Re: [gardeners] Weeds, ain't they sumpin!

George Shirley (
Fri, 17 Jul 1998 14:46:27

At 10:51 AM 7/17/98 +0000, you wrote:
>Wow, do I have weeds!  One of the perennial favorites here is field 
>bindweed -- a ubiquitous vine with elongated, heart-shaped leaves and 
>ever so pale pink, small, morning glory shaped flowers.  Now, 
>according to one of the Field Guides to Weeds in Your Garden there 
>exist another dozen or so bindweeds, one of which is called Coastal 
>Bindweed.  Coastal bindweed is just like field bindweed except 1) 
>it's not as bad because the vines aren't as long, 2) it's a good 
>deal prettier because the blossoms are medium pink and white 
>bicolors, and 3) it occurs in more humid, coastal climates from WA 
>through OR down into CA.
>I don't know whether I should be delighted or ashamed to report that 
>coastal bindweed is thriving in the border by the house.  I am 
>astonished to find it there and even more astonished to find that it 
>is hardier than common field bindweed.  Weeds -- such adaptable 
>One thing I noticed last year and have confirmed this year is that 
>field bindweed is a powdery mildew host.  It isn't affected in the 
>slightest by PM but PM simply loves it.  Any plant that the bindweed 
>comes in contact with that is susceptible to PM gets a bad case of 
>it.  I suspect that the bindweed sneezes on the desirable plant and 
>that's the method of transmission.  A bourbon rose in the garden is 
>now being eaten by PM transmitted to it by a bindweed sneeze.  The 
>bindweed is growing strongly, or was until I pulled it, but the rose 
>has certainly slowed down a good bit.
>Where was I?  Oh, yes, coastal bindweed.  Now this prettier, shorter 
>bindweed is resistant to powdery mildew.  Completely unaffected by 
>it.  I hope that the coastal bindweed makes milquetoast of the field 
>bindweed soon.  Then it can have a shot at the china lettuce that is 
>currently sprouting in a checkerboard pattern of roughly 3 inch 
>squares around the pool in amongst the river rock.  One thing of 
>beauty -- some sort of wild sunflower type plant -- is blooming at 
>the head of the pool.  Very pretty.  So some good does come from not 
>weeding.  And I noticed that there's quite a bit of vetch growing in 
>what used to be the veggie garden and is now the most dangerous place 
>on earth.  Guess it'll be well nitrogenated for next year unless the 
>red root pigweed sucks it all this fall.
>Thank goodness it's so hot -- otherwise I'd feel compelled to weed.
>One other thing -- Marcelle, bless her, sent me a most remarkable 
>ground cover.  It, too, has morning glory shaped flowers only these 
>are hot pink with yellow centers.  Trust me that it's much prettier 
>than I just made it sound.  It's now a monster plant -- about a yard 
>or so across -- and simply lovely.  When it didn't get watered it 
>browned out and then sprouted back covered with green after it got a 
>small drink.  Amazing stuff -- it's crowded out *both* bindweeds.  
Bindweed, like morning glories, four o'clocks, wild cucumbers, and several
other "weeds" grow like, well, like weeds down here too. I don't know what
variety of bindweed we have, Miz Anne rips it out before it blooms, but it
can climb trees like a ten year old child, quick and up. I'm more of a lazy
gardener, if it ain't bothering you don't pull it up. Miz Anne says the
weeds will take over if you don't stay ahead. Guess who pulls the most
weeds. Of course I mulch everything in sight too. Glad your weeds are
keeping you happy Liz.