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K-State Turf and Landscape Blog

Wild garlic control in turfgrass

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

Did you know there are benefits to eating garlic?  It is highly nutritious but has very few low calories, it can help combat sickness, it can reduce blood pressure, and more.

Around Manhattan I have been seeing a lot of wild garlic in lawns.  Now don’t go out and eat that wild garlic. We are now talking about the turfgrass weed wild garlic and not the garlic you consume.

Wild garlic is more obvious in the winter and early spring because this weed will grow above the turfgrass canopy and is easily noticed.  Wild garlic is a perennial bulb that has a grass like appliance.  It emerges in late winter and early spring.  The leaves are straight and smooth.  The way to tell the difference between wild garlic wild onion is by tearing the stem to see if it is hollow or solid.  It if is hollow then it is wild garlic.  If it is a solid stem then it could be wild onion.

This weed tolerate a wide range of soil conditions but I have noticed it more in low maintenance areas.

Photo credit – Auburn University Turfgrass – http://cses.auburn.edu/turfgrass-management/weed-identification/wild-garlic/

Control of wild garlic in cool-season turfgrass is more difficult then in warm-season turfgrasses.  For fair control use 2,4-D or one of the many combinations of 2,4-D, MCPP and dicamba.  This products have shown to have limited control.  The ester formulations of 2,4-D are more effective than amine formulations.  Applications in the late fall and early spring when there is adequate foliage is best.  To increase uptake, mowing before application may help.

In warm-season turfgrass metsulfuron or metsulfuron + sulfentrazone and sulfosulfuron provide very effective control.  Applying these products in late March (Right now!) on a warm day above 50 deg F (Right now!) when there is good soil moisture (Right now!) will increase efficacy.

If you got wild garlic, right now is the time to go out and get it.  Not to mention if you have any other broadleaf weeds you will get some control of those as well!

Always remember to READ THE LABEL for the correct rate, turfgrass tolerance, and specific instructions before application!!!

***Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is solely for identification purposes and does not imply recommendation or endorsement, nor is criticism implied of similar products not mentioned by Kansas State University.***

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