Effective Methods for Eliminating Couch Grass from Your Lawn.


Couch grass, also known as quackgrass, is a persistent weed that can quickly take over your garden. Its aggressive growth and spreading nature make it a nuisance for gardeners and farmers alike. If left unchecked, couch grass can smother other plants and compete for nutrients, resulting in poor crop yield. In this article, we will look at some effective methods to get rid of couch grass and keep your garden beds weed-free.

One of the most common ways to get rid of couch grass is by digging it out. This involves carefully removing the entire root system to prevent it from regrowing. However, this method can be time-consuming and labor-intensive, especially if the couch grass has spread extensively. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of digging, there are other methods you can try.

Herbicides can be used to kill couch grass, but you need to be careful when using them. Some herbicides can damage or kill desirable plants, so it’s important to read the label and follow the instructions carefully. Additionally, some herbicides contain chemicals that may be harmful to humans and animals. If you want to get rid of couch grass without using chemical herbicides, there are organic alternatives available.

One method you can try is smothering the couch grass. This involves covering the affected area with a layer of material, such as newspapers or plastic, to block out sunlight and prevent the couch grass from growing. Over time, the lack of sunlight will weaken and kill the plants. However, this method can take several months to be effective, so patience is key.

If you’re looking for a quicker solution, you can try using a weed spray specifically designed to target couch grass. These sprays work by entering the plant through its leaves and killing it down to the root. However, be mindful of the wind direction when spraying to avoid accidentally killing desirable plants.

In conclusion, getting rid of couch grass can be a challenging task, but it’s not impossible. Depending on your preferences and available resources, you can choose between digging, using herbicides, smothering or spraying. Whatever method you choose, the key is to be consistent and proactive in your efforts to prevent couch grass from taking over. With proper care and attention, you can enjoy a weed-free garden or farm throughout the year.

Couch grass

Couch grass, also known as quackgrass, is a stubborn and invasive weed that can quickly take over your lawn or garden. Its strong rhizomes make it difficult to eradicate once it takes hold, but there are several methods you can use to help get rid of it.

1. Chemical herbicides: Some chemical herbicides can effectively kill couch grass. However, they should be used with caution as they can also harm desirable plants. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and consider seeking professional advice.

2. Organic herbicides: Organic herbicides are a safer alternative to chemical ones and can help weaken and kill couch grass. These herbicides typically use natural ingredients like vinegar or lemon juice to target the roots of the weed.

3. Digging: One of the most effective ways to remove couch grass is to dig it out by hand. Make sure to remove all the roots, as even a small piece left behind can regrow. This method may take some time and effort, but it’s a reliable way to eliminate the weed.

4. Covering with newspaper or mulch: Another method is to cover the affected area with several layers of newspaper or mulch. This blocks sunlight and suffocates the couch grass, gradually killing it off. Leave the covering in place for several weeks to ensure the weed has died.

5. Using mats or plastic sheeting: Similar to covering with newspaper, you can use mats or plastic sheeting to smother the couch grass. Secure the material over the affected area, making sure there are no gaps for the weed to grow through. Leave it in place for several months to completely eradicate the weed.

Remember to regularly check for any re-growth and remove it immediately. It’s important to be thorough when dealing with couch grass, as it spreads quickly and can be persistent.

Overall, getting rid of couch grass requires persistence and a combination of methods. Experiment with different techniques to find what works best for your situation. Always consider using organic or environmentally-friendly alternatives, as they are safer for your garden and the ecosystem.

If you’re unsure about how to tackle couch grass in your lawn or garden, seeking professional advice from a landscaper or gardening expert can provide valuable guidance.


Couch grass, also known as twitch grass or quackgrass, is a common and invasive weed that can quickly take over lawns and garden beds if left unchecked. It is a perennial grass that can grow in a variety of conditions, making it difficult to control.

One of the most noticeable symptoms of couch grass is its rapid growth and ability to spread. It can quickly take over an area, spreading through lawns and garden beds using its long and thick underground stems, called rhizomes. These rhizomes allow the grass to spread and establish new patches, making it difficult to fully get rid of the weed.

Couch grass has a distinct look with long, flat, and narrow leaves. The leaves are typically a pale green color and can be quite dense, creating a thick carpet-like appearance. The grass can also produce seed heads with spike-like structures, though they are not as common and are less of a concern for gardeners.

When couch grass invades lawns or garden beds, it competes with other plants for space, nutrients, and water. This can result in the weakening and gradual decline of other plants in the area. Gardeners may notice that their plants are not growing as well or are struggling to survive due to the presence of couch grass.

Another symptom of couch grass is its ability to grow in a variety of conditions. It can tolerate both sunny and shady areas, and is known to thrive in damp or moist soils. This means that it can spread rapidly, whether it is growing in a sunny garden bed or in the shady corners of a lawn.

If you suspect that you have couch grass in your garden, there are a few tell-tale signs to look out for. The grass can be difficult to pull out by hand, as it has a strong and dense root system. It is also quite resilient and can withstand being cut or strimmed, making it difficult to control with traditional methods.

To confirm whether or not you have couch grass, you can try gently pulling on the grass. If it comes out easily, without a long and thick rhizome attached, it is likely not couch grass. However, if the grass comes out in long strands, with a thick rhizome, it is most likely couch grass.

If you have identified couch grass in your garden, there are several options for control. One method is to physically remove the grass by digging it up. However, this can be labor-intensive and may not fully eradicate the weed, as small fragments of rhizome can be left behind and regrow. Using a plastic or other kind of covering, such as a tarp or landscape fabric, can help smother the grass and prevent it from receiving light and water.

Another option is to use herbicides, which can be effective in killing couch grass. However, it is important to read and follow the instructions carefully, as these chemicals can be harmful to other plants and should be used with caution. Organic alternatives, such as vinegar or boiling water, may also be used to kill couch grass, although they may not be as effective.

In summary, couch grass is an invasive and resilient weed that can quickly take over lawns and garden beds. It spreads through underground stems and has the ability to grow in a variety of conditions. If left unchecked, it can weaken and eventually dominate other plants in the area. Removing couch grass can be challenging, but with the right techniques and persistence, you can regain control over your garden.

Find it on

Whether you’re dealing with a weed-ridden lawn or trying to keep your garden beds free of couch grass, there are many resources available to help you get rid of this invasive plant. Here are some tips on where to find the information and materials you need:

  • Check online sources: The internet is a good place to start your research. Look for articles, forums, and blogs that provide advice and tips on how to get rid of couch grass. You can also find links to recommended products and weed killers that are effective against this type of grass.
  • Visit local garden centers: Your local garden center is a great resource for finding materials and advice on dealing with couch grass. They can suggest good weed-killing products and provide information on proper techniques for removing the grass from your lawn or garden beds.
  • Consult with farmers or experienced gardeners: Farmers and experienced gardeners often have valuable insights and knowledge about dealing with couch grass. They may have tried different methods and can offer advice on what has worked for them. They can also provide recommendations on effective grass-killing products.
  • Try organic methods: If you’re looking for organic solutions, there are safe and environment-friendly options available. Consider using organic weed killers or smothering the couch grass with layers of newspaper or thick mats. These methods can help kill the grass and prevent it from growing back later.
  • Ask for professional advice: If you’re still struggling to get rid of couch grass, consider seeking professional advice. Lawn care experts can assess the situation and provide targeted solutions to eradicate the grass from specific areas of your lawn or garden.

By using these tips and finding the right resources, you can effectively remove couch grass and maintain a healthy and weed-free lawn or garden beds.

Organic methods of control

If you’re looking for a more natural approach to controlling couch grass, there are several organic methods you can try. These methods don’t involve the use of harmful chemicals and are therefore safer for the environment and your health. Here are some organic control options:

1. Smothering

One effective method of controlling couch grass is to smother it. This involves placing layers of newspaper or cardboard over the affected area, ensuring there are no gaps. The layers will block sunlight and prevent the grass from growing. After a few weeks, the grass should be dead. You can then remove the dead grass and dispose of it.

2. Hand pulling

If you have a small patch of couch grass, you can try hand pulling it. Make sure to wear gloves to protect your hands. Use a garden fork or trowel to loosen the soil around the grass and then gently pull it out, ensuring you remove as much of the root system as possible. Be persistent and check regularly for regrowth, as couch grass can be persistent.

3. Mulching

Applying a thick layer of organic mulch around your plants can help suppress the growth of couch grass. Mulch acts as a barrier, preventing sunlight from reaching the grass and inhibiting its growth. It also helps retain moisture in the soil, making it less ideal for couch grass. Make sure to regularly top up the mulch to maintain its effectiveness.

4. Strimming

If you’re dealing with couch grass in larger areas like lawns or fields, strimming can be a good option. Trim the grass to a low level using a strimmer or a lawnmower with a low cutting height. This will weaken the grass and make it more susceptible to other control methods.

5. Planting ground covers

In areas where couch grass is a recurring problem, you may consider planting ground covers or dense plants that can outcompete the grass. These plants will provide shade and crowd out the couch grass, reducing its ability to grow.

Remember, organic control methods may take time and patience before you see results. It’s important to be consistent and thorough in your efforts to get rid of couch grass. If you’re uncertain about which method to choose or if the grass persists despite your efforts, it’s always a good idea to seek advice from a gardening professional or local gardening center.

✿ Read More: Gardening Tips and Advice.

Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.