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Couch Grass
Mon 17-Jun-13
8:58 am
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Rob12
London, UK

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Hi,

 

I was very very VERY fortunate to secure an allotment over the weekend (only 7 months on waiting list which is fantastic I think).  The plot has been abandoned for about a year and is overgrown with couch grass (anyone know why it is called 'cooch' grass rather than as it is spelt?).  The site manager advised that it can be a real bugger to get rid of.  Fortunately they have a man on site who does odd jobs and can dig it out for me (yay).  The Council also offers a first clearance on new sites (for brand new sites this is weed kill and strim, for existing - which mine is - it is just rubbish removal and strim). 

 

My question is - should I take advantage of the Councils offer to have the plot strimmed before I get the guy in to dig the plot over or would it be better for me to weedkill first, then strim myself and have him dig the plot over?

Mon 17-Jun-13
9:26 am
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Xahha
Suffolk

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Couch grass is so difficult to eradicate. Just a tiny piece of root left in the ground will grow and proliferate again, it spreads through root growth sideways underground. It is a never ending eradication task.

If your allotment holders will allow you to use weed killer I would go that way first. You want one that specifically kills couch and lets you get on with growing stuff soon afterwards. Some weedkillers will kill anything for up to 6 months after using so beware!

I would not advise strimming the couch, in my experience you want enough greenery to be able to lift the plants out when digging - if you don't go the weedkilling route. And take advantage of the offer for someone else to dig it over- it is hard work!!

Constant cultivation and growing will help keep couch at bay, but if it is in the plot already, then it will creep in from the edges, so you need to keep on top of it.

 Are we having fun yet? I am!

Mon 17-Jun-13
10:17 am
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Rob12
London, UK

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Thanks for that advice.  They seem to be a semi-organic association but are not opposed to the use of weedkillers to get a site under control, so will go this route then hire the handyman to do the digging a week or so later.  Now we just have to wait for a windfree day to apply the poison.

Mon 17-Jun-13
10:28 am
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Sooliz
Somerset

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We had couch grass on the allotment we had years ago, it was an absolute bugger to deal with and we never really got on top of it - mainly because the plot next to ours was overgrown and neglected.  Someone did rent the plot, but didn't give it anywhere near as much attention as they should have, and the allotment association weren't vigilant enough to keep on top of things like that.  As Martin says, if it's allowed to grow unchecked nearby, then you'll have a job keeping it at bay on yours.  Good luck, you'll need it!

learning to love veg…..except celery :-O

Mon 17-Jun-13
10:37 am
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Hattie
Bucks/Oxon Border

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Rob12 said:

Thanks for that advice.  They seem to be a semi-organic association but are not opposed to the use of weedkillers to get a site under control, so will go this route then hire the handyman to do the digging a week or so later.  Now we just have to wait for a windfree day to apply the poison.

Hi Rob, 

Be careful what you choose as many contain dangerous, long lasting chemicals. Have a read of this article on glyphosate.

Good luck with getting rid of the dreaded couch grass.

 

"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."

from Les Miserables

Mon 17-Jun-13
10:59 am
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eileen54
Somerset

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Rob if you want more land and are willing to travel a short way, 3 of the allotment sites in Reigate have vacancies

Never give up Tomorrow is another day.

Mon 17-Jun-13
11:16 am
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brightspark
Wilts

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Rob, I think it is pronounced cooch, because it originated in Europe .... certainly if it came from France that is how one would say it.  smile

"Work for a cause, not for applause
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Mon 17-Jun-13
8:42 pm
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Original Redhead
Bulgaria

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Yeah Brightspark

 

I LIKE the idea of blaming the French   tongue

Failing is not a fault, refusing to try is

Tue 18-Jun-13
7:35 am
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brightspark
Wilts

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big_laugh   big_laugh

 

Hi Tracey - how's things?

"Work for a cause, not for applause
Live life to express, not to impress
Don't strive to make your presence noticed
Just make your absence felt"
Wed 19-Jun-13
4:16 pm
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Rob12
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Hi Eileen,

 

If I was a more confident driver I would jump at that offer but am still very much a learner at this point.  That said, my cousin lives in Reigate and he may be interested - can I ask him (as I am seeing him this coming Sunday)?

eileen54 said:

Rob if you want more land and are willing to travel a short way, 3 of the allotment sites in Reigate have vacancies

Wed 19-Jun-13
10:00 pm
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eileen54
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Just tell him to look on the Banstead and Reigate website under allotments and it will tell him where they are if there are any left. I was only on there looking for myself a few weeks ago. He can then phone the number provided to enquire about them. There is also a map on the page showing the location of them. I know that 3 sites had vacancies when I looked.

Never give up Tomorrow is another day.

Sun 23-Jun-13
7:31 am
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Original Redhead
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Things are good Brightspark,   too bloody hot and it's still only June.  Seemingly I managed to acclimitise by September last year so will try for August this year, July year after, etc.

 

Trying to preserve things WITHOUT alcohol this year (apart from the Nocino  sloe_gin)

Hope all is well with you

Failing is not a fault, refusing to try is

Sun 23-Jun-13
1:58 pm
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brightspark
Wilts

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Oh, Tracey, if only it were a little warmer here (in France) - we had our village party yesterday, and, as usual fantastic camaraderie, but the weather - the marquees were dripping wet, and the gazebo started to leak where most of the food was plated up. Sadly, it had to end about 8 pm - so cold, and so wet ....

(When we hosted it two years ago, guitars were still being plucked at 2 am !)

 

We are still picking raspberries, but the couch grass, along with many other weeds have found their way through the membrane (as they do!), making it a little more difficult getting to the fruit. 

All we can do is give the grass a cut as often as possible, but I don't think we'll eradicate it. frown

"Work for a cause, not for applause
Live life to express, not to impress
Don't strive to make your presence noticed
Just make your absence felt"
Sun 23-Jun-13
2:02 pm
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Toffeeapple
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Oh, what a let down Val, I was keeping my fingers crossed for good weather for you.

I'll try that again!

Sun 23-Jun-13
2:24 pm
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brightspark
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Mmm - it was a shame, we plan for a whole year, and then the weather lets us down.

 

However, we were talking about the cognac Otard, and this chap hears our conversation, and it transpires that is where he works, so offered a tour. On Monday afternoon, they have to be in Cognac for their specially arranged tour. Great.

 

Then, another offered to take OH and bro on a fishing trip on Tuesday, which is really good timing as bro is returning to the UK on Wednesday, so two days of relaxed fun before going home. Isn't that wonderful?

 

Oh, and three ladies asked me if I would teach them English. eeek  I told them I can't speak sufficient French, but they insisted otherwise. Unfortunately I'm not a teacher either, and I wouldn't know where to start! So funny!

"Work for a cause, not for applause
Live life to express, not to impress
Don't strive to make your presence noticed
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