Yellow Nutsedge growing in a lawn


WTH is that Tall, Light Green Weed Growing in my Lawn!!

Everyone has heard the phrase “growing like a weed” and it’s pretty safe to say that this phrase was based on the weed known as Nutsedge, Nutgrass, or Watergrass. Nutsedge tends to grow quickly and taller than the average turf grasses, causing it to be an eyesore for homeowners.


What is Nutsedge?

It is a grass-like weed which actually belongs to the sedge family. Nutsedge is easily identified by its triangular shaped blades that are often described as lime green or bright green. The root system of nutsedge consist of multiple fibers called rhizomes and produces tubulars. Each tuber has the capability to produce a new plant, which is why it is critical that it is never pulled.
Nutsedge is one of the most difficult, if not the most difficult weed to control. Unlike crabgrass, nutsedge cannot be prevented with pre-emergent nor is it effected by previous herbicide (weed control) applications. Nutsedge is treated once emerged, which can cause quite the problem when it comes to timing of lawn care applications.

Suppressing Nutsedge

When it comes to treatments with a herbicide, most of the products on the market only suppress the growth and never truly kill or eradicate it. When an herbicide appears to have killed the plant, it very well may have killed that plant but it did not kill the root system nor did it kill the plant producing tubulars beneath the surface. Nutsedge suppressing herbicides often require multiple applications but never get to the root of the problem.

Killing Nutsedge

There are not many options when it comes to killing nutsedge. One option is to use a nonselective herbicide, such as round-up; however, round-up will not only kill the nutsedge but it will also kill the turf grass; this is a better option for landscape beds rather than lawns. Another option for killing nutsedge is researching & hiring a lawn care company that uses one of the newer products on the market and will truly kill the nutsedge, rather than suppress it. At TurfGator, we have been using a nutsedge killing product since 2013.

Preventing Nutsedge

Nutsedge thrives in damp and humid weather and prefers sunshine over shade. In fact, it is difficult to find it growing within a shaded area. Areas of the lawn that have standing water or poor drainage would be the first areas of concern when it comes to predicting where nutsedge will grow. Having proper drainage is ideal in the fight against nutsedge.

In addition to proper drainage, the thicker the lawn the less room it will have to grow. Annual aerating and seeding is highly recommended to continuously fill in spots that may be a little bare or spots where weeds previously were but have since been killed. This will not only help to keep nutsedge at bay, but will also help prevent other pesky weeds from emerging within the lawn.

Sum it up

Next time the lawn is mowed during the summer and nutsedge emerges twice as tall as the rest of the grass, think about what is going on in that area and monitor those areas for standing water, drainage issues, and thin spots within the lawn.
It is always a good idea to consult with a lawn care professional and ask any questions you may have. Look around, ask friends or family, and research companies on the Better Business Bureau to find a company that you can trust.

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