Couch grass, Twitch Grass.
Grass looking weed, often known as “Ooh you bastard” grass.
I’ve run into this annoying and crafty weed before personally and professionally many times. I’ve used everything up to and including neat unleaded petrol and gas flames. Strong weed killers and weak, home remedies and harvested bodily functions. (Some old gardening legends are true with regards the early/first morning visit to have a tinkle.) Multiple hits with glyphosate “Kill all spray” passes with various manufacturers gardening depot store bought “Weedols & Roundups” attacks; and then hours of back breaking forking of the ground and hand hunting several years of unchecked infestation of Twitch or Couch grass.
In the end, the scoreboard always depends on time. How long do you have, how badly do you want the ground, how clear do you want it to stay and for how long? If I have the time, I can clear a lot and it can stay clear for a time. As soon as light and water get near any old remaining snippet of root. Or one of those snippets can find light, water and warmth; the infestation can carry on.
Dealing with Couch is a process ruled by time.
If you hit it with the best of sprays made to kill weeds. 3 weeks from spraying by RHS advice before it can be thought of as dead/dying. Multiple sprayings over time may be required to actually only weaken and further sprayings required to kill and well rooted or heavy infestation.
If at all…
This example is one of my plots of land.
It’s just had the cover lifted to prepare for planting some Stone Pine Saplings I have grown from seed over the last year or so.
The cover was placed to act as a weather barrier, so no light and water could penetrate as much of the area I wanted to use for my needs.
The area had previously been hand weeded by fork and rotavated, weeding through each pass or removing remaining weed roots over several passes till the area was cleared of enough weed and roots to allow it to be covered for 6 months or more; to be ready for when I would want the area for the trees I planned to add into that space to grow on for bonsai in a few years.
I spent hours forking the ground loose and turning it over.
Removed all the heavy thick and heavy bladed and stemmed top weed grass invasion. Clump forming and stands out from normal grass. Tear it out though and the rhizome or root left behind has enough life and energy to reproduce what was just torn out fairly quickly if the conditions are right. Couch starts fairly early in the year and can grow late into the year so this makes it a tough enemy to remove and keep clear.
As the photo shows.
Couch Grass Roots somewhere still remained even after my own hours of toil on my own space trying to assassinate every last bit.
Using Hand tools and machines to turn and tend the soil.
Rake and hoe after those; again for hours. Slowly filtering through the soil to locate as much weed, weed root and seeds or pods that will eventually try and compete with the trees I wanted in that space. So the trees could grow freely when they are planted as a fragile sapling with my greatest hopes sunk into it’s care, raising and their future.
That area has been covered with thick black light blocking PVC Plastic, even after all that time and effort tending and weeding.
As you can see; some remained.
You can see how hard it has struggled, and how far it has reached to get into the light at the very edge of the seam between cover sheeting.