I planted a patch of strawberries a few years ago. The ground was mostly bare when I planted them. But the next year, I had not only strawberries, but a bunch of bindweed as well.

Bindweed is one of the most hated weeds around for good reason. It is a noxious perennial, with deep roots and a long seed source. It is nearly impossible to eradicate and climbs up and around the plants until it takes over.

I despaired over the strawberry/bindweed combo. I had two perennial vines competing with each other, and one was more adapted to the situation than the other. But not the one I wanted. It seemed like a losing situation.

The work started. I mulched, fertilized and irrigated the strawberries, encouraging their growth. Once a week, never more and never less, I went through and pulled up all the bindweed. It was always there, aggressively growing. I didn’t always get all of it, but I kept trying and pulling.

It’s been three years. My maintenance in that time frame hasn’t changed: once a week weeding, and keeping up with the mulching and irrigation of the strawberries. This is what it looks like:


I’m not pulling that much bindweed anymore. It was a hopeless situation. But I set maintenance plan and I worked consistently at the problem. It succeeded beyond my hopes.

If I would have at any point skipped weeding for more than a week or so, the bindweed would have overtaken my strawberries and I probably would have given up. It took years of effort to get rid of it. If I would have tried to work really hard at one point, pulled out as much bindweed as I could at one go: mulched it, sprayed it, etc; and then just left it, the bindweed would have come back and overtaken my strawberries.

It is still there: I haven’t eradicated the bindweed. But I put into action the habits that would limit it to an acceptable level, and would let my strawberries thrive instead.

I think there are a lot of parallels to life, if you want to find them. Or if nothing else, here’s some hope about bindweed: it is a horrible noxious weed, but it is not impossible to overcome it.


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