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Happy gardening!

Friday, 29 February 2008

Weeding out the worst!

One of the weeds that I have become very familiar with over the last years has been bindweed - and once it gets established it's an absolute sod ( nice gardening term!) to get rid of!! So whilst digging through various beds for a client today I thought I'd take a picture of the roots of Bind Weed that you want to keep a careful watch for... white wiggly roots - when they're young they can be v. thin and as they get established they thicken up! If you find any, take care to get the whole root out - leaving even a few millimetres of one in the soil will cause a new plant to take root - much like Dandylions and Thistles too. I would never recommend using a rotavator on an uncultivated area especially if you've got any of these weeds growing there... I'm afraid it's double digging or if you have to - I know many people will use weedkiller!

I must admit I'm pretty reticent to use chemicials in the garden - especially after discovering the reasons why Derris Powder (used to get rid of ants and other such creatures) is likely to be removed from shop shelves in the UK by September 2008 (according to Garden's Monthly Feburary 2008). Rotenone is a natural product extracted from the roots of derris plants and has been found to possibly contribute to the onset of Parkinson's during recent research in the USA at Emory University in Atlanta. I've never liked the idea of using chemical weedkillers particularly on an area where you are going to grow vegetables despite the instructions on glyphosate saying that it is quite safe for this purpose and would rather resort to more organic methods.


Happy digging!!

6 comments:

Carol said...

Bindweed is also bad here in the United States. A lot of new gardeners confuse it with morning glories, but it is so much worse! I would almost consider moving if I ended up with a bunch of bindweed in my garden.

Carol, May Dreams Gardens

Miranda Bell said...

Hi Carol - thanks for dropping by... totally agree! One tip that I picked up which works well is if you do have it... by placing 1m canes in the ground near to where it's located - let the bind weed climb up and then paint on a small quantity of systemic weedkiller - that way given time the whole plant and root gets killed off... this is one of the instances that I would use a weedkiller!

Cheryl said...

Lots of useful tips Miranda, thank you for that. I do not use chemicals as you know, and I have a constant struggle with bindweed that comes over from my neighbours garden!!

Connie said...

I battle the evil bindweed, too! I guess you could say it binds us gardener's together, though we are half a world apart, ha.

kate said...

Bindweed looks as if it has much the same sort of root structure as quack grass. Leaving just a tiny bit in the ground means it will soon be sending up new shoots in record-setting times.

Miranda Bell said...

That's the one...it basically strangles everything and if left long enough produces white trumpet like flowers! It's always very satisfying when you put the fork in and a whole mass comes out - not so good when you can still see it emerging at this time of year because you still missed a bit!