The Q&A Archives: Vegetable garden

Question: I have a new garden that I have added compost and 10-10-10 fertilizer to and it's about 35'X60'. My problem is wild onions that I can't get rid off. I have tilled it twice and they return each time. I don't want ot use grass and weed killer, only organic. Do you have any suggestions. I want to be able to plant with in the next week if possible.

Answer: Wild garlic (Allium vineale) and wild onion (Allium canadense) are winter perennials. They emerge in late fall from underground bulbs and grow through the winter and spring. In late spring, aerial bulblets are formed and the plants die back in early summer. The underground bulbs can persist in the soil for several years. While both have thin, green, waxy leaves, those of wild garlic are round and hollow, while those of wild onion are flat and solid. There are only a few control options. With a small number of weeds, pulling, though difficult, is an option. It?s likely, however, that bulbs or bulblets will be left in the ground and new leaves will later re-emerge. For best results, dig them out with a thin trowel. If new leaves emerge this summer just cut the down. Each time you cut off the foliage, the bulb uses up some of its stored energy. Do this often enough and you will deplete the bulb of its stored energy and that particular bulb will die. In the fall, after you have harvested your veggies, you can paint Round Up on the foliage of the wild onions. It will be transported down the the bulb and will kill the bulb. It will take a while, but if you keep at it, you will eventually rid your garden of wild onions. Best wishes with your garden!

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