Melinda's Garden Moment: Controlling the Invasive Garlic Mustard
It'staking over our woodlands and landscapes at a rapid rate as it crowds outnative beauties like trillium, spring beauty (Claytonia virginica), and trout lilies (Erythronium).
Helpcontrol this invasive weed in your community and backyard. This culprit, Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata), produces smallwhite flowers atop garlic-scented leaves in spring. These quickly go to seed before dying,dropping thousands of seeds that will last for years in the soil.
Pullsmall populations of garlic mustard weeds in spring or cut large populationsfree of desirable plants just above the soil surface. Remove any weeds that have begun to flower asthe flowers continue to develop and form seeds.
Placeflowering plants in a clear plastic bag and label as invasive. Allow the sun to cook the plants and kill theseeds, then dump in the garbage if yourmunicipality allows.
Theleaves of garlic mustard have been used by Europeans fresh in salads andsteamed, simmered or sautéed for sauces. The long white taproot is grated into vinegar, and used as a substitutefor horseradish. These foods as well asits medicinal uses are why settlers probably brought these plants to the UnitedStates in the mid 1800's.
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