How Do I Get Rid Of Nut Grass?


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Depending on what and where you are trying to get rid of nut grass will depend on best method to kill it. If it is in an area that is not being used you can spray the location every two weeks. This will take at best a year to complete and then still may have some to control.

When you see a few sprigs of nut grass in your lawn, it's time to bring out the big guns: The chemicals.

Another method is to remove the weed physically with mechanical devices. An important point to remember is that nut grass grows primarily in wet, anaerobic soil. Try applying hydrogen peroxide, the kind at the drug store, full strength to the problem areas.

Nut grass is a devilish sort of weed. Here are some of the reasons why:

You can't keep nut grass down with weed cloth or mulches. It will grow right through mulch or underneath weed cloth and emerge where it can find an opening. With plastic mulches, it will push its way through the plastic.

Standard herbicides are effective only when nut grass is really tiny.

Nut grass can spread via underground rhizomes and by nuts produced by the roots. The nuts -- which are really tubers, can last for several years in dry soil. Trying to dry out the soil to kill nut grass and the nuts won't do you a bit of good. The plants can survive drought-like conditions once established.

Nut grass is ugly in turf because after mowing it will grow more quickly than your Bermuda grass and stick a couple of inches out of the turf in a matter of days. It's possible to transfer nut grass to larger areas of flowerbeds by turning the soil and distributing the nuts.

Nut grass is sedge, not a true grass. It has an extremely slick surface, which makes it difficult for herbicides to stick to and penetrate. Nut grass does particularly well in full sun, but can poke along in the shade for years, too. The weed usually gets a good start with a wet spot in the yard, but even if that area is dried out, the nut grass can continue to grow.

Digging can be somewhat effective. The idea is that you continue to remove the green portion of the plant, depriving the nut grass root system below of nutrients, as well as removing as much of the roots and nuts as possible. Controlling nut production is important in controlling the weed. Dig up a shovelful of soil, 12 to 18 inches, trying to scoop all the roots -- they are white and slightly kinked -- as possible. Do it gently so you're likely to see any roots that break off, so you can grab them. Bag this hunk of soil and weeds and put it in the trash. You will need to continue to do this through the growing season, which runs from spring to fall.

Nut grass will grow thinner and weaker when it is shaded, so as trees and shrubs mature, nut grass can be a less noticeable problem than in the full sun.

Chemical control is more effective today than a decade ago. When applying the herbicide in lawns, you should not mow the turf for two days before or after application. Rain is not typically a problem in the coming months, but you should not apply if rain is expected in the four hours after application or water the area.

Several applications of the herbicide will be necessary through the summer months to achieve control of nut grass. To kill the nuts or tubers, you will need to hit the nut grass with the herbicide before the plants have five leaves. After five leaves develop, the plant will not move the herbicide down to the nuts, a key in stopping the spread. In that case, more young plants will develop and you'll need to spray them when they are small and young.

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