several black seeds.
Sowing and planting wild garlic
Wild garlic is a wild plant that can be found in forests in early spring. If you want to produce wild garlic in your garden, the forest is the right place to gather the best seeds. The seeds of wild garlic are round black, while the bulbs are small and elongated. The bulbs in the garden can be planted in the fall after you have dug them out of the forest. It would be a good idea to mark the spot where you found the wild garlic so you will be sure where to look for it. Likewise, bulbs can be transplanted into pots in the fall and grown indoors.
But it is best to sow the seeds in the fall, right into the garden. In the spring, you can transplant it when the plants are already firm and grow to the desired number. Sow the seeds in moist and fertile soil, in complete shade or semi-shade. When sown, the seed is covered with earth and left to winter. It will sprout in the spring after the first snow has melted and the frosts have disappeared.
Although wild garlic is most commonly harvested in nature, they are also increasingly sown in the garden. It likes moist and shady areas or conditions like in the forest. Therefore, semi-shaded or sunny habitats will suit it.
It will be best suited to rich humus soil and moist soil and will grow great in shady gardens near rivers, streams and deciduous forests. It loves nutritious, moist and well-drained soil.
Growing wild garlic is usually organic and as such does not require the use of fertilizers and pesticides. It is a seasonal production of wild garlic because it is only available for a few months during the year and can, therefore, be compared to asparagus cultivation.
Propagation of wild garlic
Wild garlic can be propagated in many ways. In the spring, wild garlic that is dug in the forest is transplanted. Wait for the seed to ripen and collect and sow. But before sowing it must be stratified. In this case, it will take longer to reach a height when it is suitable for picking.
Wild garlic harvesting
The flowering of wild garlic depends on the area, so in the lowlands, they bloom from late March to May, and in the mountainous parts until June. When the seeds ripen, the overhead part of the plant dries out very quickly. The bulbs are harvested in the summer and fall months before the seeds ripen and are then stored in a cool place for several days.
Wild garlic storage
It is not recommended to freeze and dry the wild garlic, as it loses its numerous medicinal properties, and its taste and aroma can quickly evaporate. If you’re going to dry it, it won’t be anything like that harvested wild garlic. Therefore, eat it immediately after picking.
But you can also preserve it in oil or make it flavored with salt. Unopened wild garlic flowers and bulbs can be acidic. Wild garlic bulbs can be stored as classic onions in a dry and cool place for six months.
Medicinal properties of wild garlic
Wild garlic or bear’s garlic smells like the arrival of spring when the markets are full of it. One of his names (bear’s garlic), is connected to the thought that it is a bear’s first meal after waking up from long winter sleep. He will get everything he needs in a bear’s garlic because its healing ability has been recognized since ancient times. The healing properties of wild garlic are not completely known to everyone, so this type of onion is often neglected both in consumption and in production. It boosts immunity, cleanses blood vessels and intestines, and recovers the liver.
Wild garlic is rich in vitamins A, B, and C, folic acid and niacin. It is important to mention that it contains 14 times more vitamin C than lemon. Minerals include sulfur, magnesium, and iron.
It is mostly used in cleansing the body of toxins and against spring fatigue. There is no better liver cleanser than it, and if you regularly consume wild garlic, you can discard high blood pressure lowering tablets.
Wild garlic strengthens the heart and weakens the heart muscle, treats atherosclerosis and lowers cholesterol. It can calm the cough so it is often used as a syrup. It is enough to finely chop it and pour in cold water and allow it to stand overnight. Then strain and stir in honey and boil gently for about 15 minutes. One small spoonful is taken three times a day each day.
It eliminates indigestion, improves appetite and soothes mucosal inflammation. It has great antiviral, antibacterial and antiparasitic activity. It can soothe bladder inflammation and improve kidney, liver and bile function. It helps with uterine disease.
It is also used for skin health and beauty. It can cure eczema, dermatitis, irritated skin, wounds, bruises, and hematomas.
If you have problems with insomnia, dizziness or poor memory, rely on the help of wild garlic.
Based on the number of clinical trials, no side effects of the consumption of wild garlic were recorded.
Wild garlic in cooking
Wild garlic leaves that can be prepared as a fresh salad or in the form of juice, and bulbs used fresh and just dug.
Wild garlic is used the same as white and red onions. It is always the healthiest to eat fresh, prepared on a salad, and because of its intense taste and aroma, many people mix it with cabbage and lettuce.
Add it to sauces, soups or healthy pesto. Its rich yet mild taste will be best expressed in risotto and gnocchi. It is recommended to cook for a short time or not at all, as cooking loses its distinctive aroma and taste.
It is excellent for the preparation of aromatic cheese. Chop it finely and mix it with fresh cheese. You get a healthy bread spread that you can eat at any time of the day.
Its only disadvantage is its strong odor, so it is important to note that after consuming wild garlic, you will not easily be able to get rid of bad breath.
Interesting facts about wild garlic
Wild garlic can be found in the forests of Europe and Asia, and in our regions, it grows in the lowlands and in higher mountainous areas. It grows mostly in beech forests and likes moist soil and shady areas. The plant has been used for over 5000 years.
The smell of wild garlic is reminiscent of a mild version of common garlic, which distinguishes it from similar but also poisonous plants in the forest. Specifically, one should be especially careful when harvesting it, as it can easily be mistaken for lily of the valley, white hellebore, or poisonous autumn crocus. If you are not sure, better not to pick it in nature. The main difference between the wild garlic and the aforementioned poisonous plants is that none of the poisonous plants have the smell of garlic like wild garlic. Consuming these plants as a substitute for wild garlic could cause you serious health problems that can lead to death.
The autumn crocus has dark and thicker leaves that are connected in a circle, and the wild garlic has light green soft leaves, each leaf is separate and has a small stick. The crocus also has a tuber with a brown sheath, and its leaves are narrow with curved edges and a light vein in the center of the leaf. The autumn crocus grows in shrubs, lawns and meadows, orchards and vineyards, and in some forests.
With lily of the valley, it is specific that each leaf grows separately, and with the leaves at all stages of development can be seen buds of future flowers. They grow individually, in small groups, and can be found along the edges of forests, in bushes and in forests. They have a thicker base, horizontally white, and their leaves are elongated and elliptical.
White hellebore usually grows along the edge of forests or in moist meadows and can be found growing together or individually. The leaves of the plant are egg-shaped, longitudinally wrinkled with veins, fleshy.