The Q&A Archives: Getting rid of Nut Weed

Question: I've tried a lot of products and still canot find one to rid my lawn of Nut Weed. I live in Northern CA and need your advise as what to use.

Answer: Nutsedges get their name from the underground tubers that resemble some sort of nuts. These tubers are what allow these plants to be perennial. As if the top of the plant isn't annoying enough, the below-ground portion of the plant is downright aggressive. The plant produces a profusion of underground stems, each of which produces a small tuber at the end. This tuber is the source of all sorts of headaches.

If you are feeling energetic and decide to pull out the nutsedge, you'll find it comes out no sweat, but what usually happens is the top of the plant separates from a tuber that quickly grows a new shoot. Physiologically, the tuber uses up 60% of its reserves to produce that first flush of growth, so in theory you could just keep pulling it out and in the process bulk up some very obscure back and arm muscles.

If pulling weeds is too much work, so the recommended way to eliminate nutsedge is spraying. A product called SledgeHammer (formerly Manage) is available that will kill sedges but not hurt turf grasses. This works very well, but be sure to follow the label religiously. In addition to spraying, you may want to consider steps to improve drainage in your yard. Wet conditions favor the growth of nutsedge over turf.

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