I'm currently under invasion from Morning Glory (VA, Zone 7b, high clay soil) and I'm searching for a vine that will compete with the morning glory that is currently overrunning me! I'd prefer an edible but would settle for something sterile or just something that wouldn't climb everything like kudzu. This stuff is even trying to kill my trees! I don't spray so Fukuoka is my usual inspiration
Location: Foothills north of L.A., zone 9ish mediterranean
posted 7 years ago
A bit late in the season for you, but sweet potato is a close relative of morning glory and might effectively compete. It certainly does a good job of covering ground and is easier to propagate than fruit flies.
The similarity is obvious from the flower, here is sweet potato:
David Miller wrote:I'm currently under invasion from Morning Glory (VA, Zone 7b, high clay soil) and I'm searching for a vine that will compete with the morning glory that is currently overrunning me! I'd prefer an edible but would settle for something sterile or just something that wouldn't climb everything like kudzu. This stuff is even trying to kill my trees! I don't spray so Fukuoka is my usual inspiration
Why not Kudzu? It would effectively compete and is edible. If/when it starts to take over, cut it back and eat it (and/or dig up the roots and eat them to).
No animals at all? I am in an urban environment with a 19'x35' postage stamp of a backyard, and according to the bylaws, I can still keep fish and rabbits, along with the usual dogs and cats. Your situation might be harsher, but I have been thinking that I could either have rabbit tractors, or just keep a herd in a giant hutch built into a hugelbeet and drop the cuttings in with all my kitchen veggie scraps.
This year, I trained my morning glories up my tomato vine supports and pruned them of all but a few leaves out of the way of the tomato plants, and I have the morning glories binding the tomato vines to the supports. This works for me because my tomatoes get some brief but regular individual attention, and so it's not much more work to keep the morning glories under control.
If you are okay with manual weeding, just chop and drop. You won't believe the improvement to your soil. Morning glories are hyperaccumulators, right? Maybe control as opposed to elimination is a good idea. Also, with your clay soil (with which I can sympathize), it might be a good idea to trim individual plants at soil level, leaving the root structures in place. They might send up shoots that you will need to control in turn, but living or dead, the root systems are allowing for better air and water penetration to the root zones of the plants that share space with the weeds. And if the weeds' root systems do rot and die, then you've just created a root mass-shaped network of compost.
A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.
-Robert A. Heinlein
I also have had the privilege of dealing with Morning Glory. I find the idea of choking it out with competition noble, but an incomplete solution. Based on my observations of morning glory's ability to compete for light the efforts you would put into planting another vigorous vine and encouraging it would not "control" the morning glory without some physical discouragement to the Morning Glory as well. So I just encourage you to think on those "as well's". I have had great results from timely interventions to break the seed cycle. Basically, when I start seeing the flowers I go in and cut stems at the ground. I just leave the plant to dry and everything else continues growing and offering its "control". I have found that most large MG's are not able to re-sprout at the base when I get very close to the soil surface.
Hope that helps and best of luck.
I have heard of two things working with morning glory. I have heard, but have not seen it happen, that morning glory will leave after it improves the soil. This supposedly takes two or three years of being left alone. I have not seen that work but have heard it did. I have also heard that planting buckwheat will out compete morning glory.
I don't think you can compete with the dreaded morning glory without getting your hands dirty and pulling those mothers up, then immediately replace them with a cover crop seed that will have time to grow and overwinter. Continue the same practice next year and by the end of next year's season you should have it under control.
In another thread that I was on someone said that they had had great success with winding all of the vines together and then burying that under the mulch with a large heavy object like a rock to hold it down.