Nutsedge. The sweet key to success.
Nutsedge also known as Nutgrass or Watergrass is a common perennial weed in soils that are or have been too wet. It reproduces at an alarming rate, oftentimes spreading faster than you’re able to keep up with.
Did you know this rather invasive plant is edible? Nutsedge, less commonly known as Chufa or Earth almond has a tuberous root system that can be eaten raw or cooked. Yellow Nutsedge is a bit sweet and Purple Nutsedge has a distinct almond like flavor.
For those of you who prefer to see this interesting indicator plant go away, the answer is not found in synthetic, toxic chemical herbicides. The only surefire, guaranteed process to eliminate this 'weed' is to dig out every single piece of the plant including each tiny seed and every nutlet. Good luck!
More realistic options can be found below:
1. Work to correct the excessive water issue and as the soil dries out, the plant will retreat. This is why it's known as an indicator plant. It lets you know that there may be an issue with excessive water. Maybe a water leak in your irrigation system. Maybe it's an oversight in your watering schedule and you need to cut back the time a bit. Or, Nutsedge might let you know you have a grade issue that needs reworked. More often than not, a flush of Nutsedge growth in the landscape or garden is due to overwatering.
2. The best method of eradication we've found is Horticultural Molasses. Drench the problem area with ¼ to ½ cup of horticultural molasses per gallon of water through your watering can, covering no more than 10 square feet. Molasses stimulates microbial activity in the soil, greatly benefiting the surrounding pants, while the Nutsedge fades away after 2-3 concentrated, inexpensive and easy applications. This input makes your soil healthier with every application.
3. A common misconception is pulling the plant only makes the problem worse. Not true. Physical removal helps eliminate maturing tubers before they have an opportunity to send up new plants. Physical removal should absolutely be a part of your management plan.
Like a lot of the "weeds" we’ve been trained to hate, there is more to the story. Don't believe the hype! Rethink your view and your approach. Allow nature to work for you, instead of working against it.