Control of Yellow Nutsedge






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Weeds are a common problem in lawns and gardens.  One commonly encountered weed, especially in wet years, is yellow nutsedge.






Yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus) is a warm-season perennial.  It is not a grass nor a broadleaf weed, but a sedge.  The grass-like leaves are light green to yellowish in color and shiny in appearance.  Yellow nutsedge is an erect plant.  The stem near ground level is triangular.  The leaves come off the stem in sets of threes.  Yellow nutsedge reproduces by seed and small underground tubers called nutlets.  Flowers are yellowish or yellowish brown and are borne on small spikelets.  Yellow nutsedge grows most rapidly during the warm summer months.  It is often found in wet or poorly drained soils.

Control of yellow nutsedge is difficult.  The best way for home gardeners to control small infestations of yellow nutsedge in gardens is by hand pulling.  Pull plants before they have the opportunity to produce seeds.  Persistence will be required.  When yellow nutsedge plants are pulled, some of the nutlets may break off and remain in the soil.  Eventually the nutlets sprout and the plants reappear.  If pulled repeatedly, however, it is possible to control yellow nutsedge in gardens.  In lawns, yellow nutsedge can be controlled with herbicides.  Effective herbicides include Certainty (sulfosulfuron) and Dismiss (sulfentrazone).  These materials are generally not available to home gardeners.  However, the herbicides can be applied by professional lawn care companies.

 

Yellow nutsedge in lawn.Yellow nutsedge in lawn.

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Links to this article are strongly encouraged, and this article may be republished without further permission if published as written and if credit is given to the author, Horticulture and Home Pest News, and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach. If this article is to be used in any other manner, permission from the author is required. This article was originally published on July 29, 2009. The information contained within may not be the most current and accurate depending on when it is accessed.