How to Transplant Wild Leeks


Wild leeks, also known as ramps, are a relative of onions and garlic. This strong-smelling plant is well known and loved in the Appalachian region from Nova Scotia to Georgia, and it also grows in Ohio and as far northwest as Minnesota. Country cooks in Appalachia often add ramps to fried potatoes, potato salad, beans, and even barbecued chicken, and many Appalachian communities have annual ramp festivals. While people have traditionally gone into the woods to harvest ramps, more and more home gardeners are growing ramps in their own backyards. The fastest way to grow ramps at home is to transplant bulbs or leafed-out plants into your garden.

Step 1

Purchase or dig up ramp bulbs. If you dig ramp bulbs, be very careful not to damage the bulbs or the roots.

Step 2

Loosen the soil where you will transplant the bulbs.

Step 3

Add composted leaves or other plant material if your soil does not already contain it, and rake it into the soil. Rake the soil smooth.

Step 4

Plant the bulbs about 3 inches deep and 4 to 6 inches apart. Let just the tip of the bulb stay above the surface of the soil, and make sure that all of the roots are buried.

Step 5

Mulch with hardwood leaves.

Tips and Warnings

  • If you choose to dig wild leeks for transplant, make sure that you have permission from the property owner, or make sure that it is OK to do so if you want to dig wild leeks from public property. If you grow ramps from seeds, it can take 5 to 7 years to obtain harvestable ramps. If you transplant bulbs, it should take 2 to 3 years to obtain harvestable ramps. Transplanting leafed-out plants is the fastest method. People have had poor results mulching wild leeks with wood chips or commercial mulch. Hardwood leaves are the best mulch for this plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Large garden shovel
  • Small garden shovel
  • Garden rake
  • Gardening gloves
  • Composted leaves (or other decaying plant material)
  • Hardwood leaves for mulching


  • North Carolina State University: Cultivation of Ramps (Allium tricoccum and A. burdickii) by Jackie Greenfield and Jeanine M. Davis
  • Illinois Wildflowers: Wild Leek

Who Can Help

  • Annual Cosby Ramp Festival, Cosby, TN. Information and recipes.
  • Tigers & Strawberries---Food blog by Barbara Fisher: Appalachian Wild Leeks
Keywords: transplanting ramps, transplanting wild leeks, transplanting leeks

About this Author

Melissa Sandoval began writing professionally in 1996, dabbling in fiction and writing for new media and magazines. She has published work in "mental_floss magazine" and on websites such as TLC Family and TLC Style. Sandoval has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Wittenberg University.

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