Weed of the Week: Nutsedge

Yellow nutsedge is beginning to show up in lawns across Indiana.  This light green to yellow grass-like perennial weed begins to emerge during late May to early June in much of the state.  Yellow nutsedge (also called nutgrass or swampgrass) is neither a grass nor a broadleaf.  It is a true sedge and as such, it is not controlled with the usual weed killers.  Sedges can be differentiated from other grasses by their triangular stem, which can be easily felt by rolling the stem between your fingers. As with most weeds, control begins by promoting an overall healthy  lawn that can compete well against the yellow nutsedge.  If only a few yellow nutsedge plants are present, hand weeding may be successful.  If a wider area is infested, products containing MSMA or DSMA can be used to control yellow nutsedge.  Pay attention to label directions, because these products can injure the desirable turf as well.  Some garden centers offer the better choice of products for nutsedge control, which include halosulfuron (Manage) and bentazon (Basagran).  Reapplications are usually required for control. Whether you attempt control through hand weeding or chemical applications, yellow nutsedge is a tough nut to crack due to its extensive underground root system and underground nutlets (tubers) which enable it to re-establish itself in a turf area. If you are uncertain whether you have nutsedge, send us a pic and we'll let you know. Use this link and follow the directions.