Garlic mustard in state game area
There is a infestation of garlic mustard in the state game recreation area near my home. I believe some people dump their leaves in the wooded area in the fall and that is likely where they are comming from. I need help getting garlic mustard out of my wooded land. I pulled out some this spring but the plants are growing back again. Is this a bienial, and is it ok to weed the areas I can now? I have areas I cannot walk down to weed or spray. My soil is poor and I seem to be getting lots of invasive species here. Any suggestions? Thank You C. sloan
Livingston County Michigan
If you pulled up the garlic mustard as a first-year rosette of leaves or in the spring of its second year before flowering and got all the roots, it is not re-growing. Other seeds have germinated. If one seed dropped in the area, many others could be there, waiting for their opportunity to grow.
Any time you see garlic mustard is a good time to pull it. You just want to get it before it flowers and makes seeds which is almost a simultaneous event.
MDNR has a policy of not managing the recreation areas in the way of plant removal or pest control. So all you can do is to be on the lookout for garlic mustard and get rid of it immediately. It favors shaded areas so start there.
If invasive species are a problem, all you can do is remove them and seed or plant native species into those areas. Empty soil is open to whatever comes up. So make the choice and put in something you would like to see that is native to the area. You can also collect seeds from your native plants on your property when they are ripe and use them. But it will take some work on your part to identify the native species and then decide what you wish to include if this is something that is new to you.