How to Get Rid of Nutgrass (Control Nutsedge in Lawn)

Nut grass is a resilient weed that gives many gardeners nightmares on how to get rid of it completely from their lawns. If not controlled, nutsedge will choke out desired grass and you will end up with a lawn full of weeds.

Nutgrass is also known as coco grass, ground almond, java grass, or nutsedge. It is a perennial grass that’s very troublesome to grass lawns. It is usually seen during summer as it competes with lawn grasses for nutrients and water in hot weather.

Nutsedge has bright yellow-green leaves in nature and has tubers that are white inside when young but when they mature they become reddish in color.

This weed has underground stems that spread by means of rhizomes which end up being shoots and later develop to become new plants. Nutgrass reproduces by means of underground tubers called nutlets.

Nutlets can survive for a span of up to 10 years hidden deep in the soil before producing and becoming new nutsedge plants.

How to Get Rid of Nutsedge Naturally

Natural methods don’t contaminate the soil and they are safe to use around other plants.

1. Removal by hand

This simply involves uprooting the nutgrass using hands. Select the nutgrass then pick it out slowly making sure you have not left any tubers underground.

Alternatively, Use of a gardening trowel. Insert the base of the trowel and dig down as deep as you can because the grass is known to have a very deep root system of about 12 to 18 inches then remove it.

2. Pouring hot water

Pouring hot water is a good way of killing nutgrass to the root. You only need to boil water and walk around as you pour water on the sprouted weed in your lawn. You need to be careful as hot water can also kill your grass.

3. Use vinegar

To get the best results, you need 1 tablespoon of liquid washing soap,1gallon of vinegar and a cup of salt then mix them together as you shake to ensure the mixture has to dissolve well. Spray on the areas where there are weeds or directly onto the weed.

Note: This solution is an indiscriminate weed killer and it may kill any plant it comes into contact with. Do not use it on your desirable plants.

Also read: Does salt kill weeds permanently?

Chemical Control – Killing Nutgrass with Herbicides

This involves the use of chemical herbicides to control the nutgrass.

Pre-emergence herbicides

These are herbicides that kill weeds whose root systems are not yet formed in the soil. Its best applied during spring and fall as this will not affect the already existing grass.

It’s important to note that pre-emergence herbicides prevent cell division and vital parts of the weeds from being established but do not prevent the germination of the seed.

Post-emergence herbicides

This is the opposite of pre-emergence as this kills nutgrass that has already germinated in your lawn. It’s supposed to be used when the plant or grass is actively growing on the lawn.

There are two types of post-emergence herbicides, Systematic vs Contact post-emergence herbicide and Selective vs Non-selective herbicide post-emergence herbicide.

Systematic vs contact: The difference between this two is how they destroy the nutgrass. Systematic herbicide is meant to be absorbed into the plant as this ensures that the structure of the weed is destroyed completely from the roots upwards.

On the other hand, contact herbicide destroys, and kills the leaves and the stem of the nutgrass once it comes into contact with it.

Selective vs non-selective: Selective herbicide works by targeting the weed without interfering with the grass on your lawn, while non-selective usually kills every plant that it comes into contact with.

When dealing with herbicides

  • Always select a suitable herbicide that works best and use it when the nutgrass is young with few leaves.
  • It’s important to always read herbicide labels and instructions carefully as you follow the directions given on the application, storage, and disposal of the chemical.
  • Apply the herbicide at the proper time when the nutgrass is growing vigorously for effective results.
  • Always apply the recommended amount of herbicide as this will avoid damaging the soil residue and injury on your grass.
  • Wear appropriate protective gear when dealing with chemicals.

Also read: How to get rid of weeds without killing grass.

Final Thought

Good care of your lawn can help in preventing weeds including nutsedge. When grass is healthy, weeds find it difficult to complete. Ensure your lawn is well fertilized, watered, and mowed as needed.

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