Daylilies forum: Wild onions, any one have a solution other than digging them?

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Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
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bluegrassmom
Apr 23, 2015 9:31 PM CST
It has been a beautiful day here in KY. I spent several hours today digging out those pesky onions!! My new bed of dls was covered. It is closest to the hay field Angry

I have another broad leaf weed that I also dug today. I have alway handpulled, my beds but the way I am feeling now, I may look for other avenues.


Teresa
Name: Wes
Ohio (Zone 6a)
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Wes
Apr 23, 2015 10:06 PM CST
Digging is all I know that really works but someone might know a good trick?

I dug a bunch 2 years ago in a bed that's again been neglected and I see they've made a triumphant return. Rolling my eyes. Those little bulblets don't take long to establish and start the process all over. It was a hasty fall job and I piled them on my (rural) driveway intending to dispose of them later and found myself preoccupied with more desirable projects. The next spring I had a big, green mound of wild onions to deal with. Luckily they were concentrated on gravel for easy kill and removal.

Oh, the ones you dug? Burn pile or otherwise removed from your property.
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
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Hemlady
Apr 24, 2015 7:11 AM CST
I get my neighbors garlic chives and they are just as hard to get rid of. Roundup does not touch them and I have to keep digging them out or just keep weedwacking them over and over right to the ground.
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Name: Larry
Augusta, GA area (Zone 8a)
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LarryW
Apr 27, 2015 10:12 PM CST
I feel your pain, Teresa! In addition to wild onion, my yard is infested with wild violets too. I have been told by two different extension agents that nothing will kill wild violets, but I have been able to control them in my daylilies (but nowhere else in my yard) by continually pulling them up whenever I see a little plant. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same thing for wild onion. As you know, unless you actually dig them up 6 or more inches under the surface of the ground they just break off and then you get even more of the darn things.

I recently did a search through many, many herbicides to see if anything would touch either of these unwanted plants. Interestingly, I found two that list both wild onion and wild violet as affected weeds. Both are primarily listed as selective lawn weed killers (post emergents).
1. Quinclorac - Apparently this product is available under a couple of names and is also available blended with other herbicides. It is also the less expensive of the two. However, it has a lot of limitations. There are several grass types that this material can NOT be used on, including both some warm season grasses (centipede, St. Augustine and others) and cool season grasses (bentgrass and others) and will kill many broadleaf weeds including clover and dichondra. It is also mentioned on the label to keep it away from ornamentals, trees, groundcovers, etc.)
2. Imazaquin (Sold as "Image for Nut Sedge." The company also sells atrizane which is also sold as "Image with atrazine" or "Image for crabgrass." Image for Nut Sedge is recommended for most (not all) warm season grasses and is sold as a herbicide for various types of sedges as well as for crabgrass. However, on the label it lists wild onion along with the various sedges. It only lists wild violet as a weed that the product "will aid in the control of," and "may take more than one application." It also notes that wild onion may also take more than one application. While it says it can be used "over the top" on some ornamentals, daylilies are not on that relatively short list. I think they recommend the use of a non-ionic surfactant when being used for weeds with waxy leaves which both wild onion and wild violet have.

I have not purchased either product at this point, so I am obviously not recommending either. Nevertheless, since I have both wild onion and wild violets, and have centipede grass, if I do purchase it will have to be Image, and if used in my daylily beds, it will have to be done while shielding the daylilies from the spray - - which won't be easy. I just wonder if it would be easier in the long run to pull off the green portion of the onion until fall, making sure none bloom, and then pot up all the daylilies from that worst areas, spray the onions a couple of times, wait until early spring the next year, spray more and then re-plant the daylilies in early-to-mid April in time for bloom season. Wow, that makes me tired just thinking about it!

From my viewpoint, there still isn't a good answer other than "dig them up", but there is at least an ugly option if you might want to try it.

Larry
Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
Consider the lilies of the field
Seller of Garden Stuff Irises Hostas Region: Kentucky Lilies Peonies
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bluegrassmom
Apr 28, 2015 5:41 AM CST
Thanks, Larry
I was home and worked several hours digging onions last week out of 2 long rows. I have wild violets too. I thought they were so pretty years ago and got a couple from a neighbor. Goodness, if I had known what I was getting into!
Name: Cynthia (Cindy)
Melvindale, Mi (Zone 5b)
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Hemlady
Apr 28, 2015 6:42 AM CST
I started with a few violets and now all of my beds are full of them. They get right down in the crown of the daylily and that concerns me that if not pulled out that they may kill the daylily.
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Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
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Gleni
Jul 17, 2016 5:17 PM CST
When the onion weed first turned up in my garden I thought, 'What is this sweet lily? Ahhh.'

I let it grow. Three years latter it is a life and death struggle that I seem to not be winning.


Name: Rita
North Shore, Long Island, NY
Zone 6B
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Newyorkrita
Jul 18, 2016 9:50 AM CST
I just pull them. Pull them when they are large and tall and strong and they come out easily. Just another weeding chore that needs to be done each year.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
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Frillylily
Jul 18, 2016 6:19 PM CST
I just pull them too like Rita, and after a couple of years I noticed a reduction in their numbers. I suspect it could be some years before I rarely see any. Wait til they are good sized and after a rain. Or you can dig them out while they are young, I have dug and pulled them out in clumps also.

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