The May Regular Meeting of the Whitefish Bay Garden Club included an outstanding presentation on Gardening with Native Plants given by Carol Bangs, Landscape Design Horticulturist, MATC. Carol shared some tips for eliminating "opportunistic" (native, aggressive plants) and "invasive" (non-native, aggressive plants) from our gardens. The tools she recommended for this task included the Parsnip Predator, the Weed Wrench, and the Weed Torch. Click on the tool's name for a detailed description and purchasing information about each tool.
Carol also recommended two resources that every gardener should have in his or her library: Invasive Plants of The Upper Midwest by Elizabeth J Czarapata and The Wisconsin DNR Publication on Invasive Species. Clicking on either resource will take you to a website with more information.
Once the "opportunistic" and/or "invasive" plants are under control, Carol suggested a trip to the Prairie Nursery (or their website) to select the native plants appropriate for your soil and growing conditions.
Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata) has invaded the woodlands of the upper Midwest. Chefs have decided to use the approach of "If you can't beat'em, eat 'em" and created recipes to use Garlic Mustard.
When cooking with Garlic Mustard be sure to harvest from areas that have NOT been sprayed with herbicides. Also, Garlic Mustard plants taste better when harvested prior to flowering. To harvest, remove the entire plant including the root system. Dispose of any unused portions in plastic bags in your trash. Do not compost. Nor should you leave the roots laying on the garden bed as they can continue to propagate.
GARLIC MUSTARD PESTO
3 cups Garlic Mustard leaves, washed patted dry, and packed in a measuring cup
2 large garlic cloves, peeled & chopped
1 cup walnuts or pine nuts
1 cup olive oil
1 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
1/4 cup Romano Cheese (or more Parmesan), grated
salt & pepper to taste
Combine Garlic Mustard leaes, garlic and nuts in food processor and chop. Or divide recipe in half and use a blender. With motor running, add olive oil slowly. Shut off motor. Add cheeses, salt & pepper. Process briefly to combine.
Serve warm over pasta or spread on crackers as an appetizer. It also makes a great topping for baked fish.
Published by: Monches Farm, Colgate, WI Developed by: Wild Ones, natural landscaping
PENNE PASTA AND GARLIC MUSTARD
3 cups garlic mustard greens, washed, chopped and packed
6 ounces pine nuts or walnuts
1 teaspoon garlic mustard root, sliced
4 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated
4 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped
6 ounces virgin olive oil
8 cups cooked penne pasta
salt, to taste
Cook pasta according to package directions.
Toss mustard greens, pine nuts, root and chives into food processor. Add olive oil slowly while blending. Toss with cooked pasta and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serves 6 to 8.
The Lawn and Garden Tips page is updated by members of the Whitefish Bay Garden Club.