Ramps are wild leeks, sometimes called wild onions, with a flavor and scent that is a mix of onion and garlic. Ramps prefer to live in deciduous forests and experience most of their growth in spring, with the leaves dying back and a flower stalk appearing in summer. Ramps are celebrated for being one of the first foods to arrive each spring, providing a fresh green vegetable after winter.
Look for an area with tree cover. Ramps naturally occur under poplar, birch and beech, as these trees offer the soil conditions that favor growth--soil that remains moist most of the year and contains a high percentage of organic matter.
Clear a shady area of leaf cover and competing weeds. The presence of other shade-loving forest plants is a favorable sign that ramps will flourish.
Dig wild bulbs in spring to transplant, or purchase bulbs. Plant bulbs 3 inches apart and 3 inches deep. Space rows of bulbs 4 to 6 inches apart. Leave the tip of the bulb visible, at the same level as the surrounding soil.
Harvest wild plants and bring them home to prepared areas to transplant. Plant at the same depth at which you found the plants.
Collect seeds in the late summer or early fall. Store them away from light and heat for later planting.
Plant seeds in your prepared area in rows 3 inches apart, or scatter seed directly on top of the soil. Cover by patting the seeds into the soil. Water the soil until it is moist but not saturated.
Protect newly planted seeds by covering them with several inches of leaf litter or compost.
About this Author
Alice Moon is a freelance writer with more than 10 years of experience. She was chosen as a Smithsonian Institute intern, working for the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., and has traveled throughout Asia. Moon holds a Bachelor of Science in political science from Ball State University.