How to control onion grass with lime

Written by christina sloane
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How to control onion grass with lime
Wild onion affects the scent of your lawn and the flavour of crops. (Hemera Technologies/ Images)

Weeds spring up in unhealthy lawns and pastures, where grass isn't sufficiently robust to choke out unwanted growth. Wild onions are especially problematic: they taint the flavour of crops and, when ingested by cows and goats, dairy products. They also release an onion smell in cut grass. Though onion grass is notoriously difficult to remove, a chemical herbicide combined with liming and proper lawn maintenance can eliminate the weeds.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Herbicide containing 2, 4-D
  • Rototiller or rake
  • Lawn fertiliser
  • Drop spreader
  • Grass seed

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  1. 1

    Apply an herbicide containing 2, 4-D to affected areas. 2, 4-D is a post-emergence herbicide for broadleaved weeds. Treat the onion grass in November, then again in late winter or early spring to prevent new bulbs. Treat again in late spring and the following November if weeds persist.

  2. 2

    Contact a local Extension service for a soil testing kit and have your soil tested. An ideal lawn should have soil with a pH between 6 and 7. If your soil has a pH above 7, add lime to make the soil more acidic. An acidic lawn will encourage healthy growth while discouraging weeds.

  3. 3

    Till the lawn with a rototiller or rake and spread grass seed and fertiliser in the fall. This will encourage healthy new grass, which should crowd out wild onions. Water the lawn frequently without overwatering.

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