For some reason my garden is full of Nut Grass. They seem to have a long root system which I can't pull out. How can I get rid of the grass? Is there any type of spray I can use?
By Schilling from Phoenix, AZ
An older product that works is called "Weed Hoe". This will kill nut grass in a lawn environment if applied correctly. Application rate is important but it can be useful in controlling nut grass in lawns. Remember though you aren't finished until the very last shoot is gone! Good luck.
Good luck on that! I've gardened over 40 years. and am still looking for an answer to this one! The best solution (and it's temporary) is to hoe around flowers and then put down several thicknesses of newspaper,wet thoroughly and cover with 3-4 inches of mulch. This will last about one growing season and even then you'll have a few "strays"pop up!Be sure to overlap the newspaper. This plant can grow through concrete so it's a true challenge. Cutting off it's sunlight is the ultimate answer?!
It's a clever plant, with the greenery growing in one place and the nut is attached about 3 to 6 inches horizontally, so it is never bugged when you pull up the grass leaves! I'm convinced one day this frustrating plant will be found to be the cure to some dread disease (or God's way of keeping we gardeners humble!)
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How do I naturally destroy nut grass?
Nut grass is not a true grass, it's really a sedge. It not only spreads from seed, but also underground tubers. I've been dealing with it for a while now and I can tell you this is not a battle, it's a war. You'll be fighting for a few seasons and you will have to be diligent. I'm getting results using a variety of methods.
One area of my grass was so badly infested that I decided to use Round-up. I carefully sprayed on every nut grass plant beginning to sprout. Then, when I saw more, I sprayed again. I did this through the entire summer. By fall, the whole are was dead, including the "good" grass. Then in the fall I planted new grass seed.
The following spring, I over seeded the area to fill in a few thin areas. I've noticed nut grass here and there in that same area, but it's much thinner now so I treat at the beginning of the season with Ortho Nutsedge Killer for Lawns. There are other similar products at the big box stores as well. In areas close to my garden, I used a combination of the smothering technique and constantly digging up any plants I saw.
The key is to get the tuber (nut), however, pulling the green stuff will force any left behind nuts to grow new plants and if you do it enough times, the nut will run out of nutrients and not grow anymore.
I have heard of people using sugar to change the soil to something that nutgrass does not like. I have not personally done it, but if you're concerned about using chemicals that are bad for pets/kids/gardens, you may want to do some research.
I have had most success using bleach. I spray the nustgrass with straight bleach. This is not ideal if there is "good" grass also growing in the same area but by holding the spray nozzle low and on the nutgrass, I manage to spray only the "bad" grass. It will take several applications as you must get the "nut"" to prevent growth and spreading.
Most grasses can be covered with a tarp in the heat of summer and then scratch out the roots since many can just be driven into dormancy, but at least they will be easier to remove in this state.
Does anybody out there have a home remedy solution for nut grass? Thanks.
MaryAnn from Parma Heights, OH
You'll no doubt get many responses, some involving poisons, but to start with, I understand nut grass tubers are edible, hence the "nutty" hint. Bon appetit!
I've also been told that making the soil more fertile with grass clippings discourages the plants. (08/19/2008)
You can try putting newspapers down before putting grass clippings or mulch. Put the papers down really heavy. They decompose of course and you may have to replace them down the road. Otherwise there is something called Nutsedge that you can buy. (08/22/2008)