Thursday, May 24, 2012

When a Wildflower is Not a Friend of the Garden


Garlic Mustard flower

Oh this flower may look pretty but it is no friend in your garden.   In fact if you see it in your garden pull it and all its friends and family out.  Garlic Mustard or Alliaria petiolata is know as hedge garlic, sauce a lone, jack by the hedge, poor mans mustard or jack in the bush.

The important thing to know that this plant was brought into the country by pioneers that got out of local cultivation  and has become such an aggressive plant that is is now on the invasive weed list.


another garlic musturd diptch

This week I attached the back fence of our property and pulled as much of it as I could get at. Garlic Mustard is an annual and spreads by seeds but one plant can produce 150-850 seeds.  The seeds are viable in the soil for 5 years.  The plant competes with native wildflowers that also flower in at the same time and that insects need as a food or egg laying source.   In fact it is told that cows that graze on Garlic mustard will produce garlic tasting milk. 


This is not a good picture of the pile of Garlic Mustard that I dug up.  It was a huge pile.  I could not get it all out as it is growing wildly in my neighbours yard.  I will be at this every year.

To destroy this plant you will need to pull it up and dispose of it by placing it in a garden waste bag and send it to your municipal composting station where it can be properly composted at a high temperature.  Do not put it in your compost as most home composters do not reach the appropriate temperature for these plants.   In Ontario we have a pesticide ban and home owners are banned from using pesticides and herbicides.   A weed company with the proper registrations may be able to spray it for you but consider the plants in your yard that you would not want to be affected by overspray from the sprayer. 

This information was from OMAFRA Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food

I hope that will be on the look out for this plant and destroy it.  



Pamela Gordon said...

Thanks for the headsup on this invasive plant. I don't think I've seen it here as of yet or perhaps I just didn't recognise it. There are a lot of invasive plants in NB too and we also have a pesticide ban so they spread like wildfire. Thanks!

Crafty Gardener said...

Thanks for a reminder about garlic mustard. I'll be on the lookout for it, haven't seen it yet, but you never know.

Boss said...

Nice blogpost....

Heather said...

Great tip. It seems with the restriction on pesticides and herbicides that we Ontarians are being inundated with weeds this year. My lawn is a sea of chickweed and crabgrass and I'm having no luck - there are more holes in it than grass in spots.

Angela said...

Valerie, thank you for sharing this vital information.