Joseph Lofthouse wrote:Bindweed is just a plant. It has rhizomous roots, so on my farm, control consists of routine weeding. I'm weeding anyway. If it's not bindweed, it will be buttercups, lambsquarters, Johnson's grass, amaranth, sunroots, thistles, or whatever. Doesn't matter to me if a weed is indigenous or foreign. A weed is a weed. A hoe works on all of them.
If I really want to get after a rhizomous plant like bindweed, I take a digging fork and bring the roots to the surface where they can dry out and die.
I came across some interesting information about bindweed when reading Neal Kinsey's book Hands-On Agronomy. He mentions that bindweed secretes a substance in its roots that allows the plant to dissolve and uptake scarce calcium in soils, making it much more competitive in situations where calcium is limited (such as the Pacific Northwest US, where prolific rainfall binds with calcium and washes a good deal of it out of soils). So, one approach is to make sure that your garden/orchard/food forest soils are 'topped up' with calcium by adding lime every year at the levels recommended by soil tests. I've been experimenting with this approach in my garden, where I have both species of bindweed, and in the areas where I've been keeping up with good fertility management and regular additions of lime, the bindweed pressure is dissipating. Annual cover crops like crimson clover are also good competitors with plants like bindweed, and several seasons of intensive cover cropping in combination with sound fertility management would eventually transform the niche that bindweed is filling in your garden. I've also been training my chickens to eat it, starting by feeding small amounts to them as chicks, and they definitely help with defoliating and digging up large patches. This also provides a good substrate for planting crimson clover into, as it will grow faster than bindweed in the spring and summer.
Kristine Farley wrote:Thank you for your ideas. I am going to try pigs & goats when we get them. But for now I am going to use lime.
Does anyone know if it will also work for buttercup?
I live SE of Seattle in the foothills of Mt Rainer. Beautiful, but these to are the bane of my yard and garden.