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Hedge Bindweed

Calystegia sepium (L.) R. Br.


Family: Convolvulaceae

Habit: rhizomatous perennial


Ecology

Management:

Persistent removal of the shoots before they attain several leaves will exhaust the storage roots within two years and eliminate the weed (Exhaust perennial roots). This can be accomplished more quickly with deep tillage (e.g., to 1 foot, or 30 cm) that chops up and thereby weakens the storage roots. Frequently, this species may be eliminated from the core of the garden but constantly encroaches from fencelines and other peripheral areas that are difficult to weed. Consequently, such areas should be mown regularly, and the vines pulled from fences (Weeds along fences). In small areas with heavy infestations, the soil can be dug one shovelfull at a time, and the thick horizontal rhizomes picked out and discarded (Remove storage organs).

Organic mulch is completely useless against this species: hedge bindweed shoots have been observed emerging through an 18 inch (46cm) thick pile of bark mulch that was waiting to be spread! Synthetic mulch is also ineffective since the vines will follow light to the holes where the crop plants are located. This puts the vines in an optimal position for twining up the crop plants and makes hand pulling exceptionally difficult.

Useful Management Techniques