Garlic Mustard Control
Garlic mustard is a noxious weed. Its two year lifecycle and aggressive nature make it a plant that’s Hard to control and invasive.
My garlic mustard program works on both the 1st year plants (short, florette of leaves) and the 2nd year plant (tall white flower in mid-May)
On new sites we attack the plant based on the time of the year. If we get started in the spring, we spray the tall 2nd year plants. These plants are producing the seeds that will dry and then drop in late summer. The seeds of garlic mustard are too heavy to blow (dandelions and thistle seeds blow) rather they drop to the ground and then are moved by foot traffic or water flow.
The heavy seeds make garlic mustard more common on forest edges – where critters will move more freely or along ditch or ravine edges where the water has moved the seed.
Cleared areas make good locations because where you once had a thick stand that deer etc. would not walk you now have an area for animals to pass through and carry the seed on their muddy hooves paws etc.
If we begin the service after June 1st we attack the short 1st year plants. These plants are what will become the tall, flowering plant next spring.
Annually we spray the plants twice before June 1st and 2-3 times later in the year depending on the outbreak. Sprays are meticulously done to avoid harming other vegetation. These plants will help us crowd out the garlic mustard down the road.
Usually after 2 years of the intense 4-5 visits annually we are able to ratchet back to just 3 sprays a year to help the plant from gaining a strong foothold again.
It is never too late to begin controlling your garlic mustard. Even if your neighbors do nothing to control the weed my system will keep it under control on your yard.