Wild Garlic


Wild garlic is a perennial plant with an odor of garlic which develops from a basal bulb covered by a membranous coat. At maturity, the bulb is covered with small yellowish bulbs, flattened on one side, which readily split apart. Leaves are hollow and round. The greenish pink to purplish flowers are borne in clusters at the stem tip and are often mixed among small greenish aerial bulblets.

Cultural Control

Perennial turf weeds are capable of living more than two years. They thrive in weak, thin turf; golf fairways and roughs; home lawns; playfields; and industrial grounds. Proper turf maintenance is the key to control of this weed. First, select adapted turfgrass cultivars for your area and then properly fertilize, mow, and water to encourage dense growth.

Chemical Control

Herbicide and Formulation Amount of Formulation per 1,000 sq ft Amount of Formulation per Acre Pounds Active Ingredient per Acre
Preemergence and Postemergence Control
mesotrione, MOA 27 (4 SC) (Tenacity) 0.092 to 0.183 fl oz 4 to 8 fl oz 0.125 to 0.25
Precaution and Remarks: Use on residential turf, golf courses (not greens) and sod farms for pre- and postemergence weed control. Tolerant turfgrasses include St. Augustinegrass, centipedegrass, tall fescue, fine fescue, Kentucky bluegrass, and perennial ryegrass. Add a nonionic surfactant and repeat application after 2 to 3 weeks for improved postemergence control. Tank mix with prodiamine 65 WG for extended preemergence grassy weed control. Can be applied at seeding to all tolerant grasses except fine fescue. After turf germination, wait 4 weeks or until turf has been mowed twice before making a postemergence application. Also controls henbit, chickweed, dandelion, white clover, Florida betony, Florida pusley, ground ivy, oxalis, wild violet, creeping bentgrass, and yellow nutsedge.​
[sulfentrazone + prodiamine], MOA 14 + 3 (4 SC) (Echelon) 0.184 to 0.826 fl oz 0.5 to 2.25 pt 0.25 to 1.125
Precaution and Remarks: For use in residential and institutional lawns, athletic fields, sod farms, golf course fairways and roughs, roadsides, utility right-of-ways, railways, and industrial areas. Apply to turf following a second mowing if a good root system has been established. Apply up to 12 fluid ounces per acre to bentgrass at 0.5 inch or higher, fine fescue, and perennial ryegrass. Apply 18 to 24 fluid ounces per acre to perennial bluegrass, tall fescue, and all warm season grasses except St. Augustinegrass (do not apply) and bermudagrass (apply 18 to 36 fluid ounces per acre). For sod production, apply 6 months after establishment, and do not harvest within 3 months. Do not apply with adjuvants or surfactants. [Sulfentrazone + prodiamine should not be applied to cool-season turf with N-containing fertilizers unless some short-term discoloration is tolerable.​
Postemergence Control
metsulfuron, MOA 2 (60 DF) (various brands) 0.003 to 0.02 oz 0.125 to 1 oz 0.005 to 0.038
Precaution and Remarks: May be applied to established bermudagrass, zoysiagrass (Meyer or Emerald), St. Augustinegrass, Kentucky bluegrass or fine fescue. Do not apply to turf less than 1 year old. Do not exceed 0.5 ounces per acre on centipedegrass, fine fescue, or Kentucky bluegrass. See label for a complete list of weeds controlled. The addition of 0.25% nonionic surfactant will enhance control. May be used for removal of perennial ryegrass from overseeded warm-season turf species. For bahiagrass control, use 0.25 to 0.75 ounces per acre after spring greenup but before seedhead development. A repeat treatment may be necessary in 4 to 6 weeks.​
metsulfuron, MOA 2 (60 WDG) (Patriot 60 WDG) 0.007 to 0.046 oz 0.33 to 2 oz 0.012 to 0.075
Precaution and Remarks: Apply to unimproved industrial turf only. Use maximum of 0.5 ounce per acre for fescue and bluegrass and 2 ounces per acre for bermudagrass.​
[metsulfuron + rimsulfuron], MOA 2 + 2 (37 WG) (Negate) 0.0344352 oz 1.5 oz 0.0346875
Precaution and Remarks: See comments under postemergence annual bluegrass control. For bahiagrass control, a repeat treatment may be necessary 4 to 6 weeks after initial application.​
imazaquin, MOA 2 (70 DG) (Image 70 DG) 0.128 to 0.256 oz 0.357 to 0.714 lb 0.25 to 0.5
Precaution and Remarks: Use on bermudagrass, centipedegrass, St. Augustinegrass, and zoysiagrass. Do not apply during spring greenup. Temporary yellowing may occur. Add a nonionic surfactant at 2 pints per 100 gallons of spray solution.​
2,4-D amine, MOA 4 (4 SL) (various brands) 2.2 fl oz 3 qt 3
Precaution and Remarks: Apply in fall when garlic is young and actively growing. Add a wetting agent to keep spray from bouncing off garlic leaves. Repeat treatment for 2 years. Avoid spray drift which can injure susceptible plants. Use on bluegrass, fescue, bermudagrass, or zoysia. For more susceptible grasses, use spot treatment. Spot treatment: One tbsp of 1% 2,4-D solution per garlic clump or use pressurized applicator. Apply December to April. Use as spot treatment for widely scattered clumps in small areas. Avoid excessive spraying as turfgrass injury may result.

Species Data

    • perennial weed
    • upright
    • upright leaves are slender, round, and hollow and resemble grass blades
    • smooth
    • none
    • linear/oblong
    • <12 inch
    • parallel
    • bulbous; fibrous roots are attached to the bottom of the bulb
      Figure 1
Wild garlic root type.Figure 1. Wild garlic root type.Wild garlic.Figure 2. Wild garlic.Wild garlicFigure 3. Wild garlic.

Written By

Photo of Dr. Charles PeacockDr. Charles PeacockProfessor and Extension Turfgrass Specialist (919) 515-7615 charles_peacock@ncsu.eduCrop and Soil Sciences - NC State University
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