Become a Garlic Mustard Assassin

I only did a half day at work today because of surprisingly wet socks at 5 am in our basement as our water heater sprung a leak and created a mess overnight.  Problem solved after lots of cleaning and a new water heater.  I didn’t get my camera out at work today but left the gardens in good hands with Big John, Janice, Cheryl and Cindy keeping an eye on the place.  When I left, Lloyd, Peg, Kay, Kathy and Eva were all doing a great job with various gardening tasks.  Vern was in for some carpentry work and Stan came in as well.  We had a productive Garden Development & Maintenance Committee Meeting (Christy, Cheryl, Christine, Iza, Maury, Gary, Big John, Hal, Dr. Gredler and Dr. Yahr) this morning as well.  Maury also ran some errands for us and Dr. Gredler did some painting.  John went to pick up pansies which will be added to our Compost Sale this Saturday (8 am – 12 noon) and the pansies will continue to be sold (while supplies last) throughout the Compost Sale and Spring Plant Sale.

My blog is timely though in that it shows the thuggish garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) in various stages throughout the year.  This plant is very noticeable and recognizable right now.  This aggressive biennial, native to Europe, has reseeded far and wide throughout a vast portions of the Northeast and Midwest.  First noted in 1868 in Long Island, New York, this plant was probably brought by settlers as a food or medicinal plant (edible!).   This plant displaces native plants and the seeds last for many years in the soil.  Control efforts take many years due to this “seed bank” and any collection of this plant should include bagging up these removals and keeping them away from your compost pile or other locations where seeding might still occur.  There are a multitude of websites and references on garlic mustard so check them out.  I’m noticing lots of plants right now (at work and home) that need to be targeted soon.  Get garlic mustard in your “weeding cross hairs”!!