nutshedge and crab grass - Knowledgebase Question

jackson, Oh
Question by klswick
July 30, 2010
what do i do to get rid of crab grass and nutshedge grass?


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Answer from NGA
July 30, 2010

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The good news is that crabgrass is an annual weed and will die out when the weather cools. The bad news is that even if you pull it out by the roots, it will leave seeds in the soil which will try to sprout next spring. Crabgrass starts germinating when soil temperatures are 50 to 55 degrees F for ten or more days and germination can take place over a 6 week period. Pre-emergence herbicides provide excellent weed control for crabgrass. The compound prevents the weed seed from germinating, but it will not kill the newly sprouted seedling. Late April to early May is an ideal time to apply pre-emergence control in your region, but watch the weather patterns and apply sooner if the weather warrents. At this point, you might want to try raking it out or hand pulling. Depending upon the type of turfgrass you are growing, there are some products that specifically target crabgrass but not some types of turfgrass. If you use one of these products, make sure your grass type is listed on the label. Next spring use the pre-emergent, reapplying in 30 days. That should keep the crabgrass under control.

Nutgrass (nutsedge is its proper name) is indeed a pesky foe! You have several options for controlling it. Although none of them are quick and easy, they will work if you are diligent. Assuming it is in the lawn, you can hand dig the nutlets. Then wait a few days for more to sprout and remove them immediately. A second option is to spray the nutsedge with a herbicide containing glyphosate (such as Roundup). However, if the nutsedge is in your lawn, glyphosate will kill the grass as well. You can paint the herbicide on the individual nutsedge blades. Each time it returns, you have to reapply. Nutsedge is tenacious, and whatever method you choose, keep after it regularly. If you let it get a hold again, you've lost ground! The key to any approach is to never allow it to reestablish and regain its stored reserves, which are in small nutlike tubers below ground. Keep forcing it to use stored reserves to send up more growth and then quickly dig or spray it again. If you will win the battle if you don't quit!

Best wishes with your lawn.

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