wild garlic cultivation

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by primal1, Apr 29, 2006.

  1. primal1

    primal1 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hi all, it's been a while since I had land to play on, still don't have my own but am restoring a friends apple and hawthorn orchard that had become overgrown over years of neglect. I have found a patch of wild garlic and up here in Quebec it's now a protected plant due to heavy harvesting over the years.
    I have read that very few wild garlic seeds actually make it to germination in the wild so I was wondering if it would be better to snip off the flowers before the plant spends all it's energy on seeding in hopes that the plant would take full advantage of it's 'plan B' means reproduction via the roots.
    Any other advice would be most welcome as I have been asked to save this small patch of about 20 plants... why such a small and solitary patch on 10 acres of land?

    thanks
     
  2. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Learning how it propagates would be a start for saving that particular variety. (It is not the one that many consider a nuisance or mistaken for a wild onion.) Unlike most other garlics, that one doesn't produce bulbils and is often shy on producing seeds as well. Then there is the full year or more of dormancy before the seeds will germinate. Here's the best info on it: www.biology.mcgill.ca/undergra/c465a/biodiver/2001/wild-garlic/wild-garlic.htm

    Martin
     

  3. primal1

    primal1 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks for the reply Martin, that is the info I have previously read..

    'Few new recruits to wild garlic populations come from seed (Couillard 1995).

    Wild garlic reproduces more safely and more effectively by vegetative division. Again, larger plants are more likely to reproduce. Once the plants reach reproduction size, they divide and/or flower for several years (Nault and Gagnon 1993). The bulbs of large plants divide into two or three parts. These divided parts are significantly larger than new individuals from seed and have much greater chances of surviving. Furthermore, underground rhizomes link parent bulbs with their vegetative genets for up to eight or nine years, giving them a physiological advantage (Couillard 1995).'

    Thats why I am thinking of cutting the flower before they seed, I suppose I could try to harvest the seeds and plant them somewhere protected but frankly i'd giving the roots a better chance to spread is more favorable to me.

    I thought they did reproduce via root or am I missunderstanding this... 'Furthermore, underground rhizomes link parent bulbs with their vegetative genets for up to eight or nine years, giving them a physiological advantage'
     
  4. primal1

    primal1 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Just read this and am now thinking I would be better to go hunting for another patch to get some cross pollinating...

    'Founder effects, genetic drift and inbreeding have therefore reduced the genetic variability of the northern, geographically restricted populations. Small wild garlic patches likely grow from a single clone'
     
  5. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Knowing what I do about garlic, I'd say that the best bet would be to attempt additional propagation strictly from bulb division. They should keep dividing for as long as there is room to expand. For example, when a single clove of domestic garlic is planted, it produces a a divided bulb. If left, each clove will divide again into numerous smaller cloves. After that, the cluster is too crowded and becomes more like grass. To propagate that wild variety, I'd think that digging and dividing them about every third year would give you a quite large number of plants/bulbs. That's more of a sure thing than trying to rely on seeds. Do that during the normal dormant period and the plants would never know that they've been disturbed.

    Martin
     
  6. MELOC

    MELOC Master Of My Domain

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    i guess i have the "nuisance" garlic growing wild all over the place. i wish there was a market for it.
     
  7. primal1

    primal1 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Sounds like a plan:).
    I did dig one up to inspect the bulb(ok to taste it really;)), it was only about an inch long by about 1/4 inch diameter, so a young one... but soooo good!
    Thanks for the help, I really wanted to be sure before disturbing it.
     
  8. primal1

    primal1 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Does that one taste like regular garlic? There is a market up here for good pickled garlic... what i find strange is that regular pickled garlic still sells for more than the wild garlic which is roughly $6-8 canadian for a 500ml mason jar
     
  9. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    The "nuisance" one is Allium vineale which often erroneously is called a wild onion since they are so much alike. A friend in Illinois is plagued by wild garlic moving into his lawn and flower gardens from a neighboring field. I've been tempted to have him send me a few specimens but I've already got enough of the edible alliums without bringing in a wild one!

    The weed garlic is here: www.ppws.vt.edu/scott/weed_id/allvi.htm

    Martin