First, let us define the word “weed.” A weed is any plant growing where it isn’t wanted. To an herbalist or the ‘back to nature’ type folks, the nutsedge is a tasty, tuberous root. However, to advocates of a nice, green all grass lawn, it is an enemy.
What Is Nutsedge
If you look at your lawn and there are patches of grass-like plants that are taller than most regular grass, congratulations. You have nutsedge in your lawn. It may have been blown in by the wind or carried on people, animals or vehicles from its last place of abode. It looks like grass, but it isn’t in the same family. It also grows a lot faster than most grass. Some people called it nutgrass.
Ways On How To Get Rid Of Nutsedge
There are a lot of people who simply leave it alone. Some of them mow more frequently to keep the grass and nutsedge at the same height. Others are just glad something green and grass-like is growing in their lawn. While it is one coping mechanism, the neighbors may not approve as it is more likely that they will benefit from the nutsedge infiltration.
Removing Nutsedge Naturally By Hand
The best natural way on how to get rid of nutsedge is to remove it by hand. This should be done in early spring, while the plants are small and it’s easier to get at the entire root. You’ll know you have it when you see the tiny nut at the end of the rootlet.
Harvest Then Eat It Raw Or Cooked
If it’s a large patch, this is time-consuming. However, if you let it grow, you can harvest the entire plant later in the summer and eat the roots. They can be eaten raw or cooked. In fact, in other cultures, they are grown for this very reason. In Egypt, it is used to sweeten barley and Spain has a drink made with it and several other ingredients. The flavor is like that of a nut and can be used for savory and sweet recipes.
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By doing this, you can naturally reduce the nutsedge population in your lawn or garden. Make sure to get all of the roots. This is a perennial plant, meaning it will come back next year if there are any remaining roots or seeds.
Using Herbicide To Get Rid Of Nutsedge
Of course, the alternative to all of this hard work is to use chemicals such as the strongest weed killer to get rid of them. It is one way to be sure that they are all gone and don’t come back. Nutsedge is a different type of plant than the dandelion so not all herbicides will work on them. There are specific types of post-emergent herbicide just for nutsedge.
Keep in mind that there are two varieties and some lawns have both. While both are still edible, the herbicide may be designed for only one. Purple nutsedge and yellow nutsedge need to be treated together, especially if you know you have both. There are herbicides that aim at both.
You may also need to add a surfactant to the herbicide. A surfactant will allow the herbicide to stick to the leaf blades. These blades are kind of waxy, so it is harder for things to stick to it. Read the label of the herbicide before adding. Some already have one in it and others say specifically not to use one. If you have any questions, talk to someone at a local nursery to find out what to do.
There are some things you will need to use an herbicide. Personal protection is a must. Long rubber or other like material gloves will protect your hands and arms. It may be wise to use a mask or respirator, especially if you have asthma or other lung conditions. Eye goggles are also recommended. This is also a job for long pants, long sleeves, and close-toed shoes.
The other thing you will need is a means to apply the herbicide. These can be found at most nurseries, garden supply stores as well as online. A gallon-sized applicator is recommended. Once you have all of this together, it’s time to treat your lawn.
The lawn treatment is not going to be a ‘once done and then no more’ sort of thing. Nutsedge is resilient and it is important to get it all. If you don’t treat your lawn several times over the summer, the nutsedge will be back next year. Given the rate plants have at adapting to things, it will only be a matter of time before it resists the herbicide.
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There is a caveat to using herbicides of any sort, and those for nutsedge are included. You are applying poison to your lawn. If you spend a lot of time using it, you are going to be exposed to the poison. As you noticed with the safety gear for application, this is obviously not a good thing.
If you have pets, you have a bigger problem. This is especially true of pets that eat grass, which includes dogs, cats, and horses. Some herbicides kill quickly. Others build up over time. One study done on dogs showed that some herbicides increase the risk of certain types of cancer, especially lymphoma.
Children should also be kept off of the lawn if it has been treated. Their smaller size makes poisoning more likely. Also, small children will eat anything. Eating an herbicide laced nutsedge leaf could have devastating results.
In this article, we have discussed the most common way on how to get rid of nutsedge weeds around your lawn. It can be simple as pulling it manually by your hands, letting it grow so that you can harvest it later, or if you don’t like that idea, then use some herbicides against it. Just be careful if you choose the latter option. If you have any question, write us your comment below.