Field bindweed

Time to act:

Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov

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.

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

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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.

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