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K-State Turfgrass

The 70 MPH weed – Yellow nutsedge

(By Jared Hoyle, KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

The 70 MPH weed….  That is what I call yellow nutsedge.  Why?  It’s because you can be driving 70 MPH down the highway, look over, and see yellow nutsedge growing in a lawn.  The erect light green linear leaves tend to grow faster than the turf so it sticks up above the canopy.

Yellow nutsedge can not only grow in wet soils but also extremely dry soils as well.

Yellow nutsedge is not a new weed but it sure is a persistent weed.  In Kansas, typically we don’t see it until about June.

Once of the easiest ways to identify yellow nutsedge is by a couple special features;

  • erect
  • persistant
  • yellow inflorescence
  • gradually tapering leaves to a sharp point
  • tubers not in chains
  • triangular stem

To control yellow nutsedge, if you can get applications out before tuber production then you will see increased control.  But beware, yellow nutsedge will continue to grow as long as the environment is favorable for growth, so more than one application maybe necessary.

If using a herbicide application timing is critical.  During mid summer yellow nutsedge starts making tubers and if you apply herbicides before tuber production you will get better control.  If you wait until the yellow nutsedge is big and starting to make tubers then you will be playing catch-up all year. So sooner is better.  Don’t wait for it to get too big.

Here are some options for yellow nutsedge control for turfgrass professionals;

  • sulfentrazone
  • halosulfuron
  • iodosulfuron
  • mesotrione
  • bentazon
  • triflozysulfuron
  • flazasulfuron
  • sulfosulfuron

There are many different products out there that contain these active ingredients so just make sure you have an active ingredient that has yellow nutsedge control!

For homeowners – Here is some more information to help with yellow nutsedge control in a home lawn.

http://blogs.k-state.edu/turf/revisiting-yellow-nutsedge-control-in-home-lawns/

****Always remember to READ THE LABEL for the correct rate, turfgrass tolerance, and specific instructions before application.****

***Mention of trade names or commercial products in this article is solely for identification purposes and does not imply recommendation or endorsement, nor is criticism implied of similar products not mentioned by Kansas State University.***

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