Battle With Bindweed

growing bindweedI am in the middle of a war, battling for garden supremacy. My enemy? The evil bindweed. No weapon seems completely defeat it, and I mow it down only to see multitudes take its place like armies of Hydras.

Naively I once admired this plant. For years I had attempted to grow climbing blue morning glories with no luck. So when I saw the smaller, pink flowered wild kind I was smitten and happy to share a small corner of the garden. But it wasn’t satisfied with those confines and quickly spread. By last summer bindweed was climbing the roses, strangling the raspberries, hugging the foundation while providing cover for way too many ants, and seeking to overtake the lawn by choking out patches of grass.

The usual weed eliminating techniques have no effect. Boiling water. Knocked the bindweed back for a couple of days. Vinegar. Killed the leaves, not the plant. Weed barrier fabric. It would travel for miles (ok – I exaggerate) underneath the fabric until it found a little tiny hole, and sprout strong and virile reaching for the sun. We sought “professional” help and received only two suggestions; burn the whole place down or move. We haven’t resorted to either – yet.

Here’s what I have learned that may be of some help to you too. Pull the vine early and often! NEVER let it flower – my mistake early on. Mulch, mulch, mulch – a lot.  One layer of weed barrier won’t help.  I now use at least one inch of newspaper covered with another 2 –  3 inches of grass clippings or bark. This has helped somewhat, but bindweed can find any little hole and climb through it. So I continue to pull. I haven’t lost the war. In fact, it’s been a stalemate. Hopefully this is the year the tide turns in my favor. I just need to win a few more battles.

Are you in a war with weeds? Please share your battle strategies!

 

by Renee Pottle

Renee Pottle, a freelance writer and Home Economist, is fanatic about all things food. She blogs about canning and food preservation at SeedToPantry.com. Find her professional food writing info at PenandProvisions.com.

April 24, 2013

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