Nutsedge in Lawns and Landscape Beds Rearing Its Ugly Head

Nutsedge in Lawns and Landscape Beds Rearing Its Ugly Head

The dreaded nutsedge is beginning to show itself in lawns and landscape beds.
Weed seed can lay dormant for as much as 30 years and when conditions are right, weeds will germinate. This year definitely qualifies as having the right conditions. Take hot weather, ample amounts of rainfall and weeds are running rampant through lawns, landscape beds, cracks in sidewalks and driveways and anywhere else roots can grab on to. It's terrible!!
Nutgrass or nutsedge is a perennial plant. It is called nutgrass or nutsedge because of its tubers which resemble a nut. They are not grasses but true sedges. Their leaves are thicker and stiffer than most grasses and arranged in sets of 3 at their base. Grasses grow across from each other in sets of two. Nutsedge stems are solid and in cross section they are triangular. Grass stems are hollow and round and in cross sections are almost flat or oval. Yellow nutsedge has light brown flowers and seeds, while purple nutsedge flowers have a reddish tinge and the seeds are dark brown or black. 
Nutsedges produce tubers which are incorrectly called nuts or nutlets. These rhizomes can grow 8-14" deep below the soil. Buds on the tubers sprout and grow to form new plants and if left alone, can grow patches up to 10' wide!!
Nutsedge suppresses growth of other plants and can significantly reduce crop yield. The tubers release a substance which suppresses growth and are harmful to desirable plants.
Pulling these plants and trying to uproot them does not fare well as the tubers break off and guess what? You get more of these plants growing. The growth from one tuber has the ability to produce up to 1,900 new nutgrass plants and 7,000 new tubers with each tuber carrying up to seven viable new buds. Holy moley, that's a lot of plants.
So what's a homeowner to do? Fortunately there is a cure. Fertilome makes a nutsedge control in a ready to use formulation. Bonide also makes sedgender in a concentrate and ready to use liquid as well. I always add a spreader sticker or glue to weed killers to help the active ingredient cling to the weed and obtain better effectiveness. It is well worth the investment.
Visible results can be seen in 7-10 days with the sedge starting to wilt down and die. This horrific weed has achieved epidemic proportions in years past so make plans to get out there and spray as soon as you can. 
Once we get through August, we can think about reseeding lawns in September and fertilizing to help them rebound from this year's weather. If you haven't put down season long grub control, this is your last chance to do it. Japanese beetles will be laying their larvae very soon which turn into grubs which eat your lawn roots. The best defense is a preventative application of all season grub control before they lay their eggs. 
This past week, I have encountered tons of my clients having problems with chipmunks. Bonide makes a product called “Rat Magic”. This granule is sprinkled around the area you wish to protect from chipmunks. It is all organic and I have had great success when used with many clients when used as directed.  
Tar spots on maple leaves are in abundance now as well. A microscopic fungus lays in wait over fall and winter and when we have a rainy April, the spores rise and attach themselves to the bottoms of maple leaves. As the disease matures, leaves develop stains or spots which resemble tar on the leaf (hence the name tar spot).  This disease does NOT cause damage to your tree. Many companies are testing fungicides to provide a preventative treatment, but none have been deemed productive. The best thing you can do is rake up and destroy leaves once they have fallen. Do NOT compost them. I would bag and send them to the garbage dump. 
We also have been selling a lot of eight for garden insects as well as triple action which takes care of insects, diseases and mites. This is the only product I have found which can be used on herbs and can be used up to the day of harvest. Keep an eye on your garden and monitor those pests. It's better you eat your fruits and veggies, then them. And rabbits seem to be terrorizing gardens as well. Bonide repels all granules and sprays are the solution if you have something eating your plants. It really does work well.
Of course, if you have any concerns, we are here to help. Snap a picture or two and email (pandysgardencenter@gmail.com) or bring it to us.  We can help get you the right product to correct/help the problem you are having.  
My final tip is to make sure on hot dry days, you are not watering at night. So much disease could be avoided if late night waterings are avoided. The leaves remain wet and the cooler nights offer the perfect breeding ground for diseases to spread. Water so all leaves will dry before darkness falls.  I hope these tips help you! Thanks for reading!!
J.R. Pandy, "The No B.S.Gardener"
Pandy's Premier Garden Center
440-324-4314
www.pandysgardencenter.com

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