Couch grass

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Wendy

Couch grass

It's the first time I've written to the garden section so apologies if thishas been asked.

I have a vineyard and it's got the dreaded couch grass. Does anyone know how to get rid of the mother of all couch grass? It's driving me potty and the weeding is taking longer than it should. Also I've noticed that it comes out quite easily one way but in bits another way is there a method of knowing which way is the best way to pull the stuff out?

Thanks Wendy (weary from weeding)

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Biggles !

couch grass, nasty stuff

Hi Wendy, I'm no expert but can truly empathise you, she said having spent the last 2 days on hands and knees digging up yet another area full of bindweed and couch grass. I find the grass easier to dig up when it is very dry; the roots seem to a bit less resistant and the soil is very dry here at the moment.

In an open ish area I do use the thermic lance which is the French name for a gas fuelled burner wand. I can get quite close to established trunks without doing much apparent harm, providing there is nothing overhanging. Our, very few, vines are just coming into leaf and they are on quite a high stem, but yours may be the shorter grown variety as we have in the Charente and the whole plant is very close to the ground, so this method would be quite useless to you. Sorry.

I think it is one of those laborious jobs that is best done on hands and knees. If you can get on top of the problem this year it will be easier next. I was reading on some UK sites last year and the wisdom being offered was that couch grass won't travel over a 9 inch gap. Ours does here :0(

I suspect you too have a rather pernicious couch grass. I would love to learn the answer too.

I'm quite dreading a couple of months time when a different variety will spring into action; the seed head is like the frame of an umbrella. The first year I saw it I thought how pretty it was, now I detest it with a passion!!

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Wendy

For Biggles

You are quite right our vines are the low growing sort. I think one of the problems is that our neighbours look after their vines but not their fields so all the weeds that ever were and are come over to us. We used to have what we laughingly called a lawn but that is now weed and when we had seeded it the flipping ants came and carried lots of the seed away so we have some nice grass in amongst the few plants that are trying to survive. The rain then wash some more seeds away and we have patches of lawn grass in the vineyard! Such is life, Biggles.

Wendy

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Biggles !

couch grass

sort of know what you mean Wendy :0) Our biggest problem was moles, still is really but I've changed my mindset and am learning to live with them (I would have liked a little croquet lawn and it's still my long term aim. Short of digging out the area and lining with bomb blast concrete then soil, then grassing it, nurturing it...... Life's too short).

C'est la vie.

Hope someone will respond with an answer for us :0)

Meanwhile I'm counting the calorie losses with all the exercise I'm getting :0)

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Wendy

Biggs

Agreed, it's good exercise for losing some weight! We don't have problems with moles our problems are mice, lizards and skinks (that's what I think they're called) the dogs dig them up so our 'lawn' is full of holes. I wouldn't give up living here though, I love it, in spite of escaping dogs, couch grass, no golden syrup or brown sauce!

Wendy

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Biggles !

Wendy

Sorry to hear your dogs are still escaping Wendy. We are quite lucky the lizards don't cause too much damage that we know of and are lovely to see, especially the big green ones; I like those because they eat the snakes eggs and I'm not too keen on snakes!!

Despite the different problems here I don't think I could readily settle back in the UK. We are fortunate that we can get things such as brown sauce and golden syrup, even treacle which is great for making Christmas cakes. Just can't get the long spaghetti and halloumi cheese has disappeared. Ah well, I shouldn't even be thinking of eating these things. Actually had golden syrup over home made ice cream last night with bananas and pineapple, very nice it was too. I think I must go and burn more calories off :0)

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Wendy

Biggs

I don't like snakes either. The lizrds are nice and I like them for exactly the same reason as you - eating snake eggs! We found out how the dog was getting out; the fence posts are rough granite and she was climbing up using any grip she could find so we are in the midst of changing from granite to narrow steel posts.

I glad you are settled and happy in France.

 
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