Is this wild garlic? Is DIY fertilizer ok?

Asked April 8, 2019, 4:59 PM EDT

Hi. Last fall we cleared an area of our yard that had been overgrown with weeds and grasses. Now these little curly Qs are popping up that smell like garlic or onion. What are they? Also, are green lawn clippings, coffee grounds, and egg shells used effectively as fertilizer and/or mulch even before they have composted for a few months? Thank you.

Ottawa County Michigan wild garlic wild flowers

1 Response

What you are seeing is wild garlic, probably Allium canadense.

The time to compost can vary based on the material, carbon/nitrogen ratio, moisture, temperature, amount of turning, et al. It is not unusual for a well balance compost pile to break down into an effective soil amendment in 2 months. The egg shells are one component that takes a very long time to break down and some research shows that they are not that effective. Coffee grounds can have some allelopathic properties and should only make up about 10% of your compost.

Compost is a good soil amendment and can add nutrients and microorganisms to the soil that can help make those nutrients available to the plants.

I hope this helps,