June 11, 2013

this is terrifying

Root system of field bindweed (can be up to 20 feet deep), Convolvulus arvensis.
Redrawn from B. F. Kiltz. 1930. J. Amer. Soc. Agron. 22:216-234.

We've been in an almost constant struggle with bindweed since planting our annual beds. It leaves me wondering: Is there some permaculture-based reasoning to embrace bindweed? Not that I know of. I read that it is possible to eliminate bindweed from cultivated areas after 3–5 years of dedicated removal.

Predictably, there is almost no bindweed in our sheet mulched beds. But most of the annual beds we planted were in the existing soil since it is relatively good soil that was already tilled and cultivated in past years. Plus, it takes a lot of effort to accumulate materials for sheet mulching, so we started small.

Well, we will continue to remove every root segment of bindweed that we find. That is, at least in the annual beds–the mallow, dandelion, etc. is fortunately keeping it away from the more wild part of the yard.

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