Nutsedge Warrior!

budbackeast(FLORIDA)April 19, 2012

Greetings to all the good folks posting about the evil grass named nutsedge.

When I bought my house 13 years ago, the yard was ruined by nutsedge. I am certain that I had at least four different varieties.

I've tried every poison and every trick in the book. Nothing really eliminated then all, although the Ortho and the Bayer products seemed to eliminate two varieties. All that was accomplished by these chemicals was to give the most evil varieties less competition. My yard was ruined.

So I did what every respectable American lawn guy would do. I went to war. I started in a corner of the property and just started digging, using a small hand tool to avoid injuring the cables and wires that criss cross my yard. I dug down as far as two feet to insure that I got every piece and every nutlet. It took almost a year of constant effort, but I got the whole yard done.

Of course, pieces were missed, but the dirt, having been tilled and sifted so thoroughly, was loose, making it easy to take on anything which reared its head. A second year, and the problem was solved, and that was a decade ago.

But on the other side of my driveway, there was no divider to keep these beasts fromcreeping in from my neighbor's yard, overtaking my strip of land. It is here tha I have used the poisons to little avail.

But a wonderful thing happened last fall - the owner moved away. It was abandoned! Hooray for the recession! I immediately took on his whole yard, killing it once per month with RoundUp. I did that for six months.

The nutsedge is exhausted, but still alive.

With nobody to stop me, I began digging and digging. I am half way finished with my own property...

As you can see, I tear out a section, then plant fresh plugs. This is how it looked at sunset today. In a month, I'll be done with my property, and will push the project about ten feet into the other yard. At that point, I will take the most evil soil-burning poisons on the market and will nuke the rest of his yard. Digging lets me win all the battles. Liquid death will let me win the war.

There are several 'extended control', total kill type of products out there. I plan to use them all. This is Florida, where poisons that supposedly last a full year actually leech from the sandy soil in about four months. So late in the summer, I will be able to plant plugs of good grass in his yard which will be free to thrive.

Yes, my diabolical plan is not environmentally friendly, but this is nutsedge. Sissies should not do battle with this evil weed. But if you want to really win the war with this pest, you need to man up and dig down. Kill kill KILL!

If you are a Buddhist, maybe you can learn to live with the nutsedge. But for us manicured lawn loving folks, do what you have to do to win.

I shall prevail.

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"This is Florida, where poisons that supposedly last a full year actually leech from the sandy soil in about four months." So those poisons leach from your sandy soil to Where? The ground water and they end up in the water you and I drink, even if that water comes from "pure mountain streams" where animals do things you do not want to know about in that water.
Understanding the evolution of the sedges might well be a benefit when dealing with them. Spraying poisons is not the answer to control. The link attached might be of some use, although there are those that do not wish to believe the researchers from any University.

Here is a link that might be useful: About sedges

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 7:35AM
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Hello kimmsr

When they come up with a real cure for a disease, I subscribe to its use. Until a cure is found, 'treatment' is the only option. I'd love it if you or anybody else had an environmentally friendly solution to such things as nutsedge. By all means, tell me how to eradicate it from an adjacent yard! I will become your humble disciple.

But if you have no cure for this plague, I will do what is lawful and effective. My instict is to pour gallons of gasoline on the dirt, as nothing could survive that. But good taste and a wish to minimize the consequences restrains me from doing so.

As recent AIDS research reveals, a cocktail of partially useful chemicals can be effective where individual chemicals cannot. I shall not use a cocktail per se, but will apply several weed killers a week apart to choke the living snot out of this nutsedge nuisance.

But now is your big chance to save the environment from me. Tell me a gentle approach to eliminating the nutsedge from the neighbor's yard. Time is of the essence, as that property will face foreclosure by the new year. I need the nutsedge gone and to put in a good St. Augustine Grass lawn, which I will do at my own expense.

You can save the planet right now! But hurry, for a quick fix is critical.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 11:19AM
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Hello again kimmser:

I just finished reading the UCDavis article about nutsedge. It is about two common varieties as found in California. Florida has additional varieties. Using Sedgehammer did seem to kill off two varieties in the past, but all that did was to remove competition from the more aggressive surviving species, making a royal mess of things.

The article clearly states that nothing can be done to effectively eradicate my neighbor's well established 'nutsedge farm' for situational reasons. The article explains how prevention is the best policy, yet the yard in question is truly plagued with old, well established plants. It suggests using black plastic and mulch, which is not a reasonable approach for a house going into foreclosure. UCDavis's article does however include the use of those evil herbicides. Herbicides? Okay. If I cannot trust your own artcle, who can I trust?

I'll just kick back and await your own prescription for my problem. But one thing is for sure: I am not going to spend a muggy Florida summer hand digging another guy's yard.

So, what else?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2012 at 1:07PM
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Sedges evolved in boggy areas, wet lands, and so commonly grow in soils that are mostly wet, ie. irrigated lawns.
If you were to contact the people at your county office of the University of Florida Cooperative Extension Service they would, more than likely, tell you the same thing that is on that University of California web site. talk with those peole at your UF CES office because they have, fairly readily available, lots of good information about a;most anything you could want to know.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 8:01AM
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Hi kimmser:

Actually, I have read all sorts of things from multiple sources for half a decade. Nobody has a good solution for the problems I face with nutsedge. Yes, it is a boggy land problem, but the neighborhood in which I live is semi-arid, sandy dirt. It sure isn't soil and it sure is dry most of the time. This is Florida, not America in any real horticultural sense.

The weeds here are evil. By the things I have read, nutsedge should not want anything to do with our part of the state, but here it is, in multiple varieties galore and all growing vigorously in the dry, nutrient-deficient sand.

The only thing that has been successful for me is to dig and to dig deeply. And as I made clear above, this is what I am doing for my property and for about ten feet into the adjacent property. But if the adjacent property's nutsedge is not vanquished, in only one more year, it will be back into my own territory and will make all of my efforts come to naught.

I do know nutsedge, and I do know what works and what doesn't work. Please keep in mind that we are discussing an abandoned property being the problem. My best solution is a chemical one, and with nutsedge, being kind and gently is never the correct approach. This is war.

Here is a link that might be useful: My nutsedge has spread all the way to... Toledo!

    Bookmark   April 21, 2012 at 8:28PM
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Keep in mind that birds eat the seed produced by the sedges and deposit them in many places as they fly over, so if there is a stand of sedge nearby you will have seeds spread around by those birds.
Sedges eveolved as plants of bogs, and in Florida you ahve many of those so very possibly much of the plants growing in your yard come from the seeds of sedges in nearby bogs where they are native. Sedges, like all plants, can and have evolved to grow in more arid soils. Most often where I see sedges growing, both here in Michigan and in Florida, Northe Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and numerous other places is in lawns that have in ground ittigation systems that keep the top 4 inches wet by watering daily. I seldom see sedges growing in lawns or gardens that are not watered daily.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 7:12AM
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Hello kimmsr!

You got me there. Both yards have irrigation. Since the infestation is so severe, I could only dream that the problem will take care of itself now that that property will go unwatered all summer.

If you again look at the photo I posted at the start of this page, you will see a photo showing the places where I had dug out the roots and planted plugs. The bushy grass area is from last autumn's plugs, ane the obviously new plugs are where I had only recently begun to dig the nutsedge out.

The areas where I had used RoundUp for six months is also apparent in that photo. I wait a full month after the final application before digging, as RoundUp probably does have some toxicity. In the dead zone, a bit of green is showing, indicating that even all six doses of RoundUp have not destroyed the soil.

But I am now considering the thought of not mega-dosing his yard after all, so long as the hot, dry summer can doom the nutsedge without chemicals. I'll know by July. July is terrible here, and if the nutsedge gets sickly looking, I may just dig the whole yard after all.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 8:09PM
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I have it here in Minn. in patches and used a hose spray type weedkiller on it.
It did not get it all but where it got it, it is gone.

I cannot tell you the brand I bought because I bought so many different types to use on the parking lot, which has weeds that you can hear laughing at you at night, I paid little attention to brand name and more to price.

It seems some of the cheaper ones sold at the over-run old stock dollar store type type places work best.

I rarely use poison sprays,till push comes to shove, but as I got tired of pulling crab-grass by hand I gave in and now I seem to have the upper hand.
I used it on the nut-sedge as an after thought.

My opinion of RoundUp is very low as it has worked no better to worse than cheaper alternatives.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 1:44AM
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Thanks, RpR_

If you saw the above photo, you see tha I am a determined digger. I fixed my main yard years ago by persistent digging. Now, the far side of my driveway is all that remains of enemy territory. But the problem is that nutsedge can travel eight feet in one season! It grows undergound, and my neighbor's yard is riddled with it. Only by dooming his weedy yard can I save mine. I will dig out all the nutsedge in my yard on that side of the driveway, and dig out about ten feet into his yard (now abandoned).

My intentions were to poison the bejeebers out of his remaining yard, but I am being advised by kimmser to let the stuff die of drought over the summer. I'll give it until July to see how that works out.

In Florida, our summers are 9 months long. Were I to live in Minnesota, I cannot imagine having a weed problem, as the growing season must be very short. Yank it and forget it, no?

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 10:04PM
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budbackeast, I doubt that anywhere I advised you to allow those sedges to die of drought. What I am trying to get across is that spraying poisons to control them is not an environmentally sound practice, as well as attempting to get you to know how those plants grow so you can make changes in your practices that may slow them down in an environmentally conscious way.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2012 at 7:36AM
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Hello again kimmsr,

I do not expect themm to melt away in the heat. I understand you. But they have already been hit hard with RoundUp, SIX TIMES before I even began digging. These are wounded weeds. Perhaps I already have them on the run. Without spraying the truly evil chemicals, I might be able to beat them back by more gentle means.

The key here is that I have all summer to finish them off by whatever means necessary. Once the foreclosure is finalized, the new owners will want a real lawn ASAP. If I can wipe out the nutsedge, then I will give him a great yard for free. Ain't I a sweetie!

Yeah, right. I know that if he gets a good lawn, it cannot adversely affect my own. And if he still has nutsedge, I am going to get it creeping into my yard yet again. So, being a desperate man, if I can do it the nice way, then I will. But if you see a mushroom rising over the southern horizon, it's an indication that I had to nuke the yard after all. Nutsedge must die!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 12:15AM
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I'm with you Budback. I got it too, in bog free Mesa, AZ
I'm currently trying to catch each new generation with Image and Sedgehammer. So far I've knocked it down well over 50% in the year since I bought the 80yo house.

As to the abandoned neighbors creeping weeds, wouldn't it be easer to create a Maginot line in your salvo against the sage? Make a barrier 10-15" deep in the property line to stop the spread into your yard?

Here is a link that might be useful: My twitter pic

This post was edited by eline65 on Thu, May 23, 13 at 16:23

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 3:19PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

My yard has no irrigation and our gardens and yard are rarely watered. Nutsedge is rampant, believe me. Our neighbor (no irrigation) has it in his lawn while ours is in the garden areas. Sedgehammer keeps it at bay for both of us.

I worry about the suggestion to kill the nutsedge by drought. One, it won't work.....and two, irrigated lawns and landscape plants are likely to suffer terribly. Irrigated plants tend to grow very shallow root systems, not able to do well at all without frequent, shallow waterings.
You will likely see your lawn show signs of severe stress.

Plants that have been grown without irrigation will develop very well branched, far reaching roots, able to go for a very long time with out rainfall or watering. As long as weeks or months, depending upon the temperatures, humidity, and wind.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2013 at 12:00PM
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I just read that the nuts can live for a couple years. I thought I had mine under control. Then we got a good hearty rain. I'm going to file a grievance for these shenanigans!

Sadly, it's just as plentiful as when I first got the place. Thanks dormant nuts!!! So no, water cessation is not a valid battle plan. and I ran out of spray, as well as money thanks to a $600 municipal utility deposit. Yes government has my best interest at heart, but I digress.

Pulling and spraying are my future!
I listened to a local nursery owner about how to kill bermuda. You have to give it life (water it) before you can kill it. I think I'll follow suit. Get it to spring forth, dig, then spray what pathetic shoots remain.

Some farmers reduce the nightmare by deeply tilling and fertilizing to replace the nitrogen. The idea is to kill the rhizomes by bringing them up and drying them out. They've had good results, like a 90% reduction. Something to think about when getting ready for sod.

This post was edited by eline65 on Wed, Aug 21, 13 at 2:33

    Bookmark   August 21, 2013 at 2:30AM
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