UtahJarhead
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Bindweed and Purslane. Question and a tale.

It's not quite slash and burn, but it might be closer to "Nuke it from orbit, it's the only way to be sure."
A year and a half ago, my wife and I bought a home. It has a garden plot about 75x75 feet, then cut diagonal (triangle shaped). It was terribly overgrown with 'crap', for lack of a better term. Everything was head height or better. I cut it all down to ground level, even the raspberry bushes that we discovered (they'll grow back, I know). Then, I pulled every plant out that I could find and burned it. There was still a weed or two, so I did what any sensible person would do....

I tilled it under come spring!

Then I decided to actually look up what the most prolific, and only surviving weed, was.

Bindweed.

That was how I discovered how 'awesome' bindweed is. All last summer, I diligently pulled it at all possible opportunities. One person and that garden, while working full time, is no match for bindweed that's been tilled. The potatoes are the only plant that fared well with the bindweed. I religiously hacked away all bindweed that thought about getting near those particular plants, even if I couldn't get to the rest.

This year, I'm taking a different approach. I got RoundUp concentrate with the pre-emergent and figuratively nuked the entire garden. All of it. Then did it again a few days later because I still saw green. Then I left it. It's now two weeks later and I have the entire garden covered 100% with 4 mil black plastic, weighted down with various large rocks to avoid tearing like stakes would do.

Is this a guaranteed cure for bindweed? Should I have used another method? I'd heard bindweed can grow enormous roots, but until today and reading GW, I thought they'd only go 1-2 feet underground. Obviously I was wrong...

What else should I be doing to kill this crap?

Another quick (and slightly humorous) story. I found tons of weeds with a round, waxy leaf growing in my grass. I diligently pulled it up, root and all, and tossed them all into a pile, whereupon I hit it with the lawn mower so I could suck them all up into the cuttings bag.

That waxy weed was/is purslane. After I did all that, I looked it up and discovered that I wasn't seeing the THOUSANDS of seeds that each and every plant has that I had now dumped everywhere on my law.

I'll be fighting these with a simple pre-emergent this year and re-seed with grass next year with the bare spots. Any better suggestion? I have time.
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imafan26
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Well, let me know how you fare. I have bindweed too and I have not successfully gotten rid of it either, or nut grass, kyringa, ivy gourd, Fukien tea, African tulip, asparagus fern, baby's tears, or allspice. Just consider it job security.

BTW I looked up bindweed. Seeds can be viable for up to thirty years and pulling up the plants don't always work because if any part of the root is left it will resprout. Roundup may be your best bet.
Last edited by imafan26 on Fri Mar 29, 2013 4:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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applestar
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I thought it might be humorous to write:

"Purslane is edible (good source of Omega-3 essential fatty acids)...."

...and leave it at that :> but I won't :wink:


Yeah, bindweed is pretty ugly stuff. I have to deal with them too, though I just yank them out when they bother me.

In one of gardening ref books I have -- I think its Encyclopeadia of Organic Gardening, but I might be wrong, it might be Book of Handy Garden Hints.... It says that double layering black plastic on bottom and clear plastic on top with something (such as your rocks) to create airspace can heat up the soil even more to solarize.

I admit to not having thoroughly tested this technique before though.

After the Roundup treatment and solarization, your soil is going to be pretty much dead. It would be a good idea to work in some compost, sprinkle compost tea (preferably actively aerated compost tea --AACT) and rebuild the microbial community afterwards.

UtahJarhead
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I know it will kill pretty much everything and I'm ok with that. I have a compost bin started outside as well.
applestar wrote:I thought it might be humorous to write:

"Purslane is edible (good source of Omega-3 essential fatty acids)...."

...and leave it at that :> but I won't :wink:


Yeah, bind is pretty ugly stuff. Have to deal with them too, though I just yank them out when they bother me.

In one of gardening ref books I have -- I think its Encyclopeadia of Organic Gardening, but I might be wrong, it might be Book of Handy Garden Hints.... It says that double layering black plastic on bottom and clear plastic on top with something (such as your rocks) to create airspace can heat up the soil even more to solarize.

I admit to not having tried this technique before though.

After the Roundup treatment and solarization, your soil is going to be pretty much dead. It would be a good idea to work in some compost, sprinkle compost tea (preferably actively aerated compost tea --AACT) and rebuild the microbial community afterwards.
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applestar
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Yep. blank canvas and a nice fresh start. :D

Sounds like you've got your strategy worked out. :idea:

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ElizabethB
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I agree with working in a lot of compost. Love the stuff. A cure for many soil evils.

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When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant. ~Author Unknown

UtahJarhead
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applestar wrote:Yep. blank canvas and a nice fresh start. :D

Sounds like you've got your strategy worked out. :idea:
Yes, but it's fighting something I know little about. :) Wasn't sure if starving the bindweed would kill it or not.
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digitS'
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I am not a pesticide expert but there are probably far more effective herbicides for bindweed than Roundup. It may have made sense to hire a licensed applicator. As to whether a gardener would want to grow food crops on the land later is a question.

Your season is probably quite a bit ahead of mine. I have yet to see any bindweed growing. Temperature recommendations for applying Roundup and the fact that the plants should be actively growing suggests that somewhat later in the season here is the best choice. North Carolina State U horticulturalists consider Roundup a poor choice for spring application and better for fall (click).

Bindweed has all these root joints and I think it is very possible to kill one part of the root and leave other parts that continue to live. It is a tough plant and Roundup often doesn't kill perennials quickly, anyway. Giving it several weeks to shrug off the effects, begin growing again and then hitting it a 2nd time is a better choice than being too early and too quick.

Pr-emergent is only for seedlings, as best as I understand. I never have much trouble killing a bindweed seedling - quick and easy with a hoe. It is the returning perennial plant, growing from roots, that is the problem.

Perhaps you have decided to forgo the gardening for this year. Weeds trying to come back from the herbicide under the black plastic is going to be really difficult. Still, I can imagine bindweed biding its time and showing up sometime after 12 months. I'm not talking about the persistent seed (they'll likely be back) but the hard-to-kill roots.

I don't know about very many feet in depth . . . perhaps. I know that I dug down about 18" one time of a very weed infested area and managed to kill the bindweed there. It isn't easy to recognize it and incredibly tedious to sift soil thru the hands trying. One thing bindweed can do is what happened to my neighbor who had put down landscape fabric all around his garden but allowed the bindweed to grow on the perimeter. It isn't any trick for it to travel 4 feet under a fabric and come up in a garden bed of soil. Then, when the fabric begins to break down, it just takes over the entire area.

Cultivation will kill it, you just have to be back again and again and again. It may not be possible to grow anything on the ground thru the year you are weakening, weakening, weakening the weed by not allowing it to grow leaves, however.

Just some of my experience . .

Steve
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Eating the purslane (well, non-Roundup'd purslane, anyway) would be perfect revenge. I've had some; it tastes pretty good, both raw and cooked/sauteed.

Unfortunately, I don't think bindweed is edible....

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edited: new fonts don't like my accent marks!

veggiedan
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I agree about purslane. It's not only edible, but it's surprisingly good. One added advantage of purslane is not only that you don't have to plant it (it replants itself, as you've learned), but it's incredibly drought tolerant. So you'll probably never need to water it.

So what's not to like? Except it's not what you wanted to plant there ...

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If you do decide to use chemicals on the bindweed, 2,4-D is the one to use. You should let the weed grow until there is a lot of leaves before spraying it though. Then there will be enough of the chemical on the plant to go down and kill the roots too. I have seen one application get a whole population and totally wipe it out. Of course there is always the seed to come again, but new seedlings are easy to get by pulling.
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digitS'
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Oh yes, the purslane - you already have the "just desserts" idea.

I am a little surprised that you are having trouble with it in your lawn. Even dwarf lawn grass should be able to out-compete it. I've got it in the gardens. Sometimes, in frustrating numbers . . . .

My idea for purslane in the lawn is just to do whatever you can to promote the growth of the grass. Dense grass, allowed to grow quite tall between mowings, should really help.

Steve
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

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Jardin du Fort
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Re: Bindweed and Purslane. Question and a tale.

OK, so I don't know much about bindweed except that I have some in my yard. So far it seems to be "contained." We'll see....

I saw an article in The Mother Earth News a few issues ago pertaining to bindweed. The article said that short of a nuclear attack, nothing much will kill it off. HOWEVER, somebody has been developing a biological killer for it. I don't remember if it was a bacterium or mold or whatever, but it is specifically "engineered" to attack bindweed. It isn't supposed to attack anything else, but if I remember, it takes a while to work.....

You don't want to MOW bindweed or you will have it everywhere. You don't want to TILL it or it will be throughout the garden. IF you pull up ALL the roots, you can "contain" it. LOL!

Hopefully this new biological stuff is readily available. I just wish I had the article in front of me so I could give accurate info. It's at the Library.... Maybe someone with a recent collection of TMEN can look it up? :roll:

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Re: Bindweed and Purslane. Question and a tale.

I've heard of the biological route. What I'd heard was a mite that was engineered to really really enjoy bindwood roots. If I remember correction, it was U of Colorado. I heard it on the internet, so I know it's true.

The Purslane is annoying, not tough. That's the part of my subject that's just a 'tale'. I just think my screwups are humorous.
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Jardin du Fort
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Re: Bindweed and Purslane. Question and a tale.

UtahJarhead wrote:What I'd heard was a mite that was engineered to really really enjoy bindwood roots.

Yes, I think that was it. A mighty mite. Now where to get them?

:)

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Re: Bindweed and Purslane. Question and a tale.

Will the mites also affect morning glory or worse yet sweet potatoes which are related to bindweed?
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UtahJarhead
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Re: Bindweed and Purslane. Question and a tale.

I thought bindweed IS morning glory, no?
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Jardin du Fort
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Re: Bindweed and Purslane. Question and a tale.

Bindweed is A Morning Glory. There are many kinds of Morning Glory. Bindweed is classified under the "wild morning glory" classification. According to the website:
https://www.colostate.edu/Dept/CoopExt/A ... _mite.html the mites only feed on bindweed and closely related wild morning glories.

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