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How to Identify and Control Nutsedge in Your Lawn

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How to Identify and Control Nutsedge in Your Lawn

Nutsedge is green like grass, but definitely falls in the weed category. Unlike grasses that grow blades, nutsedge, also called chufa or watergrass, is a sedge that grows in a clump from tubers or rhizomes.

Another difference is that while grass stems are round, flat and hollow, sedge stems are triangular and solid. Unchecked, nutsedge will spoil the uniform sea of green in a perfectly manicured lawn.

A first step to controlling nutsedge is to keep your lawn on a routine mowing schedule. Pulling the weeds by hand takes care of nutsedge in a small area. Make it easy on yourself and weed when the ground is still wet after rain. When you pull the weeds out, pull gently and get all the tubers out. Do not compost nutsedge. Instead, bag the weeds and dispose of them in your trash.

For nutsedge in the lawn, an herbicide may be needed. Select weed controls work by starving weeds to death by blocking photosynthesis. In the Garden Center, look for selective weed controls like IMAGE Ready-to-Spray Nutsedge Killer that will kill sedges and grassy weeds growing in warm-season turf grasses. The spray can also control sandbur, dollar weed and wild onion. Be sure to carefully follow package directions for applying and storing the chemicals.

Build your lawn’s weed resistance by following these practices.



  1. Deep watering. Encourage extensive root growth with less frequent, deeper watering.
  2. Raise the bar. Know the recommended height for your type of grass and set your lawnmower accordingly, usually to one of the highest settings. To reduce stress on your lawn, do not cut more than one-third off the height of the grass blade.
  3. Consistent feeding. Feeding every six to eight weeks during the growing season helps your lawn thicken up and fill in bare spots, making them less welcoming to weeds.

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