killing nutsedge in the Fall

christit(8 FL)November 17, 2012

I have St Augustine grass(mixture of Sapphire and Floratam) and live in Tampa Fl. After a very wet summer I am noticing nutsedge popping up sporadically in my lawn. I have used Image (specific for nutsedge) successfully in the past and spent nearly two years trying to eradicate that blasted weed.

My question is will I hurt my lawn if I use it now since it is not growing much?

In the past after using Image my grass looks a little sick (greenish-yellow in color).

Christi

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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

It is nice to know that someone had a wet summer.

Read the directions on the label of the container very closely. I've never needed to use it, but if there would be a problem, it should be listed on the label.

Nutsedge is a swamp grass that takes advantage of the sopping wet soil. I've seen it growing in a river. Watering deeply and infrequently usually takes care of nutsedge. This allows the soil/sand to dry out and weaken the nutsedge roots. Every now and then I get an infestation of nutgrass but it goes away with my infrequent watering. When Mother Nature helps with so much natural rain, there isn't anything you can do but wait it out.

If the grass looks sick after the Image, you might try applying organic fertilizer right before the Image. Apply something like alfalfa pellets (rabbit chow) at a rate of 20 pounds per 1,000 square feet. It takes about 3 full weeks before you see the improvement from organics, so don't expect immediate results. The advantage of organic in this case is you can not over do the application. The more you use the better the results up to the point of burying the grass with it. It is easy to make mistakes with chemical ferts but organics are easy solution to the problem you are planning for.

    Bookmark   November 18, 2012 at 6:20PM
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christit(8 FL)

dchall,
Thank you for the information. The rainy season is over so maybe Mother Nature will help me out. I am interested in pursuing a more organic approach to lawn care and have taken baby steps towards it. Checking out the feed store today.
Appreciate the advice,
Christi

    Bookmark   November 19, 2012 at 8:25AM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

Go to the Organic Gardening forum, find the FAQs, and scroll to the bottom of the list for the Organic Lawn Care FAQ. If you search the Internet, most of the lawn forums have a copy of it.

Organic gardening changed in a big way in the early 2000s. From the '30s through the '90s organic meant all you used was compost. Research in the 90s found that the reason compost worked was that it provided tens of thousands of microbes to the soil. What compost does not provide is food for the microbes. Compost is made of depleted food. If you want to feed the microbes, then you must provide real food for them. Anything you eat is real food. What this means to organic gardening is by applying food, you don't need compost anymore. The microbes are already in the soil if you just feed them. Organic fertilizers and dry pet food both have the same ingredients. Yes, scatter some dog food if you don't believe it. The rate is 2 pounds per 100 square feet (or 20 pounds per 1,000 square feet). Give it 3 full weeks to show results. Why? Because feeding microbes is a biological process, not a chemical reaction. The food chain in the soil is so complex and interactive it is referred to as the soil food web. It takes a full 3 weeks for food to be converted into Mother Nature's natural plant food.

Here is a photo for motivation. This was taken by GW member mrmumbles in June, 2011 a month after he applied a handful of alfalfa pellets to his zoysia turf. Note the improved density, color, and growth.

It's kind of funny but since I started posting that picture on the three lawn forums that still have readership, the feed stores I go to are becoming aware of alfalfa pellets as fertilizer. They tell me they have more and more customers asking for it for their lawn.

It really does work just like in the picture. When I first started using corn meal, my lawn became as dense as a head of cabbage. Mowing was much more of a chore than before. I finally raised my mower all the way to the highest setting and it got more manageable.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2012 at 8:00PM
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eline65(9)

Thanks for the info dchall. I've heard that Horticultural Dry Molasses has the same effect of feeding the microbes. Nice to know that dog food will do the same thing! Do you crush the pellets when you apply them? I'd assume the same would be needed for the dog food. However I think the multitude of ferrel cats and chickens would have a buffet in my lawn if I didn't crush the food a bit.

Any updates christit? I too have to battle nutsedge. Even in superdry Arizona, so I'm researching every option.

Here is a link that might be useful: Local Nursery sedge post

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 5:47PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

I do not crush the pellets, I rinse them after application. Once they get moist they turn to mush and cannot be carried away.

Dry molasses is a source of sugar, not protein. There is no nitrogen value in dry molasses. It has its purposes but not as a fertilizer.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2013 at 10:46PM
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