One of the most disgusting things that a gardener comes across the garden is the wild onions. Wild onions spread rapidly and can take up much of your garden if not controlled. The smell of them is not pleasant as well. These weeds are difficult to control but the good news is that they can be controlled and eliminated. The wild onions reproduce from the underground bulbs as well as from seeds set from their blossoms. When given the chance, they produce numerous seeds that will develop into plants that will infest your lawn. Do you know how to get rid of wild onions and wild garlic?
How to identify wild onions?
Before we can get on how to get rid of wild onions, the first thing that you have to understand is being able to identify wild onions in your garden. How do you identify these wild onion weeds in your garden? First, they grow in clumps that can be identified by their thin, waxy spear-like leaves. In most cases, you will find them growing in difficult to mow areas and in flower beds. However, do not be surprised if you find them growing in your lawn. Wild garlic, normally confused with wild onions have flat leaves while the wild onions have round leaves. They grow and spread as they like although they enjoy the acidic soils more.
Are wild onions edible?
To answer the question, yes they are. Children like eating the wild onions but caution should be taken to prevent them from taking those that have been treated with chemical herbicide. In addition, extra caution should be taken not to consume other weeds that might resemble or look like the wild onions. Some of them are poisonous and the last thing that you would like to face is getting poisoned from eating garden weeds.
How do they spread?
How do the wild onions spread? This is a major part of concern for most gardeners. Since they grow from white bulbs, they spread by seed which disperses the wild onions plants to various parts of the garden or by creating larger clumps formed by bulblets on their bulbs. The bulbs and bulblets can remain the soil for several seasons as they wait for the right conditions to sprout. Even after removing the wild onions by digging the clumps, they might return to the same spot after some time. This is common and that should not worry you.
Is it easy to get rid of wild onions?
While it is easy to get rid of other weeds by pulling, spraying or chopping, wild onions present quite a challenge. To be honest, it’s not easy to get rid of wild onions. There are two major reasons behind this. First, the herbicide won’t stick on the thin waxy leaves of these wild onions or it would be difficult for the herbicide to penetrate.
Second, it is very difficult to remove an entire clump due to the bulbs and bulblets breaking apart easily; they tend to leave some roots behind. This is the reason why you will find the wild onions growing on the same spot they were removed.
How to get rid of wild onions
Since it’s hard to get rid of these wild onions, a combination of methods need to be used. The best time to tackle this would be in the spring before the plants develop into seeds or during fall where the chances of wild onions plants surviving will be reduced and in turn inhibiting their growth in the winter.
The first step in trying to get rid of these wild onions is removing the clumps. Pulling the clump out of the soil might not be the best idea. Remember, the bulbs and bulblets will break away from the parent bulb meaning that by uprooting, you will be leaving extra bulbs in the ground which will later regrow. Avoid such cases by using a spade to dig the clump out of the ground. Then throw the entire clump away.
Do not compost or shake excess dirt off back into the hole in order to prevent these plants from redeveloping and growing again. If the compost is not hot enough to kill the bulbs, they can remain dormant for a long time only to resurface when the conditions are right for their growth. It is advisable to discard the whole mess in the trash.
After this, it would be advisable to treat the area with a non-selective herbicide or boiling water. By using either of the two, you will be killing any plant that it touches. Keep close check on the area and repeat the process should you find new wild onions starting to grow.
Another way to control wild onions is by maintaining a thick lawn. The weeds will find it hard growing in a thick and lush lawn. Having a thin and scarce lawn will only provide the best environment for the growth of these wild onions.
Wild onions will replace grass and normally outgrow the lawn grass and are much tougher on your lawnmower blades. Using the above methods on how to get rid of wild onions will help in eliminating them from the garden.