Nutsedge, Nutgrass, Kyllinga, Water Grass - call it what you want, it’s nasty and it’s raging right now.
The heatwave last week may have stunted your good turfgrass and now you are watering things back to health and notice these lime green tufts sticking up.
Your first thought: Is it crabgrass?
If so, that’s another animal - but chances are if it’s sticking up tall and has that square and sharp blade feeling in your hand, it’s nutsedge.
Here is some I found in Munster, IN. It certainly sticks out, showing it’s sharp, neon green sword-like leaves amongst some double-dark Kentucky Bluegrass.
Additionally, I’ve battled these invaders here in my beautiful St Augustinegrass yard here in SW Florida. Here we see more of the purple nutsedge and green kyllinga. But they are ALL sedges.
Now here I sit this year, it’s late July and we have had rain rain rain down here. More and more, longer sustained storms, earlier each day than the next. I am tempted to say that “this is a lot of rain, a lot more than normal,” but I don’t think it is.
This is pretty par-for-the-course when it comes to the rainy season here. Green Kyllinga knows this too - it’s all the rage in my St Aug right now.
Funny enough as I complain about the rain, just two years ago in late July 2017, I was faced with Tropical Storm Emily. I must have been feeling super loopy during that time because here is the video I published that same week in 2017.
Right after that though, things dried up here, big time. It just goes to show that the weather is never “normal” anywhere, no matter what your mind tries to tell you.
Getting Rid of Nutsedge with SedgeHammer
You want to know what to do about nutsedge right? Well, let me give you an option to think about.
First off, don’t try and pull it. You see, sedges have “nutlets” that will break off and get left behind and when this happens, the nutlets get angry and sprout up double what you took away.
I preached on my podcast not long ago “if you damage a plant, you damage a plant” but in the case of nutsedge, the damage just makes them multiply. So don’t.
In this case, you are going to need to use a chemical to kill it off, and there is one universal, single-use product that you can get that is good for all of the grass types: Sedgehammer. (Halosulfuron-methyl 75%)
That’s right, this one can be used on the following grass types:
Turf Type Tall Fescue
Bentgrass (yes, bentgrass!)
St Augustinegrass (yes!)
Bahiagrass (I didn’t want to forget my Bahiiiiiaaa grass friends)
Now, why do I like Sedgehammer?
Because it works, of course… but also because I like this single-use packet you can get that INCLUDES surfactant.
It’s a .5 oz packet (make sure you get the right one) that is designed to be dumped into 1 gallon of water in your pump sprayer. This mix will then cover 1,000 sq ft.
I like this because in most cases, you guys are only needing to spot spray the “wet” or “low” areas of your lawn. You don’t have this stuff everywhere. This makes it super simple.
ALSO - if you have a gallon of regular weed control that you keep mixed up for spot sprays anyway… you can spike this right into that mix as a kicker. It can also be mixed in with insect controls or fungicides if needed.
Again, there are size choices… if you only need a gallon or less of spray mix, get the 13.5 gram box. They are around $9.50 each - that’s how you know you got the right one in the cart.
Easy On Turf
I want you to be aware, coat those leaves until wet when you spot spray, but don’t expect immediate results.
Sedgehammer can take a good 10-12 days to see results but rest assured, it's working and it works well when it does.
There are no heat restrictions here, but I highly recommend you don’t spray on stressed or dormant turf, just as a general rule.
If You Need Something More
If you have a lawn that is generally covered in nutsedge… I’m thinking this is going to be more like I have here in Florida where the Kyllinga is coming up everywhere due to all the rain.
If that’s you and you need to blanket spray, I’m still recommending Sedgehammer but in the larger size. Reason being is there are no heat restrictions with Sedgehammer (but don’t be foolish, still spray in AM or PM if you can).
I’ve had great luck with Dismiss on Kyllinga/Sedge before - you can see in this video here.
However, it’s hard on St Aug and I imagine Centipede too. It’s also got an increased risk of turf injury at higher temps and humidity which is pretty much what we face here in the summer.
If you do decide to go this route, I recommend a late evening spray and be prepared for some stunting (yes of course, Dismiss kills a bunch of other weeds too - it’s a multi-use product for sure whereas Sedgehammer is only truly good on sedges).
Ok back to the star of our show, Sedgehammer.
You can pick up a bigger bottle of Sedgehammer that still isn’t very big but it’s fun to illustrate a point here - and that is the extremely low usage rate on this product.
A little goes a long way - so don’t think you need to up the dosage here - stick to the label. Check out the picture.
That little scoop (comes with it) is all you need for 1 gallon of mix and you can blanket spray 1,000 sq ft with it.
Here is the math that you can’t see blurry in the picture:
Each little scoop is .9 grams
- The jar is $82 and contains 1.33 oz
- 1.33oz = 37.99 grams
- 37.79/.9 = 41.98
- That means that you can get 42 doses out of that jar.
- 1 dose can cover 1,000 sq ft when mixed in 1 gallon of water.
- So that jar covers 42,000 sq ft.
- If you have a 10,000 sq ft lawn like I do, you’d get over 4 applications out of it which should last you a couple years minimum.
- The cost is then $1.95 per 1,000 sq ft.
Last consideration is that this formulation does NOT come with an added surfactant. You will have to add your own.
You want a non-ionic surfactant and you want to add ⅓ oz per gallon of mix. This will help the product “stick” better since it is a little slower acting.
Looking for a Complete Lawn Strategy?
I’m updating the lawn guides once again for Fall time - both cool season and warm season guides will have added options and strategies based on feedback from this season.
I’ve also added more support on the back end for those who purchase the guide and need a bit more help.
With that I’m going to be raising the price of the guides come August 1, 2019. You can still pick it up for the discounted price of $25 and all future upgrades and additions are free to you.
That’s the thing about it - you only have to pick up the guide one time and everything I do to add to it, change it, or make it bigger and better are free.
Get it now before the price goes up!
I’ll see you in the lawn!