It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
“Growing your own food is like printing your own money.”
- Ron Finley, Guerrilla Gardener, 2013.
There is only one guaranteed, foolproof method to completely kill nutgrass. First, dig out every tiny piece of the plant including the seeds and nutlets. Make sure you get it all by sifting the soil through a mesh such as a window screen. Dump the collected material on the driveway and burn it. Sweep up all the ashes and seal in a concrete box. Drive to the coast and dump the sealed box 20 miles off shore. There are other controls, but none that work completely every time.
Yellow Nutsedge is considered one of the world’s worst weeds; it is a particular problem in irrigated agricultural areas and row crops. It competes with crops for water, light and nutrients, reducing crop yields....Control of this species is difficult once an infestation occurs, because of the large number of reproductive tubers it produces. It is estimated there are 12 million tubers per infested acre.
Nutsedges are often called "nutgrass" because they closely resemble grasses. Correct identification is very important, as most herbicides for grass control are not effective on sedges. Nutsedges can be distinguished from grasses by their stems, which are triangular or V-shaped in cross section, while grass stems are hollow and round. Their leaves are thicker and stiffer than most grasses and are arranged in groups of three at the base. Nutsedge leaves appear creased with prominent mid-veins.
Yellow nutsedge is found worldwide in warm and temperate zones, occurring in Europe and Africa. It was introduced into the New World from the Old World. In the Western Hemisphere, it grows from southern Canada to northern Argentina. The plant is known in most of the United States, except Wyoming and Montana (see map). It occurs elsewhere in the world in regions with temperate to tropical climates.
Yellow nutsedge is a noxious weed of wet soil. The nutsedge is most difficult to control in cultivated soils, often forming a solid cover over large areas in cotton fields, sorghum and alfalfa pastures, flood plains, dams, ditches, and along streams and roadsides. In Arizona, it is common throughout most of the state, from 100 to 8200 ft elevation, flowering from May to November. In California it occurs throughout the state, up to elevations of 1000 m.
It is estimated there are 12 million tubers per infested acre.
Q. Mike: I've been battling nutsedge in my lawn for 5 years. This stuff is tough. I am thinking about getting a flame weeder and burning it out. Any better ideas?
---Ben in Center Valley, PA
The tubers and rhizomes can grow eight to 14 inches below the soil surface.
Dry or liquid molasses can be used to kill off hard to control weeds - even nutsedge. The dry product is used at 20 lbs. per 1000 sq. ft. as a fertilizer and fire ant repellant. Doubling that rate causes a herbicidal effect on certain weeds. Liquid molasses used at about a cup per gallon of water kills nutsedge. It usually takes 2 or 3 applications and the nutsedge slowly dies away.
I have had luck, and others have reported success, killing nutgrass with kindness. Mow, clip or pull as often as you can and apply a heavier than normal application of dry molasses. Use about 3 – 5 lbs. per 100 sq. ft. and repeat in two weeks. Use lesser rates in turf to avoid damage to grasses. The mixed products that contain molasses, cornmeal and wheat bran will also help. The idea here is to stimulate a furious level of biological activity aimed at rotting the crowns of the undesired plants. Pouring liquid molasses or piling dry molasses on each nutgrass plant works if you have the patience.
Yellow nutsedge is closely related to chufa (Cyperus esculentus variety sativus); some taxonomists treat them as the same species. In parts of Africa, Europe and Asia, chufa is grown for its edible tubers. The tubers contain protein, carbohydrates, sugars, and lots of oil and fiber. The chufa nut is good for human health, containing high levels of iron and potassium, and no sodium. The Spanish produce a drink called "horchata" made out of the nuts (tubers) of the yellow nutsedge. The popularity of this drink has recently extended to other countries such as France, Great Britain, and Argentina. Chufa tubers are ground into flour, as well as being used to produce a cold drink (horchata), a coffee substitute, vegetable oil, and cellulose.
In the United States, the primary use of chufa as a crop is to attract and feed game, particularly wild turkeys. Turkeys love chufa tubers; as natural scratchers, once discovering a plot of chufa, they will return again and again, all winter long, or until spring arrives and other food is readily available.
Chufa tubers have been planted so that pigs could be turned into the fields to fatten and improve the taste of pork. In the United States, chufa tubers have been used as hog feed, pastured in the field in states such as Florida, Georgia, and Alabama.
Tubers of chufa have also been identified as valuable food for waterfowl and cranes. Ducks dive for them when wetland fields are flooded. Chufa is also used in seed mixes for wetland restoration, mitigation, and erosion control.
In Spain, the tubers are added to horchata de chufa (see photo), a beverage “prepared by mixing the ground tubers with water, cinnamon, sugar, vanilla and ice....William Woys Weaver even suggests growing your own nutsedge for food in his book, “Heirloom Vegetable Gardening.” Praising the tubers’ similarities to other nuts, he says “In texture, [nutsedge] is somewhat mealy like a chestnut, yet with a distinct almondlike flavor. It was used by country people as an almond substitute in cookies and confectionery, and was even pounded with sugar to make a type of faux marzipan once quite popular among the Pennsylvania Germans.”