Nutgrass is a common problem in summer lawns. Nutsedge (A.K.A. nutgrass) is a perennial, grass-like sedge that tends to be prolific in poorly drained or wet areas. Nutgrass plants regenerate from small nutlets formed on their root system under the soil surface. 

Nutgrass in Mulch

What is Nutgrass or Nutsedge?

Nutgrass is a sedge; it’s not a grass and is difficult to get rid of. Nutsedge has triangular stems with leaves that branch out in three different directions and is a light green to yellow color.  Nutsedge grows quickly in spring and summer, outgrowing grass just a few days after mowing.

Uncle's Nutbuster kills nutgrass

The Best Way to Kill Nutsedge

The best nutsedge killer is a liquid spray application of Uncle’s Nutbuster combined with Stikit, a non-ionic surfactant.  This selective herbicide will kill the nutgrass but will not hurt your lawn when applied under the conditions described on the label. Cool season grasses such as fescue, rye, bluegrass and warm season zoysia grass are tolerant to this product.

Uncle’s Tip: Nutgrass is a cold hardy perennial sedge. Nutgrass spreads from tubers or nutlets formed on rhizomes in the soil. The nutgrass plant tops die off every winter and emerge again in early May from the tubers or nutlets. The best time to control nutgrass is in early summer, June to July. Early season control will kill the nutgrass plant before new tubers or nutlets are formed. A re-application after 4 to 8 weeks is recommended.

Can I Pull Up Nutgrass?

Avoid pulling the nutgrass plant by hand. Pulling nutgrass will stress the plant and stimulate even more nutlets to sprout. Nutgrass plants regenerate from small nutlets formed on their root system under the soil surface.  These nutlets go unharmed by traditional contact weed controls, making nutsedge challenging to control.

Nutsedge Killer
Nutbuster Before and After

How to Mix Nutbuster

In a one gallon pump sprayer, dissolve one water soluble bag of Nutbuster into one gallon of water. Add two tablespoons of Uncle’s Stikit, a non-ionic surfactant, to this mix and then mix the pump sprayer contents vigorously. One gallon of mixed product will cover approximately 1,000 square feet. A second treatment may be required 6 to 10 weeks later.


Uncle’s Tips When Using Nutbuster

  • For optimum results, do not mow turf two days before or after application. Give the plant plenty of time to absorb herbicide deep into the root system and nutlets.
  • To avoid damage to turf grass, measure the appropriate amount of Stikit accurately.
  • Spray the nutgrass thoroughly and wet the entire leaf surface.
  • Timing is everything, and early control is best. Nutgrass plants allowed to mature will stress when treated, stimulating more nutlets to sprout. However, be persistent and continue to spray the new plants as they emerge, and you will be victorious.
  • This product may be used on seeded or sodded turfgrass that is well established. Allow the turf to develop a sound root system and uniform stand before application.
  • Do not apply this product as an over-the-top spray to desirable flowers, ornamentals, vegetables, shrubs, or trees.
  • Treated areas may be overseeded 14 days after application.


What is Uncle’s Stikit?

Uncle’s Stikit is a non-ionic spreader sticker. Stikit helps hold the herbicide on to the waxy leaf of the nutgrass.  When Stikit is added, water can spread covering more leaf surface resulting in a better uptake of the herbicide. Avoid using soaps and shampoos as a surfactant. They contain fragrance and dyes that can leave a precipitate residue on foliage.

New Product for Nutgrass Control

Sedge Stop (formerly known as Vexis) for control on nutgrass and kyllinga. We are excited to offer a new product from the manufacturer of Trimec, SpeedZoneEW, and Q4.  PBI Gordon, after extensive research in their greenhouses along with University trials, has developed a  granular product for post and possibly pre-emergent control for nutsedge and kyllinga.

Sedge Stop

What we have learned about Sedge Stop

The results speak for themselves. We have conducted research plots, asked for feedback from our customers, and found Sedge Stop highly effective against nutgrass. However, Sedge Stop has shown to be slower at turning the nutgrass plant brown, but it will stop the nutgrass from outgrowing your turf grass almost immediately. So you won’t see the tops of nutgrass pushing above your grass the day after you mowed. Our user experience shows it can take as much as a month to turn the plant brown and fade away.

Sedge Stop is a granule and available in a convenient 2-pound shaker can or 15-pound bag. Shake it over the spots of nutgrass in your lawn and water it in. Sedge Stop containing Vexis requires no mixing, no surfactants, no messes, and no worry about leftover mix in your sprayer. In addition, the granular formulation reduces the potential for drift.

More Related Articles to Summer Weed Controls

Controlling Grassy Weeds in Summer

Controlling Broadleaf Weeds in Summer

Long Lasting Grub Control

5 Tips on Growing Grass Under Shade Trees


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