Posted: 27/08/2013 at 10:22
People keep telling me that bindweed is the worst, but having had an allotment with Marestail, I dreamed of bindweed.
The problem to me was that any part of the plant can grow, so any fond, or bit that is left behind can reinfect the plot. So be vigilant about anything left behind. The plant can stand the heat of a compost heap, so has to be destoryed in fire or disposed of safely. This was my main problem, because clearing my spuds etc, I was terrified of putting anything in the compost in case I had inadvertantly picked up some marestail.
The roots can go truly deep. There is an urban myth that they dug the foundations for a tower block in London, and after a few weeks the plant started to grow, from over 30 feet down! How true this is I don't know, but I think at least the story is propogated because it emphasises the problem.
So most 'cures' are along the lines of keep picking (definately not dig or rotavate) to attempt to deny it any light. Also after picking add something to the broken remaining stem to, so that the poison is drawn into the root.
My grandmother did clear it from her garden many many years back. She dug a trench over 2 foot deep laid salt along the bottom. As the years passed she moved the trench along the garden. Eventually the whole garden had been salted.
As mentioned above, an alternative to salt, is some sort of ammonium sulphate. The problem with both the salt and sulphate is the damage they can do to your hard worked soil.
That said by constant picking and poisoning of the root, it can be done, just be careful not to drop any waste!