How to Control Nut Grass

How to Prevent and Remove Nut Grass

What looks like grass but is not grass? It is not a trick question; nut grass or nut sedge is not grass but a weed. It grows in as tall grass with a purple, called purple nut sedge, or yellow, called yellow nut sedge, flower. Simply pulling it up does not help because you just remove the plant from the root. It goes quickly in lawns that are heavily moisturized and in direct sunlight. Nut grass not only makes a lawn or garden look unfavorable, but it also resists other plant and crop development.

Controlling Nut Grass

There are numerous ways to control nut grass. Some are more effective than others are. Hand weeding is ineffective unless you pull up the tuber or basal bulb. In order to keep nut grass from returning you need to attack the tuber. Even if the root is destroyed, the tuber is still intact and the nut grass will resprout. You need to target the tuber because it proves the nutrients and the seeds for the nut grass. If there is not a tuber, there is no nut grass. If you see nut grass, check the soil for a tuber, which looks like a bulb. They are usually 6 inches below the ground and many can be seen if you take a quick look when you are outside.

Another way to control nut grass is to use an herbicide. In order to control nut grass, you need to deal with the tuber. A way to control nut grass is to use glyphosate or Roundup. With Roundup, you would wait two to three months after the nut grass has emerged before treating it with the herbicide. Let the nut grass grow and when those three months have passed, make sure you clear any other plants, for example flowers, or crops, before you spray. Follow Roundup’s directions for dealing with nut grass. This will not make all the nut grass in your lawn die, but it does a great job in killing both the weed and the tuber. Roots under the ground do not connect the nut grass so it is not possible just to spray one weed and all the others die. You need to find them all and spray. Do not let the nut grass run rapid more than the two recommended months before treating it. Nut grass usually dies after three months and then the roots connecting to the tuber cannot be killed until the next time.

You can also use other herbicides. Image, MSMA, Manage, Nutgrass ‘Nihilator, and Basagran T/O can also be used to treat nut grass. Before using any herbicide for your lawn or landscape test the result on a small patch of grass to make sure, it does not do more damage than it should.

  • Image not only treats nut grass, but also broadleaf, crabgrass, and bahia. It is absorbed through the root system and takes the herbicide straight to the turber. It stops the turber from sending the weed nutrients and from reproducing. It, however, can take several weeks for Image to take full effect. Combine four ounces of Image with one gallon of water. Make sure you read the label thoroughly before use.
  • MSMA or Monosodium acid Methanearsonate is a herbitude mixture that can be found in Bayer Advanced’s All-in-One Weed Killer for Lawns, Acme Crabgrass and Nutgrass Killer, and Monterrey Weed Hoe. Read the labels of each nutgrass control in order to determine which is best for your lawn. MSMA usually needs to be applied multiple times weeks after the first use to be effective. If you are treating purple nut grass with Image, you will need to mix it with a MSMA product such as with Bayer Advanced’s All-in-One Weed Killer for Lawns.
  • Manage, now called Sedgehammer, is also effective in removing both types of nutgrass. It not only treats nut grass but also most turf grasses. The best way to treat nut grass with Sedgehammer is to attach it to a garden sprayer and apply it to the nutgrass. Read the label for more detailed directions.
  • Nutgrass ‘Nihilator can also be used. It uses sodium salt of bentazon to treat nutgrass, but make sure you read the directions before applying it to your lawn. This product kills a wide variety of weeds and helps prevent nutgrass from returning. It can also treat bluegrass, fescue, bentgrass, bermuda grass, bahia grass, centipede grass, zoysia grass, rye grass, and St. Augustine grass.
  • Use Basagran T/O to treat yellow nut grass only because it does not treat purple nut grass. It is effective in controling nut grass and killing the tuber. It also kills broadleaf weeds and annual sedge. Basagran T/O should be applied to the base of the weed and you should repeat the treat 10 to 14 days after the first installment.

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