Nutsedge is an invasive weedy sedge. It’s spreading like wildfire through our region. Worse yet, it is extremely difficult to control.
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Nutsedge is like a flood that just won’t stop. Considered one of the “Worst Weeds in the World,” Nutsedge spreads runners and seeds all season long so that it can easily overtake a thin lawn or bare areas. And, as if that weren’t enough, the nutlet at the base of the plant can stay in the soil and propagate for as long as 10 years.
Manual removal: If you have a minimal infestation, you can hand pull out the plants. However, it’s important to dig deep to get the entire plant including tubers, nutlets and roots (rhizomes). These are the key to Nutsedge spreading to other parts of your lawn.Nutsedge is an unbelievable survivor and very hard to control. Here are the best strategies for control:
- Mow high: Never cut your lawn lower than 3″. By cutting your lawn a little longer, you’ll be able to cut off the long blades and prevent development of seedheads. Additionally, the higher grass won’t give Nutsedge the sunlight that it needs to grow.
- Catch Nutsedge When It’s Young: Nutsedge is amazing in its ability to reproduce from nutlets, roots (rhizomes) and tubers underground to seedheads and runners above. Whether hand pulling or using a herbicide treatment, Nutsedge is most vulnerable when it first pops up in late Spring or early summer.
- Herbicide Treatment: Because Nutsedge is such a resilient plant and can stay in the soil for so many years, it may take a series of properly timed treatments over several seasons to eliminate it. Giroud’s PA Certified Applicators use professional strength herbicides and apply them at the best time to kill off the entire plant. Herbicides should never be used in the heat of summer or during periods drought. It can result in killing off good grass along with the nutsedge.
- Dealing with a Massive Nutsedge Outbreak: If your lawn is covered in Nutsedge, the only solution may be a total lawn replacement in the Fall. Giroud will remove the existing lawn, prepare the soil, and lay down a new lawn with seed or sod. This will lessen the severity of the infestation but it will still be important to manage any new seedlings that pop up
The first step to controlling Nutsedge is to have your lawn evaluated by your Giroud Lawn Care professional. We will be happy to evaluate your Nutsedge problem and prescribe the best treatment options.
The best defense against a Nutsedge invasion is having a thick and healthy lawn. Giroud’s comprehensive lawn program develops lawn density while safely utilizing properly timed treatments to control crabgrass and weed infestations along with regular fertilization. Additional actions including core aeration, topdressing, and seeding with an appropriate seed blend will further help build lawn thickness. In time, herbicide usage may be reduced as the lawn thickens.