How to win the weed war

14 common garden invaders and the best ways to control them

Yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus)
David Goldberg

Yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus)

Also known as yellow nutgrass, this perennial weed thrives in moist areas in much of the country. Its bright green leaves grow from the base in groups of three; grass leaves, in contrast, grow in sets of two. The flower head is golden brown. Small, roughly round tubers (nutlets) form at the tips of the roots; the weed spreads by these tubers as well as by seed.

Hoe or pull nutsedge when it's young and still small ― when plants have fewer than five leaves or are less than 6 inches tall. Older, taller plants are mature enough to produce tubers; when you dig or pull the plant, the tubers remain in the soil to sprout. Repeatedly removing top growth eventually weakens tubers.

For small patches in lawns, dig deeply (8 inches); remove the whole patch, then refill with soil and seed or sod the patch.



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