3-25-17 - Wild Garlic

There are a lot of sights and smells that say “Spring”, but it’s the scent of our freshly mowed Plants of the Week that screams “SPRING” to me…Allium vineale and Allium canadense…or commonly known as Wild Garlic and Wild Onions.  Am I right or am I right? J

Wild garlic (Allium vineale) and wild onion (Allium canadense) are winter perennials, emerging in late fall from underground bulbs and grow through the winter and spring. In late spring, aerial bulblets are formed and the plants die back in early summer. The underground bulbs can persist in the soil for several years. While both have thin, green, waxy leaves, those of wild garlic are round and hollow, while those of wild onion are flat and solid.  And both are very common lawn and landscape and garden weeds…weeds, of course if you don’t want them there!  

The good news, once again, is that these weeds are highly edible!  Hey, you’ll pay 99 cents a bunch for these at your local grocery store!  So consider eating them, especially when they are young and tender.  For those who don’t want them and don’t want to eat them, there are solutions for controlling them. With a small numbers, dig them out with a trowel, making sure that the bulbs or bulblets are not left in the ground and new leaves will later re-emerge.

There are no pre-emergence herbicides that will control them, so need to be treated with a post-emergence herbicide, and persistence is the key. Plants will need to be sprayed more than once and sometimes for more than one season.  That thin, glossy leaf to which herbicides don’t readily adhere, makes it tough.  So bruise the foliage or be sure to add a surfactant to help the chemicals penetrate the foliage.  Bonides Weed Beater Ultra / Fertilome’s Weed Free Zone are both for lawns…use Roundup, Killzall, Kleenup, etc in open beds.  Treat in the fall if possible, and again in early spring, before they begin developing the bulblets.  Always read and follow the labels when applying herbicides.

And like I say about many so called weeds, if you can’t beat them, eat them!

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