Couch Grass Treatment & Cures

Will the EU ban the garden use of glyphosphate the best chemical cure for Couch grass?

Couch grass

Couch grass is an invasive perennial garden weed.
In the north of England it is called twitch but elsewhere it is called quick grass, quitch, dog grass, quackgrass, scutch grass, and witchgrass.
The latin species names are Elytrigia repens or Elymus repens.

What is Couch Grass

  • Couch spreads under ground and can get amongst your other plants.
  • Couch grows on most soil types except those with a very low pH.
  • It prefers heavier land but is able to spread by rhizomes in lighter soils.
  • Couch growth is especially vigorous on uncultivated land.
  • Common couch can form dense clumps that exclude other vegetation. The pointed roots will invade new areas.
  • If left undisturbed a mat of young rhizomes forms in the upper 4″ of soil.
  • The aerial shoots are not killed by freezing.

Organic Treatment & Cures

  • The only successful organic treatment is to weed out all the roots by fork and hand weeding.
  • Digging out couch only works if you remove all the bits of the root. Turning over the soil and burying the grass will not kill couch.
  • Couch is sensitive to shade and when continually shaded the grass should gradually die out. Thus it can be killed by covering with black plastic unless it can access light.
  • If a suitable mixture of grasses and white clover is grown for a few years the weed will be gradually be suppressed.
  • Couch may be killed off by regular close grazing.
  • Common couch is not controlled by flame weeding or boiling water and regenerates rapidly after treatment.
  • Seedlings of couch are sensitive to  competition but avoid letting plants seed.

Couch grass

  • Chemical treatments included cutting the grass to a height of about 1″ and then spray with the weed killer glyphosphate. You may need 3-5 applications.
  • I would be too nervous to compost the roots as the problem would only be spread.
  • As far as most gardeners are concerned Couch grass has no redeeming features and keeps conscientious gardeners from resting on their own couch!

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2 Responses to Couch Grass Treatment & Cures

  1. couch grass December 24, 2011 at 16.03 #

    Using the dreaded Couch grass as compost is still a great debate to a lot of gardeners out there. There are those who simply don’t want to risk the chance of having the grass growing all over their lawn after being made into compost and those who claim that they have to problems with it.

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