There are several high quality nutsedge killers on the market. The top products currently available are:
- Spectracide Weed Stop for Lawns + Crabgrass Killer
- Image Kills Sedge Ender
- Bonide Sedge Ender
Each of these products relies on a different chemical compound or combination to kill nutsedge. Some are gentler on certain species of turf grass, while others are an all-purpose treatment to kill sedge. Below we will cover the best application for each product. However, remember to review all product label guidelines prior to lawn treatment.
Top 5 Nutsedge Herbicides
The best product to kill sedge depends on the type of grass growing in your lawn. There are several sedge-killing products on the market, but some harm particular species of grass. Below are the best products for Sedge control.
Spectracide Weed Stop for Lawns + Crabgrass Killer
Spectracide’s Weed Stop Plus Crabgrass Killer contains both Quinclorac and Sulfentrazone. Both active ingredients are effective at killing nutsedge (with Quinclorac specifically targeting yellow nutsedge). This product shows the fastest results in sedge control but may require multiple applications to completely kill nutsedge.
- Good for: Kentucky Bluegrass, Fescue, Ryegrass, Bermuda grass, Zoysia, Buffalo grass
- Not safe for use on: St. Augustine, Centipede grass, Bahiagrass
The active ingredient in Sedgehammer is Halosulfuron-methyl, which attacks both yellow and purple nutsedge. This product is highly effective at killing several varieties of sedge, although results take about 1 week to show, and repeat applications may be necessary to completely control nutsedge.
- Good for: All common turf grasses, including St. Augustine, Kentucky Bluegrass, Bermuda, Fescue, and Ryegrass lawns
- Not safe for use on: Sedgehammer is safe for all common lawn grass.
The active ingredient in Basagran is Bentazon, which kills nutsedge on contact but does not harm turf grasses. Although it is effective at killing and controlling sedge, the plant must be well sprayed with Basagran, as it attacks only the parts of the weed exposed to the herbicide. Spot-treating sedge is the best option with this product.
- Good for: Bermuda grass, Zoysia, Centipede grass, St. Augustine, Kentucky Bluegrass, Rye, Fescue, and other common turf grasses.
- Not safe for use on: Newly seeded or sodded lawns. Wait until your lawn is established enough that it has been mowed 3–4 times.
Image Kills Nutsedge
This nutsedge killer from Image differs from the previous entries on this list because its active ingredient is Imazaquin. Unlike the other entries on this list, Image Kill Nutsedge works best when watered into the soil with 1/2 inch of water (about 30 minutes with a sprinkler) after application. Avoid mowing for 2 days before and 2 days after application. This product will work to kill and control sedge and grassy weeds throughout the entire yard.
- Good for: Bermuda grass, Zoysia, Centipede grass, St. Augustine.
- Not safe for use on: Cool-season grasses, such as Kentucky Bluegrass, Fescue, and Ryegrass, and new seed/sod lawns.
Bonide Sedge Ender
Bonide Sedge Ender is a Sulfentrazone-based sedge killer that does not contain Quinclorac. This makes it capable of killing both purple and yellow nutsedge and other broadleaf weeds, and is safe for more grass varieties than products that mix Sulfentrazone with Quinclorac. If you have grass that can be damaged by Quinclorac, such as St. Augustine, but still want to kill sedge, this is a perfect option.
- Good for: All common cool and warm-season turf grasses.
- Not safe for use on: Safe for use on all grasses.
Does Roundup Kill Nutsedge?
Roundup is effective at killing all kinds of nutsedge. The Glyphosate in Roundup will infiltrate sedge plants through the leaves and travel to the root tubers, killing the sedge completely. However, Roundup is a non-selective herbicide. It will kill any actively growing plant exposed to it, including your lawn grass.
- Yes, Roundup will kill nutsedge, including root tubers. This prevents sedge regrowth.
- Roundup will also kill turf grasses and any other plants exposed to the herbicide.
- Only spray Roundup on nutsedge growing in areas where desirable plants and grasses won’t be affected.
Non-selective controls for nutsedge, such as Roundup, must be handled with care. Carefully block off other plants and grasses to prevent exposure, or use Roundup only in areas where sedge is growing away from desirable grasses, such as in driveway seams and sidewalk cracks.
Does Vinegar Kill Nutsedge?
Vinegar may burn the aboveground growth of nutsedge, but it won’t kill these weeds down to the root. This is because vinegar is acetic acid, which damages the leaf tissue of plants, but is neutralized by soil. Spraying sedge with vinegar will leave the underground tubers intact, and the nutsedge will sprout again.
- Vinegar will not kill nutsedge down to the root.
- Spraying vinegar on sedge will temporarily damage it, but the sedge will grow back.
- Vinegar also damages all plants it touches, and some grasses and garden plants aren’t as resilient as nutsedge. You may severely damage garden plants or desirable grass with vinegar but the nutsedge will survive.
Because vinegar doesn’t penetrate the soil and attack weed roots and tubers, it’s a poor weed control. You get the same benefit from vinegar as you would be using a string trimmer to attack sedge—you kill the visible portions but don’t stop the sedge long-term.
Can You Prevent Nutsedge?
If allowed to grow to full maturity, nutsedge will develop seed heads that will spread and create more nutsedge in your yard. A pre-emergent herbicide applied to your yard in spring will kill these seeds as they sprout, but it won’t kill all the nutsedge in your yard. Here’s why:
- Mature nutsedge plants are perennials. This means they come back each year from tubers in the soil. Pre-emergents won’t kill nutsedge roots and tubers.
- To control nutsedge, kill mature plants with a nutsedge herbicide. Then, use a pre-emergent to kill any new nutsedge weeds as they sprout in spring.
Unlike Crabgrass and Poa Annua, both purple nutsedge and yellow nutsedge are perennial plants. While crabgrass spreads seeds and then dies, nutsedge spreads its seeds and then goes into dormancy, only to sprout again from the root in spring. If you don’t kill nutsedge down to the root, you’ll continue to battle it year after year.
What is the Best Way to Kill Nutsedge?
The best way to kill nutsedge is by using a herbicide designed to kill both yellow nutsedge and purple nutsedge. Several products are available on the market capable of killing and preventing nutsedge. Search the product label for the following active ingredients:
These herbicides are effective means of treatment for a nutsedge invasion, and are safe for most lawn grasses. When applying any sedge control product, follow label directions and remain patient, as some products require up to 2 weeks to show results. By using one of these herbicides you can get rid of this tough weed for good.