Bindweed! Can it be battled organically?

Hi everyone, I have just noticed a few shoots of bindweed appearing on my allotment and I obviously want to get rid of them immediately. I took on the plot in Feb 2013 and so far I've managed to do everything organically. I'd prefer to maintain my organic approach but I'm all too familiar with the destructive nature of this tenacious weed so I'm considering using some form of weed killer just where the bindweed appears.

Does anyone know an effective organic approach to this problem? Digging it up isn't really an option as it has infiltrated grass paths and other areas that would require major excavation!

If I'm forced to take the chemical approach, which type will be most effective while having the lowest environmental impact?

Any ideas, help or suggestions most gratefully received image

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  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,124

    I only know of a chemical approach to bindweed, and that's with glysophate based weed killer. I find the paint on ones you see advertised practically useless, so I only use a spray now. Leave the weed in place until it has completely died back. Glysophate breaks down on contact with the soil, so it's pretty safe.

  • Tom GarnerTom Garner Posts: 5

    Thanks for the swift reply, Dave! I had a feeling this would be the most likely response but it was worth asking. Any particular brand you'd recommend? Ground Clear?

  • Dave MorganDave Morgan Posts: 3,124

    I mix my own, but roundup spray is a good killer. The ground clear is a long term weed suppressant  usually used on drives or patio's. A small spray will do so you don't need to buy much unless your'e doing a large area.

  • SalinoSalino Posts: 1,609

    ..yes you can clear bindweed organically but you need to be very persistent, and over a period of about 3 seasons... not everyone can be bothered with that kind of regime... but once you get started it's actually very easy...

    ...you simply nip off all the stems above ground getting it a bit below the soil as much as you can with your fingers, even just an inch or two...you have to keep doing this as soon as the weed appears above the soil, or at least once a week and no later...preferably checking every day if you can find the time...  it just means going along and nipping off every single shoot that keeps popping above the surface, so that the plant is unable to photosynthesize....thereby starving the root...that is what you are trying to do...

    ...in the following season you will notice improvement...much more so the year after and by the 3 year you may not see any at all...   I've been here 5 years and it's all disappeared from my garden... maybe last year I had just a shoot or two...

    ...it takes time...and if you doubt this approach...it was the way Beth Chatto cleared her well known Essex garden of the weed....

    ....p.s. I've cleared 2 gardens this way successfully.... I never resort to chemicals for any reason, which is a personal preference.....   best of luck if you should try this...but understandable if you don't...

  • DaintinessDaintiness Posts: 960

    Where you see the bindweed growing, give it a cane to grow up - that way you can see where it originated from and it doesn't spread itself out. When you have got good top growth, place a container over the top of the cane and spray glysophate into it eg a 4 pint plastic milk bottle (with its bottom cut out and  its top cut off    enough to leave you the handle to hold and allow the spray to enter) Hope I've explained this well enough...I'll see if I can find a picture!

    Doing this way none of the weedkiller can drift onto surrounding plants and you can zap the bindweed effectively.

    Found the top half....you just need to cut out the bottom!! Hope this helps image

    http://p-ec1.pixstatic.com/5069ea4c74c5b64b16000703._w.540_h.400_s.fit_.jpg

  • Tom GarnerTom Garner Posts: 5

    Thank you Salino and Daintiness. Unfortunately the bindweed originates in a neighbouring plot, so while I may be able to pick off all the shoots which appear on my plot, I'll never be able to eradicate it completely this way.  I am tempted by your innovative idea, Daintiness, although I am still reluctant to use chemicals on my hitherto organic allotment!

    And thanks again for your help, Dave.

    What we need are slugs and snails which ONLY eat bindweed (*wistful sigh*) image 

  • SalinoSalino Posts: 1,609

    ..well..you can only but try Tom.... my bindweed originated from over the fence too... if it comes back..it'll get the same treatment.... best of luck however you go ahead with it there...

  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 2,924

    Thank you Salino and Daintiness. Unfortunately the bindweed originates in a neighbouring plot, so while I may be able to pick off all the shoots which appear on my plot, I'll never be able to eradicate it completely this way.  I am tempted by your innovative idea, Daintiness, although I am still reluctant to use chemicals on my hitherto organic allotment!

    And thanks again for your help, Dave.

    What we need are slugs and snails which ONLY eat bindweed (*wistful sigh*) image 

    Plume moth caterpillars eat bindweed but sadly they're very small. Keep hand weeding and dig a trench lined with weed barrier between you and the source. If you see any flowers forming on your neighbour's weed nip them off to prevent seeds spreading. On a controllable patch like an allotment bindweed is just a nuisance that can be pulled by hand as it appears. Just make sure you know what the root looks like and don't leave any in the ground if you dig some up.
  • FireFire LondonPosts: 5,276
    This is  from a very old post.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 53,939
    Wildlife Ranger trawled up an old thread ... not sure if he is trying to be helpful or simply raising his business profile ... probably would be more helpful to GW members to discuss glyphosate on current threads asking about weedkiller  :)
    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh







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