Posted on: August 11, 2009 Posted by: Nicole Harding Comments: 5

One of the most baffling and troublesome weeds that plague many gardens today is nut grass. Also known as nutsedge, this pesky grass has tenacious roots and nodules that appear like small nuts. Nut grass might seem harmless, but in the long run, it’ll do more harm than good to your lawn. If you’re tired of dealing with this weed, here are several treatment options you can try.

Try Herbicides

Thankfully, there are now advanced ways to deal with nut grass. This weed dilemma can be solved with the help of chemicals, specifically herbicides. Purchase some from gardening stores and find out which brands work well with nut grass. You can also ask gardeners around your area, and they’ll help you out.

If you opt for standard herbicides, though, you’ll have to work quickly and use them while the nut grass is still relatively tiny, or they won’t be as helpful as you expect. Use herbicide before the plant has five leaves. Otherwise, the plant won’t move the herbicide down to the nuts, stopping the spread.

One tip when applying herbicide: don’t mow the turf two days before and after applying the chemical. Also, don’t water the area. If you expect rain to fall four hours after applying the herbicide, leave the task for another day. It won’t work if the herbicide gets rained on.

You might need to reapply herbicide several times a month, especially during summer season. Read the instructions on your herbicide and follow them thoroughly.

Using Sugar

The only drawback when using herbicides for nut grass, is it can ruin your lawn itself in the long run. If you opt for a more organic method, here’s one you can try.

What You’ll Need:

  • Sugar (you’ll need 4 pounds for every 1,000 square feet)
  • Garden hose
  • Sifter


  1. Water your lawn, preparing for the organic treatment. You don’t need to saturate the lawn, just make sure the grass is wet and the soil is moist.
  2. Sift the sugar on your lawn, walking in regular and straight lines, like you’re mowing. Sugar nourishes microbes, benefiting the lawn grass and eating the nut grass at the same time. Turn the handle on the sifter, causing the sugar to fall on the grass evenly. Keep turning the handle the whole time you’re walking.
  3. Water the sugar down, then use the garden hose to spray the lawn again. Don’t saturate it to the point that water runs off, otherwise, all the sugar you put in will be lost.
  4. This procedure works best in the spring. Do it at least two or more times throughout the growing season. By the end of spring the nut grass will all be dead.

Dig Them Up

Another effective, but more tedious method to solve your nut grass problem is by digging it up. Use a small shovel and dig up 12 to 18 inches, scooping the white and kinked roots, as much as you can. Make sure you do this gently, so if there are roots that break off, you can grab them. You’ll have to remove the greenish portion of the weed, preventing the root system below it from getting nutrients. You should also remove as much nuts as you can.

When you’re done, put the soil and weeds in a garbage bag and put it in the trash. This procedure works best throughout the growing season, starting from sping and continuing into fall.

Some More Tips

  • Mulches and weed cloth don’t work against nut grass. The plant will only grow through them, and emerge where it finds and opening. Even plastic mulches don’t work, as the nut grass only pushes its way through the plastic.
  • Drying out the soil will not remove the nut grass, since this weed can survive tough drought-like conditions. The nuts can even survive for a few years, even in dry soil.
  • Nut grass can’t survive well in shady areas, compared to sunny areas.
  • Turning the soil and disturbing the nuts can cause the nut grass to transfer to other areas, so be very careful if you’re planning to alter your landscape.

No one likes to have nut grass in their garden. It can be tough to get rid of, but with these tactics, you’ll soon have a neat, clean and nut grass-free garden or yard. For more information regarding this article, read how to control weeds in your garden.

5 People reacted on this

  1. Can you get rid of it for good or just for the season?
    What is the most effective chemical for Long Island to date?

  2. My nutgrass problem is in My vegetable garden. Will the sugar cure work there as well as in a lawn. I bought a quart of Image herbicide consumer concentrate. It says not to spray vegetable gardens but can I use it before I plant.

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