|Kind of pretty, you think! There are hundreds of square |
feet of this stuff here. Where it grows, nothing else does.
This is a biennial. Actually, it's a attractive plant during its first year; the new leaves look something like violet leaves, but lighter green. The second year, though, the leaves darken and it bolts up to two feet high and looses the prettiness when its small white flowers go to seed. The seed pods look like needles ready to spike the existing flora. They are certain killers of biodiversity.
|On the lower plant you can see how the root changes|
|Nearly all the green here is garlic|
mustard. If I don't get rid of it, next
year it will look like the first photo above.
Pulling, spraying and burning are the only ways to get rid of this stuff. Burning isn't recommended for the average homeowner, and spraying must be done repeatedly to be effective. Even that much vinegar isn't good for the environment! Besides, if the plant has already started to go to seed, you have to remove the seed heads or you've wasted your time, money and energy. Once pulled, what do you do with it? Bag it, label it "invasive weed" and put it in a landfill? This is conventional wisdom. I have a problem with putting biodegradables in landfills. Burying, I'm told, doesn't work. Nor does composting. Seems like composting should work if it's a hot compost. Burn after it dries? With its garlic taste, would you want to feed it to livestock, assuming they would eat it? Can you think of other options? Has garlic mustard invaded your neck of the woods? Are there any groups sponsoring cleanup parties? Are you participating in the fight against this invasion?
Note: A friend suggested this site: http://www.wildflowers.org/pastissues/?id=178