How do you control nutgrass?


Quick Answer

Nutgrass is controlled by removal, drying, shading, mulching and applying chemicals. Plants and tubers should be hand-removed by hand by digging down at least 8 to 14 inches to extract the plant and its tubers. Tilling the soil and allowing the exposed tubers to dry out, adding shade plants to the area or using landscaping fabric that prevents the sharp points of nutgrass from poking through are other effective remedies.

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Full Answer

Herbicide selection is limited for the control of nutgrass, also known as nutsedge. Herbicides such as glyphosate are only effective with repeated applications and only when the plant is young. Application at later stages only kills the top of the plant and does no damage to the tubers, which can then produce new foliage.

Older nutsedge plants are usually better controlled by herbicides that contain halosulfuron-methyl and monosodium methyl arsenate. Transfer of these substances to the tubers is most effective if the plant is drawing energy from the leaves to the tubers under the ground. The addition of a surfactant can make the herbicide more effective by helping it stick to the surface of the plant. Because these herbicides may also injure other turf, the product's label should be carefully read before application.

Application of dichlobenil, metolachlor or dimethenamid-P are effective at controlling preemergent yellow nutgrass but are only available to certified professionals. These herbicides are harmful to turf grass but can be used around selected ornamental plant beds.

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