I did some research on these vicious vines and here's what I learned...
- The roots can go down 30 feet or more.
- If you till them up, every broken piece becomes a new plant. (Remember that horrible old tale about the magic broom? It was a symphony we listened to in school-the broom kept breaking in half and multiplying) This is probably how we got such a bumper crop. We tilled last fall.
- Chemicals (which I detest) are not too effective. You have to pour Round Up into bowls and soak the little tips of the plant in them. Since I don't have 10,000 bowls or the inclination to nuke my backyard, I ruled this one out.
- Once they flower, the seeds will spread and multiply. The seeds can last up to 30 years. UH OH... they were budding already!
- It takes years to get rid of them completely, if ever.
- The longterm approach, which seemed the sanest, was to dig up what we could, cut down the rest (making sure to rake out all of those potential new plants), and to cover with black tarp to keep the sun from helping them photosynthesize.
What a job! I pulled and dug-Kelly got out the weed-whacker; then we raked, bagged and disposed of thousands of these plants. We're gonna have to stay on it though...
And the parable? Well the Bible tells us to be diligent-in case a root of bitterness spring ups within our hearts and begins to spread and multiply; defiling many is how it's described. That got me to thinkin'... how fast does bitterness grows-and how invasive it is? Fast I bet. I guess it would be better to root bitterness right out of my life, than to fertilize it with self pity and anger. I've been known to do that more than a few times. So I'm taking a lesson from the parable of the morning glory. I don't want my inner garden to wind up looking like this!