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Couch grass and ground cover:

ElothirElothir Posts: 94
edited April 2020 in Problem solving

Probably a lost cause but thought I'd ask those with more experience.

We have a flower bed that has had stray weeds coming into it from next door. I had thought of just filling it in with some ground cover plants (or just letting the Speedwell that is there already bulk up) as the bed is mostly dominated by a large shrub with no real planting to speak of under it.

However, it turns out there is also Couch grass coming in from next door too. Given that weedkiller will at best just knock it back slightly (since even if I sprayed everything on my side there is a hundred times as much on the other side still for it to regrow from) my only option is to keep digging it out as often as possible.

So essentially, is it worth attempting to establish some ground cover as planned, or is that a futile exercise due to the Couch grass as I imagine even the densest cover won't do much to stop that?


  • jo4eyesjo4eyes Posts: 2,058
    With my ongoing couch grass infestation of a couple of beds & a compost bin up here I sympathise. TBH constant digging it out, hand fork & kneeler job is best I find, does eventually reduce the amount. 
    If though it’s coming in from your neighbour’s side you may struggle. Then glyphosate carefully applied at the boundary combined with the regular weeding will help, but obviously not stop further infestation. 

    Is the shrub evergreen or deciduous? That can influence your ultimate planting...which needs delaying until you have waged war on that couch, sorry. 

    BTW I spend a lot of my time yanking out speedwell up here! 
  • ElothirElothir Posts: 94
    Thanks for the reply.

    That is somewhat what I suspected but oh well.

    The shrub is deciduous, but the Couch grass is never going to go away since next door is literally one big patch of Couch grass, Mercury, Brambles and Bindweed.
  • Bee witchedBee witched Posts: 1,238
    Hello @Elothir,

    I'd be tempted to sink a root barrier between your house and theirs. The roots of couch grass are creeping so you wouldn't need to go too deep - probably 6" - 8" would be fine.

    You'd still need to clear away what has already come through to your garden .... but at least you'd be keeping it at bay in the future.

    Bee x
    Gardener and beekeeper in beautiful Scottish Borders  

    A single bee creates just one twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime
  • SmudgeriiSmudgerii Posts: 185
    I’d go with a weed barrier also but to at least 2’ in depth, and whilst I had the ground open at the boundary I would be adding a large amount of ‘compost accelerator’ crystals on the neighbours side of the barrier.
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