The Department of Natural Resources is reminding hikers and campers to be on the lookout for Garlic Mustard in Wisconsin’s wooded areas and parks.
DNR Invasive species coordinator Jennifer Feyerherm says garlic mustard is an especially tenacious plant. “The seeds stay viable in the soil for a long time, so it’s really important when you come across a stand of garlic mustard to try and get it before it actually goes to seed. They call them seed banks in the soil because they can last so long.” The plant’s seeds sprout after two years in the soil and are still viable after seven years, meaning it could take several years to clear out one patch of the plant.
Feyerherm says they’re happy to see volunteers taking the initiative to clear out garlic mustard. “We’ve seen work parties spring up across the board with folks going out to their favorite natural areas, and garlic mustard’s one of those species that’s relatively easy to hand pull.”
The DNR recommends immediate, vigorous removal of the plant where ever it’s spotted. “Its main problem is there’s so darn much of it, and so many hands make light work, and these work parties have really made inroads in clearing garlic mustard from our natural areas.”