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How to Control Wild GarlicWild Garlic

While the smell of garlic is great in the kitchen when you’re cooking up some Italian or Mediterranean food, the odor permeating in your garden or while you are standing out in your yard probably wouldn’t be as pleasant. Wild garlic is often lumped together with a similar plant that is named after another strong smelling food, wild onion.

Both wild garlic and wild onion are winter perennials and can emerge onto a lawn out of nowhere in the late fall if under the right conditions. If present on your landscape, wild garlic can be quite difficult to get rid of.  However, it’s not absolutely impossible when you have the right knowledge and professional herbicide products which we provide here at Solutions Pest & Lawn.

The best weapon in your arsenal against this stinky weed is knowledge. The more you know about wild garlic, the conditions this type of weed likes, and what it doesn’t like, the better equipped you will be to approach with an effective control strategy. 

Check out our variety of recommended post-emergent products for controlling wild garlic and keep scrolling to check out our simple to execute 4 step process for wild garlic control.


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How To Get Rid of Wild Garlic: 4 Step Solution

If you’ve already tried to get rid of wild garlic yourself, you know full well that it is no easy task. From our tests and experiences, there are two ways you can effectively control it and you likely will have to do both to achieve success in getting rid of the stinky weed. A combination of chemical control via post-emergent herbicides and manual control practices. Follow the steps we have outlined below carefully and with persistence and you will be able to achieve complete wild garlic control.


Step 1: Identification. First you need to be absolutely sure that the weed you have growing on your lawn is indeed wild garlic. Often the plant is confused with wild onion since they look very similar and have strong odors.  If you aren’t able to identify it from the image we have posted or the descriptions provided, contact us via identification@solutionsstores.com. Send us a clear photo of the plant and we will properly identify it and then give you a control plan with herbicide recommendations.


Step 2: Inspection Once you are certain you are dealing with wild garlic you can move forward with control. Before introducing chemicals we suggest hoeing or hand pulling the wild garlic. Do this during the winter and early spring in order to discourage bulbs from forming. These aren’t fool-proof methods however but combining these practices with chemicals can improve your chances in eliminating the plant from your lawn/


Step 3: Control. When it comes to post emergent herbicides, we have found the 2-4 D Amine formulations work best when the wild garlic is actively growing as well as products containing Metsulfuron like MSM Turf Herbicide (Manor). No matter what you choose we suggest mowing before applying the chemical as it is known to improve uptake.  Also something that may help is using a surfactant such as Alligare 90 Wetting agent since herbicides on their own often can not stick to the waxy outer layer of wild garlic making it difficult to penetrate.


Step 4: Prevention. After applying chemicals, you should not mow for two weeks. Treat the wild garlic in November and reapply in March when Spring is in bloom. You also may need to repeat this process for the next couple of years since wild garlic bulbs can stay dormant in soil for up to 6 years.


By following the steps above, and being patient and persistent, wild garlic can eventually no longer be a problem on your land. If you ever need more information and advice on wild garlic and how to eliminate this plant, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at 800-479-6583 or via email at askapro@solutionsstores.com


Not the Weed Problem You Have? Check Out Our Other Weeds On Our Grassy Weed Control Page.


Learn More About Wild Garlic

Wild garlic (Allium vineale) is a winter perennial plant which has been found popping up all across the southeast portion of the United States. Wild garlic starts growing in the fall and is very similar to the wild onion plant, so much so that they are often both discussed together when it comes to speaking about their prevalence on landscapes and on how to control them.

Wild garlic is a pretty easy plant to identify. has thin, green leaves that have a waxy texture. While wild onion leaves are rounder and more flat shaped and solid, wild garlic leaves are rounder and more hollow. Both plants have bulbs which form underground and both are actually edible, however if you’re not trying to grow a vegetable garden and these creep up around your lawn or turf, you may not want these around as they not only will be unsightly but they will have an off-putting smell that can be very strong.

Under the right conditions, wild garlic can grow and cover a landscape. When it is flowering it is easy to identify while when those flowers die back it can be tougher to identify. There can often be bare patches in the ground where the leaves had died. Although it is called wild garlic, it is actually part of the onion family such as onions and chives.


Eliminating wild garlic can be quite the challenge to get rid of from your lawn as mowing or cutting them often isn’t enough to be done with them as they will always grow back. There is also no preemergent herbicide available which can control the weed where it is known to grow but fortunately there are post-emergent herbicides which can do the trick.


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Removal Options For Wild Garlic

The best method of control is manual removal. However, it is important to make sure that you get all of the bulbs. If you leave any in the soil, you will have garlic returning in the same spot next year. Otherwise, your best bet is using the help of herbicides to get this weed under control.

If the ground is loose or the soil is moist from a recent rain, you may be able to pull up a clump by hand. But if the leaves break off, you will need to dig up the remaining bulbs. The best method of removal is to dig up an entire clump with a small shovel. This way, you can check closely in the soil and make sure you removed all bulbs. 

You must not toss garlic bulbs on the ground or put them in compost – the may take root again! Wild garlic can stay dormant in soil for a long period of time, so don't lull yourself into believing a bulb is dead. Discard of these in the trash or make sure that they fully decompose in compost before using in the garden.

If the garlic is in your lawn, and there's only a small amount, it’s up to you whether they need to be removed or not. Wild garlic are actually enjoyed by people as a edible wild food and have a smell people find pleasant.

If you stay persistent with wild garlic via applying the herbicides we recommend, pretty soon you’ll have them under control.


Wild Garlic Treatment Tips and Recommendations

  • * Want to achieve the best possible results in your herbicide treatment application? Use a surfactant  and mix it with your selected herbicide to combat surface tension and runoff when spraying your targeted Broomsedge weeds.

  • * Excessive spraying could burn your grass. Make sure to not overspray by using a spray pattern indicator so you can mark where you have sprayed.

  • * Herbicide chemicals have the potential to harm or irritate skin on contact. When handling any weed killing chemicals be sure to wear the right protective equipment to cover your skin, eyes, nasal openings and mouth.

  • * Are you a more visual learner? We have informative How-To Videos which show you step-by-step what to do and how to properly apply herbicide to a variety of weeds.



Additional Resources On Wild Garlic

wild garlic control - Oregon State University


Wild Garlic Control in Turfgrasses - UGA CAES - University of Georgia


Controlling Wild Onion or Wild Garlic in Lawn, Controlling broadleaf ... Purdue


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