Know Your Weeds: The Life Cycle of Nutsedge

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Know Your Weeds: The Life Cycle of Nutsedge

Homeowners across New Jersey go to battle every summer with weeds in their lawn. One of the most prominent and troublesome weeds is known as nutsedge or nut grass. At first glance, nutsedge may appear to be grass when it initially develops, but over time you will see its stem and flowers protruding above your lawn.

There are two common types of nutsedge including: Yellow and Purple nutsedge. Yellow nutsedge has bright green stems and develops light brown flowers and seeds. It also thrives in a sodden ground and is mostly found in areas that use flood irrigation or has poor drainage. Purple nutsedge has dark green stems, reddish flowers, and dark seeds. It thrives in warmer climates.

Life Cycle of Nutsedge

The first step to managing a nutsedge outbreak in your yard is to understand its life cycle. Nutsedge is a perennial weed, meaning it will grow back year after if you fail to treat it properly. The leaves and stems die once the weather turns cool, but tubers and rhizomes continue to live underground allowing them to sprout again when temperatures return to warm. Tubers reside in the top six inches of soil and can remain dormant for up to three years before germinating

How to Manage Nutsedge

Due to the large number of underground tubers and ability to penetrate many surfaces, nutsedge is difficult to manage. Once it’s sprouted, many homeowners have to call a professional lawn care company to apply weed control treatments throughout the year.

You may be tempted to pull the weed when it appears in the spring. If you catch them early enough and when they are small, you will be able to remove them before a tuber forms underground. If you choose to take this route, the soil should be wet, so you are more likely to pull the roots out as well. Pulling it out, even by the roots, doesn’t guarantee it is gone. Be sure to remove seeds and flowers to avoid regrowth by using a mesh screen to look through the dirt. Failing to remove the weed by its root will result in faster regrowth and worsening the overall problem.

Another way to prevent nutsedge from taking over your grass is to keep the area adequately drained so it doesn’t take root or have the ability to spread. If your lawn is experiencing an outbreak of mature nutsedge, it will require multiple weed control treatments to fix the problem and keep it from coming back.

If you need help controlling nutsedge in your grass, Perennial Lawn Care Services is here for you. Our team can help remove the nutsedge or properly aerate your lawn to help it properly absorb water and moisture. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment by calling 973-423-1500 or via our online form.

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