Garlic Mustard Removal Time is Here Again

May 2, 2024
It’s time to pull the invasive weed garlic mustard out! Photo Caroline Larson

~ Submitted by Caroline Larson, originally on . The story has been updated.

Editor’s Note: Community-wide “Garlic Pulls” are underway in several nearby communities. Garlic Mustard can be found in abundance in Bedford.

Garlic Mustard is in bloom, probably in YOUR yard – and now is the time to pull it out! This invasive weed is rapidly overtaking woodland areas, beside roadways and along pathways.

A non-native plant, it crowds out other native varieties that we cherish, such as woodland lady slippers, trillium, trout lily and it even competes with tree seedlings which will become our future forests. Garlic Mustard also produces chemicals in the soil which eventually kill native plants.

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Some species of butterflies lay their larvae on the Garlic Mustard and the larvae never hatch. Each flower bud produces hundreds of tiny seeds, but if you pull it out before the blossom dries, you can stop the invasion.

Here is my back lot last year. I pulled all these out and put them in a plastic bag (not the compost) and put them in the trash. And this year I just pulled a few plants in two minutes.

Pulling Garlic Mustard is probably the EASIEST weeding you will EVER do. It comes up SO easily, especially when the soil is moist. Kids can do it! 

I keep a garbage bag in my car and stop at roadside spots where it is spreading. It is pleasant to see that there are so few in those locations the next year.

Be sure to save a few blossoms and take a bouquet to your neighbors, letting them know what it looks like and how easy it is to eradicate.

Help control this nasty weed and prevent it from competing with our native species and reducing butterfly populations.

Mass Audubon has information on it at https://www.massaudubon.org/nature-wildlife/invasive-plants-in-massachusetts/garlic-mustard.

There is also this helpful video from the Invasive Species Centre.

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Rebecca M
May 2, 2024 9:24 pm

Is there interest to do a community invasive pull like other towns? Concord is doing their garlic mustard pull this and next weekend.

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