So Much to Pull, So Little Time


Garlic Mustard Invasion by Jeff Evans

 Are you faced with a scene like the one above, where the garlic mustard seems endless and you simply don’t have enough time to get to it all?  It may feel daunting or intimidating, but don’t despair.  Here is our three step process for keeping the garlic mustard infestation under control when time and resources are limited!

Step 1:  Focus on the outliers.  Look outside of the solid area of garlic mustard and get rid of those plants that are starting to invade new areas.  For goodness sakes, let’s not let this patch get any bigger! 

Step 2, Option A:  Pull the second year plants.  These are the ones that will have flowers which inevitably lead to seeds.  The first year rosettes aren’t going to go to seed this year and have a pretty high mortality rate over the winter.  Check out this ID card to see the difference between first year and second year plants.  Do pull up the entire root as new plants can emerge from root fragments.

Step 2, Option B:  Don’t have time to pull all of the second year plants?  That’s okay.  For now, just snap off the flowers and siliques and get them out of there.   This method is best if you are short on time, but can come back for multiple short visits because you’ll need to check back as more flowers form.

Step 3:  Congratulate yourself for a job well done.  Although your site might not be garlic mustard free, you’ve done a great job of keeping the problem from getting worse.

If you have any other tips for those facing this kind of challenge, please share them!


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