garlic mustard seedlings

crittermom5March 31, 2007

Hi--I'm new here and am starting the war on invasives on our 3.5 acre property. Much of the property is former pasture, and my husband mows it, but I'm trying to establish some natives along the perimeters and streambed. Last year I pulled tons of garlic mustard plants, and this year there are tons more. This spring I notice many GM seedlings sprouting and wonder what's the best way to deal with them--in most of the patches I notice jewelweed or asters starting to sprout, so I'm reluctant to spray in those areas, but pulling the GM seedlings seems like a daunting process. Any suggestions?

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knottyceltic(S/W Ontario 5b)

Pull them... this second flush will be rewarding for you. I spent 2 years removing all the garlic mustard from my woodland gardens and by the 3rd year I might have pulled less than five seedlings. They say these seeds last forever and will keep germinating but I'm not finding this to be the case and each year gets easier and easier. Glad to hear you are finding jewelweed babies! With the GM gone you may find that even more treasures are able to grow. Once we took away the carpets of GM, we found that Dog Toothed Violets, 2 kinds of Trillium and Blue cohosh just naturally took over the space. Now I've planted over 50 new species of plants, shrubs and trees in our tiny woodland area and I'm very pleased and proud of the hard work I put into removing that damned GM and the oriental bittersweet vines (which were even harder than the GM b/c they'd travel underground across the entire property and if you missed even a centimeter of the root, it grew back within days).

If you can't handpull the baby GM's get a "spot sprayer" and just spray carefully in 1' swatches so as not to damage anything that you may want to keep growing. I have a pump sprayer that I can set for a very narrow spray and although I never used it for the GM or Oriental Bittersweet, it does focus the spray quite well.

Good luck and let us know how it goes.

Barb

    Bookmark   April 1, 2007 at 8:11PM
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crittermom5

Thanks, Barb--there's lots of ground to cover, but I plan to spend every day pulling or spraying these little suckers. On Saturday I discovered wild strawberry plants and tons more jewelweed in a spot I weeded last fall, so that's encouraging!

    Bookmark   April 2, 2007 at 9:35AM
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bob64(6)

Pull up what you can now, especially in areas you wish to be more pristine. The rest you can pull when they get taller and are easier to grab. Dispose of anything that is bigger than a mere seedling off-site in a tied up bag.
You have to take the long view with GM. The idea is to prevent the creation of any new seed. Jewel Weed and GM often come up in the same places. Jewel Weed is one of the few natives that seems to be able to handle the heavy presence of GM.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2007 at 8:19PM
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shadeyplace(7)

I have sprayed GM and STILL have it coming back. I have pulled it and it STILL comes back...maybe not quite as much but it seems like one of those things I always have. i also got rid of my jewelweed because I found it terribly invasive even though a native. It gets very tall and smothers everything else around it.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2007 at 4:25PM
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