Marigold Woods Homeowners Association
Third Annual Garlic Mustard Pull 2012
Resounding SUCCESS for 3rd Consecutive Year:
Residents Urged to Continue to Remove Garlic Mustard until Seeds Ripen
A total of 41 people volunteered on or before Saturday, April 21, 2012 and pulled out 68 thirty gallon bags of invasive garlic mustard (GM) plants from the Commons areas, including the Triangle and along Post and Waukazoo. They also pulled out the plant from their own properties and that of many neighbors, including along the Ottawa County Fair Grounds fence that borders MWHA. At least 13 other homeowners either reported plans to pull GM or were seen pulling it. I know there are more people like these who have and will continue to pull out GM in MWHA and beyond during the next few weeks. Perhaps we will match last year’s total bags pulled of 119, despite pulling when the plant is 1/3 to 1/2 the size of last year’s full growth plants. We already have more than doubled the total number of participants from last year! We made another POSITIVE IMPACT on the Waukazoo Woods ecosystem this year!
Treasurers Found & and Something Else…
One young participant inquired, “What treasure are we looking for in this hunt?” Her very clever mother promptly replied, “A very specific flowering plant.” Indeed the child found that plant and then again during a bike ride a few days later. She learned her lesson well! We did find a few other interesting items that day among some not so nice ones. Among a multitude of bottles one stood out – a circa 1940’s Pepsi Cola bottle from Detroit. Despite the GM that had been growing nearby, a jack-in-the-pulpit quietly preached among the leaves at the Triangle. Among the usual paper cups, food wrappers, chewing tobacco cases, there were at least a half dozen banana peels!? Beneath the towering beeches and just beyond the Waukazoo historical marker, a not so friendly cluster of poison ivy was spied. The area was treated with herbicide, thus the yellow CAUTION tape.
Continue Pulling Out Garlic Mustard
PLEASE continue to pull out GM until the plant has mature dried, tan colored seed pods. Experts believe it is best to leave the plant in place when its seed pods are mature, so as not to distribute the seeds accidentally and thus increase the range of the plant.
PLEASE continue to educate others about the reasons for removing GM, such as its invasive qualities greatly inhibit the growth of native plants, including trees. A change in the food chain of native plants can disrupt the entire chain, eventually affecting insects, amphibians and reptiles, birds, and mammals. GM changes the soil composition, which kills native plants. It also crowds out native plants by blocking sunshine from new growth. One GM plant can produce 350 to 7,900 seeds and those seeds remain viable on the ground for five to ten years.
Garlic Mustard Laying in Driveway – A Good Deed
If you find pulled GM plants in your driveway, please place them in your household trash. (*See below for proper disposal techniques.) The person who placed it there found the plant growing on your property or very close by and pulled it out while walking in the neighborhood.
Experts recommend that pulled GM plants should be placed in black plastic garbage bags that are tightly tied closed, and disposed of with your HOUSEHOLD TRASH. Michigan law states that all invasive plant material, including garlic mustard must be disposed of with household trash, NOT yard waste. The supporting rationale is that the typical reasons a plant is labeled invasive is due to its reproductive prowess. GM will “reroot” if pulled and left on the ground. The energy in the plant will continue to support the ripening process of its seed pods, even after it is pulled from the ground. The multitude of seeds produced in each GM seed pod have a ground life of five to ten years. Placing them in black plastic bags helps kill the plant via solar energy. If the plants are placed in yard waste, it facilitates the spread of the plant and its seed. Yard waste is mulched, but apparently not to a high enough temperature to kill the viable seeds. The mulched material is then transported and used at various sites taking the GM seeds with it.
Report bags pulled
Please report the total number of bags of GM that you pull and the size of those bags (gallons) to Carol Kuesel via email at (email address removed). The number of bags reported will be tallied and registered with the Stewardship Network’s 2012 Garlic Mustard Challenge. Ottawa County is grouped with Allegan, Kent, Muskegon, and Newaygo counties to form the “West Michigan Cluster”, which won first place in 2011 and is currently in first place during Week 2 of the Challenge. For details on the Challenge, go to http://www.stewardshipnetwork.org/site/c.hrLOKWPILuF/b.5075593/k.C45C/2011_Garlic_Mustard_Challenge.htm.
To view a short, informative video about garlic mustard and its invasive qualities, click on the following link that connects with a recent Wood TV report titled “Garlic mustard ‘kills native plants’ – a group in Newaygo is hoping to get some help in stopping a destructive plant from spreading”: http://wood.m0bl.net/r/z9n4j . For more detailed information about GM go to; http://www.ipm.msu.edu/garlicmustard.htm .
THANK YOU, again! You have made and will continue to make a positive impact in our little neck of the woods! Together we are making MWHA and Waukazoo Woods a better place for ALL to live.