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Do My Own Lawn Care - How to Get Rid of Nutsedge

By DoMyOwn staff

Nutsedge, also known as nut grass, is a weed commonly found in lawns during the summer. These weeds stand taller than the grass in your lawn and are notoriously hard to get rid of given their immersive root systems. Nutsedge is a perennial sedge, meaning it is a grasslike plant that will live for at least two years and will come back year after year.

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Video Transcript

It's 6 o' clock in the morning. I got a full tank of gas, a got a 45 minute drive to get to where we're going to talk about today's subject cause it ain't gonna be in my yard.

It's dark and I'm wearing sunglasses. Hit it.

I've stood all I can stands and I can't stands no more with our lawn here at DMO headquarters. So we're gonna tackle some issues we've got going on in here - let me show you what I'm talking about.

Check this madness out right here. This isn't the only problem we've got going on here but this is the most obvious so we're gonna tackle this first. 

This right here.. is a nutsedge problem... a big nutsedge problem.

Before we talk about nutsedge and how to get rid of it the first thing I've gotta do is figure out how much square fotage I'm tackling here so.. first order of business: take some measurements.

Okay so we've got four main sections we're tackling here. We're going to call this Section A, Section B, Section C, and way down there on the other end is gonna be section D.

And keeping in mind they aren't perfect rectangles, like here you've got a nice little triangle-shaped cutoff on the end here and it also kinda curves around the garden bed over there. 

Same issue with this section here: we've got a bunch of landscaping on that side and a nice triangle point cutoff here. And way down there, Section D, it's kind of a long - it starts out wide and it goes narrow as you get down to the other end - so I'm keeping that in mind.

But the total square footage Section A right here is about 405 square feet, Section B we're looking at 1,200 square feet, Section C 2,100 square feet, and Section D down there is about 1,200 square feet. So all of this added up is roughly about 5,000 square feet that we have to tackle with our nutsedge problem.

So let's dive in about nutsedge. It's a pretty common weed during summer months and you can easily pinpoint it because it stands much taller than your turf. And it's very hard to get rid of because it has a very immersive root system. It's also a perrenial sedge meaning it's gonna leave for at least 2 years and grow back year after year

And it's gonna grow much quicker than your grass even after it's been mowed. And sometimes it can be pretty hard to spot this because it actually looks like grass blades, but at the end of a nutsedge stem you're usually gonna find three leaves and a flower. and those flowers can be different colors but most commonly they are yellow or purple or a dark, dark red.

Nutsedge with yellow flowers, or most commonly known as yellow nutsedge, typically grows in the middle of summer. Whereas nutsedge that has deep red or purple flowers, also known as purple nutsedge, will typically grow in late summer.

And just like all sedges, nutsedge weeds have a triangular stem you can actually feel in your hands.

Learn more about how to identify nutsedge here

So I'm going to do my best here to dig one of these out so we can take a look at the root systems and talk about that.

Alright so I did my best to pull these nutsedge weeds out with the root systems so we could identify it and give you a good example of what they look like.

Now the roots of the rhizomes, they can reach about 8-14 inches below the ground. And the rhizomes, they will grow horizontally under the soil and emerge out of the soil to form a new sedge plant somewhere else in the yard.

So what that means is multiple sedges here can be connected by one series of rhizomes. Now like I said I did the best I could to pull these out and get the nutlets that are typically at the bottom of the root systems.

So let's talk about that for a minute: so usually the roots will have some small starchy tube structure known as nutlets attached at the bottom of the root system here.

And if you see nutlets at the bottom of the root system, 100% no doubt about it: that is nutsedge. Not sure why these don't have the little nutlets on them, either I didn't dig deep enough to pull them out or when I did pull them out, those got snapped off but, I know for certain these are nutlet weeds.

I'm not sure if this is showing up well or not on camera, but you can see you have the triangular stem here to the weed and yeah, it most definitely feels like a triangular shape when I run my finger up and down it so, yup, nutsedge.

Now in this summary if nutsedge has enough sunlight like what we've got here in the front of our building in our turf-like tall fescue, it's gonna grow much, much quicker than the actual grass itself.

And usually at this stage in the game you're gonna have flowers budding in the top of the nutsedge. Now in the summertime, especially with this cool season turf like what we have here in the front our building, the turf begins to slow it's growth and the nutsedge begins to amp it up because it has plenty of sunlight to feed off of.

And if you leave it unmowed, it can grow to be over a foot tall. Now another note about nutsedge, it starts in the spring but it tends to slow down in the cooler temperatures. But in the middle of the summer when it's blazing hot like it is here in Georgia, it's gonna grow like crazy.

Now nutsedge thrives in really sunny areas and doesn't do so hot in the shade. So if you go to inspect your yard, I'd inspect the sunniest parts first.

So that's nutsedge, in a nutshell. So now let's talk about how to get rid of it in your yard.

Really the only option you've got is to hit it with a post-emergent and one post-emergent application is most likely not gonna be enough. 

If the nutsedge tubers, or the nutlets at the bottom of the root system, are not killed, they most likely are gonna grow back the next season.

So again, one application of post-emergent herbicide is most likely not gonna do the trick, you're gonna have to do one or two, maybe even three, different applications. So the post-emergent that we're gonna mix up today and put down at our turf here at DMO headquarters should put a pretty good dent into our problem so: let's get to mixing and spraying.

So the post-emergent I'm gonna be using to tackle our nutsedge problem in the front of the building says I need to mix 9 grams per gallon for every 1,000 square feet. Guys, I know I said about 5,000 square feet out there in the yard but it's more like 4,000 given all the garden beds and the angles, turns, and corners that all the turf has up there. So I'm looking at 4,000 square feet so one 4 gallon mixture should do the trick.

So of course I'll use my Turf Mark to see where I've sprayed and where I haven't sprayed.

Check this out: this is how you know it's really hot outside. 

And.. done. We did about 3.6 grams and 4 gallons of water over roughly 4,000 square feet. and I think I've lost about 20 pounds because it's about 1,000 degrees out here and about 100% humidity. I'm tired.

This application should put a pretty good dent in our nutsedge problem here. I have no doubt that we'll have to come back through and retreat it in the future. We'll do a follow up in a week or so just to see where we're at, and like I said, we'll probably have to retreat.

Like I said at the beginning of this video, this is not the only problem we've got going on in this turf. There's some other issues that we're gonna have to tackle.. those are all videos for another time.

If you wanna know more about the post-emergent I mixed up and used in our turf here, I'll leave the link in the description box below so you can hop over on our website at DoMyOwn.com and read more about that.

If you have more questions about nutsedge, leave those in the comments section below, email them over to the Customer Service staff, or pick up the phone and give them a call.

If you're not already click this button to subscribe to the channel, you can click this link here to watch the most recent episode in the lawn care series, or if you want to watch all of them from the beginning, you can click this playlist... right here.

And as always, thanks for watching.