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Bindweed and Horsetail

 
Sunny Soleil
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I've just taken on an allotment in the UK.. and it's full of bindweed and mares/horsetail. I am currently fork digging and pulling it out by hand, but it's a big plot. Would cardboard mulch help alleviate this? I'm concerned it won't because the rhizomes are like wriggly worms in the ground, so many of them and the horsetail is really hard to pull as the roots go down so deep? Help? I'm exhausted with digging and have a month to prepare this before I go away.. want to be cardboard mulched by then...

thanks guys..

~Also someone told me bindweed indicated the presence of heavy metals in the soil? is this true.. if so, it's all over our allotments.. and if that's the case, is there any way to alleviate them?
 
Rebecca Norman
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Oh, I don't think bindweed indicates heavy metals. It's too common for that to be true.

Dig it, sheet mulch it, etc, for sure. But make sure that you plant something else that is vigorous to take over from it, and then keep going back and pampering the new thing and pulling the resprouts of the unwanted plants. Nature abhors a vacuum.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Convolvus arvensis can be controlled or even eradicated with perseverance, If you are going to mulch then cardboard is a good ground touching layer but you will need a minimum of 6 inches of mulch, packed down to stop the sunlight from getting through.
The best mulch depth for eradication of Convolvus arvensis is one foot depth, this will not only prevent sun penetration but it will also insulate the soil. The objective is to starve the roots and so kill them.

The other method is to simply cut the plant off at the ground, pulling only tears the roots and so forms new growth at the break points. Constant cutting of the growth will wear the roots out and they will die after two or three years.

Given the tenacity of this plant, it is best to starve it of sun and soil heat by using the deep mulch method. I would lay down at minimum of three layers of cardboard prior to putting the deep mulch in place.

If you can get a soil test done for heavy metals, and it comes back positive, you can inoculate the soil with oyster mushroom spawn or spores which will help with the remediation of the soil by binding with the heavy metals and so removing them from being in the cycle of life.
 
Matu Collins
Posts: 1976
Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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ugh, bindweed! Thick mulch helps because the roots grow in the loose mulch rather than the firm soil and come up. There is no sense trying to pull up all the roots though, because they break easily and when they break they release a hormone that speeds up growth.

My most success has been with thick mulch, pulling up every speck of sprout when it comes up, improving the soil, and growing hearty successful crops that can compete. If the area is small enough, instead of pulling up every sprout when it comes up you can coil up the sprouts and tuck them under rocks. Again, this only works if you do it every day diligently.

I do believe that bindweed can be overcome, I do m=not think it can be eradicated. One area that I mulched with THREE feet of mulch in the shade has happy bindweed thriving in it. This plant is not a joke!
 
Bryant RedHawk
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yes indeed, it is a plant that you have to keep after and definitely do not try to pull it up by the roots. I found a knife works best for taking off any new shoots. We had a patch of it amongst the blackberry canes and now, two years later it has finally died, no new shoots to be found.
The blackberry is very similar in growth habits and we still fight with some of them, but for the most part it was a two year war and we are winning at last. We still have a few dozen passion fruit vines that are coming back in areas we don't want them but as we continually cut the new growth off, they too will eventually give up and die. It is always a matter of perseverance with plants like these. At least we didn't have any bamboo to contend with.
 
Matu Collins
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Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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More accurately- I do not think it can be eradicated on my property unless all a team of two to five people do nothing but bonde bindweed eradication for three growing seasons in a row. Your milage may vary.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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Yes this stuff seems to react differently per soil type too. We were fortunate in that there was only a small patch of it on our acerage (around 50 sq. ft.). We found it when pulling up blackberry canes (we had 2 acres of these and we still have some left) but we stopped with the blackberries when we got the land we needed cleared, down to where we could see grass coming back. The bindweed was a once a week deal, every week we would cut off anything that was coming up. It was a full two years before it just stopped coming up. That does not mean it might not be found next year, the seeds of that junk can live in the soil for ten years without sprouting then suddenly they decide to sprout.
 
Sunny Soleil
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Wow.. thanks for all the replies... I've been digging and pulling the roots.. but it seems that this is not the best way to go.. [omigod days of digging!]... Today on the allotment I was told re horsetail to keep cutting it and eventually it gives up trying to grow.. seems much the same has been offered here re bindweed. Omigod.. 1 foot of mulch... I guess I'd better start collecting cardboard now!

Appreciate you guys and your experience

smiles
sunny
 
Rose Pinder
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How much horsetail is there? It's such a great medicinal herb it seems a shame to go to all that trouble of removing it.

This is my favourite resource about bindweed, the UK based old Henry Doubleday Research site. http://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/weeds/field-bindweed

Paul Wheaton has a system if you are going to weed:

I once moved to a house that was infested with both bindweed and thistle. Imagine my yard as a big rectangle. I started pulling weeds on the left and stopped about ten percent of the way across. A few days later, I started at the left again and picked out anything that cropped up in the last few days and then made a little progresss into the rest of the rectangle. Each brief weeding trip gets me another 5% of new territory. The important thing is to always weed the area you already weeded first. If I didn't do it this way, then the weed would recover in the first section while I was attacking another section.


http://www.richsoil.com/lawn-care.jsp

More description here:

http://www.permies.com/t/16322/permaculture-podcast/podcast-bindweed

You might need naughty children though.
 
Sunny Soleil
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Rose Pinder wrote:How much horsetail is there? It's such a great medicinal herb it seems a shame to go to all that trouble of removing it.
Great info.. thanks so much.. and I was actually recommended horsetail a while ago for silica... it just dawned on me that here I am pulling a medicinal weed. If I had space I'd leave it.. but want toredesign the plot which is a long rectangle..

Love Paul's weeding system - thanks - gonna start with that.. in fact yesterday I noticed more horsetail poking through in small patches where I'd dug and pulled.. so this seems like a good way to go. A friend noticed I had evening primrose at the end of the plot..

Paul Wheaton has a system if you are going to weed:

I once moved to a house that was infested with both bindweed and thistle. Imagine my yard as a big rectangle. I started pulling weeds on the left and stopped about ten percent of the way across. A few days later, I started at the left again and picked out anything that cropped up in the last few days and then made a little progresss into the rest of the rectangle. Each brief weeding trip gets me another 5% of new territory. The important thing is to always weed the area you already weeded first. If I didn't do it this way, then the weed would recover in the first section while I was attacking another section.


Sadly we can't keep chickens on allotments here.. or I'd do that.. such a pity.
 
Tristan Vitali
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Sunny Soleil wrote:I've just taken on an allotment in the UK.. and it's full of bindweed and mares/horsetail. I am currently fork digging and pulling it out by hand, but it's a big plot. Would cardboard mulch help alleviate this? I'm concerned it won't because the rhizomes are like wriggly worms in the ground, so many of them and the horsetail is really hard to pull as the roots go down so deep? Help? I'm exhausted with digging and have a month to prepare this before I go away.. want to be cardboard mulched by then...

thanks guys..

~Also someone told me bindweed indicated the presence of heavy metals in the soil? is this true.. if so, it's all over our allotments.. and if that's the case, is there any way to alleviate them?


On the one hand, horsetail is a major pain in the neck - got it all over the place here on my wet little plot - but on the other hand, it's a terrific nutrient accumulator and an excellent foilar feed can be made from it (horsetail tea):
Andrew James wrote:Horsetails: SiO2, Mg, Ca, Fe, Co
List of Dynamic Accumulators

And as mentioned, it's a decent medicinal. It's even edible in moderation:
http://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Equisetum+arvense

What I do with horsetail around here, where it grows so thick it displaces some of the clumping grasses and ferns, is just scythe it down. It works excellent as a chop and drop green manure for us and has helped improve the soil health exponentially since we started. What's more, after only 2 growing seasons of scything it, a lot of it has given up and finally allowed the clovers and grasses to establish.

The bindweed, too, is questionable in my mind as a major nuisance. Not only is it, too, a medicinal (http://pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Convolvulus+arvensis) but those god awful things produce gorgeous flowers that feed your beneficials. The pollen from the standard field bindweed is actually WHITE, which produces a beautiful WHITE honey....so if you were thinking about keeping a hive there, that's something to keep in mind as well Can you imagine the specialty market for that? Where's the smiley with $$ for eyes?

Of course, you need to knock these guys back enough to grow what you want, but don't get into the trap of spending all your time and money trying to kill what wants to grow. Cardboard mulch will work for both, definitely...it wont eradicate them, but should cut them both back to manageable levels.
 
Kelly Ware
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I was set free from my bindweed fight from Skeeter giving me a serrated sickle. It changed my life. I now see bindweed as an amazing nutrient and a great mulch producer for all my beds. I have tried hugelkultur, (put cardboard or newspapers thick first though for better results.), Harvesting bindweed is better then trying to destry it, that will be a fruitless pursuit in my experience. Lots of wood chips seem to deter them somewhat. a lawnmower works great for paths. Just don't let it go to seed!!! get your serrated sickle or Kama on amazon for $9. http://www.amazon.com/Various-Japanese-Sickle-JAPANESE-SICKLE/dp/B000AYIYAE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1439008442&sr=8-1&keywords=kama+serrated+sickle
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Hi Sunny,

If you decide to mulch, just be aware that some folks have concerns about the glues used in cardboard, and newspaper. Plenty of people use it and never give it a thought, but I am not one of them. I don't have a good substitute that is as handy at covering the ground and excluding the light.

I have never thought there was any thing wrong with pulling the roots, it is still removing some of the plant's strength. But I don't spend a lot of time trying to get every piece of root several feet down into the soil. My sickle doesn't have teeth, but it is great for cutting the bind weed off close to the soil surface. The idea is to keep the plant from feeding itself. Success lies in not allowing the plant to have any green parts. Maybe you are on the threshold of a new bind weed eradication strategy that will change all of our lives! Be sure and let us know what works for you!

Thekla
 
Sandy Powell
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There is a bindweed mite that weakens bindweed, but does not kill it. I obtained some from my local county extension. You harvest infected bindweed, wrap it into the bindweed in the problem area and let it go. About 6 weeks later cut that area of bindweed to scatter it to new areas. The mites are very small and travel only about 1/2" per month. The infected bindweed is anemic and easy to pull. May take a couple years, but much less work involved! Best done in June around here.
 
ronie dee
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This recipe for herbicide might help. It isn't totally organic so might want to keep it off the garden area. (Probably want to keep off the garden just because it will kill plants.)

1 gallon vinegar
2 cups Epsom salts
1/8 cup dawn dish soap

Mix and then spray on unwanted plants. Is supposed to work as good as the best chemical herbicides on the market. (Captain obvious: Cutting the plant down or spraying in early spring will use less. If you spray on a 6 foot plant you might use a gallon on 10 plants.)

Vinegar is from organic source.
Epsom salt is naturally occurring but is not organic
Dawn soap is supposed to keep the vinegar/salt on the plant longer so any soap might work or might not be required at all.

 
Rose Pinder
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Kelly Ware wrote:I was set free from my bindweed fight from Skeeter giving me a serrated sickle. It changed my life. I now see bindweed as an amazing nutrient and a great mulch producer for all my beds.


I like this, thanks! What are the roots like when there is a lot? Can you plant in amongst it? What will grow there?
 
Thekla McDaniels
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I think the bindweed mites need arid conditions. I've used them too. Here is a link to a Rodale article on using bindweed mites:
http://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/garden/bio-battling-bindweed
Thekla
 
Genesis Christie
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Re Heavy Metals:: Info from Dept Agriculture http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/nrcs144p2_053357.pdf
¨Bindweed is a good fodder plant. Cattle, sheep and goats eat it; however, the alkaloid
pseudotropine in field bindweed was reported to cause equine intestinal fibrosis. In India, the
root is used as a purgative. It has been used to stop bleeding, as a laxative, a gynecological aid,
to stimulate bile flow, and as a medicine for spider bites. The Okanagan-Colville people of
British Columbia and Washington fashioned the twining stems into rope. In one study, shoots of
field bindweed accumulated more than 3,800 mg chromium, 1,500 mg cadmium, and 560 mg of
copper per kilogram of dry tissue and may be a suitable plant for phytoremediation of soils
contaminated with heavy metals."
 
Sunny Soleil
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I'm so impressed with the wealth of knowledge and excited that this forum exists for such an exchange. WOW... you guys have put together an encyclopaedic wiki here.. Is there a permies wiki anywhere? I can really see how many of the concepts would work when you have land.. I've lived on 10 acres and would not have worried about it.The allotment is a rectangular space with brambles, a broken down shed, and two apple trees at one end.

I'm in the very beginning of the 'design' phase... just being in the space, meeting people in the allotment community [it's an amazing community of old timey gardeners, families and has a fantastic assortment of structures that people have put together from things laying around..very innovative.. and a lot of wealth of traditional gardening know how. some of it is really cool and some of it is 'yeah well.. you need to spray it with Roundup'...

I'd love to be able to scythe the horsetail but height is low varying from 1" to 12" max.

I will start cutting it and putting it on the compost heap.

I also got delivery of 4 x 5 gallons of white vinegar and a sprayer..and I have Epsom Salts here. The soil has not one earthworm but there are other bugs in there.. apart from a neglected apple tree, rhubarb patch, raspberry bushes and lots of tiny potatoes everywhere [when I dig the soil] and masses of blackberries [pick em all and cut back] there is nothing growing but 'weeds' and I've found evening primrose there, which I'm keeping, dandelion - left them, I left a lone plantain in the middle of the plot, lots of nigella - love in the mist, but I've had to pull it and saved seeds... some yellow flowering bushes that bees love

I want to incorporate a 'physic area' with medicinals that work here and a herb space - could be spiral, more varieties of fruit tree and lots of berries.. I'm getting lots of detail LOL.. and have to keep putting it aside to find the pattern and the flow.. I attach some pics

I would absolutely love to have a beehive there.. but as I said, I'm just at the beginning...

Great info about Bindweed.. and it's potential for remediation, medicine and twine.. wonderful plant... and IF I lived on the land, I'd keep it and use it..
Allotment length half dug.jpg
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Half the allotment dug over
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Compost with bindweed marestail on right
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Drying local seaweed
 
Sunny Soleil
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PS The greenhouse belongs to the allotment next door... separated from mine by a one flag width concrete flat path I've retrieved lots of scrap from one pile on a disused allotment waiting to go the 'tip' 'dump site' including a compost structure, two garbage bins, lots of wood and an old school bench..as well as store baskets [you can cover a cauliflower with that I was told by Miguel an old timer the woman who had it collected 'stuff' And I have visions of how all of it could be used for something.. I love scrapping. And there's a horse stables next door with 20yrs of manure piled up!
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Lisa Allen
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With regard to the Bindweed (Convolvulus arvens), you may wish to search the other messages here on the Permies board for more options.

Here is one: http://permies.com/t/14563/plants/bindweed-quackgrass-holding

I left a comment on the 2nd page where I reference a link that you need to log in to his website now, but the quote was from when it was publically viewable.

In relevant part:
"...Ayurvedic physicians in the Himalayan tradition make used of Field Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis) as Ashwagandha." This is a GOOD thing! Todd mentioned you just tincture the roots in vodka (perhaps 2-6 weeks depending) and after filtering, use it in the same way exactly you would use Ashwagandha tincture.

Hope this helps somewhat! I will keep my eyes out for Horsetail, although that is certainly also a medicinal weed, as well as good "scrubbing" material in the wild!
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Wow, Lisa, that seems amazing that good old C arvensis root would substitute for ashwaganda, which by the way, is a great adaptogen. Thanks for that little tidbit.

Thekla
 
Lydia Feltman
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There was an old man called Herman the Hermit who grew wonderful corn northwest of Petaluma California. Although he cultivated before planting he did not cultivate after planting, nor did he ever water it. There was bindweed growing all over his sloped cornfield and up into the corn stalks. He said he liked it and it didn't bother the corn. Asked how he managed to grow such beautiful corn with out watering he said he planted by the moon. He also said that the weather was damper than where we lived, because he was closer to the coast and was on an East facing slope. It seems to me that "invasive" plants are only invasive in certain conditions and places where you don't want them. Thanks for the info that digging bindweed may encourage it and it's better to cut it off at the base. It's coming up in my mulched pathways where nothing else grows. It does die down in the heat of the Summer though.
 
Linda Listing
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Bindweed does make an excellent twine. Short pieces go into the compost and longer ones into weaving. I refurbish old wire baskets with it and turn them into planters once again. Grapevine is also good but not kudzu because that regrows.
image.jpg
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Matu Collins
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Most sources say that bindweed is a strong laxative. (hahaha, BINDweed, funny name) I would use caution when ingesting.

It works relatively well as a plant tie. The basket is lovely!

 
Ganado Mage
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Another method is too pour boiling water on the bind weed. It does kill the roots but it also sterilizes the ground .. you have to decide what to use based on your circumstances, conditions and what you are willing to do.

Good luck!
 
Robert Jordan
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I'm sure I read (I thing it was by Patrick Whitefield) that
Tagete Minuta, (Mexican marigold) was alellopathic to bindweed. However, I haven't found it locally (Dublin, Ireland) and neither can I remember wher I saw the reference... But I share anyway. 😇 Good luck. I have a small patch so I'll just use a scissors to protect the 'support plants'!
 
Angelika Maier
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I would even pay you for horsetail plants, there are none here.
 
Ann Torrence
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Sandy Powell wrote:There is a bindweed mite that weakens bindweed, but does not kill it. I obtained some from my local county extension. You harvest infected bindweed, wrap it into the bindweed in the problem area and let it go. About 6 weeks later cut that area of bindweed to scatter it to new areas. The mites are very small and travel only about 1/2" per month. The infected bindweed is anemic and easy to pull. May take a couple years, but much less work involved! Best done in June around here.

I didn't realize the bindweed mite experiment had expanded beyond the western slope of Colorado. We have a new extension agent coming on, I'm going to hound him to get us some.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Ann,

You are pretty close to the Palisade insectary, and when I got mine (since died out and bindweed is strong again, it was only 30 bucks. I don't know how late in the season you can release them and still have them get a good colony, able to make it through the winter

(97O) 464-79l6
Toll-free: (866) 3 too 4- too 963

email
insectary at ag.state.co.us

website
www.palisadeinsectary.com

I think you are supposed to get them the same day you can put them out on your bindweed plants.

If you are coming this way and need local support or to meet up, PM me. I am not far off the freeway, (6 easy uncomplicated minor highway miles)

Thekla

 
Sandy Powell
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I know northern Texas has had it for about 10 years. Here is a youtube I found from CSU: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wh1dVcrsIU4 and another source from NMSU: http://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_circulars/CR600.pdf Mite only affects bindweed and other morning glory species. I've had the mite for about 6 weeks and the bindweed is just starting to look as if it is being affected.
 
Matu Collins
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I don't have the mites, but the golden tortoise beetle has been here for a couple of years and its population is increasing with all the little holes it eats into the bindweed leaves

I was the original poster in the "bindweed and quackgrass holding me back" thread. At that time I was feeling hopeless about gaining ground with my permaculture projects. I have powered through many of the good suggestions that I got there and have done many experiments with varying levels of success. I am happy to report that I am full of hope. I am sorry to report that I have been so busy in the garden and the orchard that I haven't done a good job of documenting my progress and results. I have hope that I will rectify this sometime soon!

I am reclaiming a bit of our property that has been zone 5 for a long time and is a thick mat of bindweed and other invasive vines. It's been in the locked poolyard which I describe in this thread. I hope to document this a bit as well.

Rereading my response above I think I sound a little harsh. Growing a successful garden in a place where bindweed is currently thriving is possible. It may take a good bit of work at the beginning, but using good permaculture design principles, being in the garden often to observe and interact, I think you have a great chance. Please do take photos and share your experiences with us!

In my quest to thrive despite successful invasives I have often thought that if we can figure out some good permaculture methods, all the farmland that is lower in value because of bindweed is open to permies. We can buy a few acres on the cheap and work our magic to make a thriving homestead.
 
risa hayes
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Hi Ann and others in or near Colorado. I live in Denver and just learned of the bindweed mite and a moth that eats bindweed. I just requested some of these from the Palisade Insectory here in Colorado. The secret must be out because the website says I can expect delivery in 2016 Here is one of the links and this will take you to the request form if you click on the insectory link. https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/sites/default/files/BindweedBrochure.pdf

Good Luck and definitely house your new extension guy
 
Sunny Soleil
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In my quest to thrive despite successful invasives I have often thought that if we can figure out some good permaculture methods, all the farmland that is lower in value because of bindweed is open to permies. We can buy a few acres on the cheap and work our magic to make a thriving homestead.


What a wonderful thought... Today I was down at the allotment and cut some bindweed stem.. removed the leaves and had my friends little girl hold one end while I braided it. It felt good to be doing something constructive from what so many have dismissed as a terrible weed.

Love the post about the bindweed mite.. I went to look it up.. Aceria Malhberbae... I am wondering if things got out of balance what wound introducing this mite do.. just as all sorts of human intervention over the years has messed with the natural pattern.

Love this thread and am passing on some interesting snippets on the allotments facebook group.

sunny
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Sunny, as far as I know, there have been no escape mites causing damage to other things. It's not like starlings in north america, nor rabbits in australia. They are shy and retiring little people, one source says they only move a meter a year. I think that means they could be easily contained, if they did find a new food source. I hope that's what it means anyway.
Thekla
 
C. Letellier
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Location: Greybull WY north central WY zone 4 bordering on 3
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Bindweed is incredibly tough to control. To the best of my knowledge there are only 2 permaculture acceptable ways to control it and both are rough and are mostly for large area control.

1. Get pigs and pen them over the spot. Water often to keep the ground soft enough for the pigs to root around deep. They will root most of the shallow roots out and will completely suppress new growth. It will eventually die from the experience. Growing up we had big patches in fields. Penning the pigs over the patches for 6 weeks would greatly reduce the size of the patch the next year. I would say for complete control plan on the pig pen staying there for at least 2 years.

2. Exhaust the plants energy with some sort of cover. Be aware mulches alone will NOT work with bindweed. I have seen bind weed grow up through 2 layers of hay bales. You have to have a blocking agent whether card board or plastic or other materials. Under the cover bindweed will at times put vines 10 ft or more long trying to find an edge where it can get up to the light.

Forget about the vinegar and salt herbicide mix. Unless you intend to apply enough to permanently sterilize the ground with salt you are wasting money and effort there. Bindweed has incredible root reserves and rebuilds those reserves easily. So all you are doing is minorly stressing the plant by killing the top back. It will make more. By the time it has enough foliage to be effective to spray again it has stored enough energy to allow the roots to hang on during another cycle. You can slow its spread but I don't think you can kill it this way.
 
Thekla McDaniels
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Matu Collins wrote:

In my quest to thrive despite successful invasives I have often thought that if we can figure out some good permaculture methods, all the farmland that is lower in value because of bindweed is open to permies. We can buy a few acres on the cheap and work our magic to make a thriving homestead.


PIG FARMING to rehab the land!
 
Matu Collins
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Location: Southern New England, seaside, avg yearly rainfall 41.91 in, zone 6b
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I hear that pigs love to eat bindweed roots!

I am not going to get pigs myself any time soon, but I can envision a rebirth in the American midwest, turning "noxious weeds" into bacon and "worthless" farmland into thriving homesteads and small farms. Just think of what permies are able to accomplish on a quarter acre in the city.
 
Erica Wisner
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I believe I saw bindweed (morning glory) on a list of plants used for remediation of lead contamination in urban soils. If you were going to collect the whole plant including the roots, sunflower worked best; if you only collect the upper part of the plant, then morning glory (bindweed) worked best. They pull the lead (or other minerals) up from the soil, into the above-ground part of the plant, where it can be collected for removal. (burned to ash and the ash disposed of to landfill, or just removed from the site and discarded.)

I have heard that bindweed will accumulate minerals in general from deep below to the surface, and when it has accumulated too many minerals it dies back. I don't know if this is true, but I did see that where it was present for years at my Grandma's fence while I was growing up, it has since died back. Might take 30 years, or it may be that my uncle finally "won" the battle to eradicate it and it didn't happen naturally.

I love horsetails. The young shoots are edible like asparagus (later they toughen up with the silica). They can also be used for scouring, due to that silica content. I made a toilet brush for our summer camp one time by tying them together like a pom-pom and binding it to a stick; worked pretty good, and is compostable when you wear it out, unlike plastic scrubbies. With a greywater sink I'm moving more and more toward compostable scrubbies, wash rags, etc instead of plastic or metal ones.

-Erica
 
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