Along with blooming forsythia and bulbs and that first robin come a host of lawn care chores. My top priority is weed control. Our front and back yards are plagued by a nasty weed called common mallow which will take over my entire lawn and gardens without (and sometimes in spite of) liberal use of broadleaf herbicides. Common mallow spreads like wildfire and its worst feature is its taproot, which grows very deep and makes the weed very difficult to pull without leaving some of the root behind. You guessed it; any root not removed produces more common mallow. It can be killed using herbicide, but I’ve found the safest way to get rid of common mallow, especially in garden beds, is to pull it. Its nasty tendency to grow near desirable broadleaf plants and entangling its roots with theirs makes it difficult to apply herbicides without suffering some casualties.

What’s in a Name?

The scientific name of this voracious weed intrigues me: Malva neglecta. Sure, you can neglect it, but it infiltrates every square inch of your lawn and garden areas. This weed is abundant and “hardy” does not begin to describe its tenacity. Pulling common mallow gives me new respect for the robin who’s straining to pull a night crawler out of the lawn while I’m dealing with the weeds. Woulda, coulda, shoulda gotten a head start.