Bindweed is evil. If ginger beer plants are proof of the existence of God, bindweed is proof of the devil. The roots can penetrate 15 feet (5 metres) underground. The stems can grow several inches in a day. The seeds can lie dormant in the soil for 30 years before germinating. And it binds around everything really tightly, choking your precious plants, and making it very tricky to unravel and remove. Evil, evil weed.
I'm trying the "keep chopping its head off and sooner or later it will give up" approach, but I have to admit I'm not winning. I'm tempted to go the Roundup route - but if I do, I won't spray it everywhere. I've heard that you should gather up as much of the bindweed as you can and stuff it into a thick plastic bag, like a builder's rubble bag or a large bucket with a lid, then spray the Roundup into the bag or bucket. That way, the weedkiller only goes on the plant you want to kill, not everywhere else. You also get enough weedkiller onto the plant to kill it if you do it this way. A single bindweed specimen can be quite large, and just because you zap one stem, you might not apply enough poison to kill the whole thing. Even so it may take more than one application. Anyway, I haven't used any weedkiller on the allotment at all, I'm just tempted to by the bindweed.
I've read that it has some medicinal uses. It certainly raises blood-pressure in gardeners, so if you're suffering from hypotension it could be useful I suppose. The long stems can be woven together and made into a ligature to throttle neighbouring gardeners who tolerate the damn stuff and allow it to invade your plot. You can put it in weed tea. You can put anything in weed tea, it all rots so it's perfectly safe. But don't put bindweed on your compost heap. It will just grow there, and mock you.
Bindweed - it's evil. Can anyone defend it?