Wild Ramps  - Wild Leeks
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Wild leeks, better known as ramps, are a delicious edible plant the stems and broad leaves have a mild
garlic-onion flavor. Ramps grow in large numbers natural lying the mountainous areas of the eastern United
States. An early bloomer, ramps have been historically used by hill-folk as a staple of their diet, and were
usually the first available greens that could be consumed after a long winter.

Early on in history the ramps  were consumed as a tonic. It was believed that the ramp tonic   provided the  
necessary vitamins and minerals to early settlers. Especially since   long winter months provided no   fresh
vegetables. Annual gatherings became family traditions. Families  evolved year after year  gathering ramps and
making  ramp tonic  of this pungent plant.
How To Grow Ramps - Growing Cycle
Ramps can be  found growing in patches in rich, moist, deciduous forests and bottoms from as far north as
Canada, west to Missouri and Minnesota, and south to North Carolina and Tennessee.  The ramps have kept
their popularity as there are a considerable number of local festivals that pay homage to ramps and their uses.
Ramps have gained in increasing significant popularity in recent years with the upscale culinary
community, and the prices of ramps commercially purchased has skyrocketed. This increase in popularity have
pushed gardeners to plant ramps in their home gardens.
Since almost all ramps consumed are harvested from wild populations, information on growing ramps is very
limited.

Early Spring:
Iain the Southeastern U.S., ramps begin growing rapidly in March and early April  when it still cool out. In the
Northern growing areas Ramps may not be seen until May.  In early spring, ramps send up smooth, broad,
lily-of-the-valley-like leaves The newly  produced  leaves in will  die back as the days lengthen and temperatures
rise.

In June, after the leaves die back, a flower stalk emerges. The flower blooms in early summer and the seeds
develop in late summer. The seeds mature atop a leafless stalk and eventually fall to the ground to germinate
near the mother plant The bulbs continue to grow producing a  pleasant taste of sweet spring onions with a
strong garlic-like aroma.

Where To Grow Ramps:
For best growing results  mimic how and where the ramps  grow in the wild. In the wild Ramps grow in shaded
areas (usually under trees) with an abundance of moisture and soil rich in organic matter. Look carefully around
your gardening area for a tree that will provide a moist soil with lots of shade. Organic matter such as leaves can
be added. Ramps grow naturally under a forest canopy of beech, birch, sugar maple, and/or poplar. Other forest
trees
under which ramps will grow include buckeye, linden (basswood), hickory, and oak. A forested area with any
of these trees present provides an ideal location for planting a ramp crop. Areas that host trillium, tooth wort,
nettle, black cohos, ginseng, bloodroot, trout lily, bell wort, and may apple should be suitable for growing ramps.
If there is not a wooded area available to grow ramps, a shade structure can be erected over the planting site.



To plant under a forested canopy, rake back the leaves on the forest floor, removing any unwanted weeds, tree
sprouts, or roots. If the soil is not naturally high in organic matter, incorporate organic materials such as
composted leaves and other decaying plant material from the forest. Loosen the soil and rake to prepare a fine  
bed. Sow bulbs about 1/2 to 1 inch a part pressing them gently into the soil. Cover bulbs with several inches of
leaves to retain moisture in the soil and to protect the bulbs from the  wildlife. In under artificial shade, add
organic matter if needed, till the soil,
sow the seeds.



Many growers prefer planting bulbs or young plants instead of sowing seeds. Since germination of the seed can
take up to 18 months, transplants and bulbs can be a good alternative for the beginning ramp grower. Planting
large bulbs ( 1/4" diameter) can provide harvest able ramps within 2 to 3 years. Bulbs can be purchased in
February and March or dug for transplanting between September and March, with February to mid March being
the best time. March is the best time for transplanting young plants. If bulbs are to be dug for transplanting, once
the ground has thawed gently dig the ramps, taking great care not to damage the roots or bulbs. In a prepared
planting bed (see direct seeding), transplant the bulbs approximately 3 inches deep, and 4 to 6 inches apart,
allowing all the roots to be buried and keeping just the very tip of the bulb above the surface.
Planting bulbs at the proper depth is important for survival. Transplant leafed-out plants at the same depth they
had been growing and space 4 to 6 inches apart. If space is limited, clumps of 4 or 5 plants can be grouped
together. Mulch the planting bed with at least 2 to 3 inches of leaf litter.



In the Southeastern U.S., ramps begin growing rapidly in March and early April in cool, shady areas with damp
soil and an abundance of decomposed leaf litter or other organic matter. The plants produce new leaves in
March to April, which die back as the days lengthen and temperatures rise.

In June, after the leaves die back, a flower stalk emerges. The flower blooms in early summer and the seeds
develop in late summer. The seeds mature atop a leafless stalk and eventually fall to the ground to germinate
near the mother plant. The timing of these events is usually delayed at high elevations and locations north of
North Carolina and Tennessee. Adjust the growing cycle for Northern and Cold State gardening.

MULCHING

Hardwood leaves provide the best mulch for ramps. Poor results have been obtained with pine bark and
commercial mulches and they should be avoided until further research is done. The effects of mulching are
numerous: decaying organic matter provides essential elements like nitrogen, much needed moisture is retained
within the mulched area, and the mulch acts as an insulator to protect the plants in sub-zero temperatures. In
addition, mulching helps to suppress weeds as well as protect newly sown seeds and seedlings from wildlife.


HARVESTING

In native populations, ramps usually form extensive colonies or clumps. Often the bulbs are so densely spaced
that other vegetation can hardly penetrate the stands. Methods for harvest include digging the whole patch,
harvesting a portion of a patch, or thinning out and harvesting just the largest plants. Do not harvest plants until
they have filled the site, have large bulbs, and have flowered. If whole plots are harvested at one time, it is
recommended to have enough plots to allow for a 5 to 7 year rotation.

That is, to have continuous harvest year after year, harvest only one-fifth or one-seventh of your production area
each year. When harvesting a portion of a plot, no more than 15% of the ramps should be removed. If the
thinning method is used, great care should be taken not to damage plants that are not harvested. Based on
research done on wild populations; harvests should be limited to 5 to 10% of the plants in each plot.

Tools for harvesting ramps vary with the person using them. A ramp "digger" tool can be purchased or made.
This hand tool is the size of a hammer, with a long, narrow head similar to a mattock. Other suitable tools include
a garden hoe, pick, and soil knife. For commercial operations, having a tool that can be used comfortably all day
is essential.

Digging methods are the same as those described under TRANSPLANTING. Again, great care should be taken
not to damage the bulbs. While harvesting, keep the dug ramps cool and moist. When harvesting is complete,
wash ramps thoroughly and cover with composted leaves or other similar natural materials.

Watering:
Choose a well-drained site with rich, moist soil high in organic matter. Soil moisture appears to be an important
environmental variable influencing seed germination, seedling emergence rate, survival, and growth rate of the
plant. Thus adequate moisture must be maintained throughout all seasons, not just the active growing season.

Keep in mind that the growth period for ramps is limited to only a few weeks in the spring, during which time the
plant is dependent on having adequate light, moisture, and nutrients for survival.

Edible Leaves:
Considered by many to be the best tasting member of the onion family. The leaves are  very tender early in the
Spring and the bulb is edible year round, though they can toughen up in the summer.
Broad, smooth, light green leaves, often with deep purple or burgundy tints on the lower stems begin arriving in
small troops as soon as the snow disappears.

How To Order Wild Ramps and Leeks:    Important

Click on the button below: Use the down arrow and make your selection. Ramps are shipped in the early Spring.
They are dug fresh for each order. The ramps come out of the forest. Depending on when your order is shipped
the Wild Ramps - Leeks may have leaves on them. The leaves may wilt in transit. The wilting is  not a problem.
Just clip off the leaves and plant the bulb as directed above.  Wilting does not mean the plant is dead. The bulb
is very much a live just plant and watch it grow through it cycle.

Shipping Wild Ramps - Leeks:
We are in the mountains of TN. The Ramps come about in May. We ship in May - June. If you are ordering other
plants and you can plant sooner than May. Then the Ramps will not ship with your order. Follow the steps.

1. Make an separate order for  Will Ramps - Leeks, if you are ordering other plants and roots that can be planted
in your garden sooner.  Most important that a separate order is made for the Wild Ramps-Leeks.

2. We ship Wild Ramps and Leeks in May. May be sooner depends on when they come above the soil.
Wild Leeks - Ramps with leaves.
The leaves can be eaten.
Wild Leeks - Ramps found growing in  
clusters in the wild .
How To Grow Ramps In The Forrest:
Where To Plant
What To  Plant Bulbs or Seed:
Growth Cycle What To Expect:
Click on the white diamonds:
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