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Nutgrass (Cyperus rotundus) - The weed that drives the world nuts!

Nutgrass is a persistent member of the sedge family and has managed to infiltrate nearly all cultivated gardens. It emerges and grows rapidly during the warm growing seasons and seems to have no boundaries for soil, pH or climate. It is a weed and bane of a gardeners life on a global scale!

How to identify Nutgrass

The key identifying feature for these difficult weeds is their triangular stems. Roll the stems between your fingers, and you'll understand the meaning of the old-time rhyme "sedges have edges." In contrast, grasses have round stems. Shiny, smooth nutsedge leaves have a distinct center rib and form a "V" shape.

The nutgrass will grow faster than a lawn, be clearly taller and usually stand out. It will be a different shade of green to the majority of lawns. If left to its own nutgrass will eventually flower with reddish-purple spikelets.

Control & Management

The best approach for avoiding a nutgrass problem is to prevent the establishment of the weed. Once established, nutgrass plants are difficult to control. You can prevent establishment through the use of manual and chemical control methods. Remove small plants before they develop tubers, eliminate the wet conditions that favour growth & use mulch in garden beds. In cases where the above methods are just not possible, like in a new lawn or heavily planted garden bed, control can also be achieved using properly timed applications of specialty herbicides.

Herbicide with the active constituent Halosulfuron-Methyl or more commonly known as Sempra or Tempra should be used. Tempra inhibits acetolactate synthase, a key enzyme in the plant’s metabolic pathway. This inhibition stops plant growth and plant death occurs 14 to 21 days after initial application. Sempra does not persist for long in the soil, with a half-life of up to 34 days. Halosulfuron-Methyl translocates throughout the attached tubers which also inhibits the germination of the nut. For extensive or advanced infestation multiple applications may be required.

To order Tempra online click HERE.

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