Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Winning the nutgrass battle

It's not really a grass at all. It's called purple nutsedge (Cyperus rotundus) and along with its sister, yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus), is one of the most difficult weeds in the world to successfully eradicate. You can't just pull it because it's got deep root systems connected by tubers ("nuts"), so you have to carefully dig down and get the nut(s).

We've been faithfully extracting these cockroaches by hand one by one every week for almost a year, except for a break in winter, and have reduced our front yard's overwhelming nutsedge population by about 95 percent.

We'll have to continue weekly or monthly extraction forever, but at least we're seeing some results without resorting to poisons, which aren't very effective on established nutgrass and require repeated applications. And even then you would have to dig out the deepest nuts by hand in your now-poisonous soil.

See how that middle one broke into three parts to try to trick us?

Here's one that grew all the way through a piece of hardwood mulch!


Anonymous said...

I am beginning to worry a little about you guys and your nutgrass obsession. The nutgrass is not plotting against you while you sleep or anything...right? I guess we all have our little obsessions though. I just haven't pulled mine out of the ground and taken pictures of them.

Kurt said...

Tip of the iceberg, Neleh. The story here is good news; the battle is won. We are all fortunate there is no plotting, no conspiracy behind nutgrass. One could not go so far as to say nutgrass is murder. Maybe Monsanto is? erhr, dunno...wheat?

Anonymous said...

Conspiracy as in a Nutgrassy Knoll theory?

Iris said...

I don't know how y'all stay so witty in this heat! But I appreciate it.

gustavo said...

My brother's backyard became infested with this stuff. He resorted to poisons and effectively killed everything, including his nice lawn. Doing it by hand is the only way to go I guess