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How To Kill Bindweed In Lawn

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What Does Bindweed Look Like

How to Kill Morning Glory / Bindweed in My Lawn

Bindweed is a perennial vining plant that snakes its way across the ground and over fences, plants, or any other stationary thing in its path. It has medium-green, arrow-shaped leaves and white-pinkish flowers that look like those of morning glories. The leaves and flowers are small and don’t always stand out so it can be easily overlooked in a border or lawn until it has established itself.

There are two forms of the plant: Convolvulus arvensis var. arvensis and Convolvulus arvensis var. linearfolius .

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

The Spruce / Evgeniya Vlasova

What Is A Noxious Weed

Of the approximately 250,000 species of plants that exist worldwide, only about 3% behave as weeds that we dont want in cultivated areas. And just a handful of these are what we call noxious, which isnt just a word that we made up. This is an official plant classification that we apply to a small number of plants that are so harmful that we need to destroy or contain them to limit their spread.According to the WSSA , a noxious weed is any plant designated by federal, state, or local government officials as injurious to public health, agriculture, recreation, wildlife, or property.

These arent garden-variety weeds. Just because crabgrass has stepped on your prize rose bed doesnt make it a bothersome weed for everyone. In your own garden or lawn, no one decides what a weed is except you. See what weeds tell you about your soil.

But think about the word noxious. Some synonyms for it are deadly, virulent, harmful, dangerous, toxic, environmentally unfriendly, poisonous, nasty, awful well, you get the general idea. Noxious weeds are a danger to our environment and the economy. They can take over entire ecosystems, destroy natural habitats, damage agricultural production, and cause losses worth millions of dollars. As they spread to natural areas, they harm wildlife and plants and can be impossible to eradicate.

Cuddly Fact About Bindweed

  • Amazingly, a major anti-cancer drug is derived from bindweed. I am not making this up.

Which is why Ive generously opened our back yard to all scientists who need more bindweed samples.

Thats just the kind of selfless, philanthropic person I am.

Aside from finding willing takers or digging to China to reach the end of your bindweed roots, whats an organic gardener to do?

Readers EcoCatLady and RZG123 asked for my advice about dealing with bindweed on my frugal gardening post How To Avoid $100 Tomatoes, and Im glad they did because it made me feel, for a few moments, like Dear Abby or Dr. Phil. My readers think I know about such things! I thought to myself. It was a delicious moment that ended too soon after I decided that I, a Gardening and Weed Expert, should probably go water my parched garden. Which is when I discovered that a new plant had quietly begun its sneaky, determined climb to overtake the garden faucet.

Times a-wastin, my friends, and your bindweed has probably grown another ten feet while youve been reading this blog post. So without further adieu, I present you with:

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Vile Vine: Field Bindweed Can Be Devastating To Your Lawn Garden & Pasture

Perhaps no other weed invokes as much disgust throughout America as Convolvulus arvensis or field bindweed. Also referred to as morning glory, creeping Jenny, wild morning glory, and devils guts , this noxious weed is responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars in crop loss each year, not to mention the headache it causes for homeowners and gardeners. From my experience, Ive seen it overwhelm portions of my own pasture where I didnt take a more aggressive stance. In my lawn service days, I saw morning glory completely consume fences, lawns, and even a trampoline. The fight against bindweed can be long and difficult, so take immediate action the next time you spot this vile vine creeping into your lawn, garden or pasture.

How To Prevent Pigweed From Growing In Your Lawn

Controlling Bindweed: How To Get Rid Of Bindweed

There are many ways to prevent pigweed from growing on your lawn. You can use herbicides, mowing techniques, and other methods. These will help you keep it under control.


If youre having problems controlling pigweed, consider cutting back your grass regularly. Mow once every two weeks during the summer months. This will reduce the amount of sunlight reaching the plants foliage. Make sure you dont cut off all the pigweed though just enough so that the remaining vegetation doesnt get too much sun.

Herbicide Treatments:

You may need to apply a post-emergent herbicide if you havent already done so. Some people recommend applying a pre-emergence herbicide first, then a post-emergence one. I prefer to do it the opposite way around. That is, Ill apply a post-emersion herbicide first, and then wait until the next scheduled application before applying a pre-emersion herbicide. This way, Im not wasting any time waiting for the pre-emergence product to work.

If you decide to use a pre-emergency herbicide, make sure you follow label instructions carefully. Read the label closely and follow all safety precautions. Always wear gloves while handling these products.

Other Methods:

Some gardeners report success by planting a cover crop such as rye or oats between their rows of vegetables. Cover crops provide nitrogen to the soil and suppress weeds. However, some growers find that the cover crops themselves become troublesome weeds.

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Bindweed Weed Killer That Works

Bindweed is a creeping weed that typically germinates in lawns in Boulder and Fort Collins from May through August. Bindweed has a very extensive root system and often is seen with white, pink, or yellow flowers. Bindweed can often take over an entire yard or native grass area and is not susceptible to weed control even by the strongest weed killers.

It is important to kill bindweed growing in a lawn because bindweed seeds can remain viable in soils for up to 50 years. Bindweed tends to be found in drought stressed lawns and can often be controlled long term with proper lawn watering and lawn mowing practices. If you have these weeds in your Boulder or Fort Collins lawns, we will only guarantee control if we use Drive XLR8 as a post-emergent bindweed killer.

Bindweed Growing In a Lawn in Fort Collins

Will Vinegar Kill Bindweed

Vinegar can be useful for quickly tackling lots of types of weeds, due to the active ingredient of acetic acid. So you may well have heard of using it as a solution for how to kill bindweed, too.

The idea is to spray it onto the leaves , and wait for them to wilt. For bindweed, however, it wont affect those all-important roots, so its not the best approach. Youre likely to have more luck with the methods listed above, instead.

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Gardening Q& a: How Do I Control Prolific Bindweed

Question: How can I control the bindweed and thistle in my yard? They pop up everywhere in my flower beds, in my lawn and even on my patio.

Q: We just moved into a new home and want to make some changes in our landscape. Is it OK to plant trees and shrubs in the summer, or should we wait until fall?

A: Although spring is the best time to plant in Colorado, it is safe to plant trees and shrubs as long as the project is completed by the end of October. After planting, water the plant deeply, then apply a 3-inch layer of mulch from the outer half of the root ball to 1 foot beyond the plant’s dripline . Do not place mulch near the trunk of the tree or shrub. Then, water again. Expect to water your new trees and shrubs more often in the heat of summer. Check them twice a week by sticking your finger in the root ball, close to the trunk, to determine if the soil is moist. Your objective is to keep the rootball evenly moist not soggy and to not allow it to dry out completely. Water regularly in fall and winter on warm days above 40 degrees using a hose and sprinkler .

Bridget Tisthammer has received training through Colorado State University Extension’s Master Gardener program and is a Master Gardener volunteer for Larimer County.

More help on these topics

How To Identify Bindweed:

How To Control Bindweed in a Lawn Without Chemicals! Learn How Improper Watering Promotes Bindweed

To properly identify bindweed, it is important to note that the florals resemble the identity of morning glories, but there is nothing glorious about these invasive vines. They grow vines all over the yard or they are wrapped around other plants, which could possibly smother and kill them. The blooms can be white or pink. Both colors have grown in my yard.

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Video Answer: Jolly Interesting Facts

Cannas frequently referred to as Canna Lily though not truly a lily is also considered non-toxic to dogs. Of course, this doesnt mean dogs should be fed these plants intentionally, but rather that pet parents shouldnt panic if their dog happens to grab a bite of either of these colorful plants.

The short answer is: Yes, dogs can eat capers. These tangy buds are not toxic to dogs and have never been added to ASPCAs list of plants that may have systemic effects on dogs and/or intense effects on their gastrointestinal tracts.

The processionary caterpillar is here dangerous for humans, deadly for dogs. They are called pine processionary caterpillars and its likely youve seen them at some point walking in a long line across the floor of a pine forest. This natural spectacle not only catches the eye of humans but also of dogs.

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Effectively Control Weeds From The Start

If youve attempted to keep weeds out of your lawn and garden but feel like itâs a losing battle, The Grounds Guys can help. Our service professionals can help get your garden and lawn off to a great start by identifying problem areas and recommending a comprehensive plan to keep your lawn and garden weed-free. To get started, call us at 888-929-8188 or request an estimate online today!

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Ideal Time For Weed Control

For Controlling Bindweed in lawns: Varies from year to year, but we typically get the best weed control on bindweed towards the end of May / early June or anytime that bindweed is up and actively growing.

For Controlling Crabgrass: Varies from year to year, but we typically get the best crabgrass control towards the end of June / early July, because this is when crabgrass germinates. Young crabgrass is easier to control than mature crabgrass.

How Do I Control Bindweed : Safer Brand Fast Acting Weed and Grass Killer Spray ...

The first steps towards controlling bindweed in lawns include providing adequate nitrogen fertilization , timely and uniform irrigation, and mowing the lawn in the range of 2½ to 3 inches. These practices alone can substantially, over the course of a couple of years, reduce the amount of bindweed in a lawn. Bindweed can be more quickly controlled when proper management is combined with judicious herbicide use. Pre-emergence herbicides are useless for controlling bindweed. Because of its very deep and extensive root system, systemic post-emergence products must be used.

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How To Kill Bindweed

Q What is the best method for controlling bindweed?

A When Which? Gardening magazine trialled methods of controlling bindweed, we found that there are no easy wins, as bindweed grows so intimately with other plants that its almost impossible to eradicate without causing collateral damage. We suggest a three-pronged approach based on a combination of our most successful results. Firstly, dig out all the roots you can easily reach this significantly reduced the number of stems we treated and cut the amount of bindweed the following spring. Encourage the bindweed stems you cant dig out to grow up canes, away from the foliage of other plants so you can kill off the weed entirely by applying glyphosate. Glyphosate gel is the best choice here it was the only weedkiller that didnt splash onto ornamental plants and cause damage in our trial.

Caption: Paint glyphosate gel onto the leaves of bindweed so it doesn’t get on other plants

Q Are there concerns about glyphosate use?

A The main concern is that glyphosate can cause cancer. A second concern is the negative effect glyphosate use has on bee health. However it is legal to use. Find out more about glyphosate.

Q What is the best organic control for bindweed?

A Dig out as much bindweed as you can and keep digging up the bits that sprout from the roots youll inevitably leave behind.

Q Can a heavy-duty weedkiller kill bindweed?

Organic And Chemical Approaches For Bindweed Control

Both boiling water and non-selective herbicides can be used to get rid of bindweed. Both of these options can kill any plant where applied. These methods are ideal for areas where bindweed is growing but there are no other plants you wish to save. These would be areas like driveway cracks, empty vegetable beds, and vacant lots.

To use boiling water to kill bindweed, simply boil some water and pour it on the bindweed. If possible, pour the boiling water about 2 to 3 feet beyond where the bindweed is growing so that you can get as much of the roots as possible.

If you are using an herbicide, apply it heavily to the bindweed plant and re-apply every time the plant reappears and reaches 12 inches in length.

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How Should You Dispose Of Bindweed Roots

As youll now know, the roots of bindweed are the source of the problem, so youll need to dispose of them correctly. Definitely avoid putting them on the compost heap theyll only survive and then be spread around your yard as you use it. Instead, youll need to bag them up and put them out with other garden waste for collection.

There are specific disposal dos and donts when learning how to get rid of poison ivy too our guide explains all.

You can put your bindweed out with your other garden waste

Prevent Field Bindweed From Germinating And Taking Root


Field bindweed is a perennial broadleaf that has a root system that is 20 or 30 feet deep or more, making this plant very difficult to control.

This weed trails for several feet along the ground, forming a mat until it finds something to climb, such as shrubs, perennials, annuals or vegetables. It has a white or pinkish-purple 1- to 2-inch trumpet-shaped flower that is open until late afternoon, when it closes to reopen the next morning.

Field bindweed may root wherever a piece of the plant touches the soil, so if pulling, make sure to pick up each piece. Bindweed is very drought-tolerant and seems to thrive in clay soils.

You can control field bindweed by vigilantly removing the top growth from the plants. This will eventually starve out the plant, but this can take some time and requires constant removal. Existing plants in the lawn also can be eliminated with granular broadleaf weed killers. Preen Lawn Weed Control and Preen One Lawncare, for example, kill mallow in lawns without harming the surrounding turf grass.

For garden beds, Preen Mulch with Extended Control Weed Preventer is a high-quality hardwood product enhanced with weed-preventer that keeps field bindweed seeds from germinating and taking root in your garden. Preen Mulch with Extended Control Weed Preventer comes in Russet Red, Midnight Black and Chestnut Brown, and is available at Lowes and select independent garden centers. Always read and follow label directions.

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What Does Morning Glory Weed Look Like

To identify Morning Glory Weed , look for small, alternating, arrow-head shaped leaves with lobes at the base and pointed tips. Invasive Morning Glory vine will grow prostrate on the ground unless offered a support of some kind, so youll frequently find tentacle-like vines of Morning Glory Weed stretching from tangled mats of itself in search of structures to climb. When stems are broken, they tend to leak a milky sap.

Trumpet-shaped, white or pink flowers about an inch in diameter bloom each summer and are similar looking to true Morning Glory flowers. Two tiny bracts usually appear on each flowers stem.

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Bindweed: A Noxious Weed

Bindweed controlThis isnt a weed you can control by hand pulling unless youre willing to devote years or your entire life to the task. Trying to hoe it up simply helps bindweed spread. The recommended control in landscape beds and vegetable gardens has been glyphosate . Glyphosate is a nonselective herbicide that kills any green plant tissue it touches. When treating in shrub borders and gardens spray on a still day. It might be a good idea to put up a cardboard shield to protect the desirable plants from any drift. A word of caution, do not use glyphosate in a lawn as it will kill your grass.Controlling bindweed in a lawn is a little easier as removing a broadleaf weed from a grassy lawn allows the use of more chemical options. Combination products containing 2, 4-D, dicamba and MCPP have proven to be effective as well as triclopyr. Another product on the market contains the active ingredient quinclorac. This product is often used in combination with other herbicides. Quinclorac is very stable and does not break down in grass clippings. So if you use this product do not catch the clippings for compost or mulch. It can also damage tree and shrub roots so avoid application within the dripline of any tree or shrub.

Have questions? The Garden Hotline is staffed by trained EMG volunteers and Extension staff who will assist you with questions.

Phone: 715-7050

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