Wild garlic is one of the most difficult winter weeds to control and is found in many lawns across Mississippi. It 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 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. 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. Once mowing begins there is little leaf surface on these weeds. There is also less danger of injury to the turf at this time.
Image (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. Hormonal herbicides such as 2,4-D, dicamba, MCPP have fair activity on wild garlic and wild onions with products having the combinations of these active ingredients usually being more effective than one single chemical alone. The latest chemistry class of herbicides labeled for lawns that have good activity on many broadleaf species, including wild garlic at very low rates, are the sulfonylurea products (Manor, Blade, Corsair, Monument, etc.). For specific use rates and timing always read the label of any pesticide before applying.
Published January 31, 2005
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. email@example.com