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
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.
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.
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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- Purdue University; Wild Onions and Wild Garlic -- A Nuisance in Wheat Fields and Lawns; Glenn Nice et al., March 2003
- Clemson Cooperative Extension; Wild Garlic & Wild Onion; Chuck Burgess; May 2004
- University of Delaware Cooperative Extension; Your Lawn's 25 Worst Weed Enemies; Susan Barton; October 1995