How to win the weed war

14 common garden invaders and the best ways to control them

Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis)

Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis)

Also called wild morning glory, bindweed grows in open areas.  Its 1- to 4-foot-long stems crawl along the ground and twine over and around other plants.

Pulling usually doesn't eradicate it ― the stems break off, but the weed returns from the roots. To control its spread, you'll have to dig the roots out repeatedly (persistence is required). It's important not to let bindweed set seed, since the hard-coated seeds can sprout after lying dormant for 50 years!

Best control is prevention. Remove flowers before they set seed, and pull or hoe seedlings. Kill established plants by regularly cutting to the ground any stems that have reached six inches tall.

For chemical control, in midsummer, when bindweed is at the height of its growth season but has not yet set seed, spot-treat isolated patches with glyphosate.

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