This dicotyledonous plant belongs to the Convolvulaceae family. Although elegant, hedge bindweed and field bindweed are considered weeds or weeds by many gardeners just like the dandelion. It must be said that like quackgrass, this plant has an unusual root system making its extermination difficult. Indeed, if you forget even a piece, it will cause a shoot. The seeds of these plants are also easily reseeded by birds. This is the reason why it is very difficult to overcome it 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.
Getting rid of bindweed: an obligation? Absolutely not !
First of all, remember that bindweed is a useful plant in flower beds or hedges. This is for example a good indicator of excess fertilizer in the garden. This can therefore show the gardener that he must limit the nitrogen on his land. This bio-indicator is also an index that the soil is too compact. Its roots also help to decompact this settlement. Bindweeds are also honey plants which attract pollinating insects, bees in the lead. It is therefore beneficial for the flowers, but also the vegetable garden. Besides, 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 suffocates surrounding plants by capturing water, light and nutrients from the soil. This is particularly the case in the event of a strong invasion. With this information in hand, it’s up to you to decide if you want to remove these plants.
How to hunt bindweed in your garden?
1) The right actions against bindweed
Some gestures are completely unnecessary. This is for example the case with the use of the thermal weed killer 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 root sections in the soil and break them. So you will certainly be invaded after that! Other actions, on the other hand, make it possible to better control its spread, or even to stop it. To avoid dissemination by air (dissemination of seeds by birds), cut off the aerial parts before they produce seeds. Also remember to apply a mulch that will prevent the installation of bindweed and pass the hoe every 8 days on areas where the soil is bare.
2) Manual lifting, the most efficient technique
Manual uprooting or hand weeding should be carried out in spring or early summer on dry soil. Turn the soil gently over 30 cm with a grelinette, a gouge or a spade fork and remove the root ends. If you forget it, the bindweed may sprout again, 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 exhaust the plant. In the long run, it will grow less and less. Eh yes! eradicating this plant is a long-term and repetitive job!
3) white vinegar or boiling water
This ecological product, very useful in the garden, kills its stems in just a few hours. To enjoy his weedkiller power, just spray it with a spray bottle on the plants. Then renew 10 days later. Already weakened plants will not resist. If you have run out of white vinegar, you can use the water from the pasta or the water from the still boiling potatoes 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 popular technique against weeds. It consists of covering the invaded soil with a thick black tarp whose ends you have buried or blocked in place. After its installation, the tarpaulin must remain several months in place to suffocate the vegetation. This technique is excellent on large surfaces. Note, however, that it is not very aesthetic. Mulch or dead leaves will cleverly camouflage it. For a few scattered plants in your flower beds or vegetable plants, prefer to place a single tin can on each plant to be eliminated.
5) Other plants to control bindweed? Yes and no !
Plants and flowers are an often very effective ecological weapon. Toxic to unwanted plants or pest insect pests, they can effectively protect the garden. Also, we very often recommend the nematocidal tagetes which would be an excellent herbicide against this weed. Its little cousin tagetes patula (or marigold) would be an excellent preventive in addition to also repelling quackgrass, nematodes and aphids. Tagetes minuta for its part produces a powerful and destructive herbicidal substance. However, the effectiveness of these plants is debated among gardeners.