couch aka twitch

this plot has been mulched with newspaper, cardboard and wood chips since March so the resulting crop of couch is in a thick layer near the surface.
Have learnt that I need to dig a trench around each bed and mulch the paths between to decrease the chances of the couch re-invading each plot.

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Comment by Megan on September 2, 2011 at 9:46am

Thanks Todd, we asked the council whether we could keep chickens at the community garden and unfortunately, they said no :(  I've already filled one plastic bin with the roots and waiting for it to rot down - it's incredibly hardy, it's been soaking for months and still looks very much alive. I need to buy another bin to start another batch of weed tea - I also add chicken poo that I get from a friend and use it to feed my garlic. Really stinky when it gets going and even if I keep the lid securely clipped down still find rat tailed maggots in the brew :))

Comment by Todd Saunders on September 1, 2011 at 3:37pm
I combat twitch by digging out as much as possible (shake the soil off the roots or it will take the garden with it) then move a chook tractor over the area as the chooks seem to eat it.  I then mulch as you have. I chuck the stuff I dug into a large container of water along with other nasty weeds and leave it until it has decomposed enough that it won't sprout. The resulting weed tea and decomposing weeds then go back into the garden. Although it's a bit of work I've found twitch does not resurface in areas that have had this treatment.
Comment by Megan on September 1, 2011 at 11:24am
We've just had another cold snap pass through and we woke up to a fresh dusting of snow on the mountains! I think kikuyu is probably equally as bad as couch, you only need an quarter of an inch of the rhizome left in the ground for it to resprout but so long as we stay on top of it and pull it out before it gets established, can keep in check. Its only redeeming feature is that the roots have medicinal qualities :)
Comment by josephal on September 1, 2011 at 8:41am
Hi there megan, hope you are well, tshirt weather up north the last week or so, must be defrosting a bit down there. Now this cooch grass your talking about, up here we have Kikuyu grass, cooch is worse? But you could try laying strips of old woolen carpet on your borders. I also used bricks semi buried seems to have held it off for a year out of my flower patch, every now and then I rip any out that try to go over the bricks and go around the edge with the line trimmer.
Comment by Megan on August 27, 2011 at 10:45pm

hello Robyn, hope that you are well. Been meaning to write to you but you've beaten me to it:) Am reminded of you each time that I water the pean seedlings grown from the seeds that you sent me.

I will try potatoes in the next plots that I start cultivating at the community garden, have only grown garlic so far and I don't want to risk the couch growing through any of the bulbs as they did last year, if I don't dig it all out! Not sure that I'd be able to eat my way through the quantity of turnips needed to clear my patch - could they be grown as a green manure and dug in before the roots develop - would it still suppress the couch?

It's quite satisfying digging out the couch, the soil is really friable having been covered up and lots of worms in each forkful - I'd also put a layer of grass clippings over the couch before the newspaper and cardboard went down.

My next job is to cover up the paths between each bed so the couch can't creep back into the beds I've cleared. I didn't do that last year and you can see the resulting growth in this photo. Still, will have plenty of material for my weed fertiliser tea, got a rubbish bin full brewing away.

Not sure that I'm going to bother trying the couch as a herbal remedy though!

Comment by Robyn Wolfe on August 27, 2011 at 6:03pm
Some plants that will help get rid or this.... potatoes or white turnips. Or a thick layer of wood chips will bring it to the surface as you have found.  Good luck!

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