Bind Weed – I’m Losing The Battle

Authors Note: I now have a spelling expert that visited my tiny blog that pointed out I had introduced one to many “O’s” in my title line. SO LOOSING is now and for ever after changed to LOSING.
bindweed I must have introduced bindweed (aka wild morning glory or tie vines) seed into my garden when I was tilling in cow manure and old cow barn bedding hay. It has taken over! If your not familiar with this invasive almost impossible to kill weed, let me introduce you.

Oklahoma State University weed specialist said

“This invasive perennial makes itself at home by sinking roots as much as 9 feet into the soil and can stay on as an unwanted guest for up to 20 years.

“It is considered to be one of the most noxious weeds in the world,” Spreading by seed and through a deep, extensive horizontal root system, bindweed seed can persist for many years in typical garden soil. It tolerates poor soils but seldom grows in wet or waterlogged areas.

Be prepared to pull it all up every three weeks. Repetitive cultivation throughout the growing season for at least three years should deplete the root system and provide control.

“Use the deepest cultivation implements available, such as a garden fork, and be aware that root fragments as small as two inches can generate new shoots. Make sure as much of the root system becomes desiccated as possible.”

Glyphosate herbicides (such as Roundup) are an option, as long as you can keep the herbicide spray or drift away from other plants in your yard. These herbicides are absorbed by foliage and move throughout the plant to kill roots and shoots. The best time to control bindweed with glyphosate herbicides is when the plants are flowering.

Repeated applications of herbicide will be necessary to control bindweed.

This undesirable intruder is vineing over my squash, cucumbers and even covering my okra plants in a thick tangle of vines. Pulling by hand, it is so attached to other plants that you will pull your desirable plants out of the ground tugging and pulling out the tie vines.

I am considering abandoning my garden and attacking the entire garden plot with a glyphosate based herbicide. What ever I do I can’t allow this weed to set seed in my garden plot.

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21 responses to “Bind Weed – I’m Losing The Battle

  1. Oh my goodness, that’s a nasty plant! I know it’s a prohibited noxious weed on the list of invasive plants here in the province, but I can’t say that I’ve heard that very many gardeners are having issues with it. I really hope you’re able to successfully combat it.


  2. That was a weird moment; here I am in England reading about your bindweed and I got an email telling me you had just liked a post on my blog! I have been gardening here for over 40 years and never completely defeated the bindweed but it is “under control.” I never pull it up, I found that made it much worse. I use glyphosate but I cannot let entire areas grow until flowering and spray it so I usually paint it onto the young leaves which is very successful but takes ages.


  3. I have a few spots of bind weed on this place I purchased last December – my plan is to dig ’em up, layer newspaper over the area, build a raised bed and keep covered with vigorous and deep rooted ground covers for awhile – hoping this works! LOL


  4. First I want to say “thank you for visiting/liking Tina’s Cafe” it’s great to have visitors. Also an idea to get rid of your Bind Weed. Have you tried a good strong vinegar? I buy the stuff by the gallon. It has been taking care of the grass etc. But Beware….it may kill anything it gets on. I use a piece of cardboard to block any plants I want to keep. Let me know if you try it, and Good luck…. and Happy Gardening


  5. Heh. I can’t keep it alive here for love or money. Now, Snow on the Mountain, aka “that evil plant”, I’m in the process of pulling up by the roots and trying to outcompete with strawberries… sigh. If it’s not one thing, it’s another, isn’t it? 😉


    • Re: catfeet1 – Thanks for taking time to visit my tiny blog.
      Snow on the Mountain? That must be one of those many plants that don’t like my long, hot, dry summers here in Southwest Oklahoma, Thank goodness for that!
      Happy Gardening


  6. Augh! Depressing. We had the dollar weed in south Georgia. What a nightmare! I’m right there with ya.


  7. How can I send you an email?


  8. Comment Posted from Elijah Taylor
    I had the following first time comment typed up to submit to your post Re: Bindweed, however I don’t use any of the services you required for signing in (Facebook, Twitter, WordPress etc).

    So I figured I’d pass along what I had typed up so you can at least have it:

    > I was just talking to an Agronomist friend this weekend (who works for our local state extension office in MD) about our problems with Bindweed and potential control methods.
    > His first suggestion for the most robust (and ultimately quickest) form of control was to let the bindweed have complete freedom to grow in the area to be treated. Once maximum leaf count has been achieved then spray with glyphosate. Allowing the bindweed to fully grow gives much more area for the glyphosate to be absorbed and deliver a far more damaging dose to the full root structure than intermediate spraying of small surface sprouts. This requires giving up a section of the growing area for an entire season (or 2), however you can potentially kill it off in a year (if really lucky :). In the end this will likely provide the quickest method for control.
    > With regards organic control, the story is pretty straightforward, namely you need to pull early, and often. The key is to starve the plant system for the sunlight it needs for nutrient production. Along these lines I’ve read that pinching the leaves is better than pulling the sprouts as the remaining rhizome chunks in the soil when pulling, will temporarily increase the # of plants, however its much quicker to pull (in our experience) than to pluck leaves.
    > It has been suggested that this can eliminate the plant structure sufficiently in 2-3 years, if you never let them get beyond the 4 leaf size. This requires (almost) daily pulling, but if you make it part of your routine, I think you will find that after the huge initial effort, it starts to pay off.
    > Another option is to flame the new sprouts. Similar to plucking the leaves, this doesn’t create new growing areas by disturbing the root structure like when you pull the plant, and can be done more quickly without the need to bend over. We’ve not tried this yet, however if our efforts this year haven’t proven successful in killing back the population for next year, we will likely go this route.
    > One other thing to consider, regardless of which method you choose, is that the plant structure can be quite large laterally. So from what I understand, bindweed sprouts hundreds of feet apart can actually be from the same plant structure. What this means is that in order to achieve lasting results, you cannot be aggressive in one area with control, but let it run wild in another, as it can still gather sufficient nutrients from the un-controlled area to regrow in the area you have attempted to control (especially problematic if you grow adjacent large-scale farms like we do).
    > Anyway, been a reader for a while, but decided to chime in since this subject is so ‘near to our hearts’ 🙂 Also, FWIW, this is all just from our own research, and I claim no special credentials in any of this, just passing along what we have found.

    Good luck with the bindweed!


  9. Johnson grass is it’s competitor. I’ve tried everything to rid my garden spot and it just comes back. The raised beds with landscape material at least keeps it from choking my plants. The first year I grew here made me cry. Along the river the soil is so good but I can’t plant directly due to the grass.


  10. marieandtheappletree

    what about cover it over with cardboard boxes and old straw and smother it to death, that way you don’t have to spend money on herbicides. Or these people oversow with buckwheat to try and gain control of it


  11. You are not the only one. Listen thanks for the visit to my humble blog and I hope you enjoyed your stay. MM 🍓


  12. Interesting, we call that stuff creeping jenny. Morning glory for us has a much larger flower. My father-in-law always said there was no way to spray for that stuff. The best you can do is plant something that chokes it out. The weed we have loves it when we till because it can get a better hold. We have also found that pulling it is fine if we toss it in the garbage. It seems to “seed” off the dead plants if we leave them on a pile in an area where they weren’t before. Good luck getting rid of them.


  13. And I thought it was a seed problem…


    • Re: Lynda – Bind weed most usually is introduced from seed washing in from run off rain water, bird droppings or in my case from cow manure compost and or mulch.Once it arrives and germinates, you will have a long hard battle to control and hopefully some day eliminate this aggressive vine.
      Happy gardening.


  14. I had some in my old garden years ago and was amazed at how deep the roots went. Now at our “new” place, after 21 years, it has slunk into this garden too. ARRGGHH!


  15. Johnny Ojanpera

    That’s horrible. I bought a load of cow manure once to mix with my soil, about 12 years ago, and I have yet to get rid of the grass that came with it. I have used roundup a few times, but to no avail. I hand pull it once a week now, and planted various cacti in the effected area as nothing else can grow there. Luckily it isn’t for food. I hope you can save your garden.


  16. I had no idea about Morning Glory being such an invasive weed. Of course, I’m all new to most gardening, but I wouldn’t have known this and am thankful I haven’t planted any for the flowers! I hope you get something to work!


  17. Good luck on controlling it. We sprayed several areas on the farm every year for twenty years and only kept it from spreading. John Tucker


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