Truly the tyrant of the weed world, Scutch is a scourge for gardening and farmers alike. If left untreated, Scutch grass will growing and develop an extensive network of roots under the soil meaning they completely dominate the soil. This is a common occurrence on farmland and unkempt gardens. The control of this weed is only possible through using a weed killer. Removal by hand is virtually impossible as the root system is never ending and can run to 2 ft deep in soils.
Scutch grass, like most grasses growing and reproduces in two ways; the first is more well known and that is by seed. Scutch grass, like all higher plants produces and flower and then a seed. In the case of Scutch the flower is a tall feathery head that appears in late summer. Once the flower dies, the seeds form and ripen and then fall to the ground to sprout into new grasses. The second way that Scutch reproduces is through the endless spreading of its underground roots or rhizomes, which grow rapidly under the soil and off which new plants sprout. This extensive root network must be killed with a systemic weed killer to control the weed.
If you are faced with the problem of Scutch grass then you will need to invest in and learn about the uses and how to correctly use weed killers. For killing Scutch you will need a contact herbicide such as Rambo, Rosate, Round-up, or Gallop. All these are virtually the same product as each contains the same active ingredient; Glyphosate.
Because the weed is so vigorous and fast growing at least two applications of the weed killer will be necessary to control Scutch. The weed can not be effectively controlled with the use of heavy weed fabric and mulching. The growing points on Scutch grass are very pointy and strong that they can pierce through even the thickest (100gms/M2) of weed membrane and can easily push its way through gravel or bark chippings.
The only way to successfully control Scutch is to apply weed killer over the course of 2 to 3 months. When applying be sure that the weather is suitable and that the grass is actively growing. After application it will take 2 weeks before any real effect can be seen. Within 1month the grass will appear dead. After six weeks the grass will have started to re-grow again and this is when the second application should be made.
With the second application the weed killer should work its way down into even more of the weed’s extensive root system. Again, wait 6 weeks and check area to see if there are new sprouts appearing, if so, and it is highly likely that there will be, then a third application is required.
It may seem excessive and harmful to apply such an amount of weed killer to an area, but if the product is used correctly, with the appropriate dilution and applied at the appropriate time of year and weather conditions then there is no reason why weed killer would damage your soil, your surrounding plants or waterways or streams.