Bindweed Blues


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Hello, I'm fighting a losing battle against bindweed in my garden and am considering the unthinkable to help me get a handle on it. I think I can pull much of it in the actual raised beds and hopefully keep up with it enough with mulch and persistence to drive it away, but the amount of it in the paths between the beds is too much. My question is that if I decide to go the herbicide route on the paths, am I at too much risk of it getting into the soil in the beds? I tried nuking the soil last year and kept it covered in plastic for months, all to no avail. If there is another natural option out there, i'm all ears. Thank you!
 
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If you are worried about the weed killer affecting the soil, then rather than spraying it on the bindweed and it getting on to the soil, take a more complicated and time consuming route and piant the stuff on the leaves. Takes a bit of effort, but it does stop the soil problem in that the chemical never actually gets on the ground.
You can mix the stuff with a little wallpaper paste to help it stick to the leaves.
 
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The root systems are the problem, the ones in the bed and on the path could well spring from the same source. They will come straight up through mulch in my experience, I reckon it is one of the cases where a weekly hoe is good, nothing likes being chopped down regularly.
Poison has a very quick effect on the visible plant, but it will only kill a bit of the root, you will need to repeat. If you have a clear bed it can be worth digging out as much of the root as you can first, any little chip you leave will grow of course, but at least it may be small enough that the poison will get it in one go.
I had a friend who ran a scrap yard near the Oval. There was an eight foot chain link fence between the yard and the road which it grew to the top of. He used to marvel that it could grow from such a narrow strip as the junction between tarmac and pavement and had so many beautiful flowers. We see it as a real nuisance weed, but I guess there is a place for everything, it was certainly better than looking at a lot of partly dismembered cars through chain link :)
 
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I reckon it is one of the cases where a weekly hoe is good, nothing likes being chopped down regularly.
Except bindweed - and anything else that grows on rhizomes !! Every time you hoe, you are actually propagating the stuff.

I found bindweed roots on a big patch of one of my new beds. I have left that area without new plants, and am waiting now for the bindweed to grow sufficient foliage to tackle. As it is warmer now, and we have been fortunate enough to see rain, we will be using glyphosate on this patch - probably a few times over to try to kill it. This is systemic, and will travel through the rhizomes and eventually I hope get rid. Of course it needs watching, as it will probably be in the surrounding grassy area too.
An exasperating problem.

@TallBoy - mulching, plastic and pulling this stuff out doesn`t work. I don`t know which systemic herbicides are available to you in the USA, but if anything like the glyphosate we use, it does neutralise as soon as it hits the soil, and is then safe to all animals and future crops. The herbicide needs to go on the growing leaves (the mouth of the plant) (y)

By the way Tallboy, Welcome to the forums :)
 
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Thank you for the warm welcome. That was my rookie mistake to begin with. When we moved onto this property, I hoed a moderate amount of it out only to have it explode over the next couple of years. I'm going to give digging out the roots in the beds a try since my planting date is still a few weeks out, but I think I'm going to use the herbicide on the pathways. At least try to get a handle on it before taking a softer approach.

Thanks to all for the replies.
 
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We see it as a real nuisance weed, but I guess there is a place for everything, it was certainly better than looking at a lot of partly dismembered cars through chain link :)
Oliver, this sentiment made me smile. Whilst I am busy digging out ''weeds'' on one part of the new gardens here, we are actually planting similar things on the other side of the land where the ''wildflowers'' are to be the stars of the show. It made me think what perverse creatures we really are.
Tallboy, if you have bindweed coming up later where you have planted other things, and it is choking them, try putting some sticks in to allow the bindweed to climb up them - you can then paint the leaves with herbicide the same as Owdboggy suggested, without affecting the other plants.
 
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That is a neat idea, Tetters; using the plants propensity to climb to select it out for killing. Someone pointed out in a discussion about wild flowers being rare that that is actually the natural state of many of them. Before men came along and chopped down the forest most of England was covered with trees. What we think of as common meadow flowers were confined to small areas between the darkness under the trees and bare outcrops of rock, places the earth was too shallow for trees. It is a tough place to survive, with extremes of wet and dry and not very fertile, so when those Saxons started swinging axes the grabbed the opportunity with both leaves.
Tetters, you might like my 'Playing out' story, another use for bindweed :)
Playing out - YouTube
 
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I thought your story was super, and left a comment accordingly :bookworm:

The bindweed in my new bed is growing now like billyo since all this lovely rain we`re having - which is good. As soon as the weather dries up a bit we will use some glyphosate on it, and see how many treatments we will need to use.
I will report back!
 

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