Are there organic controls for field bindweed?
M.P. Kansas Answer: Bindweed is very difficult to control organically. Field bindweed roots of two inches or more that are not brought to the surface and dried out by the sun can re-grow. Repeated tillage for several years should decrease the numbers of bindweed, but it is difficult to control with tillage only. The ATTRA publication Field Bindweed Control Alternatives discusses a five-year, non-chemical strategy developed by Fred Kirschenmann using cultivation and cropping rotations to control field bindweed. The University of Nebraska Extension booklet (below) offers other suggestions that may be useful. The use of bindweed mite, Acercia malherbae, is an option to consider. The mites feed on bindweed only and have proved useful in helping control bindweed in certain dry land sites. The Colorado State University Extension booklet (below) provides useful information about the mite’s use.ResourcesATTRA publication:Field Bindweed Control AlternativesHodges, Laurie. 2003. Bindweed identification and control options for organic production. University of Nebraska Extension – Lincoln. NF03-585. 5 p. http://ianrpubs.unl.edu/horticulture/nf585.htm Hammon, Bob. 2004. Managing field bindweed with the bindweed mite Aceria malherbae. Colorado State University Extension. 4 p. www.coopext.colostate.edu/TRA/PLANTS/bindweedmite.html