trench against couch grass

Community Community Garden Problems Weeds trench against couch grass

This topic contains 5 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Beverley 5 years, 11 months ago.

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    i saw in this guardian gardeners’ blog,

    the following quote:

    “Grassy paths will encroach onto bare beds, leaving you to scrabble about with a garden line and spade, slicing off the invading turf all summer. Put this unnecessary battle to an end now, rather than in summer when you’re busy with other jobs on the plot, by either sinking a board between the earth and grass, or by excavating a small 10cm deep trench between the two. Done. Forever.”

    do you think this would work against couch grass? or perhaps a slightly deeper and wider trench? the idea of this being a solution is very appealing.


    Sahira Ward

    Hi Ashleigh

    I have a bed of strawberries which has quite alot of bindweed that I manage to keep on top of by defoliating and removing as much of the roots as possible when I can. However to stop the bindweed passing into the neighbouring beds I dug a trench and it works really well. At the bottom of the trench I’ve managed to acquire strips of artificial grass found in a skip at a school that was having their play area astro turfed. It has stopped all weed growth in the trench and never needs cutting. I am however removing the artifical grass and putting it into storage now so that it will not provide a habitat for slugs and snails to over winter.





    that gives me hope that once we know where all the beds are we could have a trench all the way around and then ‘just’ deal with the couch grass that is already in there! so far it has been quite effectively mulched by several inches of mouldy hay and then 6-8″s of manure – only the odd sprout has come through which have been easy to pluck out. but i guess it will be a different story in spring.



    we have now dug our trench and it’s pretty clear that the trench itself will be easy to keep clear of couch, therefore any couch coming up through the mulched bed should weaken faster as it is no longer being strengthened by being all joined up with the rest of the field!

    it is also good for our wet site to have a small ditch around the beds.

    feeling optimistic about this method so far, will report back in a few months…



    Hello Ashleigh!
    I wonder how things have gone with your trench? We have a no dig garden built according to recommendations and the couch grass is proving very exhausting. We have decided to do as you did and then at the end of the season we will add new cardboard and compost and cover with black sheeting for 28 months. It feels imperative that we stop the couch grass entering from outside so I hope you have good news!!!! Thanks



    Grr typos – 18 months!!!

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