Bind weed

PINC pinc at
Fri Aug 18 12:03:41 EDT 2000

I haven't been keeping up with the bindweed conversation as it no longer is
much of a problem for me. Since the conversation is still happening, I
thought I would share how I resolved the bindweed issue on my ¾ acre garden.

Bindweed came when I imported mushroom compost into my yard (before I knew
about permaculture) and yes it was for a dastardly lawn!!!!!! (which has
since been mulched). It had spread through out my entire garden.  I sheet
mulched it with cardboard and newspaper in the spring. By the time it
emerges mid summer, most of the oomph is taken out of it and it becomes a
nice green ground cover and doesn't have enough energy to twine up the
plants. Other places it has been shaded out. I have never seen it grow
vigorously under plants like comfrey and rhubarb.  It also prefers compacted
soil (according to an article I read about it). Once the soil is cushy and
soft, it is easy to pull. Digging & cultivating also propagates it. We don’
t' dig we only fork which lifts the roots out better. I'm sure once it's
there it will always be there but permaculture gardening methods seem to
minimize maintenance and I don't consider it a "problem" any more. I also
feed it to my chickens and they seem to like it. Geese will also eat it.
Good luck!


-----Original Message-----
From: mbgrey [mailto:MBGREY at]
Sent: Friday, August 18, 2000 4:25 AM
To: permaculture
Subject: Re: Bind weed

It invaded in a very small strawberry patch. I covered the whole area with
black plastic about two weeks ago. The bindweed is creeping up through
Marty Grey
Meadow Medicinals
11795 State Route 78
Caldwell, OH 43724

From: "Mike Skinner (Easy Hay)" <EasyHay at>
Reply-To: "permaculture" <permaculture at>
Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2000 15:29:21 -0500
To: "permaculture" <permaculture at>
Subject: RE: Bind weed

Arina saidŠ.
I heard of a BD approach, that sounded this way:
3 consecutive years of pumpkins will smother the bindweed. Well, here we
also have the ferocious squash bug that will destroy all the pumpkins.
But once we move in our new house, that is choked by the bindweed from 3
sides, even some is growing up the drain inside  the house, I will try a lot
of biomass and pumpkins.

Mike said:

In exasperaton, I ve tried to figure what niche bindweed was filling. To me
it seems,

that being deep-rooted, it is breaking the hard pan, bringing up nutrients,
as well

as keeping the ground from blowing as a result of clean farming or heavy

So, by my thinking, if we stopped making hard pan, possibly deep ripped,

tilth, (like green manure Austrian Winter Peas), and leave cover on the
ground, we

might help Mother Nature, the same way bindweed does.

Arina said:
I think this approach may also help with the thistle - to plant deep rooted
plants that will break the soil. The bindweed, though has a different kind
of root, not the tap, but more runner type. It seems to be intimidated by a
good stand of red clover - still grows, but more modest looking, and less

Mike¹s new thought:

    Arina, But, then, red clover might be pernicious.  I wonder if another
viney crop, indigenous, Buffalo Gourd, would work, like pumpkins, but it¹s
perennial, too.

    Also, I¹ve used bi-annual stubble turnips, successfully, to break up
hard pan. Cost is around $4 per pound,

but the tiny seeds cover a lot of area. Austrian Winter peas are also viney
and strangle bindweed.

A smattering of kenaf or red top cane, (early sumac) or sterile hybrids,
would add height to a mix, and allow trellising, and further keep light off
the ground-hugging bindweed.


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