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Weed number 1: Couch grass

March 26th, 2007 by Karsten

Couch GrassCouch grass (Elymus repens) is our weed number one - more due to how common it is than how difficult it is to control.

It’s a rather invasive weed that, if not controlled, quickly will take over a large area. Couch grass looks like any other tuft of grass, but under ground it spreads by rhizomes and long white spagetti-like stems, which will produce new shoots, from where new tufts will grow.

The new tufts will form its own stems and rhizomes - and the circle is complete!

On an open plot couch grass doesn’t really pose much of a problem. If, however, its roots spreads and gets itself entangled in the rootballs of fruit bushes and shrubs on your plot - you have a problem!

Cultural control

Digging out couch grass is possible - but it’s a bit of a task if it’s widely spread. While digging, make sure to remove every bit of root you find, to avoid the couch grass re-growing and the problem worsening.

New shoots of grass should be dug out immediately - removing all roots. While digging out the roots - use a fork rather than a spade - to avoid cutting the roots.

Dug out roots should be burned or disposed off - to avoid them re-growing. Never throw them on your compost heap!

Chemical control

Glyphosate based weedkillers like Roundup is extremely effective against even heavy infestations of couch grass, and (if used correctly) should kill off the lot in just one application.

Leave the weedkiller to do its job for about 3 weeks - and promptly treat any new tufts of grass that may appear in this period of time.

The treated area must not be cultivated until the grass has died back completely.

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