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Nutgrass Infestations – Minimizing it With Inexpensive Spot-Treatments
Nutgrass infestations in lawns and gardens are difficult to eradicate or control. This annoying condition is caused by the plant’s extensive tubular (nut tree) root system that extends deep and wide underground. These rhizomes or taproots are the primary source of nutgrass renewal, more so than the seeds of these flowers. Because nutgrass maintains a constant reservoir of dormant roots (nuts), it has an endless supply for future growth. Therefore, if one shoot growth is treated or removed, another growth or two will sprout nearby. To minimize the growth of nutgrass, its root system must be destroyed, which is not a simple one-time treatment.
What is nut grass or nut tree?
Nutgrass is a tough perennial grass belonging to the sedge family. Technically, its two common varieties (purple and yellow nutgrass) are named. cyperus rotundus and cyperus esculentus, respectively. Nutgrass is also called water grass because it likes moisture, dense soil and lots of hot sunshine. It is often known as a fast-growing tall grass that appears immediately after the lawn is mowed. Its grass-like shoots (three to five or more per plant) are slightly triangular or V-shaped, with a strong vertical vein extending from the center. Often the yellow variety is a lighter green than the surrounding grass. Nutgrass is invasive. It spreads without any control treatment. In winter climates, it goes dormant in autumn, but reappears in the following late spring.
Treatment methods of walnut grass.
There are five common treatments available to the homeowner and consumer to control knotweed. All of the actions listed below can be done safely. But none of them is an effective one-time treatment. In general, the two herbicide treatments listed below (4 and 5) appear to be effective tools for its control at this time. However, chemical treatment must be carried out safely by following the product’s written instructions for use. Herbicide applicators could also read and know the products’ Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS).
1. Mechanically disturbs it. Plowing, tilling, tilling, or digging up the land and then sifting out the roots of the nutgrass. This treatment works. However, it has to be repeated frequently, which excludes it for treating lawns and makes it impractical for treating crowded gardens.
2. Pulling it or weeding it. With this treatment, the shoots disappear for a while. However, most of its original roots are still underground. So these plants soon come back, often more than before.
3. Suffocating it. Covering the infected area with a covering such as cardboard, plastic, plywood, canvas or mulch. This treatment will temporarily slow the decline of nutgrass, but will not stop or kill it. Nutgrass penetrates cardboard, cloth, plastic and mulch. Also, its covered roots remain dormant for regrowth after the cover is removed or worn thin. In addition, nutgrass spreads underground outside the cover.
4. By spraying it with a diluted herbicide solution. Spraying the infested area with a chemical formula purchased from local garden stores is a common choice among busy homeowners. This treatment works well for repeated applications, which are done at the consumer’s risk. Applications are usually made when rain or moisture is not forecast. Commercial lawn care companies can also do this treatment effectively; in fact, they are a good choice for a safer and more expensive treatment.
However, the primary herbicide selected for treatment must be appropriate for the infested yard in question. For example, one herbicide works well on some grasses but harms others. Also, an herbicide suitable for lawns can damage the lawn if used too often or too heavily. Additionally, another herbicide may be used on the lawn, but not near vegetable or ornamental plants. Thus, the sprayer must be careful in both herbicide selection and application.
Also, newer urea-type herbicides, such as methylhalosulfuron, appear to work well in a nutgrass-infested lawn when used regularly and seasonally for two or more years. It can take that long to minimize the walnut root system, depending on how well it starts. Such spraying can reduce infestation over large areas of land.
5. Spot treatment with a strong herbicide solution. A strong herbicide solution can be applied to individual nutgrass plants with a narrow stream spray bottle or thick artist paint brush. This treatment is best for light infestations of nutgrass or fairly small patches of it. (Note: If an entire lawn is heavily infested, it may be best to 1) kill the entire yard with a complete vegetation killer, 2) plow or till the ground, sifting out the nuts, and 3) reseed it after a short time. waiting time. Cover killers do not destroy the ground itself, rather only the vegetation that grows on it. If in doubt about this step, get a professional opinion first.)
However, during spot treatments of nutgrass, the herbicide solution must be applied directly to the leaves of the nutgrass, again at the consumer’s risk. The herbicide then moves from the leaves to the stem and roots. Also, applying the solution to the plant’s leaf axils at the stem will help kill the plant, but most of the applied amount must go to the leaves for good absorption to reach the roots. In addition, the applicator must avoid contact of the solution with surrounding grasses or plants as much as possible, especially if the chemical is an all-kill herbicide.
Glyphosate (an organic salt) can be used here, which is a well-known main ingredient in herbicides that kill all vegetation. 12-16 oz bottles of 41% liquid concentrate can be purchased at local outlets for around $10. Glyphosate is fairly non-toxic to humans, but must still be handled safely by wearing rubber gloves and other clothing. This concentrate can be applied to nutgrass shoots by first diluting it with water at a concentration of 1:1 to 1:20 in a small container with a cap. First-time users may want to start with a 1:20 solution to trial-and-error test how the process works while working up to a stronger concentration. Also, homeowners with tender grasses and ornamentals will want to start with a diluted glyphosate solution, such as 1:20 or more, which is much closer to the diluted spray concentration. Additionally, the halosulfuron-methyl herbicide mentioned in #4 above can be used as a spot treatment for nutgrass by following the product instructions to dilute it to a powerful spray concentration (0.9 g granules per gallon) for about $15.
Some sources recommend adding other ingredients to such solutions, such as adding a surfactant (dishwashing detergent), hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, or some salt to make it adhere better to the leaves or absorb faster from the leaves. . But none of these additions are necessary. Also, such mixes can produce slight chemical changes over time that produce undesirable results, such as not working well at all or inexplicably killing adjacent grasses and plants. But if freshly prepared spot treatments are done carefully, nutgrass will die back in about one to two weeks without disturbing the surrounding vegetation too much.
Six-day emergence of yellow nutgrass after spot treatment with 20% glyphosate solution.
- Shoots slightly loose; no color change
- The shoots are limp; slight discoloration to amber
- Shoots touch the ground; the general color is amber
- The shoots begin to wither; the color is still more amber
- The shoots lay on the ground and begin to curl; all that remains is a delicate yellow-green color
- The shoots are withered straw-like stalks lying on the ground or grass
Spot treating walnut grass with a strong herbicide solution is time consuming and requires considerable patience, especially if the home/yard owner is doing it alone. No doubt his neighbors will be asking, “Hey! What are you doing there?” However, this fairly inexpensive treatment does a good job of reducing nutgrass infestations if the solution is handled and used carefully at the owner’s discretion. Once the main infestation is under control, it is fairly easy to suppress new growth with continued spotting.
Currently, spraying or spotting common nutgrasses with carefully selected herbicide solutions appears to be an effective means of reducing infestations in yards and gardens. These treatments can be done by the yard/garden owners themselves at their own risk or by hired professionals.
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