• Alison Murray

Things to do in the garden during lockdown, day 7: Beat the bindweed!

I thought we'd start the week with a bit of attitude and dig up the bindweed. It's officially spring and the shoots are just starting to emerge so dig them up while they are young and weak. It requires persistence to get rid of this weed, but if you keep at it you will eventually win the war.

Bindweed Calystegia sepium

There are two sorts of bindweed:

  • field bindweed, or Convolvulus arvensis which has pinkish white trumpet-shaped flowers about 4cm across and

  • hedge bindweed, Calystegia sepium which has larger pure white flowers.

They are both beautiful, but they are killers! This stuff is going for total world domination and it's mode of killing is by strangulation. The roots can go down 5m deep, and it sends out twinging tendrils, growing at a rate at around 2m a season.

Bindweed roots, Calystegia sepium

Inevitably I've got the stuff with the tougher roots, Calystegia. The best thing to do is dig it up, and keep at it, when new shoots appear in a couple of weeks dig them up and repeat! The roots are pretty identifiable - a creamy white colour, and if you cut them, each section will form a new plant. The good news is, these plants with tiny new roots are really easy to dig up. Keep at it peops, the more persistent you are the weaker the roots will become and eventually, (and I'm talking years) you'll win the battle against bindweed.

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