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Ramps

 
David Miller
Posts: 280
Location: Harrisonburg, VA
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Hi, I'm really looking forward to your book but until I have the chance to read it I'd love to pick your brain on ramp growing. I've tried with no success to propagate ramps underneath fruit trees and grapevines (for the shade). My main failure seems to be startup. What is the best method for actually beginning a ramp bed?
 
Rob Read
Posts: 86
Location: Poplar Hill, Ontario (near London) - Zone 6a
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I'm interested in this too. Two ways I've failed: planting bulbs at the wrong time of year (ie. too late into summer), seeds sown on soil (didn't germinate - might have been too old?).

The one way I got some transplanted this past year in was to get them in spring when the leaves were still out, keep them in soil the whole time, keep them damp, and cut the leaves back about half way when planting. This meant the leaves didn't wilt as much, because the root to leaf ratio was closer to 1:1.

Make sure the spot they go in has lots of shade. They can get dried out quite easily it seems.
 
David Miller
Posts: 280
Location: Harrisonburg, VA
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Same here, the drying out seemed to be the biggest problem. I also had some limited success with the ones I transplanted after cutting most of the leaves off though none did well enough to brag, I'm not sure any will make it through the winter. I'm stuck buying from the local coop grocery, they have local ramps but they're washed and have been in the cooler. Need a better source or to start from seed.
 
Steve Gabriel
Posts: 27
Location: New York
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Hi folks:


Ramps are TRICKY. Let's get that established from the get-go.

As we outline in the book, and in this previous blog post, (http://farmingthewoods.com/2013/04/18/ramps/), there is potentially a lot of overharvesting going on for wild populations. So what are we to do?

Similar to ginseng, a good strategy is to divide ramps from a local stand and start a new patch in your forest. But not just any woods - ramps have a particular ecosystem type they like, and they probably won't do well outside of that range. The ideal site is; Sugar Maple woods, North or East facing slope, with plenty of moist soil rich in organic matter. You can stretch some of these qualities a bit, but probably won't have much luck say, on a South facing slope dominated by Oak.

Also critical is understanding the life cycle dynamics of this species. Our extension forest farming team put together a great series of videos on ramp culture: http://www.extension.org/pages/69588/youtube-channel-ramp-series

Seed is also potentially a good way to start ramps. Seeds take up to 18 months to germinate, so often people think it's not working, when really they need to give a patch more time. We've had the best success with both sowing seed and transplanting bulbs in the late summer/early fall. (NOW).

cheers
Steve


 
Ghislaine de Lessines
Posts: 198
Location: Vermont, annual average precipitation is 39.87 Inches
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Awesome! I was just wondering about this myself as I found a few patches in my woods this year and was wondering if I could manage them better. I am very concerned about over harvesting so I love the idea of transplanting. Thank you Steve!
 
Rob Read
Posts: 86
Location: Poplar Hill, Ontario (near London) - Zone 6a
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I've got some ramps growing near my place naturally on a south(ish) facing steep slope under beech, cedars, hop hornbeam - I don't recall seeing much maple at all back there. It's the higher part of a ravine that is a cedar swamp in the bottom.

The advice about fall transplanting is a good one - now that I know where there are some, I shouldn't have too much trouble finding some bulbs at this time of year.
 
David Miller
Posts: 280
Location: Harrisonburg, VA
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Thanks Steve for the links and the info. Really looking forward to the book!
 
siu-yu man
Posts: 99
Location: zone 6a, north america
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do deer like ramps?
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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