The Garlic Mustard Challenge in New England

What is the Garlic Mustard Challenge?

volunteer working on grasslands

The Garlic Mustard Challenge is a collaborative effort to restore and protect natural ecosystems. The goal is to encourage people to get out on the land and care for local natural areas in a fun and engaging way! 2017 is our fourth year to rally volunteers across New England. Check out a summary of the 2015 Garlic Mustard Challenge in New England! (2016 summary coming soon!)

Dates: Late April through early June

Location: Anywhere in New England that garlic mustard is present.

Who: Anyone can participate! Pull in your own backyard, in a beloved nearby conservation area, with friends, with volunteers, or with a school group.

How: Keep track of how much or how many bags of garlic mustard you've pulled and report your bags!

Report Your Bags Here!  (Currently closed - stay tuned for start of the 2017 season!)

Questions?  Email us at GMChallenge.NE@unh.edu

Why Should We Care About Garlic Mustard?

Garlic mustard is an aggressive invader and is difficult to control once established. If left unchecked it will quickly dominate a woodland understory; its seeds remain viable in the ground for more than 5 years. The plant is allelopathic, which means it emits chemicals that prevent the growth of other (native) plants. It also inhibits mychorrizal activity, the fungi-root associations critical for nutrient and water uptake in native plants.

Get Involved!  

Want to organize a garlic mustard pull workday near you? Request a packet from the Network with materials on how to recognize the plant and how to work with volunteers to get rid of it! Check out our new "Pull It" stickers that are available to you as a free outreach tool for your garlic mustard event or workday. You can request up to 30 with your packet.

Garlic Mustard Packet Request

Find a Garlic Mustard Pull Near You

Many garlic mustard pulling events are listed in the spring on the Stewardship Network: New England Calendar. Check the listings and join a group event!

Learn to Identify Garlic Mustard

Garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) is an invasive herbaceous plant that was introduced into the U.S. from Europe in the late 1800s for culinary and medicinal purposes. It is a biennial plant, which means it needs two years to complete its reproductive cycle.

Look-Alikes:

Be aware that other, non-target, plants look like garlic mustard, including New England violets and Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara), a plant that may also be invasive in some New England states.

Mapping Garlic Mustard (and other invasive plants)

Several New England states (MA, NH, CT) encourage people to report invasive plant occurances to EDDMaps, a free website that also has a useful app for using your smartphone or tablet to locate and report invasives (Outsmart). Here is the EDDMaps distribution of garlic mustard, showin occurances all across the U.S. Other states (ME, VT) have state-sponsored websites which allow people to report invasive plant occurances using iMapInvasives (see links below for state programs).

More Resources on Garlic Mustard and Invasive Plant Species

Check the Resources Section of this site for publications and sample outreach materials for your community efforts.