How to get rid of bindweed?

Hi there,

Does anyone have any tips for ridding a very overgrown garden of rampant bindweed? I believe it's notoriously difficult to get rid of so not sure that ordinary weedkiller would work - any tips gratefully received.

Many thanks in advance.



  • The only way we've found, unfortunately, is to dig up every single piece of root, and keep going for it year after year. I don't know any weedkillers which would work and allow you to plant there afterwards, at least immediately. At our old house, we dug up every inch of a 100ft garden and stripped out everything in order to tackle the bindweed, and we still found we'd missed bits for the next few years.
    Touch my food ... Feel my fork!
  • Bindweed will not grow on a lawn. Consider laying all the garden to grass (seed is cheaper), & after a few years dig up part of the lawn for flower beds etc.

    OR: pigs will clear an area of bindweed - could be quite muddy & smelly. And it will take a few years.
    Nice to save.
  • Thanks for the replies.

    Oink! I love the sound of getting some pigs in but not sure the neighbours would like it quite so much!

    To be honest, I wanted to avoid lawn really because of the ongoing upkeep of mowing etc. - I'd like to do something which will require very low maintenance.

    Has anyone tried clearing as much as you can and then covering the ground with that thick black sheeting stuff that cuts off light to weeds - is this effective in stopping growth at all or is the bindweed so persistent that it will just grow through that?

  • The black sheeting did reduce the bindweed for us but not eradicate it completely. We had to get rid of our lawn because the bindweed grew through it and travelled underneath it 50 feet closer to the house.
    Touch my food ... Feel my fork!
  • Hi Travel Freak

    Not been suggested but you could try a Glyphosate based weed-killer which will eventually kill off the whole plant and anything else that it lands on, but will leave the soil usable. Best to use a glove or dab application.

    The problem with bindweed, is all the energy stored in the root system - I have found golf ball size roots - You need to kill off the roots by either weed killer, removing or letting the plant waste energy by growing and being removed and not allowing the plant time ( in the sun ) to replace that energy.

    So best course of action is to immediatlety (well tomorrow), is to pull the visable bindweed and leave it to dry or turn to mush in a bin liner - do not compost. Then pull or weed kill the new growth.

    Note that any small part of the bindweed plant/ stem /root can become a new plant...

    here is what the RHS say ...
    Rich people save then spend.
    Poor people spend then save what's left.
  • Regular digging and hoeing are your best course of actions for this perennial weed. Dig out as much as possible and remove leaves as soon as you see them to exhaust energy stored in the roots - without leaves they can't replace stored energy and will eventually weaken and die (2 or 3 years for this)!
    I'm mad!!!! :rotfl::jand celebrating everyday every year!!!
  • You have to be determined............ and more persistant than it is.

    1) Dig out at much of the root as you can. Don't compost it but put it in a dustbin of water. When entirely rotten (and stinking) it makes great plant food. You can of course burn it or throw it away.

    2) When you get the inevitable regrowth from the bits of root that are left in the ground give it a bamboo cane to grow up. (Keeps it from twisting through other plants). When you have several leaves on this growth, zap it with glyphosphate (eg Tumbleweed).

    3) Keep all weeds down with regular hoeing with a very sharp hoe. (Remember to resharpen it regularly.) Believe me, frequent 15 mins of hoeing on a dryish day and leaving little weeds to die off is much quicker than struggling once the weed get big. Worse if they seed!!

    Hope some of this helps....
  • annie123annie123 Forumite
    4.3K Posts
    Hi, I am still fighting mine 4 years later! but it has got easier.

    When we moved the garden was 60 long and fence to fence bindweed about 4 foot high!!!!, not touched for 20 years according to neighbours. Shame some nice shrubs under it, which we were able to keep.

    As it was autumn when we moved in it was a bit late to spray so we cut and cleared as much as we could andcovered the garden with black sheeting from garden centre.
    I was hoping that it would all vanish, oh no, no chance of that!!!it came up through gaps I couldnt even see!, So we let it grow till June and then spent a small fortune on Tumbleweed etc.
    But it did work
    You have to spray once, then again 2 weeks later. It worked it started dieing back.
    We then dug up every bit of root we could starting at the front and just worked our way to the back of the garden.
    Then back down went the black sheeting with gravel on top. Spring came again and yes it did return but 90% less than before.
    This we tackled by hoeing/ root removal if poss/ more tumbleweed. But it was managable and allowed me to plant my garden at last. Maybe next year it wont be there, but I doubt it. From now on I will be organic gardening so just hoeing and digging for me.

    Good luck
  • Just a line to say many thanks for all the great advice, though it sounds like I've got a bit of a battle on my hands!! I've been down to do some digging today - it's blooming hard work but at least it's working off some of the turkey and chocolates!

    I'll keep persevering.

    Thanks again!
  • roswellroswell Forumite
    2.4K Posts
    I find a good way to get rid of any unwanted weeds / plants is to pour a kettle full of boiling water over them, doesnt harm the soil of the plants you dont want to kill.
    If it doesnt pay rent sell it.
    Mortgage - £2,000
    Updated - November 2012
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