Stop the spread! After the past year, this is an expression everyone is familiar with. However, invasive garlic mustard is a plant you may not be as familiar with. Garlic mustard was brought to the U.S. from Europe and was already established on Long Island in 1868. Early colonists used it because of its culinary and medicinal value; however, in the U.S. there is nothing to keep it in check and it rapidly spread throughout the New England states and the Midwest. As an invasive, it emerges earlier in the spring than our native plants and out competes them for sunlight and nutrients. Its roots emit a chemical that inhibits the growth of other plants. Because of the number of seeds it produces, it can quickly spread throughout an area.

In Woodville, it is found along the Wildwood Trail, on the edges of Viking Middle School’s property, along Southside Drive, by the amphitheater, and is probably undiscovered in other areas. Getting rid of garlic mustard takes persistence as the seeds are viable for seven years. The plant is a biennial meaning that the first year it sprouts and grows and then flowers the next year. The best way to control it is to pull it before it begins to flower (early May is perfect timing). Before it flowers, you can just pull it and drop it in place. Once it flowers, the plants need to be bagged and disposed of in order to prevent the seeds from maturing. 

On Sunday evening May 4, members of the Lone Pine 4-H Club were made aware of this invasive and its consequences to the woods. Lone Pine members quickly learned to identify the plant and pulled patches of it along the Wildwood Trail near the tunnel. Their help is greatly appreciated and hopefully, they’ll be back to work on it again next year. 

If you are interested in stopping the spread of garlic mustard, contact Debby Walters and she’ll be glad to point it out to you.

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