Purple Nutsedge Control

Most Effective Products

Nanotek Surfactant
Surfactant
As low as $27.99
Expel Turf Herbicide
Emulsifiable Concentrate (EC)
As low as $108.09
Martin's Nutgrass Eliminator
Water-Soluble Powder
As low as $15.99
Keith's Pro Tips

"For best results, make sure to apply Martin's Nutgrass Eliminator at the right time. Purple Nutsedge should be treated when it is actively growing between the months of May of September. Apply Martin's Nutgrass Eliminator in the springtime when the growth is less than 6 inches in length. Repeated applications may be necessary so apply every 6 weeks during the growing season."

Purple Nutsedge Control: How To Get Rid of Purple Nutsedge

This page is a general DIY article on eliminating purple nutsedge from your lawn by using the products and methods suggested throughout this guide. Follow this DIY guide and use the recommended products and we guarantee 100% control of purple nutsedge from your property.

Purple nutsedge, also popularly known as nutgrass in some regions, is a common weed in both turf and ornamental areas. It has been notorious for crowding out desirable plants on lawns throughout the U.S.

A purple nutsedge problem on turf starts innocently enough, with usually a single tuber emerging in the middle of a yard or field. Within a year, it will become a clump that can potentially span 40 feet wide. By the third year, nutsedge will be all over the field or turf. Thats just how fast purple nutsedge can take over land if left unmanaged.

If you are dealing with purple nutsedge on your landscape, we can help. Our DIY treatment guide was put together by our lawn care experts to make it easy for you to remove purple nutsedge from your lawn quickly and at a low cost.

Identification

Before you can proceed with a treatment program, you will need to be sure that the weed you are facing is indeed purple nutsedge. Misidentification can lead you to using the wrong treatment products and be a waste of your time and money. Below are some characteristics about purple nutsedge to aid in identification:

Purple Nutsedge

  • Purple nutsedge is a perennial grassy weed with a triangular stem and three rows of leaves. This erect weed reaches an average height of 6 inches, but when fully mature can grow between 12-16 inches.
  • Leaves are glossy, slender, and colored dark green. Seedheads are purple, dark-reddish, to brown in color and has a boat-shaped leaf tip. 
  • Purple nutsedge reproduces through small underground tubers, also called nutlets. This complex system stays protected through the colder weather until spring, which allows the weed to sprout and remerge in your property. 

Use our description and image above to help you to identify purple nutsedge on your lawn. If you are not sure about the weed you are encountering contact us and we will properly identify the plant for you as well as give you the best product recommendations for your weed problem.

Inspection

Once you have confirmed the infestation is purple nutsedge, you can then move on to inspection. During this phase, you will locate the areas where purple nutsedge are infesting and observe the conditions that are allowing it to thrive. This information will help you determine where to apply herbicide applications.

Purple Nutsedge

Where to Inspect

Purple nutsedge occurs thoughout the United States, and is most often found in moist soils. They can also grow in dry, well-drained areas if the turf and vegetation is thin. 

Common sites for this weed to infest are lawns, ditch banks, plant beds, cultivated fields, and other ornamental areas. 

What To Look For

Purple nutsedge is more easily noticed during the summer months since this is when it is growing rapidly. 

As they grow, the surrounding foliage will become thin and discolored.

Treatment

Before handling any chemicals, make sure to equip yourself with the proper personal protective equipment (PPE) for your personal safety (glasses, gloves and particle mask).

A selective, post-emergent herbicide would be the best way to deal with this stubborn weed due to its noxious and persistent nature. The top herbicide we recommend is Martin's Nutgrass Eliminator.

Step 1: Mix and Apply Martin's Nutgrass Eliminator

Pump Sprayer Sedgehammer

Martin's Nutgrass Eliminator is a selective herbicide concentrate that can help treat a variety of stubborn weeds in cool-seasoned and warm-seasoned turf, including purple nutsedge.

Determine how much Martin's Nutgrass Eliminator to use by measuring the square footage of the treatment area. To do this, measure the length and width of the treatment area in feet then multiply them together.

Apply 0.5 (13.5 grams) of Martin's Nutgrass Eliminator per 1 gallon of water per 1,000 sq. ft. of turfgrass. 

For increased weed control, we recommend mixing this product with a surfactant like Nanotek Surfactant. Simply mix 1 oz. of Nanotek Surfactant per 1 gallon of spray solution.

Mix and apply this product into a hand-pump sprayer or a backpack sprayer.

Fill your sprayer with half the amount of water, add the measured amount of Martin's Nutgrass Eliminator, then pour in the remaining half of water. Close the spray tank lid and shake until solution is well-mixed.

Spray the target weeds thoroughly and wet the entire leaf surface of the undesirable plants.

For best results, spray nutsedge after it has reached the 3 - 8 leaf stage of growth

If needed, you may apply a second retreatment once 6 to 10 weeks have passed after the first application.

Prevention

After you have successfully removed purple nutsedge from your property, you will need to make sure this weed does not return. Here are some preventative measures to keep purple nutsedge off your yard.

mowing grass

  • To prevent purple nutsedge in your lawn, we recommend using a pre-emergent herbicide. Expel Turf Herbicide is a selective pre- and post-emergent herbicide that will prevent and control weeds in cool-seasoned and warm-seasoned turf. This product will only offer pre-emergent control of purple nutsedge from seed, and not from the nutlet. Split applications would give you the best control over this weed. For cool-seasoned turf, use 2-4 fl. oz. of Expel Turf Herbicide per 10 gallons of water per acre for the first application, followed by a second application of 4-6 fl. oz. per 10 gallons of water per acre. For warm-seasoned turf, use 6-8 fl. oz. of product per 10 gallons of water per acre for the first application, followed by a second application of 4-6 fl. oz. of product per 10 gallons of water per acre. Allow 35 days to pass before making that second application. Due to this products high-volume spray application, high capacity spraying equipment like a spray rig may be necessary. 
  • Excessive watering will lead to purple nutsedge infestations. Adjust watering to once a week with an inch of irrigation to avoid over-watering and encourage turf growth.
  • Install landscape fabris around trees and shrubs to cause shade and choke out this weed. 
  • Purple nutsedge cannot grow well in areas with shade. Change your mower blades to cut off no more than 1/3rd of the grass height. Mowing too short can help to stimulate this weeds growth.

Key Takeaways

What is Purple Nutsedge

  • Purple Nutsedge is a common weed encountered by backyard gardeners and can grow very quickly overtake a lawn without intervention.

How to Get Rid of Purple Nutsedge

  • Use Martin's Nutgrass Eliminator to treat outbreaks of purple nutsedge. Repeated applications may be needed to get complete control.

Preventing Purple Nutsedge Reinfestation

  • Preventative measures to keep purple nutsedge away include a regular lawn maintenance routine which will promote a healthy, dense lawn. Addressing moisture problems will also help. You will also need to make pre-emergent applications with Expel Turf Herbicide. 
Questions and Answers
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    Expel Turf Herbicide
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    Martin's Nutgrass Eliminator
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