Garlic mustard, an upright, herbaceous biennial that grows up to four feet tall, is the most destructive plant in Portage. The small white flowers have four petals clustered at the top of the stalk. Each plant can produce millions of seeds which spread rapidly in wooded areas by wind, animals, clothing and shoes. Its rapid growth impedes native plants and can stifle new forest growth. Proper removal and disposal is vital to reducing the growth of garlic mustard.
Garlic mustard can be uprooted easily and should be disposed of in plastic garbage bags. Plants should not be pulled after the seed pods turn brown. Do not put plants in compost or lawn recycling pickup since the seeds will sprout and spread if not disposed of properly. Large infestations can be sprayed with an appropriate herbicide. It is also acceptable to mow large carpeted areas prior to flowering.
The Portage Environmental Board sponsors garlic mustard pulls in city parks, enlisting the help of Portage residents and businesses as volunteers. Volunteers learn how to identify garlic mustard, remove it and properly dispose of the invasive species.
Garlic Mustard Volunteer Pulls - Saturdays, 9 AM to 12 PM
April 27 @ Eliason Nature Reserve (1614 West Osterhout)
May 11 @ Schrier Park (850 West Osterhout)
May 18 @ Portage Creek Bicentennial Park (910 East Milham)
June 1 @ West Lake Nature Preserve (9001 S. Westnedge)
Pulls will be cancelled only for severe weather. Residents can sign up for the Environmental Board Notify Me subscription to get updates on weather cancellations, additional volunteer opportunities and upcoming board meetings. Please contact the Department of Transportation & Utilities at 329-4422 with any questions.