April Weed Spotlight: Yellow Nutsedge

Did you know that in a 1961 study, one weed – the Yellow Nutsedge – produced 1,900 shoots and 6,900 tubers! Well, if you’re not sure what in the world we are talking about, don’t worry! At Terra Bites Lawn Service we tend to get wowed by the ease in which weeds can spread. The study above just goes to show why Georgia weed control is such a necessary step for all lawns. Untreated for just one or two seasons, weeds can take over!

Characteristics of Yellow Nutsedge

weeds

Figure 1. (a) Yellow nutsedge in bloom. (b) Closeup of yellow nutsedge inflorescence, showing umbel of spikes of variable length, and leaflike bracts longer than the spikes. Photo credits: (a) Howard F. Schwartz, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org; (b) Mark Schonbeck, Virginia Association for Biological Farming.
(Photos via eOrganic extension online)

Cyperus esculentus a.k.a. Yellow Nutsedge is a weed that primarily ‘attacks’ areas with crops, such as vegetables, peanuts and even cotton. It is drawn to these places due to the high soil moisture levels.

Appearance:

  • Grass-like, between eight to 30 inches tall.

  • Coloration of leaves ranges from bright green to yellowish-green; leaves look like blades of grass on lower part of weed.

  • The Flower Head or “inflorescence,” is a golden color with spikes jutting out from one to three inches in length.

  • This weed produces “tubers”- thick, underground roots that produce buds from which new plant shoots arise.

Behavior:

  • Yellow nutsedge is dormant under 50°F, but begin to sprout when soil temperatures rise over 55 degrees °F.

  • Growth typically begins in mid to late spring; within four weeks of the ‘mother’ tuber’s emergence from the soil, ‘daughter’ tubers begin growing from this weed.

  • Thrives in wet conditions; is very flood resistant.

How To Control It

  • Avoid over-watering and over-fertilization.

  • Avoid synthetic mulches if yellow nutsedge is already present.

  • Till and cultivate your soil when practical; also plan crop rotations if possible.

  • Try to get at least 80% of shade between your plants to block out this weed’s growth.

  • Certain livestock, like pigs, can also help rid you of yellow nutsedge because they enjoy the sweet flavor of this weed.

Whether you have a farm, business or private residence, weed control is always must when it comes to your outdoor green space. Contact our experts at Terra Bites Lawn Service to schedule your weed control or lawn care today. We look forward to sharing our lawn care knowledge with you!