Mark's bindweed eradication program -- chemical-free!
Bindweed, a form of morning glory, is a pernicious, twining, smothering weed.
Every bit of root sprouts into a new plant, so roto-tilling a bed where bindweed exists is guaranteed to make it worse.
Bindweed apparently grows a huge tuber deep underground; measured in pounds and several feet deep, so that big core taproot can outlast you.
Bindweed demands plenty of sun. It won't grow in shade.
We have a lot of bindweed in our veg and flower beds. I weeded most of it out years ago through meticulous, obsessive hand-weeding but as soon as I stopped, the bindweed returned.
Mark -- who thinks differently -- came up with a different solution and it seems to be working. He is taking advantage of its growth habit. Over each bindweed sprout, Mark set an upended can (soup, bean, top-removed salvaged beer cans from Hershey Park).
He lets the bindweed continue to grow up into the can. No sunlight penetrates the metal. The bindweed shoots grow and grow but they're starved for light. Yet they are not ... stimulated (?) into growing more shoots because they aren't being pulled.
We've got dozens of upended cans littering the garden beds and some in the lawn too (mowing hazards but he works around them). It looks very peculiar.
Sidewalk cracks -- where we also get bindweed shoots -- got covered over with salvaged floor tiles.
After a few months, Mark's experiment seems to be working. There's less bindweed, a LOT less. The taproot doesn't seem to be sending up multiple new shoots. Remove a can and the bindweed filling it is wan and pale, looking unhealthy.
I assume Mark will leave the cans in place over the winter and into next year, replacing as needed. Starving the taproot tuber seems to be working in a way that nothing else did.
Best of all, no herbicide and very little hand weeding!
Comments and thoughts?