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Humidity in Philadelphia Leads to Nutsedge Infestations on Lawns and Homeowners Need to Know the Top 6 Steps to Getting Nutsedge Under Control from Giroud Tree and Lawn


Humidity leads to Nutsedge growth on area lawns and this is arguably the worst of the weedy type grasses in the Philadelphia area. Nutsedge is notoriously difficult to control and the experts at Giroud Tree and Lawn explain what Nutsedge is, why it's such a pain, and what homeowners can do to keep it in check.


The humid part of the summer season is officially here, and that means some unwanted familiar foes have popped up on area lawns. Arguably the worst of the weedy type grasses in the Philadelphia area is Nutsedge. This persistent eyesore might be driving homeowners crazy and for good reason. Nutsedge is notoriously difficult to control! The experts at Giroud Tree and Lawn explain what Nutsedge is, why it's such a pain, and what you can do to keep it in check.

Nutsedge is an invasive weedy sedge

It may be surprising to learn that Nutsedge is not really a weed. It's actually a sedge. While sedge has a lot of the same properties as a weed, it also has a lot of the same characteristics of a grass, which makes it viable in almost any kind of soil.

If homeowners are not sure what is growing on the lawn, the best approach is to have a professional lawn service with certified technicians check now. Clemson University's Home & Garden Information Center explains why it is important to know exactly what you're dealing with: "Correct identification is very important, as most herbicides for grass control are not effective on sedges.... They can be very difficult to eradicate and their control is likely to be a long process. Successful control involves both cultural and chemical management methods."

Nutsedge Spreads Fast and Far

Nutsedge is like a flood that just won't stop because it reproduces in 4 different ways! If left to grow tall enough, it will sprout seed heads, and those seeds can be carried to other places around the property.

Underground, Nutsedge spreads runners in the form of tubers and roots (or rhizomes), which act like tiny vines reaching far throughout the lawn. And, as if that weren't enough, the nutlet at the base of the plant can stay in the soil and propagate for as long as 10 years! It's easy to see why Nutsedge can quickly overtake a thin lawn or bare areas.

Nutsedge is an unbelievable survivor and very hard to control. Here are the best strategies for control:

1.    Check soil pH Level: If the soil pH is too low, a lime application would be beneficial. It will provide a better growing environment for the lawn and combat Nutsedge.
2.    Manual removal: If the lawn has a minimal infestation, homeowners can hand pull out the plants. However, it's important to dig deep to get the entire plant including tubers, nutlets and roots (rhizomes). These are the key to Nutsedge spreading to other parts of the lawn.
3.    Mow high: Never cut the lawn lower than 3". By cutting the lawn a little longer, homeowners will be able to cut off the higher growing blades of Nutsedge and prevent development of seed-heads. Additionally, the higher grass won't give Nutsedge the sunlight that it needs to grow.
4.    Catch Nutsedge When It's Young: Nutsedge is amazing in it's ability to reproduce from nutlets, roots (rhizomes) and tubers underground to seed heads and runners above. Whether hand pulling or using a herbicide treatment, Nutsedge is most vulnerable when it first pops up in late Spring or early summer.
5.    Herbicide Treatment: Because Nutsedge is such a resilient plant and can stay in the soil for so many years, it may take a series of properly timed treatments over several seasons to eliminate it. A Certified Applicator will use professional strength herbicides and apply them at the best time to kill off the entire plant. Herbicides should never be used in the heat of summer or during periods of drought. It can result in killing off good grass along with the Nutsedge.
6.    Dealing with a Massive Nutsedge Outbreak: If the lawn is covered in Nutsedge, the only solution may be a total lawn replacement in the Fall. A certified lawn technician will remove the existing lawn, prepare the soil, and lay down a new lawn with seed or sod. This will lessen the severity of the infestation but it will still be important to manage any new seedlings that pop up.

The best defense against a Nutsedge invasion is having a thick and healthy lawn. Homeowners can keep their lawn healthy with regular inspections, which will ensure lawns have the best chance of survival against Nutsedge and other weedy type grasses and weeds. In Giroud's Nutsedge Fact Sheet, successful control solutions are outlined so homeowners can take the correct step to eradicating Nutsedge from the property.

Nutsedge can quickly take over an entire lawn. Lawns need to be thoroughly evaluated for safety by a Certified Lawn Care Expert. An evaluation is often free. The potential to save the homeowner from exhaustingly battling such a stubborn weedy type grass like Nutsedge all summer long is priceless.

About Giroud Tree and Lawn
Giroud Tree and Lawn specializes in tree service, lawn care and mosquito and tick control programs that make customers love doing business with the company since 1974. Serving Bucks, Montgomery and Philadelphia Counties, the company offers professional tree and lawn evaluation, tree pruning, tree removal, insect and disease control, fertilizing, stump removal, traditional and 100% organic lawn programs and mosquito and tick control. Giroud Arborists are certified by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and have the knowledge and experience required to properly diagnose, treat and maintain trees and lawn health. The company is Accredited by the Tree Care Industry Association and Better Business Bureau. Giroud has also been awarded the Angie's List Super Service Award® every year since 2005. The "Giroud Treework for Charity" program donates free tree care services to parks, historical sites and other non-profit organizations located in the Company's service area. For more information, visit the company website at or call 215-682-7704.

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