What is the Garlic Mustard Challenge?
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!
(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.
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.
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 MustardGarlic 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.
- Hanover Biodiversity Committee (Hanover, NH)
- Lincoln Land Conservation (Lincoln, MA)
- Invasive Plant Atlas of New England
- Connecticut Invasive Plant Working Group
- Maine Invasive Species Network
- Massachusetts Invasive Plant Advisory Group
- New Hampshire Dept. of Agriculture Invasive Species Regulations
- New Hampshire Invasives Resources (plants and insects)
- Rhode Island Invasive Species Council
- Vermont Invasives (plants and insects)
- The Garlic Mustard Challenge (The Stewardship Network: Great Lakes)
- Garlic Mustard Pesto Recipe