nutsedge control

josephkranyeczAugust 28, 2005

I have what I believe is an attack of nutsedge . A lawn service wants to charge me $125.00 to control this weed----sounds extreme to me. what can I use to control it myself? How and when should it be applied?

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johnCT(Z6 CT)

Here's some decent info to start with. Its one of the most difficult lawn weeds to get rid of. I've had fair results using repeated applications of Ortho crabgrass-b-gon. Good luck.

Here is a link that might be useful: Nutsedge

    Bookmark   September 1, 2005 at 10:02AM
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I've got the same problem. I just identified it yesterday after hours of searching the internet...ha. I believe I got it from a load of soil my landscaper put on my lawn a couple of years ago. Grrr. Thanks to JohnT for that great article.

I just ordered 3 packages of Monsanto's Manage and 5 packets of QuickPro Dry (70+% glyphosate) on eBay this morning. Not too expensive considering the evil nature of this plant.

As for the timing of this application, I'm not sure it will work this late in the season on mature plants, but I can't sit around and do nothing. I found an article where they applied it in September and October in AZ. They concluded that using both glyphosate and Halosulfuron was effective in controlling both small and large plants. So I'm going to give it a shot. I'll probably do two applications this fall and repeat again next spring.

I plan to apply to individual plants using a small paint accessory fashioned like tongs with pads. About the only laugh I got while researching this was that someone calls this method, "the tongs of death." Another possible delivery method is to spray through a tube that surrounds the plant such that the spray won't touch others. I'll also add some food coloring to ID which plants have been touched. I also considered using a sponge bottle to a stamp moistener. I may use that method on some other weeds in my lawn.

The upper surface of the leaves is waxy and the lower surface is dull. I can only imagine getting to that lower surface will be important for any translocation.

You can spray Manage, but glyphosate spray (Roundup active ingredient) will kill surrounding turf. It will definitely take a while to infestation is probably in the neighborhood of 100 plants. I'll probably use clippers to make a fresh cut on the stems so the poison will seep. I read one post that suggested that application to one stem may kill more than one plant because of the root system linkage.

I'm probably hoping against hope, especially when JohnT's article specifically says, "Many people mistakenly use systemic herbicides such as glyphosate to try to kill the tubers after the plant is fully grown. Unfortunately, when tubers are mature there is little translocation of the herbicide from the leaves to the tubers, thus tubers are not affected." My only thought is the concentration of glyphosate I'll be using is nuclear. Also, I've read that you can treat perennial weeds in the fall, prior to a hard freeze. "Herbicide movement into the root system is greatest at this time of year." Contradictory, but I have hope. Ha.

Next spring, I'll likely use only the Manage spray on newly formed plants. It sounds like persistence and patience is the only way to deal with this scourge.

If you DO hire a company to spray Halosulfuron, wait until spring. This stuff is most effective on young plants. Also, you probably will need at least one repeat spray.

I'll let you know what happens. Doing anything at this late date may be a fool's errand, but gotta try.

    Bookmark   September 3, 2005 at 10:03AM
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I have a large yard in the DFW area and have dealt with purple nutsedge in both my yard and some neighbor's yards. Your comment that Manage won't work on the mature plants late in the season isn't correct.

A week ago, I treated some plants that I let get out of control in my yard during the summer and they are yellowed and dying. Keep in mind however, nutsedge is an ongoing issue that you can get ahead on but not completely get rid of. If you don't go after the new plants soon enough, like I didn't this last time, you will have have a new sprouting in the spring and maybe even later this year of the nutlets.

Let me give you some tips on using manage effectively.

1) I would never mix it with roundup. Its not necessary to get a good kill on the plants no matter what stage they are in. Manage will in fact stop the growth of the nutsedge almost immediately so the next time you mow, it wont be going anymore. Within a week or so, the nutsedge will turn yellow and then brown. The trick is to treat the plants early on in the life cycle so they don't produce nutlets.

2) Make sure you put a non-ionic suficant in your mix. A little bit (few drops / gallon) of Dawn dish washing soap works good or you can get a "spreader sticker" from some garden stores. Without this, you are wasting your time and money as it breaks down the waxy surface of the nutsedge so the herbicide can be absorbed efficiently.

3) I would use a marker in your spray. Although its not necessary, I use a true marker that you can add to your mixture that will go away with the rain and sun. This way you can see what you have treated and also avoid walking through it. You can get a marker from some nuseries or lesco dealer in your area. If you have a home depot landscape store, they carry it many times. I am not sure food coloring will work the same and may not show up good enough to see, but then again I haven't tried it.

4) Since it is an ongoing problem that you will have for a few years you may want to buy a 1.3 oz bottle of the manage for about $100. It will make 43 gallons of mix and since Manage isn't being made anymore and its replacement (Certainty) is currently only packaged in a bottle that costs $350. Its not clear if they will repackage it for the average consumer so it would be wise to get enough to last you a few years. Besides, at $15 or so per single package of manage that makes 1 gallon, you can see that the bottle for $100 that makes 43 gallons is a much better buy.

Hope this helps you in fighting this nasty weed.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2005 at 10:17AM
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sage_lover(z6 OH)

I have used Manage for 4 years & nutsedge comes up every year where I have supposedly killed it! Even surfactent has not seemed to help.

Could someone explain how to kill this weed in a short but sweet answer? Apparently it needs to be hit early in it's life cycle from what I have read on this forum. Is manage alone enough?

    Bookmark   September 8, 2005 at 9:14PM
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Sage Lover:

Manage does work and if you are seeing the effects on the plants you are spraying, it worked. However, its not like a normal weed where once you kill it, its gone. Here's the best way I know to explain it.

The first application of Manage will control up to 95% of the existing nutsedge. Because nutsedge spreads underground by tubers or 'nuts', and above ground by seed (although I have heard the seeds are not viable for the most part) it will be necessary to make multiple applications to totally contol the weed. Nutsedge thrives in wet soils, so reducing the frequency of watering with your irrigation system will help control the spread of nutsedge. In addition, it has been said that for every ton of top soil you apply to your lawn, you are planting at least 500 pounds of weed seeds. Try to avoid bringing in top soil unless absolutely necessary. Roto-tilling your lawn will also bring tubers to the surface. Weed seeds can lie dormant in the soil for years (crabgrass seeds have been known to live 15 years in the soil) until brought to the surface so they can germinate.

First, the weed you see grows from a tuber. Once the plant gets to a stage where it is 3 leaves (if I remember correctly) it starts to store its energy by creating new tubbers. In theory, if you are dilligent and you pull the plants before this occurs, you prevent it from reproducing.

The reason you don't kill the tubbers when the parent plant is killed is if you wait too long, the tubbers are mature and they are no longer receiving nutrients from the parent plant so they don't receive the herbicide. If you treat them early enough, you will prevent tubber production and kill the ones developing.

Be patient and you can get to a point where you will hardly ever see nutsedge if at all. But if you do, get it quick so it doesn't produce its tubers.

Hope this helps explain things well enough to help you get ahead of the problem.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2005 at 4:44PM
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Wow, thanks for all the great info. Actually, I didn't do anything with my nutsedge patches. The topgrowth died in September which I'm assuming is natural. So, I'll wait for the little buggers to sprout in the spring. Thanks for the info about the future costs of Manage/Certainty...ouch. I'll take the advice about getting a nearly lifetime supply. Argh, I hate this stuff. Makes me think I'll be buying potting soil to level my lawn from now on.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2005 at 9:05PM
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Some of you guys are dreaming of spraying something on nutsedge and watching it die while you spend Sunday inside, out of the heat :-) I know 'cuz I've been there. There is no herbicide that actually works vs. nutsedge, and no landscape company that can actually eliminate it for $100+ and a few treatments.

The answer is persistence and hard work. You gotta get down on your hands and knees and pull it. To maximize nutlets and tubers coming up when you pull, wait till after a heavy rain, or turn the sprinkler on a few days in a row, then do it.

When you pull, grab each one carefully, as low to the ground as you can. Helps if you get below the surface (dig into the dirt some). I don't use gloves so I can feel when it's likely to come out -- all the way out. You know it's working when you pull up tubers and interconnecting "vines" and sometimes even one weed pulls up others nearby. Once you're that good then you're nutsedge's worst nightmare. When you start to pull if it feels like too much resistance then use a trowel to loosen the dirt... otherwise you break off the stem leaving the evil tubers (rhysomes, I guess).

When we bought the house in 2005, it took me 2 years to figure out the previous owners had been overrun by this evil weed, what was going on, and come up with a strategy... all the while the thing just infested and got worse. No amount of mowing and trips to Home Depot for the latest nutsedge herbicide did any good. But after hand pulling two years in a row results are excellent. Now it's easy to keep up with ... see a couple of new ones, gotcha, can do it in 20 min. My biggest problem now is some spots in the neighbor's yard are moving closer :-(


    Bookmark   June 30, 2009 at 2:38AM
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I am controlling the nutsedge the same way except I start pulling the minute I see the plants start coming up in the spring. Since the nutlets have not formed and the soil is moist I find it is easier to pull then. I continue to pull as I see the plants. I have gone from a light green haze to only a few spots.

You do have to train yourselves to do two things, grab the plant low almost to the ground and do not slide your hand as you pull. Sliding will make your hand feel like it has paper cuts for a week or so.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2009 at 1:43AM
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Any and all sedges are plants that grow most often in very moist soils, even though many people here dispute that. The link below, from Ohio State Universtiy, has this sentence in it, " Yellow nutsedge thrives under warm, wet conditions and can often be found in low, damp areas of lawns."
To totally eliminate this look closely at the soil conditions, especially where this grows, correct those soil conditions, and you may not need to spend a lot of money in the future to control the sedges.

Here is a link that might be useful: About sedges

    Bookmark   July 6, 2009 at 8:21AM
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I am amazed that no one in this forum has mentioned SedgeHammer - a turf herbicide manufactured by Gowan that is for the elimination and killing of nutsedge. I have fought nutsedge in my snall Florida yard for years - not even ChemLawn could get rid of the weed so I fired them and started my own do-it-yourself program. I've used Roundup which kills everything to spending hours pulling the stuff up. I recently called a Farmers Co-Op and discovered SedgeHammer. You can also buy it on eBay. Anyway - it works, and my lawn is finally free of nutsedge!!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 6:31AM
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Oh my goodness! I'm overwhelmed by the information I just read! I'm going to look up purchasing Sedgehammer, as suggested above but my story seems to have a twist that no others do. Here it is: We just bought a home with a front yard that consisted of a pile of dirt...that's it. We had a bobcat come in and level the yard. It is going to be a rental property that we didn't want to have any yard maintenance worries about so we decided to cover the whole yard with nylon mesh weedblock, planted a tree in the middle and spread two inches of rock on top. Done, or so we thought. This dang weed is coming through the weedblock and rocks!! I couldn't believe my eyes! I pulled some and took it to my local nursery for ID. They said it is 'torturous' and they don't have anything to help me. I read above that the best idea is to pull it. Well, I can't unless I make holes in the weedblock, which defeats it's purpose...not that it's doing it's job in the first place! I had some Round-Up at home already so put it in the weed sprayer, diluted a little more strongly than recommended. It's kind of doing the trick. We hit it once a week, for about a month now. The weeds are dying but there are new ones every day. Please...any words of wisdom? I'd dig 'em up in a heartbeat but the weedblock is my stumbling block!!!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2011 at 12:23AM
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There's a product called Image. You can get it at Lowes or Home Depot. It works great. But until you gotten rid of it, I would bag the clippings when cutting your lawn. That way the seeds from the nutsedge is not being spread on your lawn. I did that for about the first 4 cuts this year and all of mine is gone and I had a lot of it in my yard. Good luck guys.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2011 at 10:54PM
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Wow....looks like I am going to be busy for a while :( I recently had a large section of my yard torn up during the digging of a new well. Since it was a mess, I took the opportunity to bring in several loads of "black dirt" to fill in a big "low" spot.

Last month I had a friend spread the dirt around and I seeded it and spread straw. Once we got a few very hot, humid days and nights....the grass really started to take off. About a week later the nutsedge started to "POP".

Now I have a big problem!!!!!

The neighbor also used some of the dirt I had brought in to fill a couple of bad areas and he to as nutsedge growing like crazy. He just ordered a jug of Image and plans on treating his small problem with it.

I, on the other hand, have a much bigger problem. The section of lawn I am dealing with is approx 40' x 80' and it was seeded less than a month ago.

Should I take a chance and hope the new grass will survive an application of Image or Sedgehammer, or should I just RoundUp the entire section and start over.

If I start over, what would prevent new nutsedge seeds from coming to the surface when I prep for re-seeding?

Also....which do you prefer...Image or Sedgehammer?


    Bookmark   June 30, 2011 at 8:04PM
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Instead of spending large amounts of money every year to control this annual "weed" correct the conditions that allow it to grow and then you will not need to purchase those poisons that are known to be harmful to our environment.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2011 at 9:29AM
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gmatx zone 6

Kimmsr, nutsedge is not an "annual" weed. While nutsedge prefers moist soil, it will grow quite well in dry areas. Therefore, any nutsedge that is brought into an area in new soil or perhaps even in rootballs of plants needs to be destroyed before it can establish hold in the flower bed/yard. So, your statement "Instead of spending large amounts of money every year to control this annual "weed" correct the conditions that allow it to grow and then you will not need to purchase those poisons that are known to be harmful to our environment." is very condensending to those who are fighting this weed and also not very helpful at all. Being good stewards of our environment is what all of us want, but common sense must prevail - not fanaticism.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 4:30PM
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This is from the first paragraph of the linked article, "Nutsedges are common weeds in landscapes and gardens in the coastal valleys, Central Valley, and southern areas of California. They thrive in waterlogged soil, and their presence often indicates drainage is poor, irrigation is too frequent, or sprinklers are leaky. Once established, however, they will tolerate normal irrigation conditions or drought."
I don't think it condescending to attempt to give peopel common sense advise. Telling people that sedges are plants the dev eloped growing in bogs is not fanaticism. Most all "weed" problems are related to the soils they grow in and correcting those soil conditions will help solve most all "weed" problems, without spraying products that are destroying our environment.

Here is a link that might be useful: Nutsedge

    Bookmark   July 4, 2011 at 8:02AM
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Just spent about 5-6 hours over the weekend on my hands and kness pull out the d**n stuff. This was in part of my mother's yard. I'd never seen it there before; believe it crept under the neighbor's fence, since there is a slight slope. I've dealt with it in common areas/neighboring lawns near my home in VA, so I know how tough it is. Only thing to do is keep pulling it with as much root as you can get until it stops growing back (for a while, anyway). If you don't control it, it will spread like crazy, and no weedkiller (such as weed-b-gon) will kill it. You want to pull it anyway because it really makes your yard look awful, so even if you could kill it, you'd want to pull as much as you can. I'm afraid what Mom's lawn is going to look like at Labor Day! I'd like to find a way to get even for our neighbor's "gift".

    Bookmark   July 5, 2011 at 4:45PM
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I was told by my boss who is a licensed chemical sprayer, that "BASAGRAN" is the only chemical that will actually kill off the Yellow Nutsedge Weed. He said it may take a couple of years spraying it before the weed will completely die out. But you should see results after the first year. Haven't tried it yet, but I sure intend to very soon!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 7:44PM
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My experience has been that Sedgehammer and Image are not effective over the long-term. I tried both in a small area, thought I had results and left the area alone, and the next year that area had the hardiest patch of nutsedge I've faced yet. Back to hand-pulling and constant vigilance.

Maybe those chemicals work if applied frequently, but that's something I don't want to do.


    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 10:42PM
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