morning glory #147440 - Ask Extension


morning glory #147440

Asked August 16, 2013, 9:50 AM EDT

Morning glory invaded my strawberry beds about 3 years ago. I constantly remove, but this year I've lost the war. Any suggestions? I think I may need to remove strawberries (bare root) and poison the soil. Can I do this now? How long can the plants survive in a fridge?

Washington County Oregon

Expert Response

Good day, and thank you for using Ask an Expert.  

Morning glory, also known as bindweed, is a tough perennial weed to eliminate.  But you can win.  To do so, you must persist in your efforts on a regular basis for several consecutive years.  If you take a break for even a brief time, the weed will rebuild its reserves, then return stronger than before.   You mentioned that the morning glory is in your strawberry patch.  So, the unfortunate thing is that the bindweed has benefited from the water and fertilizer given to the berry plants.  As a rule, because strawberry production gradually declines with time, the beds are generally renovated every three years.  (See the link to “Growing strawberries in your home garden” below.)  Discarding the strawberry plants when they stop producing this year, will provide an advantage to getting rid of the bindweed.  

To get rid of the morning glory, first decide whether or not you are willing to use herbicides.  Whatever your choice, know that you must be persistent for several years in order to win.  The goal with both methods is to starve the roots so that they can’t re-grow the following season.
1. Without herbicides: Dig out as much as you can, including the lengthy, often superficial roots.  The downside to digging is that all remaining root fragments will re-grow, either this season or next.  So, inspect the area regularly, at least every 3 weeks – more often is okay, too – and remove all visible new growth.  
2. With a non-selective herbicide: The advantage of using a non-selective herbicide that contains glyphosate as the active ingredient is that the chemical will travel to all parts of the plant.  (Roundup is the most common of such products available to home gardeners.)   Fortunately, you’ve chosen a good time of year to get serious about this invasion because glyphosate is most effective against morning glory when applied during bloom.  Follow-up with inspection tours every 3 weeks or less, to remove, or re-treat, all visible new growth.

Resources for you:
- Bidding farewell to the dreaded bindweed

- Growing strawberries in your home garden

Recall that you will win if you are persistent on a regular basis. 

Good luck,

Jean R. Natter Replied August 17, 2013, 2:34 AM EDT

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