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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

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Sunday - April 12, 2009

From: Round Rock, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Invasive Plants
Title: How can I control field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis)?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

I have identified my invasive as field bindweed. Your answer in FAQs has websites that are moving and I am unable to find out how to control this major problem. I use organics to garden. The recommended 20% vinegar drys it up for a few days and it is back thriving but if I accidentally get the vinegar on anything else, it dies. The roots run very deep and all over the place underground. If one little piece is left, it grows. I am tired of pulling.

ANSWER:

Convolvulus arvensis is a viny perennial with an extensive system of deep creeping roots and rhizomes. It was introduced into the US from Europe, and is considered one of the most noxious weeds of agricultural fields throughout temperate regions of the world. Plants typically develop large patches and are difficult to control. There are three categoties of management strategies; mechanical (hoeing, cultivating, and pulling), chemical (various herbicides are available), and biological (using Alceria malherbae, bindweed gall mite, or Tyta luctosa ,bindweed moth, to attack the pest.)

Mr. Smarty Plants is going to refer you to four websites that present strategies for controling this noxious weed:

Texas Invasives.org

University of California Davis Integrated Pest Management Program

 Montana State University  Extension

Colorado State University Extension

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