Gardening Q&As: How do we keep bindweed from taking over the lawn?

Q. We’re already finding bindweed in patchy areas of our lawn. What can I do so it doesn’t take over?

By Marissa Sutfin
Colorado State University Extension Master Gardener in Larimer County

A: Bindweed and most other weeds will have difficulty surviving in a well-maintained lawn. Colorado’s drought stressed soil is a perfect home for this creeping perennial. While temporarily decreasing its vigor, pulling bindweed can be largely ineffective due to its extensive and 20-foot-deep root system.

Bindweed mites can be used, but they are effective only in dry landscapes, not irrigated lawns. If you do decide to use an herbicide, choose a systematic post-emergent product and follow the instructions very carefully taking precautions to protect your health and surrounding plants. Products containing the chemical quinclorac are most effective for controlling bindweed in lawns. Most products listed for control of bindweed may not be used in your flower or vegetable beds, so read and follow the label exactly.

Bindweed is frustrating at best, but with a focus on increasing the competitiveness of your lawn, over time you will see results. Increase the length of your turf, mowing to no shorter than 2 to 3½ inches, depending on turf species, and establish uniform irrigation. Focus on increasing and maintaining the health of your lawn through proper aeration, irrigation, reseeding and fertilization. For more information, please consider the information below.

Bindweed Control in Lawns: http://www.ext.colostate.edu/ptlk/2126.html

Controlling Bindweed: http://www.ext.colostate.edu/ptlk/2104.html

Bindweed Mites: http://www.ext.colostate.edu/ptlk/1493.html

Lawns: http://www.ext.colostate.edu/ptlk/ptlk1500.html

Rejuvenating an Existing Lawn: http://www.ext.colostate.edu/ptlk/1550.html

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