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Field bindweed

Symptoms

The ground and walls are covered in a rapidly growing, white-flowering, twining climber, which invades your garden, smothering any plants in its path.
Find it on: all over the garden
Time to act: early spring to autumn

Overview

Field bindweed, Convolvulus arvensis, is a pretty, white-flowering climber loved by butterflies. However, it's a pernicious weed that will smother anything in its path, and will quickly take over beds, borders, walls and fences unless kept in check. Winter is the only time of year that offers a reprieve, but for the rest of the year the best way to tackle it among other plants is to dig it out as soon as it appears.
Solution
The ground and walls are covered in a rapidly growing, white-flowering, twining climber, which invades your garden, smothering any plants in its path.
Organic
Dig, dig and dig some more! Every piece of root left in the soil will grow into a new plant, and the roots can venture down as far as 5m. So you need to be really thorough as you dig it out, and remove every last bit wherever possible. Use a fork to avoid breaking up the root.
Chemical
Use a total weedkiller, such as glyphosate. This is most effective when the weed is flowering, although it'll still work on good leaf coverage. If the weed has already started to grow around other plants, untwine it, lay it on bare ground and then spray it. Avoid using the weedkiller on a windy day and near desirable plants.


Discuss this problem

Talkback: Field bindweed
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holbops 24/11/2011 at 15:27

Digging bindweed does actually work, although it seems like a never-ending job, especially when the roots are so easily broken. I started digging it out 2 years ago and this year I have seen a significant improvement - I can see why successful gardeners are patient people!

jospanner 24/11/2011 at 15:28

I have tried digging it out, but it sometimes wanders in from the neighbouring gardens. My advice is to cut the bottom of a lemonade bottle, unwind it from the host plants, put it inside the bottle from the bottom and push the bottom of the bottle firmly in the ground. Now you can position the nozzle of your weedkiller spray over the top of the bottle and spray to your heart's content. For extra protection you can even put the top on your lemonade bottle.

Elaine28 24/11/2011 at 15:28

When I left my last house and moved to my present house which has a much smaller garden I thought I had left behind years of fighting this dreaded weed. But the gremlins which live in all gardens decided I did not get off so easily and I find myself in another battle against this invader. Battle commenced this summer and I think I am winning !!!!!!!

gothic234 24/11/2011 at 15:28

i had planted some foxglove then 2 weeks later that weed came......... this means war

MarilynSmith 24/11/2011 at 15:29

No matter how much I dug/sprayed/covered ground with old carpet - up it came again! Now I wait until there is a good growth from a few plants together (easier if they are given a cane to climb up), fill an old jar with weedkiller and stuff all the top growth into it. They take it in through the leaves and it dies right back to the root. A heavy infestation may need this treatment more than once but much easier than digging. Works with brambles, too!

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