nickolas
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Joined: Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:04 am
Location: Victoria, Australia

How can I get rid of couch grass rhizomes from my soil?

I live on a rental property at the moment but I am in the process of moving, where I am moving to has no couch grass and I would like to keep it that way. Not knowing the danger of couch grass I started a vegetable beds at my rental property a few years ago, seeing as I put a lot of work into making the soil I still won’t to use the stuff at the place I am moving to.
I know I could kill all the couch rhizomes in a hot compost pile but am not certain if I would have all of the ingredients to make a hot compost pile or the experience needed to guarantee a successful hot compost pile.
The two options I am thinking of is putting some of the couch riddled soil in with my bathtub worm farms and or putting some of the it in my chook pen and let them scratch up all the soil and get rid off all the couch rhizomes.

Does this sound like it will work in getting out all of the couch grass rhizomes from my soil or should I not risk it and just leave the soil at my rental place?
Thanks in advance,
Nickolas.

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digitS'
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Location: ID/Wa! border

I am not sure if I can be of any help, Nickolas. I am not familiar with couch grass and don't really know much about worm farming.

Perhaps, couch grass is like the quack grass that is around here. Your chickens would be happy to eat the rhizomes if the soil showed up in their pen. You'd probably better check to see that it isn't toxic, however. Chickens tend to eat just about anything that shows up in their pen. I'm not always sure if it is a matter of taste, hunger, competitiveness or just boredom.

I have made good use of chicken manure, especially in my plantings of sweet corn. At one time, I considered it far preferable to cow manure. It always seemed to be weed-free. I guessed that nothing could pass thru the digestive system of those birds and make it into the soil to later cause me problems. I later realized that this wasn't really true.

Chickens, like most birds, have a very short digestive system. Birds scatter seeds far and wide as we must all know by what crops up unwanted in our yards. Some plants must entirely owe their widespread dispersal to how well their seed pass thru a bird . . .

What is going on with the chicken manure? I think that it is 2 things - one is that if anything gets thru the chicken and sprouts in the pen, the chicken just eats the seedling. Second, the manure is so high in nitrogen that it composts well. Whatever is in a pile of chicken manure gets "cooked" and isn't there to cause the gardener trouble.

I have hauled chicken manure around in the back of my pickup, quite happily.

Steve
We are each other's harvest; we are each other's business; we are each other's magnitude and bond. ~ Gwendolyn Brooks

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jal_ut
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Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

Also sometimes called: twitch, quick grass, quitch grass (also just quitch), dog grass, quackgrass, scutch grass, and witchgrass.

Yes, a troublesome weed and hard to remove. If you let it get some good leaf and hit it with Roundup it will kill it, root and all. Don't dig it for two weeks after spraying.

You can also remove it manually by digging it up and running the soil through a screen. Problem is, if you leave one little piece it will grow.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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jal_ut
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Location: Northern Utah Zone 5

Just curious how much soil are you talking about moving?
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

zebraman
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Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 5:19 pm
Location: Pacific Palisades-CA

Couch Grass rhizomes are in the top 3 1/2 to 4 inches of soil. Cultivating to a depth of 5 inches before frost will kill the rhizomes. You should also mow the field when it is flowering.
To thine own self be true!

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