Sunday, May 16, 2010

Garlic mustard

Today I will finish the culling of the Garlic Mustard  (Alliaria petiolata). It is one of the great trials we face in our garden. Nine years ago when we moved to Pomona there was very little of it, and I was probably not really aware of it at the time. That changed quickly. It started arriving in the border between us and the neighbor to the north. That neighbor is an older gentleman and is not able to keep up with that part of the property. Despite my warnings about the dreaded weed he only pulls out what is directly interfering with his flowers. And so nine years later the back end of the property is a field of garlic mustard.

I used to get quite upset at this time of year when I knew it was time to face my worse enemy. I knew it was a battle I could never win and I despaired, a lot. Time has allowed me to come to terms with this foe and now I am able to look him in the four- petaled- flower and know I am winning small battles. I also approach garlic mustard time as just another chore that needs to get done in the garden. By the end of May it is done, over, finished for the rest of the year.


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  2. Ah yes, the dreaded garlic mustard! Pat and I spent the afternoon pulling these very weeds. Luckily, they are not deeply rooted and come up easily when the soil is not too dry.

    I believe they propogate via their flower seeds. Most of mine were getting so big that the flowers dispersed somewhat on the way from the ground to the yard waste bag. But I can tell that it makes a great difference to keep up with them every year.

    Good luck to all with the dreaded garlic mustard!