[permaculture] how to deal with bind weed

Scott Pittman scott at permaculture.org
Tue Mar 18 11:18:28 EDT 2008

Bind weed is a big problem in New Mexico since the seeds are carried by the
irrigation ditches from field to field.

I recently obtained some gall mites (Aceria malherbae)that predate on
bindweed from the agricultural experiment station (Alcalde Agricultural
Science Research Center) nearby and put them out this past summer.  They
seem to be very successful at the station and I hope I get the same results.
They don't kill the bindweed but so weaken it that other crops can smother
it out.  The mite was brought into the U.S. by Texas A&M and are slowly
being released to various USDA research stations. Once the mite gets a
foothold then it is dispersed by mowing, or spreading clippings of the
infected bindweed by hand.  It helps if the infected bindweed is wrapped
around the stalks of the healthy bindweed to better the chances of spreading
the mite.  The mite is very small and only moves about a foot in its life
time.  You can get more information at http://www.nmsu.edu/search.html and
in the search panel write bindweed gall mite.

The mite comes from Turkey which is the home of bindweed.  Bindweed is a
nitrogenous plant and incredible persistent in irrigated land. Bindweed has
roots that reach up to 20 feet into the ground so is extremely difficult to
eradicate. Sheep and goats will knock them back but once the animals are
removed the weed comes back using the carbohydrates stored in its roots to
reemerge. I have also read that bindweed doesn't do well in a pumpkin patch
but I haven't tried that.

Good Luck,

Scott Pittman
Permaculture Institute

-----Original Message-----
From: permaculture-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:permaculture-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of trevor william
Sent: Monday, March 17, 2008 5:24 PM
To: permaculture
Subject: [permaculture] how to deal with bind weed

  i just started my new job today as a farm manager and the land has  
a problem with bindweed...Convolvulus arvensis...i need some advice  
on how to deal with it.  Thanks

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