This year we bit off a chunk of pasture and put up and 8' deer fence around about an acre of land, for a market garden. We added a gravity fed watering system and brought in 117 yards of compost. Our gardening experiences of the last few years stood us in fairly good stead but for the appearance of BINDWEED! This nasty booger has kept me hoeing for most of the season and has really gotten out of hand since our rains have started.
Does anyone have any words of wisdom or hope for this newbie market gardener being strangled by this invasive?
Looks like a morning glory (usually white or pink), note the arrowhead-shaped leaves, climbs up everything, hard to get rid of. Cut it at the ground level, since pulling it out just leaves parts of the fragile roots and it re-sprouts. Cutting hurts it more than pulling. And then the dried, wilted vines are easier to remove.
If you snip the stems near the ground it is much easier remove the bindweed when it has wilted. If you don’t have time to remove bindweed just make sure that you nip of the flowers and buds to stop it from self seeding and making things worse.
"Keep pissing it off until you kill it. " Is how I heard it termed earlier this year.
Thanks, Wendy! I sometimes think that if I leave for a month in the summer, when I come home Morning Glory will have swallowed my entire garden. Good to know I can snip the little blighters and come back later for easier unwinding.
I think what I would suggest is the following: first till the section of the garden you want to treat, and do not plant, to bring out the bindweed like crazy. Before it flowers, flame – weed it. Then immediately put in one of the antagonistic crops: buckwheat, sunflower… if you’re feeling adventurous, velvet leaf seedlings– BUT DON’T LET IT FLOWER– pull it out and heat kill the velvet leaf. Maybe cotton. Certain plants poison their neighbors, and that’s something you want.
There’s more. You could find use for what you have (it is medicinal); or you can see what this website has to say: bindweed takes advantage of damaged soil, so fix the soil and you may go a long way to solving the problem.
But there’s something more: bindweed is a runner plant. Figure out how it spreads its runners, and battle it that way. Strawberries put runners directly out, and hopscotch into new territory. Passion Flower puts out runner roots, and seemingly sprouts from a new place as from seed, but it’s the roots. Mint runs straight at and into enemy territory (any different mint), and then attempts to overwhelm it. There’s a runner weed that loves my garden that grows parallel to the garden until it’s long, and then twists. Presto — a 90° shoot straight into the garden with roots all ready to grab hold.
The point is, once you understand how it spreads, you’ll better understand how to battle it.