Mediterranean Diet 101

How to Grow Wild Garlic - Allium Ursinum

wild garlic allium ursinum 1Wild Garlic (Allium Ursinum) is 30cm (one foot) tall perennial herb plant suitable for growing in the garden or in the flower pots. It is also known as broad-leaved garlic, ramsons, buckrams, wood garlic, bear leek, bear's garlic etc.

Its Latin name comes from the fact that in the wild, bears like its bulbs and dig them out regularly.

Cultivation: it should be sown between August and October on suitable spots in the garden or in flower pots. It requires some cold in order for seeds to germinate. If the plants are too dense, remove unnecessary plants.

Any good flower or garden soil will be fine - just be sure not to over-fertilize and over-water it. If you notice that your plants are not growing as they should, add some organic fertilizer or some NPK fertilizer with gradual release of nutrients, but not much. After all, this plant is used as herb and herbs tend to have better taste when not grown in very rich soil.

In the autumn, when it starts to hibernate, put the plant in the shade, protected from the cold and strong winds and wait until the April for the plants to start to grow again.

lily of the valley convallaria majalisWarning: Wild Garlic (Allium Ursinum) has leaves very similar to the Lily of the Valley (Convallaria Majalis) which is very poisonous, even deadly. Luckily, their flowers differ significantly. This is very important, since in many European countries, wild garlic is regularly picked in nature. Also, if you grow Allium Ursinum in the backyard garden from your own seeds, and there are other gardens or park or woods nearby, be very careful, since these two plants are so similar. Of course, there are other similar plants that are more or less dangerous to human health, so be careful - better safe than sorry.

Culinary use: As a herb, young flowers and leaves are used for meals and recipes that require specific taste and aroma of garlic - just a little bit different :)

Picked young leaves and flowers can be kept fresh in the fridge few days. If you are growing them in the backyard garden or anything similar, pick them just before use - this way they will be as fresh as possible.

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