Neighbours talking over the garden gate has long been a tradition. They share gardening tips, complain about the weather and pests yet are ever eager to discuss their gardens. That is what I had in mind when creating this blog. So stop by my garden gate to find out the latest happenings in my garden.

Happy Gardening!

Garden Gnome
"All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child." ~ Madame Marie Curie"

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Bindweed


Bindweed
(Convolvulus arvensis
)


Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis) is a member of the morning glory family. It is a very invasive, spreading weed that can be introduced to the garden through soil and roots. Quite frankly I think bindweed is rather pretty with its small trumpet shaped white flowers with faint pink stripes. It covers wires and chain link fencing nicely but it is still considered a weed especially when it gets into the lawn. That brings to a brief commentary on weeds.

Weeds are essentially plants that for whatever reason are not valued. They tend to be very persistent, hardy in most conditions and difficult to control. However what is a weed in some locations is not a weed in others and some weeds like dandelions are cultivated because they are edible. Folks start to panic when they see weeds in their lawns but lets put this in a different perspective. In terms of the environment, lawns are horrible abusers. They are chemically dependent, water hungry stretches of green outdoor carpeting that really should be banned. Maintenance spills tons of CO2 into the air daily. The only good thing that I have to say about grass is in some locations it helps prevent soil erosion but for the most part, grass is bad news for the environment. There are so many other low to no maintenance, low water using ground covers to choose from that grass is simply not needed! In terms of weeds, consider bindweed. It is pretty and it is invasive. It can thrive in just about any soil condition. You don't need to trim it, water it or anything else because it does thrive on neglect. It would make the perfect grass substitute! However, we are so brainwashed into believing we need that patch of green carpet that the environmentally unfriendly green carpet is a must.

Back to bindweed. Bindweed is on the borderline of being virtually impossible to eradicate. A broad leaf herbicide can be somewhat effective but with the Ontario ban that more than likely won't be possible. More effective is manual removal but persistent pulling and digging. Be warned that the roots can extend as deep as 5 - feet. Inserting solid barriers into the ground along fences or gardens can help prevent bindweed from overtaking the lawn from neighbouring property but new shoots will appear where there are roots. So be persistent!

Bin
Happy Gardening!

Garden Gnome
©2006-2008


2 comments:

  1. That's an interesting perspective about weeds. I tend to think weeds are ugly looking but the picture you have there suggests otherwise.

    Well, maybe I should consider growing weeds due to their ability to grow in neglect. I am the kind of person who loves to do gardening but have a short attention-span. I will forget watering them within weeks of the initial gardening.

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  2. It took me years to convince my spouse that cultivated morning glories wouldn't be the same kind of problem in the garden that bindweed is. Although Ipomoea purpurea is pretty darn good at reseeding everywhere.

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