It wouldn't surprise me to find that most of what I've got is one big interlinked plant! I've been pulling the top off a small one that's sprouted in the raised flower bed at the front of the house, and wondering where on earth it came from, as in five years since that bed was built, this is the first time I've seen bindweed coming up there. The bed was set on top of cement and the end of the gravel driveway. That sprout must have run a LONG ways underground before it found it's way into the flower bed!
Paul, any ideas for managing bindweed in a suburban lot? I have tried the pulling technique unsuccessfully... and the plant is getting beyond my ability to pull now as it is spreading. I can't quite see how to use rotations of plants like grasses, pumpkins, thistles, etc. since it grows up around built infrastructure like chicken coop and in other hard to access places where these crops couldn't easily be grown.
I'd love to find a beyond organic way to deal with this problem. My attempts thus far have hardly stopped the plant in its tracks
Paul: Not exactly the pulling technique you suggest, but the same idea of pulling enough out each day that eventually you'll have pulled them all and just have to maintain that by pulling new ones. That was hours of work per day (a few years ago). I'm sure it could work if I had infinite patience, but there has to be a better way...
I am wondering- in "the pulling technique" is it just pulling off the tops or getting the roots?
I have an acre and a half of field plus orchard and garden beds, and I have been pulling away in area 1, but it is just too big.
I am in the same boat as the person who said "what shall I use for mulch?" I chop and drop all I can, but the bindweed will root it I chop it, and the quackgrass and bunchgrass are seeding, so chop and drop is like planting them.
I have read extensively on permaculture, and I could turn a desert or a suburban garden into a paradise, but my own farm is proving to be more of a challenge than I can figure out. The invasives are out of hand.
Lisa Allen wrote:Guess what Ayurvedic practitioner Todd Caldecott says about Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis)??
In the "Himalayan" Tradition of Ayurveda, this is the plant that they also call Ashwagandha!! If you look up this herb in Ayurvedic texts, you will discover it is an amazing healing herb!! It is especially helpful for what Ayurveda calls "Vata" Dashas, and many who live in MT could suffer those conditions, since it is cold and dry here. Use the ROOT medicinally.
I don't know about using bindweed root instead of ashwaghanda, but I could kiss you for putting up that link. I've been using ashwaghanda for a couple years now, and that's the best description scientifically I've seen yet. I'm going to print it out for some people who keep asking me about it.
Edit: Yes, I realize that says something about the science that I've seen on it. Sound science, what there was, but sketchy.
By the way, in my experience, ashwaghanda works far better than licorice for bloodsugar control.
I don't think I'm brave enough to try bindweed root as a substitute, even if it is harmless. I have read before that they use bindweed to treat cancer, and that it makes great animal fodder. I've never seen anything willingly eat the stuff, though.
As for thistles...mm, annoying but not hard to get rid of around here, since most pull right out root and all. Best pulled after a rain or watering. Interestingly, the one element that all thistles accumulate is Fe. Which makes me wonder if they grow mainly in iron-poor soils. Looking into experimenting with this.
The thistles I have around here are mostly field thistle I believe and we have probably about 20 or less around the entire 1/2 acre here. I do eat the leaves every now and then mostly cooked, however I've noticed a nother practical use for them while they are living.
They seem to be a "trap" crop for aphids!
I haven't had aphids on radishes, tomatoes, peppers or anything else other than the thistles at all this season where as last year when there were no thistles, they ate what we planted.
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