How to grow organic wild garlic

Written by john albers
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The perennial herb called wild garlic is also known as crow garlic. It’s native to parts of Asia, Africa, and much of Europe. It has become a bit of a pest since it was introduced to North America and grows uncontrolled throughout much of the country. The bulbs are smaller than conventional garlic and confer a similar taste that is nonetheless unique. Unlike regular garlic, every part of the wild garlic is edible, raw or cooked. It also exudes a strong garlicky odour. They have a tendency to grow in large clumps and have been known to populate entire fields, though they can coexist with other plants and do not detract from other species survival when in proximity. Here is a guide explaining how to grow wild garlic through organic methods.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Soybean meal
  • Shovels
  • Wild garlic bulbs
  • Organic compost
  • Water mister
  • Fish oil
  • Mulch

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  1. 1

    Begin by prepping the soil you intend to plant your garlic in. Garlic is primarily a temperate zone herb that does well in soil that drains quickly. Find a spot of raised earth outdoors. If you live in a temperate zone, then make sure the spot receives full sunlight. If you live in a semi-tropical zone, make sure the spot gets shade and sunlight only a few hours out of each day.

  2. 2

    Dig down three or four inches to make a wide ditch, make sure to break up and turn the earth well. Sprinkle the hole liberally with soybean meal. Wild garlic needs a lot of nutrients, specifically nitrogen. Ideally you would be able to do this twice a week for up to a year before planting, but waiting so long is not absolutely necessary given the hardiness of wild garlic. Begin planting sometime in early fall.

  3. 3

    Obtain the wild garlic bulbs. You can get seeds instead but it would be several years before they were to develop enough to be worth harvesting. Break each bulb into its component cloves. Place them root end down in the ditch, three or four inches apart from each other. Cover the bulbs up with the soil, spread a thin layer of organic compost over this to help give them nutrition as they sprout, and then spread a thick layer of mulch over the compost. The mulch will prevent weeds and grasses from sprouting amongst the garlic while it is still trying to establish its root system.

  4. 4

    Water the mulch with the equivalent of a full inch of rain each week. This would equate to about a half hour with a sprinkler turned on. The bulbs can be harmed if they receive too much water at one time, so break this up into smaller periods of watering throughout the week. You should begin to see sprouts by early February.

  5. 5

    Lightly mist the leaves with fish oil once a week beginning in March all the way up to June to keep them fertilised. They should be large enough to harvest by August or will continue to propagate themselves naturally year after year as long as they have sufficient light and rain.

Tips and warnings

  • From the health perspective, wild garlic has most of the benefits of the cultivated garlic, A. sativum. It is therefore a very beneficial addition to the diet, promoting the general health of the body when used regularly. It is particularly effective in reducing high blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels. The juice of the plant has been used as a general household disinfectant.

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