Nutsedge is a challenge for gardeners.
Once it becomes established in your lawn it spreads quickly and it’s hard to control.
But fortunately, there are effective methods you can use to take care of it.
So in this article, we take a look at how to kill nutsedge naturally and organically.
How To Kill Nutsedge Naturally
You can pull them by hand, spray them with vinegar, or sprinkle them with sugar. Each method has its pros and cons.
Let’s take a look at how you can get started.
Pulling By Hand
Pulling out nutsedge plants by hand is a lot of work. But it’s effective when done right.
The key is to make sure you take out all the roots and tubers from the ground. Because if any are left behind, the plant will regrow.
You’ll find them growing in the top 12-18 inches of the soil. So the best way to tackle the job is to use a trowel.
Dig down beside the plant and around it until it’s loose enough to pull out. Make sure you go back into the hole and remove any bits that are left behind.
This method is easiest to do when you first find a young nutsedge plant growing in your yard.
But by the time it’s spread and taken over a larger area it becomes a very difficult task to get rid of nutsedge.
For this to work, you’ll need strong vinegar with somewhere between 10-20% acetic acid concentration.
Put the vinegar into a sprayer and spray it on to the nutsedge plants carefully. Making sure it doesn’t get on your grass.
The vinegar starts to burn the nutsedge where it makes contact. And the plant will die quickly if it’s well soaked.
But, it only kills the plant above the ground. And unless you kill the tubers underground then the nutsedge will grow back. So you need to treat the area regularly.
This is a good method to use on young nutsedge plants in the spring when they’re actively growing.
How does it work?
Well, nutsedge uses a lot of nutrients as it grows. And by adding sugar you feed micro-organisms that take nitrogen out of the soil.
This starves the plants, which struggle to grow in low nitrogen soil. And it gives your grass a chance to crowd the weed out.
After sprinkling the sugar around the root zone, make sure to water it in. Alternatively, you can use a sugar solution and apply it with a sprayer. A popular version of this involves mixing 1 cup of liquid molasses per gallon of water.
But you need some patience. Because it can take a few treatments, spaced a week apart, to see the full effects.
How To Prevent Nutsedge By Treating The Cause
It’s always better to prevent nutsedge from growing on your lawn in the first place, rather than struggling to kill it once it’s established.
The best way is to make sure you don’t provide the ideal conditions.
Here are some gardening tips to consider:
Improve The Drainage
Nutsedge likes moisture and thrives in poorly draining soil. So overly saturated parts of your lawn are prime locations for nutsedge to invade.
Soil compaction is often the problem. When the soil is packed tightly the water is unable to drain through it. Regular aeration using a hollow tine can help.
You can also drain your lawn by installing drain pipes. Consider hiring a professional to help you if you haven’t done it before.
Poor drainage isn’t the only water problem you can have. If you’re watering your plants too often the soil stays moist, creating good conditions for yellow nutsedge and purple nutsedge.
Try watering deeply 1-2 times per week, rather than smaller and more regular bursts.
Grow A Dense Lawn
Nutsedge finds it easier to invade thin and sparse lawns. So fertilize yours regularly to encourage thick, dense, and healthy growth of the grass.
When mowing your lawn, make sure you set it on its highest setting. This allows the grass to grow a bit longer, crowding out nutsedge as well as any other weeds that try to invade.
If You’re Still Having A Problem With Nutgrass
Okay, it’s not natural and organic. But if you’re still having a problem getting rid of nutsedge in your yard, then you can use a chemical herbicide to take care of the job. And if you choose the right product, it won’t kill your grass either.
Sedgehammer is the best herbicide for nutsedge that we recommend.