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Morning glory?

 
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Hey permies! I've been trying to get clover to grow over some of my garden this year as a cover crop. Im not sure why, but I've re-seeded a few times, still unsuccessfully. I noticed that this plant loves my garden, however.
Morning glory is one name for it, I think? I've pulled it like a weed most of my gardening life because I've worried it would choke my other plants. But now I find myself wondering if it might be a useful cover crop? Anyone have feelings about it? 😉
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pollinator
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Bindweed is a common plant from the morning glory family which will quickly take over a garden int he right conditions.  If you have an area where you don't plan on growing anything else, maybe that is a good thing.
 
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I have never had any experience with morning glory or bindweed.

As you can tell from how it has reacted in your garden, most folks feel it is too aggressive for a vegetable garden.

Here is a thread that might give you more information:

https://permies.com/t/44968/Permaculture-bindweed

I would like to ask what kind of clover you were trying to grow?  Maybe it is the kind that is planted in the fall.

This might help:

https://permies.com/t/148707/Dutch-white-clover
 
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I really like it in the food forest. It grows and spreads quickly and will block out less desirable plants, but can also be cut back rather easily if needed.

And the colors are amazing, probably my favorite wildflowers that grow in the food forest!
 
Rebekah Harmon
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Hey Anne! I tried growing white clover. In April, with the greens, and in June. A very few, sparse, scraggly plants came up. Are thy supposed to be slow growing? I have gobs and gobs of it in my lawn.
 
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One reason you may want to allow some bindweed to grow is that it may be one of the most powerful anti-tumor herbs on earth ... seriously!  Google it - you'll find major, peer reviewed studies.  THe problem is that it usually grown in corn fields and such, that have been soaked in herbicides and pesticides.  Permaculture/polyculture  "better than organic" bindweed could be a major boon to humanity and a significant cash crop.  
 
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Rebekah Harmon wrote:Hey Anne! I tried growing white clover. In April, with the greens, and in June. A very few, sparse, scraggly plants came up. Are thy supposed to be slow growing? I have gobs and gobs of it in my lawn.


Clover seed tends to germinate when it determines the conditions are correct rather than when you think they are correct.  Water and a light covering of clipped grass and the right temperature for it  or just patience.
As for the morning glory it is a matter of getting all the root fragments out or it is a perennial problem or persistent wall or ground cover.
 
Anne Miller
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Rebekah Harmon wrote:Hey Anne! I tried growing white clover. In April, with the greens, and in June. A very few, sparse, scraggly plants came up. Are thy supposed to be slow growing? I have gobs and gobs of it in my lawn.



From the thread that I linked about clover, it seems everyone has the same experience with clover.  It is spare except when planted with grass.

From the discussion here, it sounds like morning glory is good for garden paths or in a forest garden where it will not outcompete vegetable plants.

Have you thought of trying Nasturtiums as a cover crop?  They are edible and their trailing nature makes them a great choice as a ground cover.
 
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We have the blue kind naturalized here, and they are definitely a "cover" crop. They will cover anything! They are like mini-kudzu! Here they will form a dense mat on anything about twenty feet tall or less and kill it by breaking it down and blocking all sunlight from it. I think if we were to till a plot of land in the old garden spots on the farm ten times a year for a hundred years, there would still be viable seeds coming up in the disturbed ground. Hardy does not begin to describe them. They look nice, though.
 
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I feel like it strangles other plants. One weed that I found works incredibly well is purslane. Really keeps the moisture in the ground and if you feel like it's getting too big  you can have a snack.
 
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Have you thought of trying Nasturtiums as a cover crop?  They are edible and their trailing nature makes them a great choice as a ground cover.



I love nasturtiums. They are so very pretty.

However, they don't grow well here in Zone 8B. It gets too hot too fast for them. They die before they get going. Conversely, it stays too hot here until the first frost for them to be a practical fall crop either. So I'll just stay over here in my corner, quietly envious of all those who can enjoy nasturtiums.

We have creeping petunia here, which looks very similar to that bindweed. I have a neutral opinion of it, as it really isn't disrupting anything, and the cheery flowers also make me smile.

Does anyone know if bindweed is a good chicken fodder?
 
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Hi Tanya,


Welcome to Permies.
 
Rebekah Harmon
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Thank you, Anne, those were very helpful! 🙂
 
Rebekah Harmon
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Woa, Judson! That is amazing!!
 
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My chickens will eat it, but only the leaves and they prefer other weeds. However, each day I give them an armful of bindweed and mix it with their food to try and "train" them to eat bindweed.
 
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You know, chickweed is a giant PITA sometimes, but believe it or not I've started saving seed. As in, giant mats at the end of the season

I have come to recognize chickweed as a generally benign "first colonizer" of disturbed soil. It's much better than the invasive alternatives, and provides cover for establishing dutch/white clover and other friendlies.

Chopped or composted, it provides a green manure nitrogen boost, and at the same time provides a low ground cover that holds soil moisture in drought conditions.

Bonus: it's edible in small amounts by humans (otherwise, trots), and chickens seem to love it for some reason. Go figure.

Yay chickweed!

EDIT: I didn't really answer the OP's question. I inherited morning glory on the edge of a garden area. I think it's a nuisance plant and ruthlessly chop it to the ground. The problem is that, once established, it will be with you forever.
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