Wild garlic

I was recently inspired by a post on  The Frustrated Gardener about wild garlic. I had previously assumed that the ‘wild’ meant that there would be no seeds commercially available, so was pleasantly surprised to find out this was in fact untrue.

I was even more pleasantly surprised that the packet I ordered was waiting for me upon my return from London this Bank Holiday Monday. Then I was somewhat bemused by the instructions on it.

‘Allium ursinum’ ‘Seeds may require exposure to cold. Sow as normal and keep at 18/22 degrees C for 2/4 weeks. Transfer to -4/+4 degrees C for 4/6 weeks. Return to warmth but no more than 18 degrees C. If necessary, repeat these periods of warmth and cold.’


wild garlic seeds

I think I’ve worked out how to follow this regime but there is another reason holding me back. There is absolutely no space in the house for more seedlings.

All is forgiven when I look at the tomato plant I bought last month. It is flowering – something that has never happened so soon when starting tomatoes from seed in my domain. I’m keeping the air vents in the door it lives next to open in the hope that the breeze coming through will aid pollination. And now I wait in anticipation of some lovely little fruit!

tomato Losetto F1


About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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21 Responses to Wild garlic

  1. How lovely to have inspired you. I had no idea growing from seed was so involved! Good luck. Please keep me posted 🙂

  2. drofmit4108 says:

    Helen, wild garlic or Bear’s Garlic [hence the latin name ursinum]….
    is a woodland plant… and very attractive when in flower…
    it loves shade and will do very well in your front garden.
    There is a house at the top of Chapel Lane, Headingley that has some in the front garden and it is lovely with its dancing white flowers.
    The leaf is used, not the bulb… we had some pasta last week from Lidl that was flavoured and coloured using it. Excellent!

    The warming / chilling cycle is to duplicate the summer/winter/spring cycle…
    a brief “frost” in the freezer compartment work wonders for all sorts of wild seeds that overwinter as seed…. eg: primulas of all denominations benefit very well.
    And once started, prick them out directly into the front garden…

    And to aid pollination… treat yourself to a “tickling stick”… a No.1 sable paintbrush from the artshop on Vicar Lane… I think it is Vicar Lane… it is north of The Headrow…
    on the opposite side of the road to The Grand.
    It has to be animal hair… nylon doesn’t grip the pollen grains…
    and brush all the flowers that are out with it…
    it doesn’t need washing inbetween… unless you are trying to specifically cross varieties or keep a rare seed… and you can use it for the peppers, melons, courgettes, pumpkins and cukes, too!
    And while “dusting” pollen, it allows you to keep an eye on plant health.
    I’ve learnt all this from watching Pauline!!

    • Helen says:

      Were you thinking of the tomato plant or the wild garlic to pollinate with a brush? I had wondered about using one on the tom but wasn’t sure if I would need to/if there were male and female flowers. (I hand pollinates my cukes, aubergine and pumpkin last year – the pumpkin even though outside just wasn’t getting attention from favourable insects at the right time!)

      I think the shop you mean might have been on Woodhouse Lane. If so it has lamentably become a Sainsbury Local.

      Anyway, great pasta you found. I didn’t realise Lidl has spread to France, though logically why shouldn’t it.

      The front garden would indeed be a great place for the wild garlic. The forest garden at the back isn’t established enough for shade, although I might try it there as well. At the same time, I wonder if it may have the same effect as normal garlic on the strawberries. Mm, food for thought!

      • drofmit4108 says:

        Confine the Bear to the front garden…
        it can spread like wild fire!
        And, yes… strawbs don’t like alliums – full stop!!

        It was the tomatoes that I was thinking of… just spread that pollen around, gal!!

        And as for Lidl… it migrated North across the Channel!!

      • drofmit4108 says:

        “I think the shop you mean might have been on Woodhouse Lane. If so it has lamentably become a Sainsbury Local.”….

        • Helen says:

          When I first moved to Leeds there was M&S, Morissons and one other (whose name eludes me). Now the place is littered with supermarkets….

      • drofmit4108 says:

        No, we bought the pasta here, in France…
        it was Lidl that migrated North…
        it escaped from Germany… along with Aldi…
        and like the Ring-necked Parakeets, sorta spread!
        Lidl just keep looking for shops anywhere!!

  3. gaiainaction says:

    If it is the wild garlic that I am thinking of, then it is a lovely addition to mashed potatoes or such like food dishes. Mild and tasty! Helen my garden is so full of it, one of my raised bed is totally overgrown with it, and I am using it in my cooking of course. 🙂

  4. I’ve never grown garlic from seed. This wild variety sounds interesting … Your front garden sounds just the spot! 🙂

    • Helen says:

      I’m going to do a foraging course next month which might make growing my own wild garlic superfluous, but anything which is both edible and pretty gets my vote 🙂

  5. Look at your tomato grow! How exciting. Congratulations on the crop.

I love to read about your own experiences and any other feedback you have, so look forward to your comments below.

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