Couch Grass
(Agropyrum repens, syn. Elymus repens)

In beds and borders this weed grass can be a nightmare but in the lawn it isn’t such a huge problem. It is a perennial weed that spreads by underground stems with small fibrous roots at every joint.


The main ways to keep weeds under control is constant vigilance, never allowing the weed to flower or set seed.

  • It is difficult to eradicate by cultivation but constant hoeing will exhaust the perennial root system.

  • Remove weeds by hand as soon as you see them. Use a fork so as to avoid chopping up the stems as a small bit left in the soil will quickly regrow.

  • In the lawn, regular close mowing of lawns will kill off most infestations in the first season.

  • Spraying with weedkiller will do the job if the weeds are in the garden border. Spray with a systemic weedkiller, such as one that contains glyphosate, as this is absorbed through the leaves of the plant and the active ingredient makes its way through the cells of the plant down to the root. It kills these first and then the foliage starts to die off.

  • Mulching will help to eliminate light, which all green plants need to survive. There are several effective mulches which will act as a weed barrier; weed suppressing fabric, well-rotted manure or garden compost, bark, grass cuttings, gravel and even a thick layer of newspaper.