Thursday, January 15, 2015

Garlic Mustard (curse it) is tough stuff

The same icy blast that chilled most of the US finally got here around January 6: low teens in the daytime & single digits at night for a couple of days (minus something-or-other was claimed, but I didn't see it).  It the middle of it I bundled up and went out back to see how things were going.  The bright leaf-green of summer caught my eye: the first-year garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) hadn't gotten the message that the growing season was over, and it was no worse for wear. Their wavy-edged, vaguely heart-shaped leaves looked more cheerful than I felt.

Last season I began to take the weedy patch of trees at the back of our property in hand, spending hours pulling up the English ivy and vinca.  Sweaty work: the vines cover the ground in a thick tangle and grow all year round, sending roots in the the soil every few feet.  English ivy can smother about anything.  

Garlic mustard, too, is an alien invasive, hence my enemy.  I was leaving it for later: since it is easy to pull up I'd not thought of it as formidable, but I may be changing my mind.   

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