Does anyone have any suggestions on getting rid of nutgrass? I have a very large raised rose bed in the center of my circular driveway. While the roses are doing great, digging up the nutgrass is backbreaking. I suspect the original owners filled the bed with soil they just scooped up from the pasture, thus bringing in the nutgrass. With the perfect drainage, I had hoped to put some herbs like lavender and rosemary in the bed, but the constant weeding (digging) of the nutgrass would definitely disturb the roots. HELP!
Is nutgrass similar to our couch grass I wonder Carolyn. If so it can be a real headache and the only suggestion I can come up with is to plant some vigorous but easy to remove plants to compete with and smother the grass, then when it has died away, you will be free to plant whatever you want.
There is of course one sure fire way to get rid of the grass, and this works every time. Take out the roses and try to grow a lawn. The lawn is the only place in my garden where grass seems to have difficulty growing. :-)
Let me try to illuminate the problem with nutgrass Terry. It punctures vinyl swimming pool liners. Asphalt cannot smother it. It should be called rockgrass. No one uses the Latin for it here and I can't think where I have seen its real name right now, but will have a look later. And then, it has different hate names around the country, so I think an image would be a good idea. Can't go dig one up right now without a miners helmet, which would come in handy for us overzealous gardeners anyway, wouldn't it?
Carolyn, seems I can only add to the bad news. Digging has been the only sure-fire remedy for me too. ugh!
Terry, Nutgrass looks like monkey grass, except it has these little brown rock like nuggets underground, plus underground runners connecting to baby plants. I think there is a gigantic, subterranian "Mother Nut" lodged somewhere beneath Central and North Texas, to which all are attached!
Maggie, did I mention that when I started working on the bed yesterday I found that pursulane is mixed in the with nut grass? Now if it was just the pursulane, I'd just leave it as a ground cover and call it good.
The wind is gusting between 30-35 mph today, so I'm not gonna be outside digging anything.
The roses above the nutgrass are gorgeous by the way.
There are two theories on how to kill nutgrass. One)you should seed the area with rye grass which will choke out the nutgrass. However,I realize this is not a great idea for a flower bed area. Two)If you over-fertilize,the nutgrass will eventually rot away. I suggest heavy doses of dry molasses or cornmeal.Good luck! This is truly one of the hardest weeds to get rid of!!
I read your descriptions of the nutgrass with interest Carolyn and Maggie, and am now wondering which space mission brought it back to earth. :-)
An evil one!
Here's the demon.
I think it may be the same thing that plagues New England, known by the name of 'witch grass', to describe its evil powers. Our 'nut grass' name refers to the root knot or 'nut' seen in the pic. Like Carolyn said, there are thousands - all connected and making more. It is very difficult to remove the knots when digging out the green growths, since the fine black filaments break off easily and when broken, the knot makes a whole new series of connected growths - an underground Internet onto itself. They even have dirt-colored camouflage going for them, making it all the more tedious. I am about to launch into some off the cuff info here, in hopes of it being a starting point for further research for those of us under siege. Don't mean to claim complete accuracy or authority, just hope to offer some ideas....
As annoying as this weed enemy is to us, it can be devastating to farmers; so the ag scientist work diligently on a cure. A few years ago they developed an assault product that was marketed around here, but had been developed for a different variety of nut grass than the one in our area. Brilliant. Folks used it for years without results. Now there is one that does work. It is a plant specific herbicide - only does in the nut grass, which by the way, is related to bamboo - no surprise. Landscapers, growers, pool builders and other construction folks use the product. I imagine it is not a soil-healthy treatment, but am thinking that when applied to a specific area, the soil could be de-toxed after the nut grass had been defeated. Gail can tell us how to do that.
And about the heavy organic-fertilization theory David referred to - there may be a lot to that, considering my 2 nut grass-plagued beds are showing a lot more resistance to it in the last few years. The richer the soil gets, the less I have had to weed every year, but I am constantly chasing new invaders from all the other beds. It is just too time consuming, so the nuts in the lawn need to be dealt with, once and for all. Since constant heavy applications of organic composts eventually rectifies offensive additives, I am considering using this nut grass specific product to rid our lawn of the wicked witch (without removing the good grass too) and then restoring the soil - with loads of mushroom compost or horse stable compost. Now don't anyone stone me for harboring last-ditch desperate thoughts, unless you have a better idea! And if so - do tell!
Maggie, sometimes desperate gardeners must take extreme measures! Believe me, if the bermuda doesn't disappear under the black plastic cooker, I'll be resorting to something! The compost will help neutralize any chemicals or toxins in the soil. There's an activated carbon product called Norit that will even do more. It's available locally, but I don't know about elsewhere. We lucky gardeners who have organic resources can always get a company name and number from the product label and pass it along if anyone can't find it.
Actually, my husband was thinking "Round-up", but with the roses right there, no way! Name, please, of the "nut-grass specific" herbicide. I've got someone coming out today to finish weeding the rose bed. Then, it will look good for a few days before all those evil things start coming back. Would like to be prepared for: 1) herbicide in hand and ready to use when nutgrass starts poking through the soil again, and 2) a day when the wind isn't blowing gale force to apply it!
Roundup will take it out and everthing else it hits. Manage works on the purple sedge we have here in DFW area, without killing lawn grasses. Image works on the nut grass variety in the Houston/Gulf area w/o nuking lawn.
About the wind... This is how I treated poison ivy in a heavily planted shade bed. Cut the bottom off a one-gallon plastic mild jug. Direct spray nozzle into top opening, to keep overspray off the keeper plants. If other plants would touch the sprayed leaves after removing the jug, I would leave the jug there until dry. A long stick poked down the hole and into the soil kept the jug from blowing away. Oh the patience of gardeners!
Especially if we're trying to do things organically! But the payoff in the end is sooooo great! I'm hoping God gives me extra checkmarks at the gates for trying to be organic with everything...do you think my gardening on Sunday morning will take off checkmarks???!! I used to go to church on Sundays before I knew the joys of gardening!
Thanx for the spraying tip Maggie. I really hate to use any herbicide, but my back just won't let me dig up more than half of that rose bed. Then I always have to get someone else to do the other half, and they do a half-*** job.
Gail, I think it was God's original intention for us to live in a garden and that was where he walked with Adam and Eve. So, what better place to be close to God?
When my son was about 5, he was helping me in the garden, and he asked why it felt so good to work in the dirt. I told him it was because that was the job God originally gave people: to take care of the garden and the animals. Little did I know that one day my entire life would be centered around taking care of the garden and the animals! Ha!
Well Gail and Carolyn, I can not say anything else about Sundays. My feeling is Ditto on the close to GOD. Every time I am out in the yard I feel just a little closer to the big man. I think that when that time comes we will in deed have a special place........ If not I hope he has a since of humor, and I know I am in like flint......
Yes, David,,, that is your forte. Good luck !
Interesting to notice how this thread started off with evil, witches and demons, then evolved to the higher realm.
Perhaps our God gives us nutgrass to remind us who's in charge and to give us reason to spend more time in our facsimiles of the original garden. Not that this group needs more reasons to be in ours, right? ... maybe just more time. Folks always ask me 'how much time do you spend in the garden every week?' I always say 'every possible moment'.
See ya'll at the ultimate garden gates!
Well, my rose bed is all weeded! I just took a couple of photos. If I can ever figure out how to post them, I'll put them on. It looks really nice. My husband is bringing home a truckload of mulch tomorrow, so if the wind (I bet you are tired of hearing me bellyaching about the wind) isn't blowing too bad, I'll get it spread and that will at least help with the pursulane and guess what else was growing in it?!?!? Bindweed!!! I missed one lousy stem of it last fall, and it must have had a million seeds, all of which came up. I don't think there are any seedlings left now, though! However, I will keep a sharp lookout for them. That stuff grows verrry fast.
Kinda strange, though. The soil in that bed is nice and loose. I added tons of organic material last year after we moved in. Seems like good soil. However, neither I nor the woman who helped me, found even one single earthworm. I'm wondering if the people we bought the house from nuked the bed with something? Everything does really well there, but isn't that odd?
Carolyn, I'm just glad someone else HATES the wind! I'm always complaining about it to Maggie. When the wind is out, I'm in.
No earthworms could possibly be from previous nuking but has it been mulched after adding last year's organic material? I'm amazed how much of a temperature difference it makes.
Yes! it was absolutely mulched and mulched and mulched! Since I'm not so good at watering when it involves dragging hoses, it was crucial to the survival of the rose bed to keep it heavily mulched. The only time the soil has been uncovered is the last month after the tornado blew all the mulch away!
Ok, I'm going to try this again. This should be a photo of the rose bed...sans nutgrass.
Carolyn your rose bed and drive around is nearly as big as my garden. No wonder you have wind, just look at those wide open spaces. I join you and Gail, I hate the wind and we get plenty, price you pay when you live on an island albeit a fairly large one. Have you noticed how it always waits until all the tall fragile stuff is up, before it comes along to knock it all down.
I see you mentioned you have bindweed as well as nutgrass Carolyn. I have a great idea for a gardening experiment and Carolyn, you could be the guinea pig (you have the space). Set aside a bit of land, plant nutgrass in one corner, bindweed in another, Japanese knotweed in the third and my Allium triquetrum in the forth, then stand well back and watch the battle.
My money is on the bindweed, does anyone want to add their personal hates to the list of weeds, then they could be added to the test.
We have a lot of knotweed and bindweed in this country, but I have noticed that they never ever seem to compete.
We have national collections of plants in this country, geraniums, pulmonarias etc. etc. Carolyn could hold the national collection of killer weeds.
What a great idea! Oh wait...I have that already...battling of the weeds is what I've got going on now. My weed is Bermuda grass.
Gail if you were to plant a strip of St.Augustine grass a long your flower bed it would help keep the Bermuda out...Just an Idea..
Funny, you mention that. That's what we planted in front of the bed two years ago and it's great! The problem is I had a bunch of perennials and bulbs to take out of the bed too. And it was raised about 3 timbers high and now I'm taking it down and lining it with stone. And just trying to kill the bermuda before I bring it down because behind the bed is a mulched bed of evergreens that I don't want the bermuda crawling into. And if all of this isn't confusing enough, I'm expanding the beds. So now I'm digging out some of the beautiful St. Augustine. Reusing in the front yard where I ignore the grass. Sonny's comment..."And why did we put the grass in just so you could dig it out?" Ha! I keep telling him because I love a challenge! He keeps reminding me that it's MY challenge and he doesn't want any part of it. So, I too, am wishing I had a male gardener in a swimsuit and cowboy boots in my backyard this morning. But then it's a lake back there this morning because of our wonderful rains yesterday and the guy would just be standing around waiting for things to dry out before he can dig any grass up. Mmmmmmm....that's not a bad idea....
The product that will rid you of nut grass is Manage. It is very expensive but I applied it right in my St Augustine and it will do the job. My greens superintendent was kind enough to give me about a teaspoon full and it will go along way.
Yes Judy, that is what I e'd Carolyn and she is lucky hers is only in a concrete surround. You and I could never get it out of lawn by hand! I did try the cornmeal, which slowed it down one year, for a sec.
About the stables you reccommended for poopies, Gail and I are still hoping to get over there when we both have a free wkend day AND an empty pickup. But I wonder if they lease horses for rec riding (possible wreck riding), hopefully western style. It's on my Brit rellies wish list and I don't know of any place around here anymore. Anyone know? ,,, Carolyn,,, got horses?
No horses, sorry.
Are your relatives into fishing? We have a lake with lots of fish.
Thanks for the offer, but I think they'd rather do the swimming ;-). Mon said she'd just as well hang in the pool all week if it weren't for tothers ideas! Are you on the lake or is the lake on your farm? Lucky Lady. How wonderful to live with big piece of water. If yours, do you stock it, & if so with what kind? Otherwise I am guessing bass, catfish?
Its a 12 acre lake on our property. We didn't stock it, but someone else must have. Its loaded with ...you guessed right...bass, catfish and some sweet little perch. We also have a stock tank up in one of the pastures, also loaded with fish. It is quite picturesque with lots of trees around it and up on a hill. Sort of the ideal way to spend a hot summer day with a bamboo fishing pole and straw hat.
Carolyn, It does sound WONDERFUL........I always wanted land and a nice size pond or lake.......
Hey, no wonder you are always in your bathing suit??????.......and BOOTS !!!!!!!!
Do you keep ducks on your lake Carolyn, or geese or swans?
David you are slipping behind a little, it's now swimsuit, boots, fishing pole and straw hat...that's the one I'm working on, on a HOT! summers day by the pool.
Yes, it is pretty nice. I've always loved being able to look out on the water, whether ocean or lake. The view out my office windows is of the lake, which is across the driveway and down the hill from the house.
We have white ducks, black ducks, black and white ducks (you can probably figure out how that happened), and geese on the lake. We don't have any swans yet, Terry. They are very expensive here, and we have predator problems from time to time---coyotes and bobcats. This year, the blasted dogs ate every waterfowl egg they could find, so we were lucky to save the eggs that we did. We've managed to incubate, hatch, raise and put in the lake about 8 geese and 8 ducks this spring.
Hey all, I've been lurking for a while (again!) and saw your recommendations about an herbicide for nut grass.
I went to a Native Plant Society meeting tonight; the guest speaker was Howard Garrett. He said that Manage is a VERY dangerous herbicide and shouldn't be used at all, ever ever ever (he seemed pretty adamant about that). Evidently, it drifts through the air more easily than Roundup or Finale, and harms any plants with which it comes into contact. He says that shrubs and trees are very vulnerable to this type of herbicide, and you won't see the damage right away. He described an odd discoloration in the leaves, where the tips of the leaves are still green but the middle becomes mottled (natural causes like bugs or diseases don't discolor just the middle of the leaves).
I have no experience with this herbicide myself, but thought I'd pass this info along.
Sounds like something to avoid Angie, wonder what it does to the lungs as it drifts through the air? I garden chemical free and am glad that I do when I hear about the damage done by some of the chemicals. I appreciate that commercial growers need them in order to compete in the commercial world, but in our gardens there has to be other ways. If for some reason a plant will not grow in my garden it's not the end of the world, there are plenty of others that will.
Seeing Angie's post drew my attention to yours Carolyn, I really must get a memory transplant, I think the term RAM (Random access memory) was based on how my brain works.
Do you have any rushes growing in your lake, they can provide good cover for nesting ducks. An island would be even better, then you could have a little rowing boat and do trips to the island. I never realised you had bobcats in your area, except for digging out ponds that is. Do you get any wildfowl visiting your lake? I just get the odd heron visiting my pond. We visit a wildlife park in Scotland from time to time and they have about 6 or 7 different species of swan including the black ones which I believe come from Australia. They also have countless species of ducks and geese, most of which breed there. As you enter the park you can purchase bags of food for the birds and the first path you come to has a sign "Muggers Alley". This is where you meet the first assault of ducks and geese as they mob you for the food, we were lucky to get through unharmed, but it did cost us three of our four bags of food. Crafty people these park owners, charge you to get in, then get you to feed the animals for them.
Angie, thank you for your post! I hate to be the only one on a soapbox when it comes to the synthetic gunk! I think most of us on the forum are organic but there's slippage when desperation sets in. I haven't yet BUT there are times Sonny has found me jumping up and down with my fists in the air trying to scare away the weeds. That sight is probably more scary than the sight of a synthetic fertilizer!
Wonder what HG would do if he had my lawn problem? At his rates, he could hire a Gang of Five to hand work it for the next 10 years.
Well, someone did ask him a question about digging out a large area of bermuda grass, that noxious, hateful, disgusting, horrible weed!!!! Oops, here I am dissing bermuda grass in the nut grass posting area! Sorry, I just went crazy there for a minute as I had a flashback of manually digging out bermuda grass by my mailbox, 100 degress outside, sweat, fire ants . . . Aaaaarrrrgh!
Anyway, of course HG recommends digging out by hand, but he says that if you have to cross over the chemical line for practical reasons, you might use Finale, then go back and detox the area. He always used to recommend activated charcoal for detox, but now he's recommending his own product (a mixture of compost tea and some other stuff) along with orange oil. Dave might remember what he recommended if anyone is going to try this.
HG also said that Round Up and Finale are about the same, damage-wise, but if he were going to use one or the other he wouldn't use RU because the company that makes it is the same one that's trying to shove GE crops down our throats. Amen to that!
As I remember HG said Round-up lasts up to THREE months in the soil before it finally breaks down!!
Where as Finale does not have that problem. HG said you can detox Finale just as soon as it drys on the weed, grass,mother-in-law ETC.......
I just had new sod put in my back yard, it has been about a month now. I water in the morning and evening, I live in Los Angeles, the climate has been HOT. For the past week or two I've noticed mushrooms all over the lawn, I mean I've been overwhelmingly inadated with mushrooms. I hand pick them in the morning by evening they are there again, hundreds of small, medium and a few giant size muchrooms. What can I do to get rid of these unsightly fungus?
The good news is that the presence of toadstools indicates that you have a healthy earth, rich in microbial populations living off nature’s food source of decaying matter. Your land is ripe for an organic feeding program, rather than using chemical fertilizers. See Gail Morris' Organic Guide on this site for natural lawn care practices.
There are fungicide products that would probably take care of the mushroom problem for you, and your local county extension service would be able to recommend which, but such chemicals would also damage the healthy soil. If you are like me, and would rather not use chemicals, the solution is to simply let nature take its course. Mushrooms require specific conditions to grow and you are at the moment providing their preferred milieu. When the new turf gets its roots deep enough to require far less irrigation, the problem will cease. It may return during temporary rainy spells, but would not be the constant problem that it is on your current watering schedule. Annual aeration of the lawn when it is matured, would help decrease temporary rainy-spell outbreaks.
In the meantime, be sure to wash your hands / rubber gloves thoroughly after handling them, lest they be toxic. You could check with the county extension office or local university botany dept to help ID the mushroom type and learn more of its cycles and environmental needs and dislikes, but patience will be your healthiest defense.
this weed is purple nut sedge and round up will kill it , manage is made just for this weed and is not dangerous, infact golf courses even spray manage on there greens. that is why it is expensive because if you can spray a herbicide on a green and and get weed kill with out the turf kill you have something special. however use round up first thing in the morning , you should be able to spray the weed without getting your roses. licensed spray tech 8 yrs
Thanks for you input. Folks with nut grass under their vinyl swimming pools have no other option than to use a herbacide. As for nut grass in lawns - 'Manage' sure beats the impossible mission of trying to dig it out by hand. For those wanting to avoid tainting a chemical free garden, it is reassuring to know that continued microbial activity soon overcomes temporary spot treatments. Organic programs make for permanent solutions in the long run.
organic gardener for over 20 years.
do you have to be a licensed spray tech to get a hold of some manage? can you purchase it at a home improvement store? thank you.
In Fort Worth, Marshall Grain on E. Lancaster.
Here is their website.
Some Calloways Nurseries may also carry it, but call before you go.
I am a first time above ground pool owner. Two weeks after the pool was installed we noticed we had nutgrass growing in our pool along the edges. We are replacing the liner. Does anyone have any suggestions on what to do to get rid of this weed so it will not return. The pool company as well as the pool installer are of no help on how to get rid of the nutgrass.
It depends on what kind of sedge you have and whether or not you need to preserve the adjacent lawn.
If you live in the DFW area, ‘Manage’ will kill our local kind of nut grass in lawn areas without killing the grass. If you live in Houston/Gulf area, ‘Image’ will kill the variety that grows down there, without killing the lawn.
If you want to nuke an entire area, Round Up will do in everything it hits and is much cheaper. If this is the case, and you want to restore the nuked ground to a healthy, microbe-rich soil after the problem is solved, there are natural materials you can use to de-toxic it.
The real challenge is to be sure to get every blade of every nut, otherwise the missed ones will multiply enmass again. Folks who use these products and think they didn’t work, shouldn’t be blaming the product - when the problem was with the operator.
Don’t know your location, but if it is local:
All of the above need to be applied immediately, before the plant growth rate slows or stops with cool weather. Count on needing two weeks min. of good growing conditions before seeing signs of decline. If you can stand to wait until next spring before replacing the liner, you would have more chance of getting all of it, by dosing any survivors when their foliage first emerges next year.
This is such a common problem with liners, that any decent pool company should be familiar with it. One who failed to recognize and deal with nutgrass *before* the lining was installed should now take the responsibility for replacing it. That would put a stop to them doing this in future.
Am putting in an above ground pool. Last summer, we bought a cheap costco pool and the liner was destroyed with nutgrass peeking through.
This year we bought a more expensive system and am hoping to kill the nut grass right before we install. Reading all of your comments have me a little discouraged. We live in OC, CA.
We went to our local farm supply store only to be told that Manage is not available any more this year through them due to a change in product. And the new line of product will not be out until later this year.
Our pool installer has told us of a product he uses that comes from Australia called "Zaps - zit" or something close to it phonetically. We tried to find it online and have had no luck. Maybe, we are spelling it incorrectly or maybe it is not legal here, but in any case any suggestions out there from anyone other than digging up the entire area and screening it?
I just spoke to the folks at Marshall Grain in Fort Worth - they have always carried it in the past. Learned the maker has changed the name from Manage to Sledgehammer. I asked if Marshall would ship it to you in CA, but, sorry,, no,, not outside the US.
But at least knowing the new name of the product might be of some help. I sure needed to know about it.
About your first liner - don't feel bad. Nut grass will cut through the toughest one you can buy. It really does have to be eradicated completely, before laying a new liner. I have heard of pool repair co's that inject herbacide into the ground where nut grass broke through, then patch the holes. Don't know how permanent the repair is, but know new holes will be made if all of the demon is not killed off completely.
Thanks for writing, hope you can find it (Manage aka Sledgehammer) up there.