Last Updated on April 14, 2021 by Grow with Bovees
Lawns grow different kinds of weed. One of them is the nutsedge, which is easily distinguished by its long, slender leaves and a triangular or V-shaped stem. Though they bear flowers, they are not welcome in the garden, and they don’t make any landscape look nice.
And like most weeds, nutsedge is also a nuisance that needs to be taken out of your yard. If you want to know how to get rid of nutsedge, read this article on nutsedge and find out the best way to take away this type of weed.
What is the Nutsedge Weed?
Before learning how to get rid of this undesirable plant, let’s get to know what nutsedge is. It isn’t actually grass, it’s a sedge. According to Clemson Extension Home & Garden Information Center or HGIC, nutsedge is a perennial lawn weed that looks like a grass but with a lighter green color.
It comes in two varieties: yellow nutsedge and purple nutsedge. As a weed, it infests gardens, lawns, and even your home landscape. It thrives in hot weather, which means that it grows a lot during summer. It can also grow on both dry and moist soil.
Often referred to as nutgrass, it is the kind of weed that can’t be taken out easily due to its extensive root system. It produces root tubers called nutlets and underground stems called rhizomes that sprout small plants growing during warm seasons. Every new plant can proliferate in patches of at least 10 feet (3.05 m) in diameter, making it difficult to remove if not treated right away.
Ways to Remove or Help Control Nutsedge Plants
Perhaps, the most conventional way to remove nutgrass weeds or any other weed is to pull them out as soon as they start sprouting. This method is effective when the soil is moist or soft enough to let you pull out the entire root of the weed, including its nutlets and rhizomes. If the roots remain in the ground, it will grow again, and you’re back to square one. It will also be helpful if you plant grasses that can act as weed control against the growth of this pest.
If you’re looking for other organic ways to get rid of them, you won’t be able to find any. But there are other methods that are proven to be effective in controlling nutsedge weeds. Combining these methods is said to be the most effective in nutsedge removal as suggested by the HGIC.
Cultural Method to Get Rid Of Nutsedge In Your Lawn
This control method is basic as it follows the recommended practices in managing the lawn grasses. It includes mowing the grasses at the ideal height of 2.5 inches (6.35 cm), applying the right amount of fertilizer at the proper time, and maintaining the right soil pH.
It is also important to have proper irrigation and ensure that it’s done with precision and timing. If the soil is too moist, it becomes a thriving spot for nutsedge weeds to grow. Insect infestations should also be monitored to prevent bare areas from becoming a nutsedge territory.
Additionally, make sure that lawn tools and equipment are thoroughly cleaned, too. Nutlets and rhizomes may remain in the tools, and that can cause the weeds to spread once they are used again. Remember, they can thrive in topsoil and can survive for many years, so clean your equipment after using them.
Mechanical Method Of Weed Control
The mechanical method refers to the elimination of small nutsedge patches by digging. You can control the growth of nutsedge by digging at least 10 inches (25.4 cm) below the ground and eight to ten inches from the plant’s leafy part on the topsoil.
Doing this removes the growing tubers and rhizomes. If possible, start digging early in the spring when the climate becomes ideal for tubers to be produced. It is best to cut them before they grow.
Chemical Method — Use Nutsedge Killer
If the first two methods don’t work, then you can resort to using chemical control with the help of post emergence herbicides. Herbicides work well in managing different weed species, but you need to identify the type of nutsedge to get rid of to make it effective. But make sure to read the instructions and check the pesticide if it can damage other plants in your lawn. For your reference, here are the most common chemicals present in herbicides.
- Bentazon – formulated to use on bermudagrass, centipedegrass, fescue, Augustinegrass, zoysiagrass, and other types of turfgrasses. Avoid applying this chemical on newly grown turfs until they have matured. To ensure its effectiveness, don’t expose to any source of water, like sprinklers and rainfall, within eight hours of application.
- Halosulfuron – effective in getting rid of purple and yellow nutsedges. When using herbicides with halosulfuron, you need to apply two teaspoons of nonionic surfactant in every gallon of water. Spray the solution to the weeds and repeat it in three to four weeks to complete the treatment.
- Imazaquin – recommended application on lawns made of bermudagrass, centipedegrass, St. Augustinegrass, and zoysiagrass. After applying the solution to the weeds, treat them with 1.5 inches of irrigation to wash this chemical to the roots. Do the same treatment in three to five weeks to see the desired results.
- Sulfentrazone – acts faster on nutsedge weeds, but a second application may be necessary for complete treatment.
Control Nutsedge in the Vegetable Garden
According to an article published on OSE.edu (The Ohio State University), nutsedge tubers are edible but only if you cultivate them as a food crop. If not, then nutsedge weeds will not be a serious problem for your vegetable garden.
In case when your garden has a nutsedge infestation, don’t use herbicides just yet. The chemicals may contaminate the vegetables that you’ll be eating. Instead, utilize cultural control methods to remove the unpalatable weeds without damaging the vegetables.
Here are some things you can do to keep nutsedge away from your vegetable garden.
1: Pulling out of Nutsedge Weeds Every Two Weeks
It is best if you do it before every plant grows out six leaves. The reproduction of nutsedge is through its underground tubers. If you wait too long to pull them out, the removal of tubers becomes more difficult to do. A University of California research reveals that a nutsedge tuber exerts 60 percent of its energy to develop another plant. It means that regular weeding eventually results in the decrease of nutsedge weeds in your vegetable garden.
2: Avoid Flooding Your Garden with Water
Watering plants is a common practice. But if you notice nutsedge weeds growing in your vegetable garden, reduce the amount of water you give to your plants. Irrigate when the vegetable you cultivate need irrigation. The nutgrass weed thrives on moist and wet soil, so make sure that you don’t over water your plants.
3: Treat Your Garden with Liquid Horticultural Molasses
SFGATE also suggests using this treatment on weeds appearing outside the mulched area. All you to do is create a mixture of water and liquid horticultural molasses. Combine 1/4 to half a cup of molasses and a gallon of water. Gardening experts say that two or three applications of the mixture will kill the nutsedge weeds in your vegetable garden.
4: Use Landscape Fabric
This tip is a bit technical, but it yields impressive results in getting rid of nutsedge weeds. With that said, landscape fabric is a flexible sheet that is made from woven fibers or polypropylene polymer. It is usually referred to as a ground cover, which means you use it to cover the vegetable garden. This obviously needs to be done before any planting takes place.
Using landscape fabric against nutsedge varies in its ability to suppress the weeds from growing. University trials have revealed that non woven groundcovers work better than woven fabrics. Newly developed weeds can’t punch through the fibers’ tangled mat, (as they can with regular plastic mulch) blocking their growth, which results in killing the weeds. Based on a university trial, Dupont Typar 307 and 312 were the most effective in managing the nutsedge.
5: Mow Grass High Rather Than Short
Mowing your lawn too short will actually stimulate the growth of nutsedges, so make sure that you mow the grass high.
6: Regular Use of Good Quality Weed and Feed
Using a quality weed and feed product on a regular basis will help your lawn to crowd out the unwanted nutsedges.
Top Products for Removing Nutsedge In Lawn
You don’t have to stress yourself too much when it comes to controlling the weeds. There are reliable products that you can try to help you remove the pesky nutsedge weeds in your lawn. For your guidance, here are three of the best products for nutsedge removal.
1. Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer
An organic weed killer made from corn, the OMRI-listed Green Gobbler Vinegar Weed & Grass Killer can eliminate all kinds of unwanted weeds within a few hours. It is formulated with 20 percent acetic acid, which is four times stronger than normal household vinegar. Aside from nutsedge weeds, you can also use it to get rid of crabgrass, clover weeds, dandelions, moss, and white clovers, to name a few.
Application: Apply directly on the weeds or to the areas where you don’t want undesirable plants to thrive.
- fast-working product
- eliminates different kinds of weeds
- no toxic chemicals
- safe for residential, commercial, agricultural, and industrial uses
- no formulating needed; can be used directly from the container
- has very good reviews on Amazon
- harmful on humans; keep out of children’s reach
- dangerous on domestic animals
- corrosive; can damage walls, patios, and floors
2. Dr. Earth Organic & Natural Final Stop Weed & Grass Killer
Like the first product, Dr. Earth Organic & Natural Final Stop Weed & Grass Killer is also OMRI listed, which means that it is used for organic gardening. It contains essential oils that don’t only get rid of weeds but also kill insects on your crops. It doesn’t have glyphosate and synthetic ingredients, making it plant-friendly.
Application: The best way to use this product is to apply it to the weeds early in the morning or when the sun goes down. It is to avoid leaf burns. You can also use it a day before harvesting your fruits and vegetables. But before using this weed killer, it is advised to test it first on discreet areas to check if it causes surface discoloration.
- made of essential oils
- no synthetic ingredients
- kills plant pests
- can be used before harvesting day
- can’t be used any time of the day
- average quality
- may not be used directly
3. Bonide Burnout Weed Killer
Designed to kill all kinds of growing weeds, Bonide Burnout Weed Killer is safe to use around humans and pets. When it dries after application, it becomes waterproof; it is still working under the rain. It doesn’t translocate, and it works during cold weather up to 40 degrees Fahrenheit (4.44 °C).
Application: This product is ready to use. You don’t have to mix it with water. It comes with a nozzle that makes the application convenient. Just remember to read the instructions carefully.
- kills all undesirable weeds
- ready to use
- easy application
- lasts longer than other weed killers
- works at low temperatures
- average quality
- application may be done repeatedly
- can damage stone drives
Conclusion of What Kills Nutsedge
We hope that this has helped you to decide the best way to deal with your nutsedge problem. Although it is a tough weed to control, it’s not impossible. Good luck!