There’s rather a lot of bindweed in the garden. I seem to have pulled several miles of it from the borders. It crops up in the lawn, it spills over from the old stone boundary wall, and it creeps among the fairy garden, strangling the sweetpeas and twirling up the willow arches.
It has a certain wild beauty, but is a terrible cut flower and withers almost instantly.
Every day I pull up a few arm-fulls of the stuff, and now and then I’ll furiously blitz an area, and cut back affected plants.
Online advice about tackling bindweed suggests a resolute approach.
“Single attempts to remove bindweed roots will not be successful.”
Gardening Know How and the Royal Horticultural Society both suggest using weedkillers to manage bindweed, but I’m sticking with an organic approach. I know it’s tricky, but possible, to manage bindweed without resorting to chemicals. In our last London garden, we managed to weed it out and crowd it out, and I’m hoping to do the same here in Frome.
I think there are many good reasons to avoid using chemical herbicides, but Mike, the environmental gardening guru at Gardens Alive, puts its much better than I could.
…To those of you who have already made the right choice, who utilize the weed-suppressing power of mulch, who appreciate the fast and satisfying work of a sharp hoe, the smothering power of herbicidal soap and the joy of watching a flame-weeded dandelion puffball burst into Munchkin fireworks, I thank you.
To the rest of you: All I can do is continue to offer you non-toxic alternatives in whatever venues are available to me and hope that you’ll choose to do the right thing. A lot of people are looking for non-essentials to cut back on these days. There’s nothing less essential than toxic and ineffective chemical herbicides, so use thrift as your excuse. Or your health. Or the health of your children. Or your neighbors. Or Rachel Carson’s warning about the potential of these toxins to silence the music of nature. Whatever your reason, “just say no”.
More advice from Garden Know How.
Controlling Bindweed with Aggressive Plantings
For as stubborn as bindweed can be, it has a very hard time competing with other aggressive plants. Often, bindweed can be found in poor soil where few other plants can grow. Improving the soil and adding plants that spread densely will force the bindweed out of the bed.
Read more at Gardening Know How: Bindweed Control – How To Kill Bindweed In The Garden And Lawn https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/plant-problems/weeds/controlling-bindweed.htm
I have a potted wisteria that needs a new home. It’s a notoriously rampant climber, so I’ll put that by the old stone wall where the ivy and bindweed are attempting to take over. Perhaps it’s tough enough to crowd them out.
Wish me luck! xx