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manure with hedge bindweed in it

 
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Location: Northwest Vermont
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Hi all. Last year I got a load of horse manure and used it in sheet mulching to make my new garden. This year I have hedge bindweed (morning glory) popping up everywhere in the garden and am just dealing with it. Before I knew where it came from, I got another load of manure from the same person this year. It is now sitting in my driveway and I'm scared to use it anywhere--it is literally full of bindweed. Does anyone have any tips for possibly eradicating it from the pile, or an idea of how to use it that won't cause a problem? I've thought of getting a very large, closed container and using it in there, but it's a lot! My other thought is to put in some deep rhizome barriers wherever I plan to use it. My husband wants to cart it out to the woods and dump it, but that just seems like a waste.
Thoughts?
 
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Hi Kim.

That's an awkward one!

Some bindweed popped up along my wall last year.
I'm controlling it the same way I control the blackberry brambles- keep chopping and pulling, especially in spring, and eventually the roots get exhausted and die off.
It takes a few years though.

Sheets of thick cardboard to cover the problem areas works quite well. But you'd need to leave the cardboard for at least a year, and then put more when it starts to dissolve.

I'm tempted to agree with your husband on dumping the rest of the manure elsewhere. It's a waste but I think it's worth it to keep the bindweed from taking over.
Otherwise cover the pile with black plastic for a few years?
 
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We have bindweed everywhere. It’s a pain, but if you have time you can deal with it.

I have eradicated the root systems from some areas.

For your pile of manure - if you have chickens, spread it in their run for a month or so. They will pick it over and eat the shoots and leaves. They will also break it down to a fine tilth for you.

If it is already in beds I have had success with two options.

1) deep mulch and hand weeding. The roots run through the mulch and you can easily pull long sections of roots by hand. Repeated regular hand weeding like this weakens and kills the root system.

2) tilling and hand weeding. Tilling  breaks up the roots to shorter chunks, and leaves the soil loose and workable. As the bindweed starts to regrow you can hand pull the chunks of roots with ease. Again, regular effort is needed - 15 minutes every couple of days is sufficient to get on top of it. This is what I have done this year when clearing a large area for planting from lawn to veggie beds.



 
Michael Cox
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Re cardboard and black plastic mentioned above - I do NOT recommend this.

Bindweed tendrils can run and run for long distances under sheets like this. All it takes is for a tendril to escape at an edge and the roots underneath with thrive. Where we have had cardboard down, and lifted it a few years later, it has been like looking at a tangle of white snakes underneath where the roots have grown.


EDIT: To clarify - deep mulch is great, but it is great because you can pull great lengths of roots out by hand. If you have a barrier layer beneath that the bindweed cannot be pulled and has a safe haven tucked under the layer.
 
Kim Dostaler
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Sigh. I knew someone was going to say chickens and I know that would be the best answer, but alas I don't have any. I have a giant cat who would gladly murder any chicken he came near.

And thanks for the clarification on the cardboard. That's the situation I have in my garden right now, b/c we sheet mulched. I won't be doing that.

At this point I am thinking the dumping out in the field/marsh behind our house or woods is the best option. I'm not sure I'm up for another couple of years of battling it in another spot!

No comments on the rhizome barriers? I just looked up that bindweed roots can go up to 20 ft deep, so maybe that's why! Nix that idea.

 
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I would plant jchokes, asparagus,  comfrey and trees where ever you dump it.
Those plants could be transplanted later or just  harvested and your hard work would get some payoff.

Alternatively,  you could make the manure into biochar.
A simple retort made of stovepipe or a stainless steel pot could make a little bit at a time.

I'm pretty sure bindweed seeds would survive and thrive in a worm bin, but a BSF bin,  not so much.
 
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We've got it too. I've been doing as Michael Cox is, cutting back at the very least, and pulling roots at best, and disposing off site (in garbage, not municipal compost pile). Preventing flowering/seeds is important, as is not letting it spread.

It borders my composting area and infiltrates the piles along that edge. I have a screen for sifting woody stuff and litter out of my compost, and the white roots are easy to pull out both as I feed the sifter and caught by the screen. Small bits make it through, but show up on the piles below, and I pay attention and grab what ones I see.
I think it has gotten other places in the garden due to innocently composting some years ago (and it surviving the composting or it had seeds) then spreading the compost in the garden... (and/or it's done by birds) So, I wouldn't "dump it" anywhere that it wouldn't be tolerated OR be a source for it to spread.

So, if it were me, I'd screen the new pile to eliminate as much as possible (there may be seeds) and then keep an eye on wherever you use it, and pull any that comes up.
 
Michael Cox
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William Bronson wrote:I would plant jchokes, asparagus,  comfrey and trees where ever you dump it.
Those plants could be transplanted later or just  harvested and your hard work would get some payoff.

Alternatively,  you could make the manure into biochar.
A simple retort made of stovepipe or a stainless steel pot could make a little bit at a time.

I'm pretty sure bindweed seeds would survive and thrive in a worm bin, but a BSF bin,  not so much.



Bindweed root fragments would survive tangled in the root system of your comfrey/asparagus etc... transplanting them later puts you back to square one.

It is more initial ŵork, but probably better in the long run, to hand pull roots from the pole until the bindweed gives up.
 
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Kim said "I got another load of manure from the same person this year."



Would composting this new pile kill the seeds so it might be used next year without causing a problem?
 
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Anne Miller wrote:

Kim said "I got another load of manure from the same person this year."



Would composting this new pile kill the seeds so it might be used next year without causing a problem?


I don't think composting will take care of bindweed unless you're talking about a commercial aerated set up where you.maintain 150 degrees for two weeks. Sifting and pulling now, before you use it, is probably your best.bet. I have battled bindweed for years and it is extremely persistent
 
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What is a BSF, please?
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