couch grass taking over the world!

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
8 replies 8.3K views
thriftmummythriftmummy Forumite
59 Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Greenfingered MoneySaving
Help! I got an allotment last year and managed to grow a bit of stuff. After spending months getting rid of the couch grass last spring, I find myself in exactly the same situation again with the weeds. I don't have as much time this year to be digging, and it seems like a never ending battle.

Does anyone know the best way of getting rid of couch grass once and for all - I'm losing the will to carry on!

Replies

  • You must have left bits of the roots in there. The stuff is notorious for comming back with a vengence if you leave even the smallest bits of the roots in the ground, even as small as half a centimetre. The only thing that I think would shift it is Roundup applied when there is plenty of green growth on it and even that may need 2 applications. But the best solution is deep and thorough digging and removal of every bit and the best way is to dig deep when the soil is dry and gently shake of all the soil (no pulling because that breaks the roots) so that you have all the root intact. Then either burn it or spread it out on a hard surface and it will wither and die. Under no circumstances should you put it anywhere near your compost heap where it will thrive.
  • conradmumconradmum Forumite
    5K Posts
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    I disagree that the best solution is digging it out. I've spoken to people who've farmed/gardened for years and have never been able to completely dig it out. The only solution they could come up with was to run pigs on the land for a year!
    It really is nigh on impossible to get every root out and it's extremely time consuming too. I don't spray so can't vouch for Roundup though that will probably work. The only organic method I know that works for pernicious weeds is complete exclusion of light for an entire growing season (Feb - Nov). This means heavy duty plastic (1000 gm or more). Be aware too that anything growing outside of the plastic (for example on your neighbour's plot) will feed the roots under the plastic and keep them alive indefinitely.
    Sorry to be grim!
  • The only way to get rid of couch grass is to pull up all the roots you can see. Also if you work the soil regularly it loosens its grip on the soil and will pull up quite readily with your hands. You do have to be meticulous if you want to be rid of this stuff - there are no half-hearted measures with it. Also once you have cleared a patch completely dig out a border all around so it can't creep back in.
    DTD - Doing Tesco Daily - while I still have vouchers!
  • Keep at it thriftmummy ! Go for the roundup option, if you have an allotment shop their may be someone who can spray it with the commercial version it's quite a bit stronger and you need a license to use it. Either way spray let it die, dig and wait for it to come back again but it will be weaker and a lot less, spray again if you have time.
    Once you have your seeds, plants or whatever then hoe them down again when they pop up ( weeds that is ! )
    Plant potatoes in the worst spots they have a big leaf canopy to exclude the light, and as you earth up about 2-3 times you will be disturbing the weeds and making them weaker.
    I used to grow my courgettes through old plastic compost sacks, stops the weeds no hoeing, black side up it warms the soil faster, provides a channel to pour your water through and stops evaporation form the soil, but chuck some slug pellets underneath ;)

    It's a relentless battle I'm afraid especially if like me you are surrounded by vacant plots. BUT it does get less over the years.

    Incidentally a lot of people say don't rotavate with couch in, yes it makes it in to more plants but also smaller weaker plants.
    You can't have everything....where would you put it?
  • CFCCFC
    3.1K Posts
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    Richyrich is right..it's just relentless and it spreads via underground shoots so you get everyone else's too. Just have to keep at it.
  • Couch grass roots only go down 6 inches - so leave a 6 inch deep "trench" around your plot or beds, that will stop the spread from outside.
    Rich people save then spend.
    Poor people spend then save what's left.
  • Steel_2Steel_2 Forumite
    1.6K Posts
    I've always used roundup - my garden is absolutely smothered in the stuff that no amount of digging or weeding will ever get rid of. In fact, my lawn is mostly couchgrass. I've bought a 5L pump bottle with a fine, nozzle to move carefully and precisely through my veg and shrub beds. I'm well aware I fight a losing battle though.....found it in several pots in the greenhouse yesterday. All recent fresh compost and greenhouse plants. No idea how it got in.
    "carpe that diem"
  • Commercial roundup is about the only thing I`ve found which will sort this stuff out. I spray , then rotovate about three weeks later and spray off any new shoots regularly. It took three years to clear my patch completely but I now have a couch free plot.

    TJ
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