If you have this plant in your garden, beware! It is toxic and can cause serious health problems for your child or furry friend if ingested. In this article, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about this plant, including how to get rid of it. Be sure to keep your garden clean and safe!
Bindweed is a perennial weed that can become a persistent problem in gardens. There are two types: hedge bindweed and field bindweed. The best known and most problematic bindweed is that of hedges. It grows rapidly with slender, curvy stems and large, trumpet-shaped white flowers. It can expand to form a large mass of foliage, smother garden plants, reduce their growth, or kill smaller plants entirely. Field bindweed bears smaller pink or white trumpet-shaped flowers and is smaller and less vigorous overall. True, it remains perennial and problematic, especially on bare ground.
How could bindweed be dangerous to children and pets?
Although it may seem harmless, bindweed can actually pose a serious threat to children and pets. The leaves and stems of the plant are covered with small, sharp thorns that can easily pierce the skin. If ingested, bindweed can cause severe stomach pain and vomiting. Also, the plant contains a poisonous substance that can cause dizziness, blurred vision, and even seizures. Due to its potential dangers, it is important to be careful when handling bindweed and getting rid of it.
How to fight bindweed without chemicals?
If you can wait 12 to 18 months before planting, the easiest way to kill all perennial weeds is to cover the ground with a material that excludes all light. Plants need light to feed themselves, so in the dark even the toughest weeds will eventually succumb. Use a material such as weed control fabric, black polythene, or old carpet. It is important to ballast or bury the edges to prevent any light from entering.
- In beds and borders, digging up bindweed roots is the only way to tackle this problematic weed. It should be taken care of between winter and early spring, even before the plants start to grow.
- Each piece of root left in the ground will give rise to a new plant. It is therefore necessary to remove it until the last. Use a pitchfork to avoid breaking the root.
- When bindweed has grown through the root systems of established plants. Loosen the soil on either side of the roots to carefully pull out whole pieces.
- Herbaceous perennials and ornamental grasses that are full of bindweed can be pulled up and divided during their dormant period and the bindweed removed.
- In summer, if it is not possible to dig up the roots. Hoe, cut or pull the shoots to weaken the growth.
- Other weed control methods without chemicals. Like homemade weed killers and weed burners also kill the top part of the plant and weaken the weed, but do not kill the roots.
Elimination of bindweed roots.
Never put bindweed roots in a compost bin, as they will survive and can be spread around the garden when you use the compost. Roots can be safely composted in sturdy black plastic bags by folding the top of the bag over to keep out light and leaving it for at least a year. Bindweed can be thrown into your garden waste collection or taken to your municipality’s recycling centre.
How to control bindweed using chemical weedkillers?
Bindweed is persistent and can only be completely eliminated with glyphosate, a systemic weed killer. This product should be applied to the leaves, then incorporated into the roots as the bindweed grows.
Glyphosate comes in several forms: gel, ready-to-use spray or concentrate, which you dilute and apply in your own sprayer. Apply glyphosate only to foliage, from when bindweed begins to bloom in summer until early fall. Be very careful not to get this weed killer on garden plants, as it kills anything it touches.
When bindweed grows among the plants in the garden, plant canes in the ground for the bindweed to curl up in. Then just slide the shoot out of the cane, put it in a clear plastic bag (still attached to the roots), apply glyphosate, and secure the bag with a clothespin. Leave the bag in place until the bindweed is completely dead.