The Q&A Archives: nutsedge

Question: Last summer this pesky weed appeard At first i was carefully digging up each one to get the rizome out but they soon were outnumbering my attempts. Now i use fertilome spray going out every morning about 30 min and spraying each new sprig. Sprayed about 3 days each one drys up and dies but there still seems to be no end to this weed. Granted it gives me something to do but i think i could figure out something more enjoyable!!! lol any suggestions? BTW...there doesnt seem to be a catagory above to fit weeds!!! lol

Answer: Nutsedge really is a royal pain! And I agree - there are far more interesting things to do in the garden than attack nutsedge on a daily basis.

Nutsedge, or "nutgrass", Cyperus esculentus, is an adaptable weed that makes its home in low ground along water courses or in rich sandy soils where gardening is practiced. It is a triplet species because it can reproduce from a perennial base, nut-like tubers beneath the soil surface and by seeds. The nut-like tubers are what make nutsedge difficult to eradicate. If the plant is not completely removed from the soil and the tubers remain, they can produce new plants in your lawn.

Nutsedge is difficult to control culturally because it produces numerous tubers that give rise to new plants. Pulling nutsedge will increase the number of plants because dormant tubers are activated. However, it is possible to control nutsedge by pulling, but you must be persistent. If you are, eventually the nutsedge will die out.

If you are going to treat with an herbicide, it would be better to leave the nutsedge plants undisturbed so the herbicide can be maximally translocated to the roots, rhizomes, and tubers. Several herbicides are available for nutsedge control. 'Manage' is the most effective and safe for most turfgrasses. It is also the most expensive, but if an infestation is not too severe, one application should take care of the problem. The 'Manage' label says to apply it after nutsedge has reached the three- to eight-leaf stage. Waiting until this growth stage apparently results in improved translocation of the active ingredient to the underground tubers and rhizomes.

Hope this helps!

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