Icee Blue Juniper Care - Knowledgebase Question

Boise, ID
Question by arc5
June 14, 2005
I have a bed of 31 Icee Blue junipers that is being infested by bindweed. Is there any kind of broadleaf weed killer I can use on the bindweed without damaging the junipers? Thanks,Ann


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Answer from NGA
June 14, 2005

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Using herbicides around established plants is risky business. Some, such as Round-Up, can be translocated to the roots, which may affect the roots of your junipers. Bindweed spreads from seeds and roots, but it's the roots that cause the most problems. Like quackgrass, every piece of root left in the soil after tilling can sprout a new plant. There's no easy way to get rid of it. There are, however, ways to control bindweed without using herbicides. Bindweed is resilient. The only way to beat it is to deplete energy reserves stored in its roots. This means removing every last trace of the plant, waiting 10 days or so and doing it again, and again, as many times as necessary. Pull sprouts by hand or use a long-handled hoe or weeder. I'd remove as much as possible by hand and then cover as much of the area as possible with black plastic. Even bindweed will eventually die if deprived of light. Some organic gardeners faced with aggressive weeds use flamers, or propane torches on long handles. Several kinds made for gardeners are commercially available. Whichever method you use, be consistent. It might take three growing seasons to remove bindweed from your garden.

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