Bindweed Convolvulus arvensis is everywhere on my allotment. It produces a thick mat over the ground and improves the soil as it spreads. However it also climbs up and smothers my crops by august. It sets seed and finishes by late Sept. I have hoed the dried haulms and planted Fava beans (Broad beans) and have perennial potatoes, hoping that I will get the June July crop before bindweed comes back in force. Or should I just deep mulch the bindweed to improve the soil so the compacted poor conditions it thrives in are no longer present?
Plenty of the stuff on my allotment too! I don't like to leave it to grow rampantly- it seems to grow too fast and strangle things, and my neighbouring allotmenteers don't really appreciate it.
Sheet mulching with cardboard let it spread- it just spread underneath the cardboard and compost and woodchips and sprouted all over the place. Putting down plastic sheeting for a longer period beat it though. It still lives between my raspberries and stuff, but in manageable small amounts.
If you take steps to improve your mineral situation, and pH, the weed will be less problematic. We have acidic soil here. The addition of lime helps.
If you have it, give it something to climb. It will climb a nice stake rather than going for your crops. A thick bunch on a stake, is easily pulled. The roots are everywhere, so chop and drop does no harm.
Location: Essex, England, 51 deg
posted 4 years ago
I have mulched with seaweed and autumn tree debris. Planted globe artichoke, rhubarb, comfrey, horseradish and mint to replace the bindweed's deep root function.
Its easier to hoe early than let it grow and pull, as it can get quite tough like string. Pull/ hoe and drop early is the one I think, while the soil comes back to health.