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Is it quite normal to be constantly battling against horsetail and bindweed. I'm not giving in but it would make me feel better if I knew others had this continual battle to deal with



Once you have them, yes its normal... sorry! Both have roots that can go down several feet and are brittle, so weedkiller is a better bet than digging. For bindweed among other plants train it up canes so there's lots of foliage then lay them flat, protect surrounding plants and spray.

22 Jun, 2013


Horsetail isn't much of a problem in the desert, and bindweed is only an occasional--though severe, when it shows up--nuisance, here. They do tend to make gardeners pull their hair out in northern Arizona, though. Our two betes noires here in the low desert are nutsedge and bermudagrass. We usually joke about "job security" whenever we commiserate with each other! : /

22 Jun, 2013


Hi Mrkieron. welcome to G O Y, you are definitely not alone, fortunately I don't have bindweed, {he says confidently,} but I certainly get plenty of the others, I think it's 1 of the drawbacks of having an acid soil, try liming your soil, or the water you have used to boil cabbage, it doesn't get rid of them,{nothing does that on a permanent basis,} but it does slow them down a bit, but being a gardener is a bit like being a priest, forever on your knees, Derek.

22 Jun, 2013


I grow on chalk and is very alkaline. I too have bindweed. I find it better to keep pulling the top foliage off until about September and then I use glyphosphate then. it gets taken down to the underground stems and then overwinter, kills it off.

22 Jun, 2013


Oh Dear, YES, it's normal. We have quite chalky soil here, too, and bindweed gallops across the surface of my vegetable garden in record time. Digging is quite useless. I do as SBG does, but put glyphosate on in early spring, after I have done the first dig-over of the year, before panting anything out: it works for a bit, but I doubt anything will eradicate it completely.

23 Jun, 2013


Thanks everyone for your valuable input. I'll take on board what's been said and carry on the good fight!

23 Jun, 2013


the only way to deal with either (and I spent 15 years trying to dig out bindweed!) is to clear the entire area of any plants you want to keep. Don't plant anything else either. Spray in the spring as soon as there is sufficient foliage (couple of feet) ensure you spray the undersides of the leaves thoroughly. Let it die back - then see what grows again - and repeat. You may have to do this for 2-3 years if they are well established. Only replant the areas when all traces are gone!! Tough but true!

23 Jun, 2013


Wel, I too spend about half an hour a day going round the garden and pulling up as much bindweed as I can, but even so some of it manages to hide for long enough to suddenly appear in tangles through perennials or waving at the tops of my roses! It's good to know I'm not alone!

23 Jun, 2013


I sympathise, only yesterday I was freeing up my fruit bushes from bindweed. When the soil is friable ( a rare occurrence, being clay on chalk it is usually brick-hard or very claggy) I tease the roots out of the ground. At the beginning and end of the growing season the leaves and stems get a covering of weedkiller. One year I wasn't well enough to keep on top of it and it spread into my greenhouse and under a concrete path into another area of the garden. There isn't a great deal in the surrounding countryside, it seems to prefer cultivated ground.

25 Jun, 2013


I'm just gonna keep trying to dig the horsetail out as much as possible. I'm sure that if I keep digging out the shoots as they appear, sooner or later the lattice of roots are going to run out of energy reserves. At the end of the day it needs to photosynthesise to produce carbohydrates. Without the green chlorophyll shoots its going to struggle. Does that make sense?

1 Jul, 2013


Hi, I too have horsetail. Have been battling with it forever. In the past I've dug it out but then if I've not attended to the garden for a while it has soon come back. This year I have vowed to keep on top of it and pull out each and everyone one as it comes through. Except for a small patch of garden where I'm going to allow it to grow as it's a difficult area to keep plants. I'll post a picture. How did you get on last year after your post and above replies?

2 May, 2014


Steragram said it all. Much better not to dig it out - you'll get 3 or 4 where one grew before since the underground stems break off when pulled, and new plants grow from underground near the breaks. Weedkiller is the only hope you have, and even that isn't 100% effective. I've been treating my vegetable garden for 3 years now, and gradually, gradually things are improving, but not very quickly. That applies to mares' tails AND bindweed.

4 May, 2014

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