A nutsgrass or nutsedge is a perennial grass weed. It is a lousewort or reedmace. It is a violent and stubborn weed which has the appearance of pale grass. Hot weather is feasible for its growth. It can live in humidity but dry soil is its mother lap. One can easily point it out among grasses due to its v-shaped stalk. It produces under-ground stem like a potato called rhizomes. These rhizomes in nutgrass are commonly called nutlets. New plants emerge out of these nutlets. It has deep roots that make it sturdy. This article is going to discuss how to outdo and defeat this nuisance.
Now the question arises here is how to control its growth and eradicate it if it has invaded your yard?

Prevention and Maintenance

Again there can be two ways to end it

  1. Organic 
  2. Inorganic

Organic method:

Digging it out:

While talking about the organic way it is simply digging it out or pulling it out of the lawn. Pulling it out seems difficult and effort consuming process as it has deep rhizomes inside making it fixed in the soil. 

Second way is digging it out. Dig it out with a hoe or garden tools. First water it completely so that its soil gets soft and moist. Digging such soil is easy. Now you have to take the bulb out of the soil like you dig out a potato. Beware do not break the bulb. Doing so will have the risk that you left a part of it in the soil. This will give it a chance to regrow in the soil.

Mowing your Lawn:

Another organic way is mowing your lawn at the proper height. Consider the type of your grass and its position. Mow the lawn at a height when the grass stands out in the nutsedge. Mowing short fuels the nutsedge. So, while mowing, consider the height setting in your lawn mower.

Another inorganic way to kill this plague is by putting sugar on it. First irrigate the lawn with a garden hose. Put sugar in a sifter and sprinkle it over the nutsgrass. To kill this horrifically resilient weed that plagues many a lawn, coat the grass in sugar. It will help greatly and will not cause any harm to neither the lawn nor the lawns keeper.  Sugar literary speaking will kill the nutgrass and empower the friendly microbes of the lawn. Spray water again with a pipe or sprinkler. It will help sugar seep down to the soil for more strengthened effects. Repeat the procedure whenever needed.

Use of sugar:

Another inorganic way to kill this plague is by putting sugar on it. First irrigate the lawn with a garden hose. Put sugar in a sifter and sprinkle it over the nutsgrass. To kill this horrifically resilient weed that plagues many a lawn, coat the grass in sugar. It will help greatly and will not cause any harm to neither the lawn nor the lawns keeper.  Sugar literary speaking will kill the nutgrass and empower the friendly microbes of the lawn. Spray water again with a pipe or sprinkler. It will help sugar seep down to the soil for more strengthened effects. Repeat the procedure whenever needed.

Use of vinegar:

Vinegar is also used for killing weeds or nutgrass. Along with the benefit of vinegar to kill unwanted weeds, it has a poisonous effect on useful plants and flower beds in the yard too.

Hereby, it is suggested to use it with deep care to save other plants and flowers.

Vinegar can be easily sprayed all over the nutgrass to kill it by using a heavy-duty sprayer.

Inorganic method:

Another way to pester the pestering weed away is the inorganic method. By using inorganic methods we are threatening the soil in the long run and also causing a hazard for the ecological system.

Different herbicides can be used to kill this savage from the lawn. These herbicides can be pre-emergent and post-emergent. 

Read the instructions of the manufacturer before applying the chemicals. Note down the proper procedure of the application. Also determine the quantity of the chemicals to be used per square meter.

Pre-Emergent herbicide:

surfactant herbicide

The herbicide will work the best if it is used before it grows to leaves. There is no use to cry over spilt milk, if it has started to have leaves you are a goner as a pro gardener. Eradicating the leafy nutgrass is a real challenge. So nip the evil in the bud and kill the savage weed before it sprouts out by using pre-emergent herbicides. Make sure that the herbicide seep down to the bulb and the root.

Herbicide will kill the bud before it blooms. Use the herbicide early in the season. By this time the weed will be tender, fresh and young. Such a fragile thing will be killed on the spot with the herbicide as compared to the grown up one. Select a suitable herbicide after consultation with a seasoned gardener.

Products having MSMA and bentazon work great as nut grass killers. 

Post-emergent Herbicides:

Some herbicides work best when the weed is trying to grow with all its strength. For such a type of chemical treatment let the nuts grass grow before the procedure. It is best within a couple of days of lawn mowing. Apply the chemical now to get the maximum output.

Time

For application of chemicals you have to avoid watering the lawn. Herbicides work best on dry soil so apply the herbicide on an arid soil.  Wait for a couple of weeks after watering the lawn. Do not spray the herbicide if there are chances of rain. It will be effective if it remains on the plant and raining will wash it away. 

Repetition 

Repeat the procedure twice in the hot weather and six to eight times before it vanishes from the garden. 

Before snipping this vicious weed out of the lawn its identification is necessary. Following are the main characteristics of the nuts grass. 

 1. Look for patches of grass

Nutgrass is taller in stature and its appearance is thinner than the normal grasses. It seems daintier to look at. It has small patches on it which need to be observed very minutely and meticulously. It is difficult to notice but a careful look may reveal the true essence of the nutgrass.

2. Inspect the blades of the grass 

Scrutinize the texture and width of the grass blades. The blades of nutsgrass are thick and taut.  On the observation, keep in mind that the blades of nutgrass shoot out into sets of three. Some varieties have only two blades instead of three projecting out of a single stalk. 

3. Survey the stems. 

The close survey of the stem is also a lead to recognize the nutsgrass. Pluck a stem of suspected nutsgrass off and observe the point of the broken part. .  Break a stem of potential nutgrass off and look at the broken tip. If the stem is triangular in shape i.e. just like a cone, and a compact center 

Then it is no doubt a Nutgrass. Its stalk is V-shaped rather than round. Normal grasses have rounded stems. Secondly the nutsgrass has solid stem while normal grass has empty stem.

4. Carefully dig down to the root of the nutgrass. 

If your suspicion based on the appearance still lasts, you can confirm your doubts by digging into the roots of the suspected grass. If upon digging you come across any nut shaped protuberances near the root, shake hand your suspicion was baseless-it’s a nutsgrass bulb.

Use of Surfactant:

Surfactant addition is also a great option to support the herbicide to stay longer on the nutgrass and kill them successfully. Surfactants act as a waxy covering on the weeds that allows the effect of post-emerging herbicide long-lasting. Another benefit of using surfactant with herbicide is that it makes the absorption of herbicide quick and deeper till the root system of the nutgrass/weeds kills them completely.

Herbicide and surfactant can be used by mixing all together and spraying evenly onto the unwanted nutgrass in your yard or anywhere you do not want its presence.

Make sure that you wear protective clothing, gloves, goggles, and foot covering to avoid any damage to your skin and eyes.

  • Keep in mind that there are a few herbicides to kill nutgrass or weeds that are not allowed to be used in home lawns, they can be only used in commercial properties.

Conclusion

The first misconception we need to rectify is that the nutsgrass is technically not a weed grass. It is a lousewort that is a potential loss to the yard. It grows in the portion of the lawn where the sanitary and drainage systems are not working. Its head is purple or yellow with needle like yellowish green leaves. It is quite difficult to control due to its rhizomes which provide it with strong support. These tubers may be as deep as 8 to 14 inches which makes its grip in the soil firm and fixed. It can both be eradicated organically- by pulling out, digging out, by mowing the lawn properly and by sugar treatment or inorganically- by applying herbicides (chemical procedure). 

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