Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Turf - Wild Garlic Control

Wild garlic is showing up in lawns and turf areas across the state. The following is an article on this weed and its control.

Wild garlic is one of the most problematic early season perennial broadleaf weeds in turfgrass. Wild Garlic began rapid vegetative growth as air temperatures rose in late March. Generally we recommend herbicides be applied in May/early June for optimum control of broadleaf weeds such as dandelion and plantains. However, if the infestation level of wild garlic is substantial, an early season herbicide application may be warranted to reduce competition with the desired turfgrass.

Wild Garlic is a perennial that germinates from underground bulbs in the fall and grows vigorously in April and early May. Wild Garlic will generally complete it's reproductive growth phase by early June and dissipate from the turf until the following fall. Intensive mowing will speed up this process but may also be detrimental to the desired turf. Herbicide combinations that contain a high concentration of the ester formulation of 2,4-D in combination with dicamba are very effective in providing long-term control. For optimum wild garlic contro,l leave the turf unmowed for several days prior to herbicide application and then do not mow for at least 24 hours following application. Try to time the herbicide application when air temperatures are 60 F or above in the day and above 40 F at night. Due to the orientation of the leaves of wild garlic, the addition of a surfactant (non-ionic or spreader sticker) may increase the retention of the spray solution on the leaves and improve control.

Written by Dr. Steve Hart in the April 2, 2004 edition of the Ornamental Hotline from the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension.

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