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How to germinate ramp seeds

Ramp seeds

I made a mental note of the location of the ramps patches this spring, planning to check them for seeds in the autumn. Luckily, the patches are on my usual weekly routes because I'd forgotten all about my good intentions when these clusters of hard seeds (not berries as they appear) showed up atop four-inch-high stalks.

Germinating ramp seeds

I gathered a few dozen to experiment with, then hit up the internet for more information. Most people, it seems, use hit-or-miss wild germination, spreading the seeds in their woods in late summer or early autumn. Using that method, seedlings usually show up in six to eighteen months.

Seed saucer

I decided to get more scientific about it however. Looking through the literature, it appears that ramp seeds don't require scarification (breaking through the seed coat using manual methods or acids). Instead, the deal is that they need four to ten weeks at room temperature to get the roots to emerge followed by who-knows-how-long in the fridge to get the shoots to pop out.

I made a sandwich out of four layers of damp toilet paper between two saucers and put the seeds on the counter to see how my own results match up to those found under more sterile conditions in the lab. I'll keep you posted about whether/how my ramps grow!



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They also grow from bulb divisions, so if populations are strong, you might dig up oa couple and see if they’ve divided into bulblets. You can divide and plant them, often with better success than with seeds.
Comment by Emily Springfield Wed Sep 19 10:16:07 2018

I am interested to see how this turns out. I can never seem to find ramps here but would love to hunt some next spring. JenW.

Comment by bleueaugust Sun Sep 23 07:53:33 2018

One very unique homestead, $1,500 per acre, the opportunity of a lifetime