County Ag News
This past week I was out planting some shrubs in the interactive walking trail, a wooded walking path area in Montello. I noticed that a plant that I don’t like to see in a wooded area, garlic mustard, has already emerged for the season while some of our native shrubs and plants are still “sleeping”. What is garlic mustard, and why don’t we want it in our wooded areas? Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is an introduced species in North America that was originally brought here by settlers from Europe. Part of the reason that the settlers brought the plant here was for use in cooking due to the garlic-like scent/flavor that the name implies. One of the issues with garlic mustard is that none of the insects and diseases that would naturally control the population of plants are present in North America. Combine that with this plant having an earlier growth in the spring and garlic mustard can often outcompete native plants and tree seedlings for space in the understory.