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Controlling Nutsedge on Arizona Lawns

by Gabby Hyman, All About Lawns Columnist

If you have nutsedge (also known as nutgrass) in your Arizona lawn, you may have a nasty invader that takes diligence to control. Nutsedge (both yellow and purple genera) is a common weed, a perennial that reproduces from tubers. While nutsedge can resemble the grasses in your lawn, you can distinguish it from the common two-blade grass leaves in your turf by the characteristic three-blade sedge.

Hand-pulling seems like a great way to get rid of fast-growing nutgrass plants, but you can spread them further throughout your lawn if you fail to dig down at least 8 inches deep and remove all remnants of the nutgrass roots. Once the leaves are matured into two opposing three-blade configurations, herbicide only kills off the tops of the plants, leaving the tubers below the surface to spawn even more tufts later. The net result is that your lawn has uneven clumps no matter how carefully you mow it.
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Treating Arizona Nutgrasses

There are two things to consider about nutsedge. It hates shade and the tubers dry out under the Arizona sun if you withhold water. Of course, both shade and drought can also harm the healthy grasses in your lawn. There are some nonselective post-emergent herbicides that have had some success in treating nutgrasses. While glyphosate (Roundup) and pelargonic acid (Quik Weed Killer) can temporarily kill off these nasty weeds, they won't provide a permanent solution.

The University of Arizona College of Agriculture found in research trials that sulfosulfuron, imazaquin, and halosulfuron applied in May and again in July and August knocked down about 93% of the weed through fall.

But beware: these herbicides have the potential to severely damage ryegrass.

About the Author
Gabby Hyman has created online strategies and written content for Fortune 500 companies including eToys, GoTo.com, Siebel Systems, Microsoft Encarta, Avaya, and Nissan UK.

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