I live in southern Utah. I have a TON of bindweed (morning glory) in
my yard. I don't use chemicals, so it pretty much does what it
wants. I pulled it out of my raised beds and around the tomatoes &
peppers by hand last year, but let it go between the beds and in the
One day I stepped in a big patch of it, and a half a dozen spiders
crawled up my leg. I then understood why we had ZERO insect problems
in the garden. I also noticed that the soil beneath the matted vines
was cool, moist, and rich, as opposed to the clearer areas where the
sun had parched the soil.
So I already understand that this so-called noxious weed has its uses
in protecting the soil and in housing beneficial spiders. Now I have
been reading about the value of deep-rooted cover crops. Apparently,
certain crops and even weeds are desirable in the garden as a way to
"mine" for nutrients deep in the soil.
My question is: Would bindweed work as a cover crop? Does anyone know
if it "mines" the soil to bring the nutrients to the top, or if it
simply robs the soil of nutrients? I can't find any information on
this weed other than how terrible it is. I know that some no-till
farmers are favorable toward certain deep-rooted weeds, but I have
never seen bindweed mentioned, so I don't know if no-till farmers
would recommend keeping it around.
If anyone has any information on how bindweed affects the soil, I'd
appreciate it. It seems that its only problem is that it grows so
much and spreads; I haven't heard anything about it robbing the soil
of nutrients. For what it's worth, last summer was my first attempt
at no-till gardening, and I had the best yield ever, so I am inclined
to think that bindweed doesn't do any real harm, but I'd like some
other opinions and information if it exists.