I have a vining weed in my flower beds and lawn with thin stems and alternate, spade-shaped leaves.  It has white or pinkish flowers.  Is this bindweed and how can I get rid of it?

Bindweed is a perennial vine and one of the most persistent pests of fields, roadside ditches and landscapes.  If unchecked, its rapidly growing, twining habit can result in a covering of bindweed flowers and foliage over the top of desirable plants.  Its produces an extensive rhizomatous root system, extending up to 33 feet laterally from each plant.  Bindweed seeds have been reported to still be viable after being buried in the soil for up to 40 years.  The flowers look like one-inch white to pink morning glories, opening in the morning and closing in the evening and on cloudy days.  The leaves are sagittate, or arrowhead shaped to narrowly heart-shaped.

One thing they can do to kill existing plants to use the "glove" method to make very accurate spot treatments.  Put on a rubber glove and then over that a cotton glove.  Spray the cotton glove with glyphosate (RoundUp) or a 2,4-D mixture.  Then being careful not to touch any of the ornamental plants, grab the bindweed and pull your hand across the leaves.  Make sure you don't get any of the herbicide on the broad leaf plants.  This will give a very targeted application of herbicide and can help you get control.  Bindweed seed can stay dormant for up to 40 years in the soil, so be persistent with control. 

Control requires persistence, and usually the use of a combination of chemicals.   In small garden areas, apply of a 3-4 inch layer of organic mulch. Apply Preen in spring re-apply throughout the growing season as directed on the label.  This combined with pulling the plants as soon as they emerge or are seen can eventually eliminate this pest.