Kenneth Karamichael, Director of Rutgers Office of Continuing Professional Education and featured columnist for the Gardener News, is back with his team for the second part of their “Weeding and Invasives” series. Today’s video shows viewers how to battle poison ivy and garlic mustard.
Poison ivy can be found throughout the mid-Atlantic region and the continental United States, with the seeds being widely disseminated by birds and other means. This plant can cause an allergic reaction and a rash due to an oil called urushiol which can linger on your gardening equipment, golf clubs, or your shoes. This means it’s important to know how to identify and remove poison ivy if found in your yard or your garden. If you can pull it out of the ground in winter, that’s best as it’s less likely to cause an allergic reaction. If you do remove it during the growing season, wear gloves and long sleeves, try to pull out the entire plant (roots and all), and dispose of it carefully.
Garlic Mustard is native to Europe and parts of Asia, making it an invasive herb in the United States that has spread over the last century. It is usually found in the undergrowth of disturbed woodlots and forest edges, and can even spread into pristine areas. Once spread, Garlic Mustard can become the dominant plant and greatly reduce the diversity of all plant species. It is essential to identify Garlic Mustard early and know how to properly manage and prevent its spread. It is best to remove it before it goes to seed, and to do your best to dig out all of the roots (a garden knife works well!).