Cleveland Weeds: Wild Garlic

This is a post that relates to the Cleveland Weeds project.

In this post I am going to cover Wild Garlic

Just Sprouted
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In BloomComing Soon

In SeedComing Soon

Latin Name: Allium vineale
Common Names: Wild Garlic, Ramps, Crow Garlic, Wild Onion (while this is commonly called ramps or wild onion, it is not actually either)
Lifespan: Perennial

Conditions it likes: Fields, pastures and freshly disturbed soil. Sandy to somewhat loamy soil is where it grows best.

Spreading habits: Spread by bulbs, bulblets and seed.

Best way to eliminate it from your garden:

Organic: Dig up the clumps or single plants to ensure that the main bulb and it’s attached bulblets are removed from the ground. Pulling wild garlic out of the ground will only result in removing the main bulb and leaving the bulblets behind to grow next year. The plant is designed to do this.

At the very least, make sure that the wild onion does not go to seed by snipping the tops regularly. This will prevent flowering. Persistent shearing of the plant may result in reduced stores to the underground bulb. Less stores in the bulb means that it is less likely to survive the winter.

Non-Organic: Apply an herbicide in the early fall or early spring. Wild garlic is a tough plant and one application of any herbicide will not kill it. You will need to apply your chosen herbicide several times. Herbicides do not work well because the make-up of the leaf (thin, upright and waxy) does not make a good place for the herbicide of choice to stick to. To tell the truth, you are probably better off tackling this plant organically.

Notes of interest: Wild Garlic can be poisonous to some animals, especially dogs, if consumed in large quantities. But it is a garlic substitute in the kitchen. Wild garlic in the garden can interfere with the growth of peas and other legumes. It is also used as an insect repellent, if you don’t mind smelling like garlic. Medicinally, it has the same health benefits as real garlic.

This gardener’s rating of this weed: I have struggled for 5 years to get this out of my yard by digging. I do see a decrease but it is still a problem. I rank this as a Dennis the Menace plant. Mostly harmless but something I just wish would go away.

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  1. Pingback: I weeded today - A Sure Sign of Spring

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