Ask a Question
Notify Me On Question Update
Email this Question
Do you have some advice on how to control mallow weeds? This has been an ongoing problem that even the powerful herbicides can only contain for just a few weeks. They always come back and completely overrun my garden. Any advice?
Rate This FAQ
As you have discovered, a mature mallow weed is quite tolerant of most yard-and-garden herbicides, including Roundup and 2,4-D. The herbicides often cause mallow to go yellow, and some of the plants may die; but many eventually recover to become even tougher than they were before they were sprayed.
You probably also have found that pulling, hoeing or rototilling large mallow plants is difficult and only partially effective. Then, there is also the problem of mallow seeds in the soil. Mallow is a prolific seed producer, and its seeds can lay dormant in the soil for years before germinating. In a typical garden there are thousands and thousands of mallow seeds already in the soil just waiting for the right time and conditions to germinate. Whenever those conditions occur, a few new mallow seedlings will emerge; but the majority of the seeds remain dormant awaiting a future opportunity.
Each time it rains or whenever the garden is irrigated, a few more mallow seeds will germinate. So, even if you were successful in killing all of the emerged mallow plants with a single herbicide application, a new flush of seedlings would still appear after each watering or rainfall event for the next several years.
The best advice I can give is to be persistent, and to kill or remove mallow plants when they are small. The strategy is to deplete the soil of its mallow seed supply by eliminating all emerging mallow plants before they have a chance to make more seeds and replenish the supply in the soil. Pulling, hoeing or rototilling can be very effective against small mallow plants. Mallow is also much more sensitive to herbicides when in the seedling and early vegetative stages (before plants get more than two or three inches wide).
Whichever control method you choose, do it early in the development of the weeds. That's when they are easiest to control, and it's the only way to deplete the soil seed supply. It will probably take several years of weeding every couple of weeks before you see the results of reducing the number of dormant mallow seeds in the soil. But in the long run, I believe that's the only way to make real progress.
Submit Your Suggestion
Other Questions In This Topic
- I live in Riverton, and have areas in my lawn that are brown and sparse. I planted the lawn from seed, a Kentucky bluegrass blend I bought from a nursery, at least 10 years ago. It grows well in cooler weather, but by summer it looks dead in patches and is stiff, not soft lawn for the kids to play on. I would like to put down some patch seed, but don't know what kind to use and how is the best way to plant. Do I have to take out the old lawn or can I just sprinkle it on and cover with a little bit of soil. Also, is there any way to control the wide leaf weed that grows throughout my lawn as well as the entire neighborhood?
- I sodded my back yard 3 years ago with RTF. It has not held up well, especially in the higher traffic areas where it is completely dead. Any suggestions?
- When is the best time to seed native grasses such as streambank and western wheatgrass into an existing Kentucky Bluegrass lawn? Some of what I've read leads me to believe that it would be best to seed in late fall so the seed will germinate in the spring. But I wonder if it would be better to seed in early fall after stressing the KBG. I will also be seeding sheep fescue, but I've seen conflicting information on whether that is native or introduced. My goal is to have a lawn that can survive with no water, and stay green with very little water.
- When do I spray my lawn for weeds?
- What is West Nile Virus and how can I keep myself safe from it?
- What is a pre-emergent and a post-emergent?
- I have an infestation of red ants in my retaining wall area where I also have plants. What is the best way to get rid of the red ants so I can weed etc. in that area?
- I wanted to ask your opinion on fertilizing my lawn. I have so many weeds this year that I don't know what to do. The lawn is currently being fertilized by a company that comes out every 2-3 months. I started using them at the end last summer but maybe I selected the wrong company. Could you give me a recommendation on what to do to cut down on the weeds? Should I switch to a different company or do you recommend fertilizing myself? Thanks, Ryan