Yellow Nutsedge Weed Information

Other Names: Yellow Nutsedge is also known as Nutgrass and Yellow Nutgrass, or Swampgrass

Scientific Name: Cyperus esculentus

Life Cycle: Perennial

How To Identify Yellow Nutsedge

  • The stems and leaves are yellow-green/waxy.
  • The stems are upright and triangular (roll the stem between your fingers and it will be easy to see if it is triangular).
  • It grows well in wet soils.
  • Once it is established it will grow fast and stick up above the turf.

What does Nutsedge look like?

If you are unsure if you have yellow nutsedge in your lawn, first make sure it is lighter and is more yellow than the rest of your lawn. Secondly, do not mow your lawn for a week and check if it growing much faster than your grass. After a week, the nutsedge should be at least a half of an inch higher than the rest of the lawn. Thirdly, pull one of the nutsedge plants out of the ground, and look closely at the roots. If it is nutgrass, it will have roots that look like tubers. These roots look much different than your grass roots. 

How to get rid of Nutsedge

Yellow Nutsedge can spread underground using its underground tubers, which makes nutsedge a difficult weed to get rid of entirely.  However, there are specialty herbicides that can suppress Nutsedge for the whole year. Nutsedge normally germinates in the Northern United States around May, and you will not be able to see the nutsedge until  June or July. 

If there are only a few spots of nutsedge in your lawn, Ortho Nutsedge Killer is the cheapest option to take care of it. You can hook up the Ortho Nutsedge Killer right to your hose and spray, with no mixing required. The active ingredient in the Ortho Nutsedge Killer is 1.40% of Sulfentrazone. 

If you have a large area of nutsedge in your lawn, the Ortho Nutsedge Killer is not going to cut it. Dismiss Turf Herbicide contains 39.6% Sulfentrazone, which means if you take the time to dillute it in a backpack sprayer, it will be much cheaper for larger areas. Six fluid ounces of Sulfentrazone, will kill about an 40,000 square ft of nutsedge if it is applied at the label rate. Dismiss will not only get rid of Nutsedge, but also will kill many different kinds of broadleaf weeds in your lawn.

One Nutsedge weed can produce thousands of seeds each seasons. These seeds which are called nutlets, can remain dormant in soil for many years until they receive enough moisture to grow. It is important to note that you will be able to control Nutsedge each year by using Ortho or Dismiss herbicide, but new plants will come back each year. This is why buying Dismiss herbicide would be more cost effective than buying Ortho because Dismiss will cover a much larger area.

When dealing with troublesome weeds such as nutsedge, it is important to add a surfactant to your chemical. Surfacants are cheap and help the weed control stick to the weed, so you can achieve optimal control. Southern AG Surfactant is what we use.

How to get Rid of Nutgrass Organically

Unfortunately, Yellow Nutsedge is so difficult to kill that we do not know of an organic way to get rid of it. Pulling the Nutgrass will help temporarily, and may be your only option. However, the root system will still be intact underneath the soil, so it will only work for one season at most. Digging 12 inches deep and putting new soil in its place is effective, yet a labor intensive job. Another way to help control nutgrass organically is by raising your mower deck and watering consistently to help your lawn compete with the the nutsedge.