Enlist Neighborhood and Community Help
Here’re some suggestions pertaining to Garlic Mustard, but the same principals apply to other invasives too:
- Send your neighbors some literature or better yet, take it over to them and ask if they wouldn’t mind joining in the battle against Garlic Mustard.
- The DNR made the wild cards with use in neighborhoods in mind. Brave neighbors will go knock on doors and talk to the neighbors about it, offering to assist in the control. Shy folks just leave the card with a note. Really ambitious people will get an article in the neighborhood newsletter, organize a SWAT team to go around and pull it from neighborhood parks or yards of folks who can’t do it themselves. The main thing is to be cooperative and not blame anyone. Good luck!
- There is a noxious weed ordinance in Shorewood Hills specific for garlic mustard. Also, the April, 2005, issue of our Village Bulletin has a couple of pages on what residents have to do.
- In case you run across this problem or get asked about it, here are the options for disposing of garlic mustard:
– Burn or bury (if you have the room or ability to dry out the plants and burn them)
– Compost – only if you will be able to control any plants that emerge from the compost. We are trying to get data on the survival of GM seeds in compost, but it appears that they are not necessarily killed. If you have any info on this, please contact me.
– Landfill – Technically yard waste can not be disposed of in landfills. Until we get the weed law passed with a landfilling exemption for invasive plants, this will be the case. However, DNR solid waste folks have agreed to use “enforcement discretion” to allow haulers and landfills to take garlic mustard and other invasive plants. You may want to label your bags “GARLIC MUSTARD – Invasive plants approved for landfilling” in hopes that they are picked up. If your hauler or landfill won’t take your plants, contact your local DNR solid waste coordinator for assistance.
- The driftless area of western Dane County has been blessfully free of garlic mustard. However, that situation has now changed. Garlic mustard has appeared this year in rather large patches in the Town of Vermont, probably for the first time. The principal location at the moment is Moen Valley Road, but there are also substantial amounts on Old Indian Trail.Kathie and Tom Brock have begun control measures there, although we are confining our efforts to the public right of way. We have also informed Town officials and the Town Patrolman. It is very important that roadside garlic mustard be eliminated before the roads are mowed!In spring, garlic mustard is very easy to spot on roadsides, even when moving at 35-45 MPH. This is a plea that anyone seeing garlic mustard on a roadside stop and pull it.
- If you find garlic mustard along a roadside in your town, first alert your town government.
- Then alert the town patrolman (the person who mows the roadside) of the problem. Discuss the importance of “not” mowing after the plant has gone to seed.
- Work through your town government to obtain funding for garlic mustard control. Expense might be only for herbicide purchase for use by volunteers or the town patrolman, but could involve hiring a contractor to spray or hand-pull.
- Enlist residents as volunteers to hand-pull or spray roadside patches.
- Get the town government to declare garlic mustard a “noxious weed”. This might be difficult to achieve, but if accomplished, can require residents to remove garlic mustard on their own properties.
- Here is a link to the noxious weed ordinance adopted by the Village of Shorewood Hills. This can be used as a model. This ordinance specifically designates garlic mustard as a noxious weed.
- None of the above suggestions are simple to carry out, but if a small cadre of interested residents can be identified, the best thing to do first is to start a volunteer work team. The most important thing is to get out information to local residents about the problem. Nonconfrontational approaches work best:
- It seems that once you have garlic mustard pulled and bagged, your adventure is just beginning. When the trash pick-up refused to take it, I contacted the City Administrator who is also the Weed Administrator in our town. After a couple of weeks, I contacted her again and she referred me to the Director of Public Works. He talked to Onyx Services and they agreed to take it if I called and told them when and where it would be put out, labeled as garlic mustard. If you have the same problem, and Onyx services your town, call Dan in dispatch at 800-248-2373 to arrange for pick-up.The little cards the DNR has are very helpful. Not only did they give me an opening to talk with my neighbors, but I handed them out on my vanpool. Several of them are now pulling garlic mustard in their neck of the woods.
- Waste Management handles garbage etc. for our village (Shorewood Hills). They have installed a dumpster this year for bags of garlic mustard. So far, this dumpster has been emptied twice and is now on its third load! This is almost all from residents pulling on their own property.