The widespread arable weed has its peak season between June and September: During this time, the proliferating weed forms long, thin shoots that wind around everything they come across: preferably (ornamental) plants and garden fences. If the bindweed doesn’t find anything to climb onto, it crawls along the ground until it finds something to hold on to. It not only spreads above ground, but also forms root systems up to two meters deep underground. This makes it even more difficult to permanently banish the overgrown plant from the garden. Apart from that, the funnel-shaped, mostly white-pink colored flowers serve as a source of food for both bees and other insects. If you still want to declare war on the field bindweed, you will find a few helpful tips and tricks below.

As already mentioned, bindweed is difficult to eliminate. This is mainly due to their roots, which sit deep in the earth – and continue to form new sprouts if even the smallest parts (the size of one centimeter is enough) remain in the ground when they are removed. In addition, the plant continues to reproduce through its seeds, which are carried by the wind. It is therefore difficult to control the situation while the underground roots grow up to three meters long in just one year. So you only have two options if you want to get rid of the field bindweed: either remove them permanently (over a long period of time) or you tolerate the weeds in your garden and simply enjoy the beautiful flowers. And only remove visible shoots from plants that are heavily overgrown. Otherwise, it can happen that entire bushes literally suffocate under the tangles of the field bindweed.

Pulling out a field bindweed is absolutely pointless because its shoots are so thin that they will tear off immediately under strong pull. It makes more sense to cut off the visible shoots at ground level with a garden hoe – and ideally to do this all season long. As a result, the plant constantly has to rely on its reserves in the rootstocks, which will eventually be used up. Which in turn means that the field bindweed no longer has the strength to form new shoots. It usually takes a whole season before this happens.

Important to know: Do not dispose of any root residues from the field bindweed in the compost, as it would sprout again there, but rather with organic waste.

Another way to combat bindweed is to cover the affected areas with some cardboard or weed film – then pour some bark mulch on top. However, keep in mind that all shoots of the plant must first be cut off at ground level. The lack of light is intended to prevent weeds from spreading further. However, this method does not smother seeds in the soil, which can remain there for several years before sprouting.

Important to know: The weed film should remain on the ground for at least a year before it can be removed again.

Of course, there are also chemical treatments for bindweed, but these have one major disadvantage: They have to be applied to each individual plant (more precisely, each leaf!) in order to work – without affecting other plants. This is not only very time-consuming, but also not very promising. Because one treatment is usually not enough. In addition, field bindweeds are real survivors and are quite capable of developing a certain resistance to herbicides. The use of chemical agents is therefore rather questionable. Especially since weed killers containing glyphosate are only permitted on areas used for agriculture, forestry and horticulture, according to the Plant Protection Act.

If you don’t want to use any of the methods mentioned, but you’re not a fan of herbicides either, there is another home remedy for combating field bindweed. Proceed as follows: First, all visible plant shoots of the weeds are removed, then pour boiling water over the roots. When the wind blows young, they are scalded and die. Older shoots can survive the attack, but are still weakened.

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