Cyperus esculentus aka yellow nutsedge is a sedge not a grass.
Yellow nutsedge loves to invade lawns. It is a unique plant and is not a grass, even though it looks like one.
They look like grasses because they are also monocots a group of plants with one cotyledon (cotyledons are the first leaves to emerge from a seed) and have parallel leaf veins.
Yellow Nutsedge Features:
- Family: Nutsedges are in the Cyperaceae family, or the sedge family.
- Habit & Stems & Roots: Yellow nutsedge grows in 6 to 24" in tall clumps from little bulbs that also send out many rhizomes to colonize large areas. The nutsedge bulbs and base of the stems can be reddish.
- From the bulbs the underground runners spread rapidly and form the tubers. These nutsdege runners are rhizomes and are a type of spreading stem, albeit an underground stem.
- Tubers are storage organs, like potatoes, so they have a lot of pent up energy and are one reason yellow nutsedge is so hard to kill. These tubers are called "nutlets" on this plant, hence the name nutsedge.
- Leaves: Leaves are light yellow-green with a wax coating. They outgrow turf and will shoot up past the lawn, even if you do not miss a mowing.
- Flowers: The flowering stems are triangular in cross section all the way up from the base of the plant. The shape of the flower is an umbel shape like a carrot of multiple spikes that start greenish-yellowish and turn straw or tan colored as they age.
This grass like perennial plant loves full sun and especially loves wet or moist soils, yet will tolerate dry soils also. Unfortuantley nutsedge is very adaptive. The nutlets and glossy leaf surface are what makes it very hard to eradicate.
Yellow nutsedge thrives in hot weather and appears in our lawns when the soil is warm.
How to get rid of Yellow Nutsedge in your lawn.
- Pre-emergent herbicide: Yellow nutsedge is a perennial, in Bath Ohio, so pre-emergent will not remove plants that have been established, however a routine pre-emergent program in Spring helps take care of new infestations occurring in your lawn.Yellow nutsedge prefers low-lying and periodically wet areas, so those areas may be where you have the worst issues. Try correcting problem areas with standing water by diversion or adding topsoil.
Monitor irrigation to prevent over watering. Yellow nutsedge will thrive in over-watered lawns.
Hand pulling Yellow Nutsedge is futile. The satisfaction doesn't last long when it sprouts right back. Those nutlets regenerate new bulbs that keep coming back time and time again.
Time and patience: Since yellow nutsedge is a perennial, you can not simply wait for hard frosts to kill it off. It will take long persistence and patience to get rid of it.
Post-emergent herbicide: Selective herbicide to kill out nutsedges without destroying your lawn. Yellow nutsedge unfortunately has a glossy coating that can be hard for herbicide to penetrate. Post emergent herbicides will take many applications across years to eradicate the infestation.