Farmers commonly apply pre-emergent herbicides during spring season to make them easier to eradicate. But there are some different ways to get rid of morning glory weeds from your vegetable garden you can try without harming other plants. What are those? Check out the tips below.
Do you often deal with morning glory weeds in your yard or fields? Those culprits make gardeners, and farmers get in trouble because the deep root systems can reach 20 feet in depth, which is hard to eradicate!
In addition, morning glory is up to 12 feet long and can propagate and climb. And, of course, it will cause trouble when they invade your land. So, how to get rid of morning glory out of sight?
If you don’t know where to start, we have your back! We will share some essential tips to eradicate invasive morning glory weeds. However, you need to know what factors cause them to grow in your vegetable garden or yards before killing them. So, let’s check out the tips below!
Table of Contents
- Morning glory weeds problem
- How can I get rid of Morning Glory in Vegetable Garden?
- What chemical will kill Morning Glory?
- How do Organic Herbicides Kill Morning glory?
- What animal eats morning glories?
- FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Morning glory weeds problem
Morning glory or fields bindweed is a perennial weed that originally grew in Asia, Europe, and North Africa and has now spread worldwide. They have colorful flowers depending on the species and cultivar, but most are white, pink, and purple. Well, they seem great. But why is Morning glory a severe problem, especially for agricultural fields?
Unfortunately, even though it looks harmless, it turns out that Morning glory is one of the invasive weeds in the corn and wheat fields because of its fast distribution. It quickly invades every corner of the area within a few days. How come? Because the invasive morning glory vine can grow up to 12 feet or around 3-4 meters long while climbing on the fence or crawling on the ground.
Hence, delay in weed control will be a nightmare, especially for farmers, as the weeds can compete with their crops in absorbing nutrients. Moreover, the vines can choke their plants and eventually kill them. Of course, it is devastating as the farmers will lose some of the harvests they have been waiting for.
In addition, Morning glories have a deep and robust root system, reaching a maximum of 12 feet deep. So, pulling out alone is not enough to eliminate these culprits from your fields. People will generally apply chemical control, such as glyphosate (herbicides), to kill them. However, it takes a significant toll on other plants, especially those growing next to Morning glory as the chemical. So, how to get rid of morning glory safely?
How can I get rid of Morning Glory in Vegetable Garden?
After actively growing in summer to fall, morning glories will experience a period of dormancy in winter. Then, the seedlings will start to emerge in early spring. Hence, spring is the best time to eradicate wild morning glory vines to kill the seedlings.
Furthermore, farmers commonly apply pre-emergent herbicides during this season to make them easier to eradicate. However, some argue that such methods can kill other nearby plants. And for that reason, we include some different ways to get rid of morning glory weeds from your vegetable garden you can try without harming other plants. What are those?
1. Steaming The Vines
If you prefer non-chemical control, steaming is the best solution to kill the morning glory infestation in your vegetable garden. The steaming process uses a temperature of around 121°C (250°F), destroying the cells in the leaves and flowers. Hence, it prevents the plant from obtaining and absorbing nutrients from the soil.
Moreover, you can rent a trailer-mounted steamer to easily use it throughout your large area. It is best to choose a small weed steamer for those with smaller ones. Nonetheless, this method requires you to repeat the same step when you notice morning glory returns.
2. Mulching And Installing Barrier
Killing morning glory needs extra effort since this hardy weed can easily grow back after removal. But, don’t be hopeless! You can try another natural practice to tackle this issue. Prepare a permeable, black plastic and spread it on top of the vines. Extend it to at least 2 feet from where the morning glory vine stops growing as the weed can grow underground.
Then, add 2-3 inches thick mulch to help make the barrier last longer. Well, this method needs extra work and patience to do. Even though you will need to wait 1-5 years for the best results, believe us, it will be worth it!
3. Applying Herbicides
Actually, we do not recommend this one as it can kill other plants that grow next to the morning glory. But since many people still use herbicides as weed killers, it is our chance to give some tips to avoid harming surrounding plants. You can use 1.5% to 2% glyphosate when the invasive plant is actively growing. Use a spray bottle to prevent spilling on other plants instead of pouring it. So, how do you do that?
First, pull the seedlings from the soil. Next, spray the herbicides on the ground where the seedlings grow. It is better to use pre-emergent herbicides before this treatment to kill the weeds thoroughly. Also, combining it with mulching will give you a better result.
What chemical will kill Morning Glory?
The most popular morning glory control is by applying chemical herbicides. However, killing morning glory with such substances is not recommended as it threatens other plants that grow around the area. Two chemicals are popularly used to eradicate this invasive weed: 1.5% – 2% glyphosate and herbicides containing 2,4-D and dicamba.
The principle of weed control by glyphosate is quite simple. When spraying glyphosate on the plant, the leaves absorb the chemical substance. From that point, the sap will take over to carry it out to the roots.
In the roots, glyphosate will inhibit the absorption of nutrients from the soil, smothering your plants and making them lack nutrients. If the application is made gradually, it will slowly kill the weeds. However, the weakness of glyphosate is it can kill other plants that grow around the weeds.
Another option you can try to weed the weeds without harming other plants is using 2,4-D and dicamba, commonly found in herbicides. It is an effective method for morning glory removal in small areas. The trick, add 1 gallon of herbicides with 1 gallon of water. Then, the mixture is given to the weeds.
How do Organic Herbicides Kill Morning glory?
Organic herbicides are various types of weed killers that are not chemically made. They naturally occur in nature, including acetic acid, citric acid, and other plant oils like lemongrass oil.
The principle of weed control in organic herbicides is generally on contact, meaning they kill on the surface, not on the deep roots. Hence, they often must be combined with other methods, such as steaming.
As for the morning glory, those above-mentioned organic herbicides, unfortunately, will not work on them. However, you can try pouring boiling water on the weeds to help control their growth, as the leaves die from high temperatures. When the leaves die, the distribution of nutrients from the soil throughout the plant is hampered. To make the eradication effort more optimal, combine it with steaming and mulching.
What animal eats morning glories?
Keeping several types of animals that feed on morning glory can be the best, conventional way to help eradicate these weeds from your farm or garden. One of them is rabbits. Rabbit loves to chew on the flowers, leaves, and overall, the entire plant! You can release them in areas where morning glories grow the most daily.
Besides rabbits, morning glories are favorites of birds, deers, chipmunks, groundhogs, and rats. They devour all parts of the plant except seeds because they are bitter and toxic to animals, especially dogs and cats. Birds and deers feast on both leaves and flowers, while chipmunk prefers their tender stems.
Moreover, groundhogs and rats can eat all the plants, including the roots, if they are starving. Therefore, the presence of this natural pest is very beneficial to help reduce the growth and even the existence of morning glories on your land. But make sure to install a fence around your agricultural crops if you don’t want those pests to damage those precious plants too.
The best way to get rid of morning glory from your fields, vegetables, or home gardens is by combining steaming, mulching, and then applying herbicides. You can choose those with 2,4-D and dicamba to prevent killing other plants. If you still worry about it, just do pulling, steaming, and mulching.
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FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Is Morning Glory invasive?
Morning Glory or Field Bindweed is a native perennial to Europe, Asia, and North Africa that is considered aggressively invasive. The flowering vine and twining stems can grow up to 12 feet long. You can easily find this weed on roadsides, waste areas, fields, and fence roads. Even though they are invasive, Lucky Morning Glory is edible and has a garlic-like taste.
Do morning glories come back every year?
Whether or not invasive Morning Glory comes back every year highly depends on the area you live. This aggressive weed can grow back from seeds if it grows in cold climates as it suits the growing conditions. However, you may not see them returning yearly in warmer temperatures.
Do morning glories have deep roots?
Morning glory weeds are invasive because they have deep root systems, reaching 20 feet deep. Initially, it will grow about 5 feet in depth and 10 feet in diameter in the first year. Then, the roots will grow to 15-20 feet over time. At this point, new plants can grow wherever the root is broken.
Is morning glory poisonous to dogs?
Even though the leaves are edible to humans, Morning glory, in general, is toxic to dogs and cats, especially in large quantities. The seeds mainly contain poisonous alkaloids. Some signs of this weed poisoning are vomiting, gastrointestinal upset, tremors, and hallucinations. In some rare cases, it causes diarrhea.
Will boiling water kill morning glory?
Boiling water may kill the leaves and flowers of morning glory weeds. However, it does not destroy the root systems as they have 20-feet depth roots. The roots can grow new plants when they are broken. However, you can use boiling water to control its growth, so it is not too invasive and fast.