Couch grass ( Elymus repens ) is very common in gardens as well as in vegetable plots – but it's not all that difficult to control.
It's a rather invasive weed that, if not controlled, will quickly take over a large area. Couch grass looks like any other tuft of grass, but under ground 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 does not 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!
Digging out couch grass is possible – but it's a bit of a task if it's wider 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!
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 cultured until the grass has died back completely.