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Weed number 3: Bindweed

March 24th, 2007 by Karsten

BindweedThe third weed in our countdown is bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis), is a herbaceous perennial climber that will not only take over your plot, but also “strangle” other plants if left to it.

It has shallow, fleshy roots that spreads very quickly through the soil, and can go down up to 5 meters. Any bit of roots left while trying to eradicate the plant can grow into a new plant, and it can end up on your plot hidden in the roots of new plants, manure or soil.

Cultural control

Bindweed is extremely difficult to control organically - but with a couple of years persistent digging and hoeing it is possible to get rid of the plant. In saying that, though, it will readily spread from neighbouring plots if left untreated.

First step in the war on bindweed is to get as much of the rootsystem out as possible while digging you plot in autumn/winter. Next you must consistently hoe out any shoots that try to come out in summer, as this will significantly weaken the roots for the coming season.

Chemical control

Bindweed is effectively and easily trated with a systemic glyphosate based weedkiller, such as roundup. The problem lies in not killing other plants in the proces. To avoid any other plants being affected by the weedkiller, make sure there’s no chance of the spray drifting onto them - or apply the weedkiller onto the leaves of the bindweed - using a paintbrush.

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