Early Green, Early Seen: Get a jump on garlic mustard!

GM_Rosette_4.14.2015_fwHere we are, one week into the 2015 Challenge. It’s a little hard to believe that spring is actually here. The trees are still bare (though budding) and the ground is still mostly brown with last year’s leaves.

When you do get out into the woods though, you’ll see that garlic mustard rosettes are already catching some early sun. They’re working on storing up the energy they’ll use to bolt into the behemoths that will haunt us come late May.

Make good use of these cool April days! It’s true that it takes a lot more rosettes than stalks to fill a bag, but pulling earlier will mean less work later. Tackle that garlic mustard now, when the plants are easy green targets amongst all the brown leaves. Then, circle back to the same spot in a few weeks. Any plants you missed on the first round will be starting to bolt, which will make them easier to spot amongst the rest of the green. With your early start, you’ll be in a great position to catch all the second year (flowering and seeding) plants, and report your site Garlic Mustard Free for the year!

Beyond just earning Garlic Mustard Free bragging rights, you’re also taking a big step forward in long-term stewardship for your site. You will have eliminated a whole year’s worth of garlic mustard seeds from falling, which means you’re one year closer to eradicating garlic mustard from the site all together.

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