Killing Garlic Mustard: Learn About Garlic Mustard Management
Garlic mustard (Allium sativum) is one of the most common garden weeds in the United States. It’s not only a nuisance but it can cause severe damage to your plants if left unchecked. You may have seen it growing along with other vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale or collards.
But what exactly causes garlic mustard? What are its characteristics? How do you get rid of it?
The garlic mustard plant is a perennial that grows from seed. Its seeds germinate when temperatures reach 70 degrees F (21 C). When they sprout, they produce new leaves and stems which grow into the next year. These plants are often called dahlias because their flowers resemble small daisies. They’re commonly known as garlic mustard due to the yellowish-white flowers that appear in springtime.
There are several types of garlic mustard. There’s the garlic mustard (allium sativum), which is native to Europe; there’s the Asian garlic mustard (allium cepa), which is native to Asia; and there’s the Mediterranean garlic mustard (allium chamaedrys) which is found throughout much of North Africa, Italy, Spain and Portugal. All three species share many traits. However, they all differ slightly in appearance and growth habit.
All the types of garlic mustard grow wild in much of North America, Europe, and Asia. It’s especially common in the Eastern part of the United States. It has spread to many areas in the Pacific Northwest and beyond. It favors moist soil with full sun exposure.
It can be found growing along riverbanks, forests, fields, roadsides, gardens and meadows.
The garlic mustard plant has several types of flowers that grow on a square stem. It has light green leaves that form a rosette shape, which means it tends to grow in a circular pattern like a rose. The leaves are very similar to the leaves of chives and leeks. It has pods that contain the seeds and are flat, ribbed and hollow.
Once you begin looking for it, you’ll start seeing garlic mustard everywhere. This is because it’s a very hardy plant! All it takes is one plant to create an infestation if left unchecked. Once established, it spreads quickly through local ecosystems.
It can grow in almost any type of soil and it doesn’t require much water. This makes it especially dangerous because it can spread to arid areas with little rainfall.
It’s important to learn how to get rid of garlic mustard before it gets out of control. If you don’t, it will take over your entire garden and ruin all your crops. It can also harm other types of plants that you like to keep around for aesthetic or wildlife reasons. It has a serious negative impact on biodiversity.
For example, some types of birds rely on certain types of seeds for food and garlic mustard suppresses the growth of these plants, which in turn harms the birds that feed on them.
It’s hard to get rid of garlic mustard. One way is to manually dig up every last piece of it by hand. This is tedious, backbreaking work, especially if the infestation is severe. It takes a lot of time and most people don’t have that much spare time.
It’s much easier (and more fun!) to use a chemical herbicide that’s specifically formulated to kill garlic mustard and no other plants.
One product that’s designed to kill garlic mustard and other types of weeds is called Razor Pro. This product is non-selective, which means it will kill everything it touches. Make sure to follow the instructions on the product carefully. When using any type of chemical, it’s always important to set up a safety zone which is free of anything that you don’t want to get doused with a powerful chemical.
This should be at least five feet in diameter. Keep people, animals and children away from the area.
Razor Pro can be used on lawns, gardens, yards, parks, public areas and more. To use it on your lawn or garden, simply spread it on the desired area as per the directions on the package. You’ll need to water the product in after applying it to ensure that it takes full effect. It’s recommended to do this on a day that isn’t too windy to make sure the product gets spread uniformly.
Razor Pro is a fairly new product, so it might not be available at your local garden center or hardware store just yet. You can easily order it online though. Check online to see if it’s available near you.
Razor Pro is a powerful herbicide that kills the toughest of weeds, but it can be dangerous if used incorrectly. Always read and follow the instructions on the package before using any chemical product. Make sure to set up a safety zone and keep people, animals and children away from the area until you’re certain that the herbicide has dried.
With a little elbow grease and some patience, you can get rid of garlic mustard in your yard or garden. There are also other natural ways of controlling the spread of garlic mustard.
One way is to pull up the plants by hand before they go to seed. It’s important to get all of the root when you’re doing this or else it will just come back. Garlic Mustard can be identified by its four petaled white flowers and its curly, hollow green stems. A sign that it has gone to seed is when it droops on one side.
While pulling up the plants manually is a good way of keeping it under control, it doesn’t actually get rid of it completely. The plant will keep coming back every year and it takes a lot of manual labor to remove it each time.
You can also use certain types of grass to outcompete garlic mustard. Tall fescue is a type of grass that will grow faster than garlic mustard and is also less vulnerable to disease and damage. You could replace your current lawn with tall fescue to prevent the spread of garlic mustard.
Another option is to use garlic mustard’s natural predators to get rid of it. These predators include hedgehogs, salamanders, certain types of birds and some types of fish.
Sources & references used in this article:
Complex population dynamics and control of the invasive biennial Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard) by EA Pardini, JM Drake, JM Chase… – Ecological …, 2009 – Wiley Online Library
How does garlic mustard lure and kill the West Virginia white butterfly? by SL Davis, T Frisch, N Bjarnholt, D Cipollini – Journal of chemical ecology, 2015 – Springer
Control of forest invasives and responses of native forest-floor plants: case studies of garlic mustard and Amur honeysuckle by DL Gorchov – Special Circular 196-Proceedings of the Ohio Invasive …, 2005 – academia.edu