Field bindweed

Exif_JPEG_420A weed is a plant that grows in the wrong place. Field bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis) is described as a serioius weed. That may be the case for many crops, but this is certainly not the case for mature almond orchards in dry-land. In fact, this is a beneficial plant in my agricultural system.

Field bindweed is the most aboundant perennial weed in my region. It has deep roots. Shoots and flowers appear during spring and summer. It is a climbing plant but their shoots stick to the ground in bare soil. It does not grow much when the soil is dry and it is very sensitive to oidium. All in all, this weed is usually weak and does not consume much water in the summer.

This plant provides organic matter and a very usefull root system that prevents soil compaction. It has proved to be very useful to reduce erosion. The following pictures show the effect of a heavy storm in the orchard during August, 2019. Field bindweed has proved to be effective to lower water flow speed and keep soil particles in place. You can see the details in the pictures. Where bindweed is present, soil is protected.

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