Great Gains by Garlic Mustard Grabbers

by Barbara Walvoord

Volunteers have been uprooting invasive garlic mustard in our east campus woods by Mulberry Lane.  Roger Herman, Ethel White, and Lyn Howe (all pictured), as well as Sharon Grace and  Barbara Walvoord, have pulled hundreds of these destroyers of our native woodland wildflowers.garlic mustard Roger crop 4 16 IMG_0789 (1)

We have not only grabbers but cheerleaders like Eleanor Johnson and Adele Steinberg (pictured), who stopped by Mulberry Lane to cheer grabbers Ethel White and Lyn Howe, visible in the background.

garlic mustard 4 16 014

Round One is complete, advantage Grabbers!  We have pulled nearly all visible second-year plants (the ones that produce seeds and then die for good).  In coming weeks,  the ones we missed will bloom, thus be more visible, and we’ll get them before they go to seed. 

One plant can produce thousands of seeds, and the seeds are viable in the soil for 7 years, but our faithful grabbing will eventually wear out the seed bank.  Then we’ll continue to have the native partridgeberry, Canada mayflower, and wild strawberry  that feed our native bees, beetles, and butterflies that feed our baby birds that feed our bobcats, hawks, and foxes–and that together maintain the diversity,  adaptability, and ecological health of our Lathrop woodlands.

 

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