Emsworth Horticultural Society

Useful Gardening Advice- Weed Control

Emsworth Horticultural Society
Updated 15th April 2021
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Last Updated: 14.05.21 11:21 v1
Emsworth Horticultural Society
Remove all old bindweed strands in winter/early spring, and place tall bamboo canes near the main growing points. Carefully train new growth up the canes. The more greenery you have the more effective spraying will be. Carefully remove the cane and let the bindweed drop. And carefully ease it into a plastic bag on the ground. (Anything from a dustbin bag to a supermarket bag, depending on the quantity you are dealing with). You want enough space to be able to fully spray the bindweed lying in the bag on the ground with systemetic weedkiller, from within the bag. Prop the bag open with smaller canes and masking tape if need be, so the spray can dry. When the spray is fully dry the plastic bag can be removed, but I usually leave the bag there until the bindweed has died completely died back, probably about 4 weeks. Then dig up as much as you can of the root. Keep repeating this exercise (with diminished growth each time) until…. When we came back from 3 years living abroad in summer 1993 the ‘nice greenery’ at the bottom of the garden turned out to be bindweed growing in ropes one inch thick, and wound round established plants. There was no way we could deal with it then, so I did as above the following spring. It took a number of treatments to eradicate, but it’s not come back.
Eradicating/Reducing Bindweed
Other Options for Shielding/Protecting Plants
CONE – the Richard Sanderson method: Make a cone from a 2 ltr plastic drinks bottle. Cut off the base so you just have a cylinder. Cut off the top so you have a slight curve. Cut from one end to the other, so you have a naturally folding in ‘cone’ that can be placed round small plants. You can make a taller cone by adding another plastic drinks bottle, just the cylinder bit. Fix them together with masking tape on the outside, making sure the top section is inside the lower one. Use masking tape to hold the cone closed once you’ve put it round the plant, if required. It might need supporting with a bamboo cane or stick, or attaching with masking tape to an existing support. This method can be used to protect surrounding plants while spraying inside the cone, or protect a plant you want while you spray round it. Larger scale shields can also be made from slates, manure or mulch bags cut to appropriate size, propped up or weighted where you want protection, held together with masking tape. Once the weedkiller is fully dry, the props can be removed. As above, leave to fully die back before digging up.
Marestail
There is a product now that will deal with this, but you will need to keep repeating treatments while growth gradually weakens. Most of Neudorff’s products are organic, based on pelargonic acid (made from pelargoniums). Beware virtually all Neudorff’s sprays look the same. You want the Fast Acting and Long Lasting Weedkiller, which also has maleic hydrazide (whatever that is), and a picture of horsetail on the front. The whole cap is red, not just part of it. (Keydells is the only garden centre nearby I have found to have reliable stocks of Neudorff). Use one or more of the shielding options above to protect other plants, or to spray into a cone. The marestail above ground will die off within 24 hours. You can’t dig it up because the roots go down some 2m or more, and it will just regrow. You just have to keep retreating the weakening growth. I have found you usually get a better result allowing it to grow reasonably tall, rather than just zapping it the moment it reappears. As a general rule I prefer not to use chemicals, but for the above problems there really aren’t any other viable options. These are the only ones I use. If you have an intractable problem I find it is better to use chemicals to deal with it, and then go chemical free. Most of Neudorff’s products are organic. Sarah Sanderson

Advice on Eradicating Bindweed etc…

Weed Control
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