What’s Nutsedge

How to Identify and Prevent this Weed


What looks like grass but is taller and grows flowers around it? Nutsedge. While it may look like grass and come back year after year, it’s a perennial weed. Some may call it nutgrass, but its not grass at all, it’s a sedge. There are other ways to identify it in your lawn and prevent it from taking over your yard.

Identifying Nutsedge

Nutsedge is a weed commonly found in lawns during the spring and summer. You can see their triangular, grass-like shape standing taller than the grass in your lawn. What you can’t see is their immersive root system which makes it harder to get rid of.

The rhizomes, or roots, can reach about eight to 14 inches below ground. They spread horizontally under the soil, sprouting new weeds close by. Since multiple sedges can be connected, it’s harder to pull this plant and get all the roots out of the ground.

If you do attempt to pull the roots out, you’ll notice their small, starchy tuber structures, or nutlets. This is a sure sign you have nutsedge.

Another sure sign is the three leaves and flowers at the end of its stem. These flowers may be different colors, either yellow, purple, or dark red. Yellow nutsedge is more common in the middle of the summer, while the purple variety grows in the late summer.

Preventing Nutsedge

A well-maintained lawn is the best way to prevent any weeds. Proper mowing can not only help identify weeds, but it can help control it. These weeds grow faster than grass, even after being mowed. This makes it easier to notice. If you notice grass growing higher than your lawn just a few days after mowing, it’s most likely nutsedge.

Depending on your type of grass and elevation, you can help control weeds by mowing at the proper height. This lets the healthy grass crowd out weeds. Mowing too short is better for the weeds to grow.

You can also apply a lawn treatment for nutsedge early in the summer. It may take a few applications to notice a change, but make sure you follow all instructions carefully.

For more tips on controlling nutsedge and other weeds, contact Cardinal Lawns.

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Before weeds take over your yard this season, learn to identify and prevent them in the first place. Keep your lawn looking great all year!