Video Clip: Weed Em and Reap Part 2. Living Mulch System: Weed Ecology

Organic Agriculture March 25, 2009 Print Friendly and PDF

Source:

Weed 'Em and Reap Part 2: Reduced tillage strategies for vegetable cropping systems [DVD]. A. Stone. 2006. Oregon State University Dept. of Horticulture. Corvallis, Oregon. Available at: http://www.weedemandreap.org (verified 17 Dec 2008).


 

This is a Weed 'Em and Reap Part 2 video clip.

Featuring

Helen Atthowe, BioDesign Farm. Stevensville, MT. 

Audio Text

Weed Ecology

We’ve learned some stories about weed ecology as well. One of the weeds that has evolved, or at least been released from competition is this Malva neglecta or common mallow. It has basically formed a strong, dominant part of the vegetative system along with chickweed and all of the annual weeds that we had when we began; lamb’s quarters, redroot pigweed, quackgrass, have all disappeared or have been very much marginalized compared to these two weeds. There was a time when I was quite concerned about it, because it’s become very dominant as you can perhaps see here. I just happened to look up in Bob Parnes’ Fertile Soil what actually the nutrient value of this particular weed is. And according to Parnes, mallows contribute 80 lbs of nitrogen per ton, which is actually higher than what legume hay will contribute. So, what’s going on here is obviously, this is not a nitrogen fixer as the clovers are or as the legumes are, so how come there’s so much nitrogen? Basically what has been suggested is this plant is a very good scavenger, a very good accumulator of nitrogen and that it helps cycle it through the system and because I’m creating, over the last eleven years here, a system based on recycled nutrients, we’ve created perfect habitat for this scavenger.
 

This is an eOrganic article and was reviewed for compliance with National Organic Program regulations by members of the eOrganic community. Always check with your organic certification agency before adopting new practices or using new materials. For more information, refer to eOrganic's articles on organic certification.

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This work is supported by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, New Technologies for Ag Extension project.