Common mallow (Malva neglecta) – An increasing weed problem with compost use?

As compost and manure use is more common because of the high cost of chemical fertilizers we are seeing some of the weeds that are associated with cattle feeding starting to appear in our fields. This is one of the culprits Common Mallow and it is one you can easily recognize – it gets everywhere!

This past spring, I bought some compost to use in my yard and garden areas and it has been a great product to use. Of course, we have not had a lot of rain or cooler weather since late spring, and I never noticed any real weed seeds from the compost. I was very hopeful I had escaped the problem until fall! When we got some rains, and some cooler weather here comes the mallow with a vengeance.

The fortunate solution came at Christmas time when 8-degree weather killed it to the ground and no more has come up since. Does that mean my invasion of mallow is over – far from it! It will be back in spring and with a vengeance but a hoe or even an organic weed control product will take it if I start very early.

Author: Bob Whitney, Regents Fellow & Extension Organic Specialist

Agriculturalist, extension educator and researcher, organic agriculture enthusiast and promoter, international program developer, Christian, husband, father and friend.

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