Nutsedge, otherwise known as nutgrass, is an annoying and tenacious weed that appears in many lawns. Its thick stems, leaves, triangular-shaped blades, bright yellow flowers, and prolific nature can make it difficult to control. While controlling nutgrass may seem daunting – fear not! We’ve collected the best methods for how to get rid of nutsedge quickly and efficiently so that you can enjoy a beautiful lawn free from this pesky perennial weed. Read on to learn four effective methods to battle nutsedge or nutgrass once and for all!
Reasons for Nutsedge In Lawn & Its Impact
Nutsedge thrives in warm and wet conditions, with poor drainage. It can also emerge due to:
- Over-irrigation or an inefficient drainage system
- Low soil fertility
- Poor turf density
- High or low soil pH levels
Nutsedge competes with grass for resources, making it difficult for healthy turf to thrive, ultimately degrading the overall appearance and health of the lawn.
Before eliminating nutgrass, it’s crucial to identify it accurately. Nutgrass typically appears as patches of grass that are taller and lighter in color than the surrounding grass. The thick and stiff grass blades grow in three sets, creating a distinctive appearance. Unlike ordinary grasses with rounded stems, nutgrass stems are triangular with a solid center. The roots are characterized by nut-shaped nodules extending up to 18 inches below the surface.
Four Best Methods: How to get rid of nutsedge?
Below are the various options available for your consideration. Look at the comprehensive methods below to explore the wide range of possibilities.
Method 1: Herbicides [Chemical Control]
When it comes to herbicide application, timing is crucial. Apply herbicides before nutgrass develops more than five leaves during its early growth stage. Early-season applications are generally more effective in controlling its growth.
Selecting the right herbicide is essential for successful nutgrass elimination. Look for herbicide products containing MSMA or Bentazon, specifically formulated to target and kill nutgrass. These herbicides are commonly labeled as “nutgrass killers.”
To optimize the effectiveness of herbicides, allow the nutgrass to grow for a few days after mowing your lawn before application. Herbicides tend to work better when the weed is actively growing. Also, choose a dry period for herbicide application, as water can wash away the chemical before it can work its magic.
Always read and follow the instructions provided with the herbicide. Dilute the herbicide according to the recommended proportions and apply it precisely as directed on the label. It’s important to note that herbicides may have unintended side effects, such as damaging surrounding plants and grasses. Exercise extreme caution when applying herbicides to avoid harm to your garden and the environment.
Method 2: Organic Solutions
If you prefer organic methods for eliminating nutgrass, there are some alternative approaches you can consider. One such method involves using sugar. Water your lawn at the beginning of the growing season and then sift sugar over it in straight lines. The sugar acts as a nourishing agent for beneficial microbes while suppressing the growth of nutgrass. Lightly mist your lawn to help the sugar penetrate the soil and reach the roots.
For optimal results, repeat these sugar application steps at least twice throughout the spring and several more times during the growing season, depending on the type of grass in your garden. One advantage of using organic methods is that they do not have potentially harmful effects on surrounding plants and the environment.
Method 3: Natural Removal
If you want to know how to get rid of nutsedge naturally? Follow the standard methods:
Cutting it Out
Cutting nutsedge out is an effective method for getting rid of it, but it has to be done correctly. Pulling nutsedge out from the ground can disturb the tubers and cause them to replant. This will make it much harder to get rid of this weed. Instead, cutting the stem and tuber as high on the dirt line as possible would be best. This will help prevent regrowth.
Several animals love snacking on nutsedge, so opening up your garden to them can help get rid of this weed. Nutria, rabbits, and geese are just a few animals that enjoy eating nutgrass. However, if you have perennial beds where you want to keep deer out, this natural solution may not be the best choice.
Solarization is a method that uses the heat of the sun to kill nutsedge and other weeds. To do this, you must cover the area with black plastic, sealing it airtight to reduce oxygen flow. The heat trapped under the plastic will cause the weeds to die after a few weeks. This method is most effective during summer when sunlight and heat are high.
Cardboard can also be used to get rid of nutsedge naturally. Cut the cardboard into strips or pieces and place it over the nutsedge-affected area. Ensure that you wet the cardboard enough so it doesn’t blow away. The moisture and lack of sunlight will slow down or kill the nutsedge and other weeds. The cardboard decomposes over a couple of months, creating an excellent mulch for your garden.
Nutsedge thrives in moist, unhealthy soil. Therefore, mowing your lawn regularly and top-dressing it with compost or organic fertilizers can help improve the soil quality. This will make it hard for nutsedge to grow and spread. You could also consider regrading your lawn to improve the drainage and prevent standing water that could result in soil erosion and weed growth.
Method 4: Manual Removal
Manual Manual removal is a labor-intensive but effective method for getting rid of nutsedge grass. Follow these steps for successful manual removal:
- Wear gardening gloves to protect your hands from dirt and potential damage while working in the garden.
- Use a gardening trowel to dig deep and remove the entire root system of the nutgrass. Nutgrass roots can extend up to 18 inches below the surface, so dig deep enough.
- Handle the nutgrass gently while removing it, aiming to extract the entire root system without breaking off any roots.
- Thoroughly examine the area and remove stray roots to prevent regrowth and ensure complete eradication.
- Dispose of the nutgrass and the displaced soil in garbage bags rather than compost heaps to prevent its spread.
Manual removal can be time-consuming, especially if you have a significant nutgrass infestation. However, with persistence and thoroughness, you can effectively remove nutgrass from your garden.
You can take control of your garden and eliminate nutgrass by following these four methods – herbicides, organic solutions, and manual removal. Remember to choose the approach that suits your preferences and aligns with your commitment to maintaining a healthy garden ecosystem. Stay vigilant; your efforts will pay off with a beautiful nutgrass-free garden.
Best Chemical To kill Nutsedge
One of the best chemical solutions to effectively kill nutsedge is [Ortho Nutsedge Killer Ready-To-Spray]. With its powerful formula specifically designed to target and eradicate nutsedge, this chemical offers a reliable and efficient method for controlling this stubborn weed. Its unique properties ensure thorough elimination, leaving your lawn or garden free from the nuisance of nutsedge.
In conclusion, how to get rid of nutsedge grass requires a blend of patience, careful strategies, and timely interventions. Whether you opt for herbicides, organic solutions, natural removal, or manual extraction, the key lies in being thorough and persistent. If the infestation is severe, do not hesitate to blend these methods for more effective results. Always remember a healthy and balanced garden ecosystem is your best defense, so regular lawn care and maintenance should never be overlooked. With these strategies, you can reclaim your garden from the clutches of nutsedge and restore its original beauty and health.
Douglas Mackalie is a Founder of Mackalies Garden. He is one of the most exciting people you’ll ever meet. He has 25 years of experience in horticulture and gardening, most of which he’s spent outdoors getting his hands dirty.