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Thread: Wild Onions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    SE PA, zone 6b
    Posts
    217

    Wild Onions

    We've spent hours digging out wild onions. We don't use sprays. These onions are very pretty in the meadow (other people call it lawn), but a plague on the land in the growing beds. They have bulbs that make bulblets like rabbits on Viagra.The bulblets look like little pearls and drop off if you breathe hard. I wish they were ramps; I'd be a millionaire by now. I understand that these are not at all edible. To get an idea of this, try plowing the growing fields with a hand trowel. They reside about 6" down.

    Any ideas, anyone?

    Sandi
    SE PA, zone 6b
    Sandi
    SE PA, zone 6b

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Zone 9a - Gulf Coast
    Posts
    9,934

    Wild Onions!

    Sandi,

    Welcome to Landspro! We are pleased to have you join!

    I have some type of wild onion growing near a pile of bricks. Last year, I dug up most of them to send to an Allium loving friend in Wisconsin. These are definitely edible and about the size of a pearl onion. The flesh is translucent. Like yours, they produce bulbils in place of where seed pods would normally be.

    Even more grow back in the same spot this year, and the tops are loaded with clusters of bulbils that should be ready to harvest soon. I hope to make a small bed of these.

    Unfortunately, I have NO rocks in my soil. Just a lot of clay about a foot or two under the topsoil. I don't know how you can manage to get rid of them. Even if you were to use a non-selective herbicidal spray, you would probably still have more popping up from those little bulbils.

    Maybe, someone else can give you some ideas....

    Again, Welcome to Landspro!
    Ann B.
    Zone 9a
    Gulf Coast


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    598

    Meadow or Lawn

    You may have wild garlic, or wild onions. In either case, if you let them bloom, they have 3 ways to spread.

    1. When they first bloom, they develop a little black seed, that is scattered about with the wind.
    2. Next they develop bulbils where the flowers were. These are little bulblets that will take root. When the flower stem matures, it falls over and deposits the new batch about 2' away from the parent plant.
    3. You have already mentioned the little offsets bulblets under ground.

    Your comment about them being pretty, lets me know that you are letting them bloom. Mowing would prevent that, and eliminate two of the sources of new plants.

    I had an infestation of them in a previous lawn, and effectively eliminated them in my flower beds, and the front lawn. In the flower beds, I started with one of these little hand tools, that is used to pry out deep rooted weeds. A little metal bar on a handle with a widened spot at the end. You shove it into the ground and pry the little buggers out. But, with our hard clay soil it soon begin to bend, and I resorted to a long handled, strong screwdriver. In the lawn, I simply raised the level of the mower to about 2", and with frequent mowing, they finally got so weak from no top growth that they died out.
    Tom W
    Aching Back Farm

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