A Bindweed Rant

Do you have a weed in your life that is the bane of your existence, a mortal foe and a constant thorn in your side? I hope not. But if you do, I hope it is not Bindweed.

Bindweed came to the farm via a truckload of native bark mulch ( mulch intended to keep the weeds down not grace me with an enemy). This was probably fifteen years ago. I had no idea what life would be like after Bindweed’s arrival.

What is it like? Bindweed is now a part of my every gardening moment.

Each day I go on a Bindweed patrol through the gardens. I don’t have the time to go everywhere, but I do have a couple spots I hit every day in hopes of having a few Bindweed free zones. No such luck.

Even if I have pulled up all the Bindweed in a bed the day before, there are shoots 6 inches long everywhere. If I have missed a shoot or not been to that part of the garden on patrol in a couple of days, the Bindweed will be a vine several feet long and wrapped around some other plant as it heads for the sky.

You can’t just pull up Bindweed and have it go away, because even a small piece of root will happily send up a new shoot overnight and yes, the roots break into bits when you pull them up. It’s a very successful plant. I just don’t happen to like it.

Another reason Bindweed is so hard to remove is because it wraps itself around other plants. If you just grab and pull, you pull up an innocent plant that is just minding its own business while Bindweed chokes the life out of it. You have to go to the ground, find where the Bindweed emerged from the earth then pull it up and unwind it from the victim plant.

Sometimes we will be sitting at the kitchen table and I will see a particularly gnarly and aggressive Bindweed that I missed, and I will race from the table to do battle. When I dash out the door, everyone knows why.

Somehow I never expect the Spanish Inquisition OR Bindweed and I can’t believe what it does when I am not looking.

My Bindweed Battle is one battle I would love to put a wrap on. Sometimes I think of literally plowing in places like my raspberry patch where the bindweed is particularly bad and just covering the whole thing with a tarp for a year or two before starting from scratch.

My daughter Emily liked to pull up Bindweed when she was younger, but now she has a life and a baby too and not so much time for Bindweed wars. Lucky woman.

When I used to do workshops on Gardening with the Angels and Elementals, we would spend time on questions like. “What can I learn from the groundhog eating my garden?” Now I do not CARE what I am supposed to be learning from Bindweed. I just do not want to think about Bindweed anymore.

Sometimes I get tired of our long winters, but one bright spot about our winters is that at least there is no Bindweed out there.

If I was a better person, I would post a photo of Bindweed here, but I am not.

I really love almost every Flower there is and Bindweed Flower is beautiful white Flower that looks like a Morning Glory, BUT I AM NOT going to dignify Bindweed with a photo, so, if you are fortunate enough not to know this plant, just imagine a incredibly fast growing, long, twisting vine that chokes the life out of every other plant in the garden before throwing off a few white Flowers.

Thanks for letting me rant! Can you tell where I have been this morning ands what I have been doing? Head down in the bushes, pulling up Bindweed.