The 3rd Annual Garlic Mustard Pull in Sutton Park in Sault Ste. Marie was held on May 26th. Over 25 volunteers came out to help remove this invasive weed. As well, for the second year the Scouts Canada Sault Ste. Marie Troop came out to lend a hand at their own pull following the main event. Sutton Park hosts the largest known patch of garlic mustard in Sault Ste. Marie. The event is funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, the EDRR Network partners with the Sault Naturalists, Sault Ste. Marie Region Conservation Authority, and Sault College. This year we removed 42 bags from the area!
One day a year, in the early growing season, we enlist invasive species warriors to come out and learn about the impacts of garlic mustard, while lending a hand in the removal of the plant. The control of garlic mustard, like most invasive plants, requires a multi-year management plan. The first goal of any management plan is just that; management! Our goal is to keep the established area in check, and control the further spread of the infestation. Monitoring of the site, conducted by Sault College and the Sault Naturalists, shows that the pull is keeping the established areas from expanding, with no, or relatively minimal new populations outside the managed area. This is great news! But the work is far from done, subsequent years of the management plan will be to continue diminishing the seed bank, which can last up to 7 years in the soil.
So why pull?
By removing the second year plants, you are reducing the number of seeds that drop into the seed bank. By removing the basal rosettes you are stopping those first year plants from making it to their second year, thus not allowing them to develop seeds that would drop down into the seed bank as well.
Thinking of hosting your own garlic mustard pull? Here’s what you’ll need:
- Black, construction grade garbage bags
- Trailer or truck bed (to carry the bags away)
- and somewhere to sun the bags, (in the trailer, on a driveway or other hard surface)
Tips for a successful Garlic Mustard Pull:
- When working on public land, always check to see if a permit is required
- Use construction grade bags to avoid tears
- Don’t remove the material once in the bag, you run the risk of spreading infestation into new areas
- Always leave plants in direct sunlight for one week minimum to kill all viable material
- Pull the plant out as close to the ground as possible, ensuring you get the entire “S” shaped tap root
- End of May to early June are great times to pull