As often happens, late in the season I've had a 50m2-ish patch made available to me of rocky, weedy clay. I think I will try to get a crop of potatoes in if I can find seed potatoes in the middle of the season, sweet potatoes, zucchini/courgettes, some melons and a load of hot peppers. I will probably only use half of the space (the sunnier half).
I think last year's fresh cow manure may have brought in the bindweed to the area (lots of us used it at the community garden) so this year I got 400kg/half a ton of compost from the local organic waste processing place. People who've started using it like it, I'm not sure how much nitrogen it has but we'll see. We got it before it's officially being made available to the public, so it doesn't have all the stats you would expect.
I usually sheet mulch as follows: Go over it with the weed whacker, mulch in place, thin layer of compost, layer of cardboard, thich layer of straw, thick layer of compost and plant away, maybe giving a handful of worm castings to each plant as they go in.
Last year this knocked the bindweed back for maybe two weeks or so and then it was back to normal invading everything. The sheet mulching helped. Some. I guess. But it creeped in from around the beds and in the end, up through in a lot of places it seemed.
Anyone have any better ideas for a quick no-dig setup on not my own land to go over bindweed?
I think I may not mulch in place and will just rake it away and solarize it as much as possible. But I can't think of anything else to change.
Bindweed roots grow 3-4 meters down, so I don't think your average sheet mulching will smother it.
In our old bindweed infested yard, we had permanent garden paths on which we put multiple layers of landscaping fabric and then 3-4 inches of sand. We thought this worked pretty well. After four years bindweed was just starting to come through in a few places.
Before we moved, we tore everything up so the landlord could put in a lawn where our garden had been. The paths under the fabric and sand were a solid mass of very healthy looking bindweed roots, lurking patiently.
I've heard the only way to get rid of bindweed is to cultivate 2-3 feet down (where most of the root structure is) and remove as much root as you can multiple times a year for 3-5 years.
Pen chickens over the area for a season. The roof go deep and as said above, they happily spread under mulch/weed barriers.
The only thing I have found is to spread deep layers of wood chips. These loosen the soul beneath and a few months later you can go through and pull long chunks of root up through the chips by hand. Then follow up with regular hand weeding.
Moderator, Treatment Free Beekeepers group on Facebook.
My husband dug a hole in our yard about 6 feet down...bindweed root goes deeper! This is the first home that I've seen bindweed, and I have tried everything! I mulch routinely...and a lot! Mulch doesn't help. The bindweed works through it just as it works through soil. Bindweed takes on attributes of the plants that it attacks! Sometimes it grows across the ground, like a crab. Other times it grows straight up the plant on one vine. Once the vine gets to the top of the plant, it starts branching out to cover the plant and yank it to the ground! After the first time of my picking the plant at ground level, it grows multiple vines from the one root. My grass is being invaded by the weed. I have a couple of spots on the property that haven't been invaded yet, but I'm waiting. My chicken yard is in one of those spots, near the raspberry patch. I dread when it gets to the raspberries! I haven't had it crawl up tree trunks yet, but it does crawl up the hollyhocks and other tall flowers. Once again, I mulch often, so mulch isn't the answer. Sigh.
I too, have been looking for a way to embrace this weed--but at this point, I can't find a good reason for this killing vine. I understand that it isn't edible for a salad but IS used for medicinal purposes. I have way too much bindweed to make that much medicine!
If anyone learns of anything besides handpulling, which I do, please let me know.
+1 for the Chickens.
They don't seems to eat it, but they will happily scratch it out of existence.
Mind you , They do this to everything, thus I have a backyard denuded of annuals.
It does seems to hang on in places where they cant get to, so I don't know that they are eradicating it or simply suppressiing it.