Tuesday, May 25, 2010

destroying the garlic mustard.

This post is dedicated to Terri - my lovely friend whose wedding I am playing the role of MOH (as she says) this June. This weekend, as I was picking her up for her bridal shower, I walked into her backyard to see - No, it couldn't be! the pervasive GARLIC MUSTARD! I immediately began plucking it out of the ground and told Terri frantically "We must destroy this!"

So, you might have been like me until only recently and have no idea what this invasive weed was all about. That all ended for me my first week on the farm, when I spent hours walking the wooded trails at the farm, stalking the wild garlic mustard. So now, I share the good word with you.

The Wisconsin DNR has a great webpage dedicated to the plant. It was introduced to North America from early European settlers who were cultivating it for medicinal and cooking purposes. Yes, it's edible! If you start pulling it up you will definitely smell garlicky greens too. I haven't tried it personally, so let me know if you get adventurous.

Garlic Mustard is a biennial plant, producing small leaves close to the ground in its first year, and a 1-2 ft. flowering plant in its second year. The plant blooms from May - early June, so now is the time to get it before it disseminates the hundreds of seeds that each plant produces.

To rid your site of the garlic mustard: pull up the second year flowering plants, shove them in a garbage bag, and dispose of them offsite. Put it on the curb! Check out the DNR's website for more in depth info if you're interested.

So, get to it kids! Happy garlic mustard picking, invasive plant destroying days!

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