Close! The truth is that five intrepid garlic mustard pullers converged on a healthy population of the aggressive weed today and slowed considerably its march down the hill into Hawkins Cove. Student Will Noggle, a senior majoring in Environmental Science with emphases in economics and biology, helped organize the effort as part of a project on invasive species. Introduced in North America in 1860, the plant is edible, and it has been used medicinally. An aggressive competitor, it produces chemicals that inhibit the growth of mycorrhizae that most plants need, and deer do not like the garlicky taste.
You have to get the entire plant when pulling garlic mustard. But luckily it is easy to uproot. Now’s the time to do it. In June, once its fruits mature and seeds are scattered, it will be too late. For more about this and other invasive plants in Tennessee, see the TN Exotic Pest Plant Council website.