Nut grass has plagued gardeners and property owners for decades, whether they refer to it as nut grass, nutsedge or some term that isn’t used in polite company. This grass has a strong root system and those tiny knob-like growths that give the plant its name. While nut grass might seem to be harmless if it is consistently trimmed and pulled, it may take over some sections of your property if left on its own.
Of course, you can always buy one of several commercial herbicides to kill nut grass. Talk with your lawn-and-garden or hardware-store expert about the herbicides that work best on nutsedge/nut grass. If a friend or family member is a knowledgeable gardener, chances are they will have a recommendation for the type of chemical treatment you should use. Make sure you get that herbicide on the nut grass when it is just getting started. If this type of vegetation gets a good start you may not be able to kill off the growth with herbicide. Treat the infestation during a dry period. Don’t let the rain wash the herbicide away before it can do its work.
People are increasingly staying away from commercial herbicides and chemical treatments on their gardens and lawns. Herbicides can kill the grass and other plants you want to keep, unless you are very, very careful. If you want to try something other than strong weed-killing products there are alternatives. One of the most interesting and effective methods for getting rid of nut grass is: sugar!
That’s right. Several how-to, weed-removal sources suggest using sugar as an organic method for removing unwanted growth. The first step in this process involves getting the lawn moist but not soaked. Use your garden hose to make sure the grass is evenly moisturized. Using a sifter or other “sprinkling” method put the sugar on evenly. According to experts, the sugar “eats” the nut grass!
Of course, you can always use the manual method for getting rid of nut grass. You can dig the individual plants up. Make sure you get all of the plant and all of the root system. Others you might leave behind enough starter material for the nut grass/nutsedge to come out again. You may have to dig down a foot or more to get all of the roots.
One thing you shouldn’t do is rely on covering nut grass with some sort of cloth or mulch cover. Nut grass is so hardy and persistent it will generally push through if at all possible. You may be tempted to turn the area of nut grass with a shovel but you may only be spreading the “nuts” and giving the plants a chance to grow again.
If you remove the nut grass with the manual method, make sure you put the plants in a plastic bag or other container and remove them from your property. Don’t drop them on a pile or in the compost. When it’s time to get rid of nut grass it pays to be thorough.