Please don’t pull garlic mustard and leave it on the trail. If you know anyone who does this, please ask them to stop. Yep, I know, you thought you were helping. In fact for years, people advised that this was exactly how you could help fight the garlic mustard war. Well, that was before they realized how tenatious garlic mustard is. You see, once the garlic mustard plant begins to get those pretty white flowers, it will make seeds EVEN if the plant is pulled. It will lay there on the trail, go to seed and then those seeds will be spread by rain or hikers feet. So really by pulling garlic mustard and leaving it on the trail, you’ve made the problem worse.
Think about this… Each plant can produce up to 1000 seeds which can remain viable (make new plants) for up to 10 years! leaving those flowering plants on the trail is about the worst thing you can do for the park! Sure, you can pull them and leave them when they are little and before there are any signs of flowers. Once they begin to flower, you have to get them out of there.
O.K. then, what should you do? Well do this; Bag it! Take a garbage bag with you when you hike and carry out the plants you pull. Not feeling that ambitious? Pull the plants and stuff ’em in your backpack or even a pocket! However you do it, the main thing is to get the flowers and seeds out of the forest and disposed of properly. That will help a lot. Even if you only carry out one or two plants each time you hike, that’s like a couple thousand potential plants you have just removed. How cool is that!? Just remember, whatever you do, don’t leave flowering garlic mustard on the trails… Thank you!
Garlic Mustard Blitz
Now, if you really want to help, please join the Friends of Devil’s Lake State Park, Saturday May 31st from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for a “Garlic Mustard Blitz”. We are looking for volunteers to help us on this Saturday to remove as much of it as we can! There will be prizes for the most garlic mustard pulled. The Friends of Devil’s Lake will provide a small lunch for volunteers, so please call ahead if you are planning on coming (608) 356-8301 Ext. 140.
This is a great event for . . .
- Youth Groups
- Church Groups
- Community organizations
- Employers who give credit for volunteering
Why do we want to pull garlic mustard?
It is an invasive plant that’s taking over our woodlands. It crowds out our beautiful native wildflowers and endangers forests by preventing tree seedlings from growing. To make matters worse, none of our native insects or wildlife eat it! Help us remove these as part of an effort to keep our local natural areas healthy.