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How To Get Rid of Sedge Grass?

Sedge grass

Sedge grass may look harmless, but it can wreak havoc on your lawn or garden.

You may not even notice it until it’s too late.

In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about sedge grass and how to control it effectively. Say goodbye to your sedge grass woes for good.

What Is Sedge Grass?

Sedge grass is not actually a grass but a grass-like plant that belongs to the family Cyperaceae.

It has triangular stems, unlike true grasses with hollow and round stems.

Sedge grass also differs from rushes, another grass-like plant with round and solid stems.

Sedge grass has some benefits for the environment and the garden. For example, it can provide shelter and food for small animals and pollinators.

It also has attractive foliage colors like bronze, gold, blue, and green.

However, sedge grass can also be a problem for many gardeners, especially if it grows where it is not wanted.

Sedge grass can:

  • Spread by underground rhizomes and form dense clumps.
  • Compete with other plants for space, water, and nutrients.
  • Be difficult to control or eradicate once established.

In this article, you will learn how to get rid of Sedge grass manually or with herbicides and prevent it from growing back.

How To Identify Sedge Grass?

Sedge grass
Source: Harry Rose

Before you can get rid of sedge grass, you need to know how to identify it.

Sedge grass has some distinctive features that can help you distinguish it from other plants.

Here are some tips on identifying sedge grass.

Tip #1: Look at the Stems

Sedge grass has triangular stems, which you can feel by rolling them between your fingers.

True grasses have round and hollow stems, while rushes have round and solid stems.

Tip #2: Look at the Leaves

Sedge grass has strappy leaves, usually green or yellowish-green, with a prominent midvein and a waxy coating.

The leaves are arranged in three rows along the stem and taper to a sharp point.

Tip #3: Look at the Flowers and Seeds

Sedge grass has small, spiny seed heads borne on slender stems.

The seed heads are often yellowish-brown or reddish-purple, depending on the species.

The flowers are inconspicuous and greenish.

Common Sedge Grass Species

Some common sedge grass species you may encounter in your lawn or garden include:

  • Carex: This is a large genus of sedges that includes wide ornamental varieties with different foliage colors and textures. Some examples are Carex flagellifera, Carex Comansn ‘Bronze Form,’ Carex oshimensis ‘Evergold,’ and Carex testacea.
  • Cyperus: This is another genus of sedges that includes some moisture-loving plants, such as Cyperus involucratus and Cyperus papyrus. These plants have umbrella-like clusters of leaves and spikelets at the tips of their stems.
  • Juncus: This is a genus of rushes often confused with sedges. They have round and solid stems with small flowers and seeds at the ends. Some examples are Juncus effusus and Juncus ensifolius.
  • Luzula: This is a genus of woodrushes similar to sedges. They have flat leaves with hairy margins and brown or black flowers and seeds. Some examples are Luzula sylvatica and Luzula nivea.

How To Eliminate Sedge Grass?

Sedge grass
Source: Wikimedia

Getting rid of sedge grass requires a combination of effective control methods that can weaken the growth and spread of the grass.

Before applying any control method, make sure you identify the sedge grass correctly and choose the best time to act.

Here are some ways to control sedge grass.

Cultural Control Methods

These methods involve changing the conditions that favor sedge grass growth, such as water, light, and nutrients.

Some examples are.

Watering and Irrigation Techniques

Avoid overwatering or under-watering your lawn or garden, as both can create moist or dry spots that attract sedge grass.

Use drip irrigation or soaker hoses to deliver water evenly and deeply to the roots of your desired plants.

Mowing Practices

Mow your lawn regularly and at the right height to prevent sedge grass from producing seeds and spreading.

Avoid scalping or cutting your grass too short, weakening it, and allowing sedge grass to invade.

Keep your mower blades sharp and clean to avoid spreading sedge grass seeds or rhizomes.

Fertilization and Soil Amendments

Apply fertilizer and soil amendments according to the needs of your lawn or garden plants.

Avoid over-fertilizing or under-fertilizing, as both can create nutrient imbalances that favor sedge grass growth.

Use organic matter, compost, or mulch to improve soil drainage and structure and suppress sedge grass germination.

Chemical Control Methods

These methods involve using herbicides to kill sedge grass selectively or non-selectively.

Some examples are.

Pre-Emergent Herbicides

Several pre-emergent herbicides can effectively control sedge grass, including Prodiamine (Barricade), Pendimethalin (Pendulum), Oxadiazon (Ronstar), and so on.

These herbicides are designed to prevent the germination of sedge grass seeds, and they should be applied in the spring or fall before the grass begins to grow.

Post-Emergent Herbicides

These herbicides kill sedge grass after it has emerged and should be applied when the sedge grass is actively growing.

Follow the label instructions carefully and choose a product that is effective against sedge grass and safe for your lawn or garden plants.

How To Stop Stubborn Sedge Grass with Tubers

Some types of sedge grass, such as purple nutsedge and perennial kyllinga, have tubers that can survive for years in the soil and sprout new plants.

You must remove or destroy all the tubers, roots, and rhizomes to prevent them from regrowing. This may require repeated treatments or digging.

Manual Control Methods

These methods involve physically removing sedge grass by hand or with tools.

Some examples are.

Hand Pulling

This method is effective for small patches of sedge grass that have not established deep roots.

Pull out the entire plant, including the roots, rhizomes, and tubers, and dispose of them properly.

Wear gloves and protective clothing to avoid contact with irritants or allergens in the sedge grass.

Digging and Cultivation

This method is effective for larger patches of sedge grass that have established deep roots.

Use a shovel, hoe, or tiller to dig up the entire plant, including the roots, rhizomes, and tubers, and dispose of them properly.

Be careful not to damage your lawn or garden plants or disturb the soil too much.

Use of Specialized Tools

This method uses tools to cut, slice, or pull out sedge grass without harming your lawn or garden plants.

Some examples are weed whackers, weed wrenches, weed hounds, or weed torches.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully and use caution when handling these tools.

Conclusion

With the right combination of cultural, chemical, and manual control methods, you can eliminate sedge grass and prevent it from returning.

Remember to maintain a healthy lawn or garden and regularly monitor for new growth.

And if all else fails, remember that a little bit of sedge grass can add character to your yard – just don’t let it take over!

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