This dicotyledonous plant belongs to the Convolvulaceae family. Although elegant, hedge bindweed and field bindweed are considered weeds by many gardeners in the same way as dandelion. Like quackgrass, this plant has an unusual root system that makes it difficult to control. Indeed, if you forget even a piece of it, it will generate a shoot. The seeds of these plants are also easily reseeded by birds. This is why it is very difficult to control them in the garden. With a lot of determination and patience, good gestures and ecological products, it is nevertheless possible to get rid of it without chemicals.
First of all, let’s remember that bindweed is a useful plant in flowerbeds or hedges. It is for example a good indicator of an excess of fertilizer in the garden. It can therefore show the gardener that he must limit the nitrogen on his land. This bio-indicator is also an indication that the soil is too compact. Its roots help to decompact this compaction. Bindweed is also a melliferous plant that attracts pollinating insects, especially bees. It is therefore beneficial for the flowers, but also for the vegetable garden. In fact, many gardeners keep them for this reason by cutting off the flowers before they can disperse their seeds.
However, like any weed, it competes with and smothers surrounding plants by capturing water, light and nutrients from the soil. This is especially true in the case of a heavy invasion. With this information in hand, it is up to you to decide if you want to remove these plants.
How to get rid of bindweed in your garden?
1) The right gestures against bindweed
Some actions are totally useless. This is for example the case of the use of a thermal weeder which does not reach the deep roots of this plant. As for the use of a spade or a tiller, it is not recommended. This can leave sections of roots in the ground and break them. You will definitely be overrun after that! However, there are other actions that can be taken to better control the spread of the weed, or even stop it. To prevent airborne spread (spread of seeds by birds), cut off the aerial parts before they produce seeds. Also consider applying mulch to prevent bindweed from establishing itself and hoe every 8 days in areas where the soil is bare.
2) Manual weeding, the most effective technique
Manual weeding should be done in spring or early summer on dry soil. Gently turn the soil over 30 cm with a grelinette, a gouge or a spade fork and remove the root tips. If you leave any out, bindweed may grow back, so be thorough and avoid breaking the roots. The more you break the roots, the more these plants will come back and grow. Then repeat every ten days to wear the plant down. Eventually, it will grow less and less. Yes, eradicating this plant is a long and repetitive job!
3) White vinegar or boiling water
This ecological product is very useful in the garden and kills its stems in just a few hours. To take advantage of its weed-killing power, simply spray it with a spray bottle on the plants. Then repeat 10 days later. Plants already weakened will not resist it. If you run out of white vinegar, you can use pasta water or potato water while still boiling to kill the plant. Repeat 2 or 3 times on the shoots to be treated and you will see that it is excellent for weeding. Afterwards, remove the roots as explained earlier.
4) Solarization to eliminate bindweed
Solarization is a very popular weed control technique. It consists of covering the invaded soil with a thick black tarp, the ends of which are buried or blocked in place. Once in place, the tarp should remain in place for several months to smother the vegetation. This technique is excellent for large areas. Note, however, that it is not very aesthetic. A mulch or dead leaves will allow to camouflage it well. For a few scattered plants in your flowerbeds or vegetable gardens, place a simple tin can on each plant to be eliminated.
5) Other plants to fight bindweed? Yes and no!
Plants and flowers are an often very effective ecological control weapon. Toxic to undesirable plants or pests, they can effectively protect the garden. Also, we often advise nematocidal tagetes which is an excellent herbicide against this weed. Its small cousin tagetes patula (or marigold) is an excellent preventive and also repels quackgrass, nematodes and aphids. Tagetes minuta produces a powerful and destructive herbicide substance. However, the effectiveness of these plants is a matter of debate among gardeners.
I have 30 years of experience and i started this website to see if i could try and share my knowledge to help you.
With a degree a Horticulture BSc (Hons)
I have worked as a horticulture specialist lead gardener, garden landscaper, and of course i am a hobby gardener at home in my own garden.
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