How to Identify and Get Rid of Nutsedge

When you are out in your yard, you may find a tall weed with long leaves that look similar to grass. This is called nutsedge and it can be very difficult to get rid of because it reproduces so quickly! Nutsedge is common in lawns and gardens during the spring and especially summer months but disappears during the autumn.

Nutsedge is a weed that can be found all over the world, but is most common in warmer climates. It is an extremely strong plant that spreads quickly and can even grow in places where there are no other plants growing. If left untreated, this weed will take over your garden and ruin all of your hard work. If you are seeing nutsedge pop up on your lawn or garden, here’s how to identify it and get rid of it! 

What is Nutsedge?

Nutsedge, also called Nutgrass, is a flowering plant whose scientific name is Cyperus esculentus . It looks similar to grass, but has slightly thicker leaves that are pointed. It is technically a sedge, which is a type of rush plant with triangular stems that grows typically in wet grounds.

If you see nutsedge growing anywhere on your lawn or garden, it is best to get rid of it as soon as you can. But how do you know if you have Nutsedge in your lawn? The easiest ways to identify nutsedge are by how it looks and where and how it grows.

What Does Nutsedge Look Like?

Nutsedge is most easily identified by its leaves, which have a darker green color than normal grass and they grow in triangular shapes.

Nutsedge can be a variety of different colors, including green, yellow, red/purple and even black! Their leaves are most commonly bright yellow-green and look like spikes rather than simple flowers or petals.

The stem is triangular in shape and the roots are orange-brown. There is an old saying – “Sedges have edges”. If you pick up the stems and roll them around in your fingers, you should know whether it’s a sedge or just regular grass.

You can also identify nutsedge from its root system – it has a large, thick network of roots that go deep into the soil to survive dry spells.

Where and How Does Nutsedge Grow?

Nutsedge most commonly grows in wet conditions, but can also grow in dry soil as well. It grows where there is a lot of moisture and it quickly spreads to areas that are damp as well as those that have been flooded by water.

Nutsedge can be found near lakes and rivers, but often grows around home foundations because these areas tend to hold the most moisture in lawns. Because it is similar to grass, this plant spreads quickly and grows in clumps.

It can grow very short or up to three feet tall depending on what time of year it is being grown in. It is found in summer most often because they can out-compete regular grasses and lawn plants for the sparse nutrients and water.

Nutsedge can reproduce quickly by growing large tubers underground, which are clusters of new plants that grow out from the bottom of the original plant. These tubers are often called “nutlets”, and they are what allow this weed to spread so quickly.

How to Kill Nutsedge in Your Lawn

Now that you know how to identify if you have Nutsedge in your lawn, the next step is to get rid of it! Here are some tips to help you kill the Nutsedge in your lawn.

Organic Methods

The first thing you should try is digging up the nutsedge and their tubers by hand. Once you dig up the roots, try to get rid of them by placing them in a bucket with salty water and letting them soak overnight.

The next morning when you go outside, make sure all of the nutsedge is dead because if even one plant remains alive it will grow back very quickly! This digging method can be done by hand or with a small spade, and is most effective if you have only a small patch of nutsedge in your lawn.

For another method of organic control, you can try using corn gluten meal. This chemical tends to work well if applied before your nutsedge problem gets out of hand. It works by limiting the amount of nitrogen in the soil, which nutsedge needs to live.

If you can’t get rid of your Nutsedge with corn gluten meal or digging it up by hand, another option is to use a chemical remover.

Chemical Methods

The best way to fully kill Nutsedge is with herbicides, and especially post-emergent herbicides. One of the most effective herbicides to use is called Sedgehammer. You will need to apply this chemical in the fall when the nutsedge plant has grown past its blooming stage.

You can also use herbicides such as Compare-N-Save, Ortho Weed-B-Gone With Crabgrass Control, or most weed killers with grass-killing properties.

Other herbicides can be applied in the summer, but are less effective. Read the product label of any chemical you use to see what time of year you should apply it.

Protecting Your Lawn From Nutsedge Growth

If you’ve successfully gotten rid of the Nutsedge in your lawn, or you don’t want it to pop up in the first place, here are some tips to keep your lawn free of this troublesome weed!

1. A Thick Layer of Mulch

By applying a thick layer of mulch around your grass, you can suffocate any nutsedge growing underneath the soil.

Mulching helps keep moisture in the ground so that when the ground is moist, the nutsedge will not be able to grow. You can use either bark or regular mulch for this purpose.

You can also prevent weed growth by using weed-blocking fabric under mulch. Also, be sure to aerate your lawn whenever needed.

2. A New Lawn Mower Blade

To keep Nutsedge away, you should mow your lawn regularly. And, if you mow your lawn regularly, you should probably put a new blade put on your lawnmower. The thicker the layer of grass above the soil, the harder it is for Nutsedge to grow through the soil.

If your grass is healthy and thick, you should not have a problem with Nutsedge growing in your lawn! If possible, try removing any that pops up because it’s easier to get rid of them when they’re still small.

3. Don’t Let Your Lawn Sit Dormant for Long Periods of Time

If no grass is growing in your lawn, you are giving weeds a chance to grow instead. Do not let your grass sit dormant for too long lest it become overgrown with weeds!

That’s All

Nutsedge is a pesky perennial weed that can be identified by the pointy, sharp leaves and stems that grow in triangular, edgy shapes. It has been known to cause problems in lawns and gardens due to its ability to grow quickly and reproduce itself easily.

It’s important to know how nutsedge looks like, where it grows, and what you can do about it before it takes over your entire yard. We hope this information will help you keep your lawn looking beautiful without the pesky weed spreading through it.

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