12th September 2011 at 8:16 pm #21967
Our garden here in eastern France was previously a horse field and we have luckily found several areas of ancient dung heap that are now beautiful compost. However, we are currently expanding our veggie growing area by using cardboard covered with plastic in the no-dig way. This method gets rid of pretty much everything except the dreaded bindweed. I agree that it is difficult to eradicate, but we are finding it such a nuisance (polite description!) that I would love any ideas of how we can weaken it if we can’t get rid of it completely. We are starting to include wide non-grass paths around the edge of the veg garden area – hopefully this will deter some of the slugs too! Any help would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks!!13th September 2011 at 4:47 pm #22627
Oh dear… I was hoping someone else might chip in. Sounds a bad infestation.
Maybe a year of growing widely spaced plants which can be mulched again eg courgettes, squash, brassicas, even potatoes, combined with regular removel of bindweed stems poking through the planting holes. I hope you may have a cleaner area somewhere in the plot for growing salads and carrots.
Or grow on half the area and do a whole-year mulch on the other half, with some organic matter on top, to bring more roots nearer the surface, whence they can be pulled or prised out.
Wide bare paths around the edges are helpful as perennial weeds are always spreading inwards and the paths are a no mans’ land.
Good luck! and please inform us of how it goes.15th September 2011 at 5:29 pm #22620
Many thanks for your ideas, we could certainly try a long mulch. In fact we do have a clear area for salads which have been fabulous, so when I stop to think, it is possible to clean the soil, as long as you’re vigilant. I guess we just need to be more persistent than the bind weed! I’ll let you know how we get on.15th September 2011 at 9:09 pm #22621
I inherited some bindweed with the raspberry canes that I got for free, in the communal area (yours for the taking) at our allotment site.
It has been present for the last two seasons, it has never been given a chance to take hold.
As soon as it sticks it’s head above ground I pull it up.
As these canes have not been productive at all this year, it is my intention to take them out and take them to the communal compost area, it’s where I take all my rubbish.
I take nothing from this compost heap, especially as I put my odd bits of marestail in there as well.
There is no solution as far as I know other than pulling it out.
The guy on the plot next to me has an infestation of it in with his blackberries and he knows he is going to have a mare of time getting rid of it.
Burn the bits you do get out, do not compost it, that is the only solution, it is like marestail it is is persistent but eventually if you essentially cut it off from light over time you will weaken the roots and kill.
Time is the only thing do not let it get a foothold again and you should be fine.16th September 2011 at 1:25 pm #22622
careful here Steve, you can compost bindweed roots as long as there are suffiient other ingredients to help it decompose. It is not indestructible! The small amounts i extract are all composted and if you have larger quantities they can go in a heap for compost as long as there is no way of new shoots growing out of the sides; in other words, well smothered and with time (say a month in summer and six in winter, roughly) for it to die.
On a similar note you can compost blighted leaves and stems of tomato and potato. Blight does not survive in compost or soil in Britain, but I gather it does in the USA where a different strain of blight survives winter wherever it is. In Britain it arrives on the wind (from where I do not know) during the first warm, damp weather of summer, and colonises wet leaves. It cannot establish on dry leaves, hence the need to be careful when watering indoor tomatoes.16th September 2011 at 2:16 pm #22623
Can anyone help me with advice on the best weapon and method to attack what I am sure is couch grass. My beautiful organic cow manure has been under black silage plastic for four weeks but on inspection has white roots/stems in it. What is the best way to get rid of this???16th September 2011 at 2:51 pm #22624
The best way to get rid of couch grass is not to worry about it. Don’t dig, cover with an organic mulch and it will grow into it. Couch grass is usually shallow rooting so after a time you should be able to pull it out.. It will take acouple of years, but if you keep pulling it will disappear. If it breaks when you pull it will grow a new leaf but will be weaker. You could also rotovate the patch and as long as you dont walk on it, each little root will grow and if you keep pulling as soon as the shoot comes through the little roots wont be able to take hold. But for this you need to be able to spend the time to stop it taking hold again.
Pete16th September 2011 at 8:04 pm #22625
I can`t for the life of me understand what all the fuss is about weeds. With the exception of Japanese knotweed, (which I have been fortunate enough never to have had to deal with), there is nothing that cannot be eradicated by persistence and regular attention. If you have a very weedy patch, (couch, bindweed, docks, dandelions, grasss, etc), my advice would be to dig late on, leaving it as rough as possible, (massive lumps if possible), and let the frost work on it. In spring, when it has started to dry out, go over it with a fork and shake out the weeds, roots and all. I would then compost everything, (I use a closed box type container), but bear in mind that fresh seeds will be germinating on the cleaned up patch at every opportunity, so vigilance is required, in the form of regular hoeing/shimming. Regarding weeds in rasps, if they get too bad the affected rasps can be dug up and replanted and they will be fruiting again within 12 months.
Pete18th September 2011 at 8:24 am #22617
Thanks Charles, I was going on advice I had been given, in that it not advised in general to compost bindweed.
I would have thought it was certainly true not to compost marestail.
Anyhow I do compost both of them just not in my compost heap, spreading the love.
All my waste that I deem hazardous (I use that term loosely) goes to the communal heap.
Another piece of advice which is not true, do not compost rhubarb leaves, that is wrong, you can compost them.
It was on Gardeners World that you could do it, I did anyhow. Lots of old wives tales out there, you just have to wheedle your way through them.19th September 2011 at 8:42 am #22618
I don`t possess a rotovator and would never recommend the activity. In my humble opinion its one of the finest ways to get weeds to proliferate.
Pete19th September 2011 at 6:14 pm #22619
I agree with you. No dig is the best way. The Idea is with couch grass, because of its root system, is very difficult to pull up. If its chopped up it becomes easier to pull as the new roots haven’t taken hold. It’s time consuming, that’s why I mulch and let the couch grow into it.
Pete20th September 2011 at 12:57 pm #22626
Unless you wish to multiply your problem with couch grass ten x ten fold then do not rotavate the area.
What was one stem/root will be cut up into a lots of bits all of which will grow.
I had couch grass on my allotment plot, time is a great healer.
I covered the growing areas with manure and the paths in between with 7 or so layers of newspaper and then covered in bark mulch.
As the grass grows in both cases you pull it up, it comes up easily as it is not so heavily anchored.
Over time it disappears and covering decreases it to start with but you have to stay on top of pulling it up lest it should get a foothold again.
After that all you have to do is to top dress with compost/rotted manure and bark chip for paths to keep it all under control.
I now have growing strips devoid of couch grass and paths that are the same all in about 1-2 years. The former if you spend lots of time on keeping on top of it, however I did not so it will be this coming year that will be year 2 for me and it will be gone.21st September 2011 at 5:53 pm #22616
That’s the idea. If you have broken the roots up then the new shoots should be easier to pull out as they will not have taken hold. It is a time consuming project, that’s why I mulch, but if you have time it could be quicker.
Pete9th January 2012 at 12:48 pm #22628
I am in a similar boat – not quite the same, as it is an allotment and the previous occupier was rather too fond of his rotovator, so rather than try to remove/weaken or whatever this most annoying weed he has just chopped it up and spread it about even more! I logged on today specifically to see if there were any no-diggers out there with experience of having actually eradicated it, but yours is the only comment on the subject at all. A friend has tried mulching (with plastic) for 6 months only, and I am wondering if one merely has take the long view. I mean a seriously long view – say 18 months, though I might try one or two beds for just a year (you don’t say how long you left the plastic on). I realise that that is a rather long time to wait to plant, but my idea is to attend to the plot a bit at a time. Also, in the areas where the bindweed is at its worst, I am creating raised beds with wooden sides with somewhat deeper than usual paths between – so hope to at least slow, if not stop, its progress from bed to bed. I am encouraged by reports elsewhere in these forums that people report having successfully composted bindweed root – it appears that it is not completely indestructible!9th January 2012 at 1:01 pm #22629
Apologies – I seem to have merely reiterated ideas already suggested. I get rather muddled over the dates of the postings – the style of showing the date is completely opaque to me – can’t work out which postings are old and which newer. Charles – any chance of altering it so that the month is shown in letters rather than numbers? That way it would matter a good deal less having the day and the month in the order they are (to my mind back to front!) Cheers
You must be logged in to reply to this topic.