Manage Wild Garlic While Your Lawn is Dormant
One of the more difficult winter weeds to control in Mississippi lawns is wild garlic. Wild garlic is a cool-season perennial with slender, hollow cylindrical leaves having a somewhat waxy coating. When crushed there is a distinctive garlic odor. Underground bulbs bear offset bulblets that are flattened on one side.
Another plant often found in the same lawns, and confused with wild garlic, is wild onion. Wild onions differ in that they do not produce offset bulblets and the flowering stems are solid.
Now is the time to apply post-emerge herbicides that have activity on wild garlic and wild onions. Once mowing begins, there is little leaf surface on these weeds. While warm season lawns are dormant and the weeds are actively growing, we can allow these weeds to get tall enough to get maximum herbicide coverage and absorption. There is also less danger of injury to the turf at this time since it is dormant.
Hormonal herbicides such as 2,4-D, dicamba, MCPP, and others have fair activity on wild garlic and wild onions. Products having the combinations of two or more of these active ingredients usually are more effective than one single chemical alone.
Imazaquin is labeled for warm season turf species and has very good activity on wild garlic and onions as well as can control many sedges that may also be present in the lawn. The sulfonylurea products (Manor, Blade, MSM, Corsair, Certainty, Monument, etc.) are the most recent chemistry class of herbicides labeled for warm-season lawns that have good activity on many broadleaf species including wild garlic at very low rates. Always read the label of any pesticide before applying for specific use rates and timing.
Published January 16, 2012
Dr. Wayne Wells is an Extension Professor and Turfgrass Specialist. His mailing address is Department of Plant and Soil Sciences, Mail Stop 9555, Mississippi State, MS 39762. firstname.lastname@example.org