How to Grow Wild Garlic

wild garlic growing steamside

Wild garlic is grown for its garlic flavoured leaves, not the bulbs. It can be grown from seed, although it is easier to establish when grown from small bulbs . You can buy them "in the green" already in growth. 

Wild garlic is a woodland plant and, as such, likes nothing more than a damp spot with partial shade. In the image left I planted it in the garden to grow alongside a shady stream which was ideal growing conditions. This was a wild part of the garden with lots of space,because I show warn you Wild Garlic can be invasive.

You can harvest the leaves from March to May, picking them straight from the plant, and in a good spring, you can get 2/3 pickings from each plant. 

If you are creating a wild area in your garden Wild Garlic has a lovely white flower and looks good with bluebells and forget-me-nots which all flower at the same time.

How to Plant Wild Garlic

There are three ways to grow wild garlic, from seed, bulbs or in the green. 
if you are growing from seed, this can be germinated outside where it is to grow, or in containers. Scatter a small amount of seed thinly covered with soil. Do not allow to dry out and thin if necessary after germination when the seedlings are large enough to handle.
If you are growing from bulbs, plant the bulbs 3 times their depth around 8 cm, into an organically rich soil which will not dry out and with a measure of shade. If the soil may dry out, cover with a mulch of leaf mould to retain moisture. Bulbs are usually planted in the autumn, and will be ready to harvest the following spring. 
Garlic in the green is  planted in early spring when the plants are in leaf. Remove the plant from its container, and place the  plant so the soil is at the same level. Firm and water in.

Given that Wild Garlic can be invasive, if you want to control it but still enjoy the lovely garlic flavour, plant it in containers. It would be best to place those containers in a shady/semi shade spot to replicate the woodland conditions and also to reduce the chances of the container drying out. The image above right shows how it can spread and carpet an area. Your neighbours may not thank you for a wild garlic invasion I have seen it escape from one garden under the boundary fence and into the next. This is because it spreads itself by underground bulb production.

Wild Garlic is not drought tolerant.

Ideas for how to cook with wild garlic.

page last updated 27.03.2023