You can get wild garlic from the garden. Check out how to grow wild garlic, when to sow and plant it

Until recently, wild garlic only grew wild. However, now you can simply plant it in the garden – we will get a plant with an interesting taste and smell, and at the same time very healthy. In addition, you must know that wild garlic is protected, and the possibility of harvesting it is limited by regulations. However, we can enjoy them from the garden without any obstacles. Check out how to grow wild garlic, when to sow and plant it, and what conditions you need to ensure it grows well.


Thanks to the currently prevailing fashion for ecology and a healthy lifestyle, we observe our diet more closely and are more ready to introduce new herbs and spices into it. One of them, among others, is the increasingly popular wild garlic. This extraordinary plant was once highly valued and used both in the kitchen and in folk medicine. Currently, it is coming back into favor, and even – it is becoming fashionable.

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Wild garlic, in addition to its taste, offers a lot of vitamins (mainly vitamins C and A, E), minerals (including sulfur, selenium, manganese, iron) and many other valuable substances (it contains, among other things, flavonoids, amino acids, phytoncides, e.g. allicin, essential oils, e.g. ursalin),

Note: wild garlic can only be harvested in three voivodeships, and even there a permit is required. Therefore, it is worth growing in the garden. LoggaWiggler/pixabay.com

Wild garlic has a strong antibacterial and antifungal effect, and the ingredients contained in it help to reduce the level of bad cholesterol and regulate blood pressure.

Wild garlic also has an antipyretic effect, which is why it is recommended for colds. Consumption of young garlic leaves in spring also strengthens the body after winter and supports the work of the digestive system. In folk medicine, wild garlic was also used in the treatment of ulcers, abscesses, and decubitus because its antibacterial effect improved the healing of wounds.

Note that wild garlic leaves can be confused with several poisonous plants. They look a bit like lily of the valley leaves[/b]. They differ from, for example, the characteristic smell of garlic. Let’s pay attention to this because lilies of the valley are poisonous. There are also cases confusion of garlic with autumn wintergreenwhich puts out leaves in the spring, but does not bloom (it will bloom in the fall). This one deadly poisonous plantso let’s be careful.

Let's not confuse wild garlic with poisonous plants that develop at the same time - lily of the valley and wintergreen.  Their poisoning is deadly
Let’s not confuse wild garlic with poisonous plants that develop at the same time – lily of the valley and wintergreen. Their poisoning is deadly. Katarzyna Laszczak

Until recently, wild garlic could only be found in natural habitats, in moist and shady mixed forests (mainly beech). Currently, however, you can easily buy its bulbs and seeds, making it possible to grow the plant in your own garden.

This is important because wild garlic is covered in Poland partial species protection and cannot be cut from forest areas without a special permit – it is not allowed to pick or “transplant” garlic into the garden. In addition, garlic even with a permit, it can only be collected in three provinces: Śląskie, Małopolskie and Podkarpackie. An additional requirement is to leave 75% of the plants. The permit should be requested from the Regional Environmental Protection Administration corresponding to the location.

Find out more: Where and how to get a permit to harvest wild garlic and how much it costs

Growing wild garlic is not difficult, because the plant tolerates low temperatures well and does not require special care (except weeding and watering during drought), but it should be remembered that it has very specific requirements.

Wild garlic will grow well only in semi-shady or shady positions and on fertile, humus and moist soils with a neutral or slightly alkaline pH. It will feel great under trees and in shady corners of the garden, where after a few years it will create a beautiful green carpet.

Onion leaves have an interesting taste and smell, and are also very healthy.
Onion leaves have an interesting taste and smell, and are also very healthy. Aranha – pixabay.com

Wild garlic is a short-lived perennial, but we don’t have to worry about its frequent rejuvenation, because once planted it will grow by itself (from bulbs and seeds). If we decide to grow a plant with bulbs, we need to plant them in the ground in early autumn, August/September-Octobercovering approx. 2-5 cm layer of soil.

You can buy ready-made in garden centers wild garlic seeds, intended for sowing in late autumn (October-November). After sowing, the seeds go through winter dormancy and develop leaves in the spring of the following year (March-April).

It will be more difficult to get plants from seeds collected, for example, from a friend’s garden, because they require proper preparation before sowing (after harvesting, they should be kept mixed with moist sand for about 1 month in a dark place at about 20-25°C, and then the following month day subjected to a low temperature of about 0-4°C, e.g. in a refrigerator).

In May, the plant blooms and produces seeds (after pollination by flies and bumblebees or self-pollination), then the above-ground part dries up and goes dormant again. At the beginning of July, there is no sign of wild garlic in the garden, so if we want to use its bulbs for culinary purposes or for propagation, we should already mark the place of its growth in early spring.

In early spring, wild garlic produces delicate white flowers.
In early spring, wild garlic produces delicate white flowers. Antranias/pixabay.com

Wild garlic is tastiest in early spring, because then its leaves are soft and have the strongest smell. Over time, the leaves harden and become milder in taste. Young leaves are an excellent addition to salads, curds, pastas and pasta.

Older leaves, bulbs and dried leaves are an ideal addition to sauces, soups, meat and fish dishes. But when drying the leaves, do not forget to do it quickly (eg in a mushroom dryer), because if they manage to turn yellow early, they will lose their properties and aroma.

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