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Kill That Bright Green Grassy Lawn Weed Called Nutsedge

April 12, 2012

You think you are getting rid of this very pesky weed because it is easy to pull. However, Nutsedge quickly grows back from the bulb-like roots that are left behind in the soil.

Well now Ortho has a ready-to-spray product called Ortho Nutsedge Killer For Lawns that will not only take out both Yellow and Purple Nutsedge, but also Wild Onion, Wild Garlic, Kyllinga, and lots of other weeds without harming your good grass.  (Note:  This product is not available in New York)

The bright green grassy weed is Nutsedge. (Some folks call in Nutgrass.)

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  1. how often should I apply scotts fertilizer to my lawn….every …..two weeks….1 month???

    • All Scotts lawn foods feed for about 6 to 8 weeks. This means for most lawns 4 feedings a year will be optimum. The one exception is for a grass type that is found in some southern areas called Centipede that prefers only 2 feedings a year.

  2. larry jones permalink

    What is the best time to apply fertilizer, does it make your grass thick and greener

    • Hi Larry
      If I knew where you are located I could give you very specific feeding recommendations. Southern grass lawns (the kinds that turn brown in winter) like more feeding in spring and summer than in fall. Northern grass lawns (the kinds that mostly stay green in winter) like more feeding in spring and fall. 4 feedings a year is generally the rule of thumb for most lawns. And yes, feeding with a good lawn food like Scotts Turf Builder or Scotts GreenMax makes your lawn greener and thicker.

  3. William Tait permalink

    I Live in the Dallas area and have a lawn with both burmuda and St. Augustine.What in your opinion would be best to apply to both thicken lawn up and well as make it greener?

    • Hi William
      Feed your lawn with Scotts MaxGreen. I like the extra Iron in this product which is great for your area. Your grass will become greener and thicker.

  4. larry jones permalink

    I forgot to mention it Bermuda grass

    • Thanks Larry for letting me know your grass type. Feed once you are seeing at least 50% green with Scotts Turf Builder or Scotts GreenMax, then repeat three times at 6 to 8 week intervals. Your last feeding will be in September.

  5. peter permalink

    Can I fertilize and lime at the same time?

    • Hi Peter
      Yes. The granular lime materials are easier to spread and less messy so you could make two passes across your lawn the same day with lime and with Scotts. Water after both applications (Unless you are putting down Turf Builder with Plus 2 that needs to go on moist foliage.) If you use pulverized lime (very dusty) you might want to water after spreading and wait a day or so to spread your Scotts because of the mess.

      • peter permalink

        I am thinking of using fast acting lime. What do you think?

      • Peter… since the lime you are talking about is white and very dusty, water after applying and then once the grass is dry you can spread Scotts. Some of the fast acting agricultural fertilizers can react with lime so it is suggested to wait a week between applications. Good luck with your lawn.

  6. Suzanne permalink

    I live in Florida and used a Scotts Weed n’ Feed last month March how soon before I can use the Southern Turf Builder w/ 2% iron?

    • Hi Suzanne
      You can feed your lawn with Southern Turf Builder 6 weeks after your weed & feed application.

  7. Drew permalink

    I will not stop until I have a great lawn!
    OK, here we go… I decided to use “Scott’s” over sod, as I want to see if “Turf Builder” products are the answer.
    I live in the St. Paul, Minnesota (well a northern suburb), and my lawn crashed and burned last summer, likely my fault but I don’t want to talk about that!
    I have had topsoil delivered and have covered my yard from 1” to 3”s of new soil.
    My misstep, I did this in the spring, not the fall. That said I have dug out the tough weeds; dandelions, crabgrass, and some I didn’t identify, prior to dirt.
    So over the new soil I spread Scott’s Turf Builder Starter Fertilizer, I had extra so I’m likely 10% to 15% over fertilized. Next I spread Scott’s Turf Builder Grass Seed, Sun & Shade Mix set at 13 on my Scott’s 3000 broadcast spreader (per bag). Truth is, from what I read about grass in my area I wanted less rye grass, but I’ll bow to your expertise.
    Here’s where we are, on April 14th 2012 I spread and lightly raked the seed/starter fertilizer into the soil then used a lawn roller to increase seed/soil contact. The seed/soil has been moist/wet since.
    I will keep you posted as to my progress and welcome any and all advice (I’m a banker, not a lawn guy!).

    • Hi Drew
      Keep the area moist (twice a day watering) for the next 2 to 3 weeks and you should see a good stand of grass.

      • David Drew permalink

        So far I’m disappointed!
        The grass is very thin and spotty. I kept the soil moist as directed but considering the amount of seed that was on the ground, i believe only about half of the seed grew. There are large splotches of dirt with no seed growth. in the non-growth areas do I reseed? if yes, do I put down more starter fertilizer? What do I do in the thin areas?

      • Hi David
        You may still see some germination since some of the grass types (like Ky Bluegrass) take a week or two longer to germinate than other types (like Perennial Ryegrass). You will not need to put down Starter Fertilizer again if you reseed. There are many possible reasons for grass seed not to establish some of which include using old seed, putting too much soil on top of the seed (1/8 of an inch or less is ok), missed areas with the spreader, putting down seed in spring after a crabgrass preventer has been applied, and one of the strangest was slugs eating new grass plants at night as they were sprouting making it look like they never came up. Spring seedings can take a week or two longer to germinate than fall seedings because the soil is colder. Thin grass seedlings will fill-in with feeding, so if the bare areas are not too large, you can feed your new lawn a month after seeding with Turf Builder to help it grow.

      • David drew permalink

        So let’s catch-up.
        Most of the new grass i planted this year died, I have no idea why, but in the morning there was a cobweb like structure over the new grass. Understand, as most of the country had drought this year, we had rain… a lot of rain. In the end, all the new grass died. I took 15 samples of dirt from my “lawn” and droped them off at the U of MN extension office. The report said much of the soil was low in nitrogen, they could not test for fungus. I sprayed the yard for fungus (Bayer product), and started over. I’ll be honest according to Scott’s guidelines I overseaded and over fertilized the second time around. I read several posts that people have not had the seed germination ratio that you advertise. I also read that starter fertilizer has more phosphorus (??? I think it was phosphorus) and that that is what causes seed to germinate (???).
        O.K. I mowed the grass i had to 1 1/4″ then I re-seeded the entire lawn (call it 15,000 sq ft., I used 3 15,000 sq ft. Bags) spread new soil on top, very thin (let’s say 1/2″ or less). Then I spread starter fertilizer ( two large bags, I believe ~40 lb bags). The seed has been down two weeks and of course we now are in the drought. I have kept the soil moist, leafs are following and I read on your site to use leaves. I used my mower to mulch the leaves, then spread Scott’s winterized on the mulched leaves. Your site said “winterizer” helps decompose the leaves and may be placed on newly seeded lawns. I’m keeping everything moist, not wet.
        Let me know.

      • Hi Drew Are you seeing new grass germination? Seed will not germinate if it is covered with too much soil. An eighth of an inch is best. The way I seed on bare soil is to spread Starter Fertilizer, spread seed, then drag an upside down leaf rake once over the lawn. This barely mixes some of the seed in with the soil… just enough to make sure there is good seed/soil contact. I actually see some of the seed still on the surface. One time I made the mistake of raking too heavy and some of the seed got buried too deep. The other step is to feed a month after seeding. Turf Builder or Turf Builder WinterGuard is fine for this follow up feeding a month after seeding. Good Luck.

  8. mario permalink

    I have a grassy weed interspersed throughout my entire lawn which I think is quackgrass. I live in Michigan. What can I do besides killing my whole lawn and starting all over?

    • Hi Mario
      Sorry to say there is nothing that will kill Quackgrass without also killing your good grass. The very aggressive root system can mean new grass plants can pop up many feet away from the mother plant causing it to be scattered all through the grass. Mowing on the tall side (around 2/1/2 to 3 inches after the cut will help to disquise it. Even if you kill it with Roundup you generally need to do 2 or 3 sprays. If the plants are rototilled, small pieces of root will generate new Quackgrass plants. Sorrry for the bad news.

  9. Vladimir permalink

    Hello, I also live in Dallas area and my lawn is Bermuda. I just used Scotts website to create a lawn care program to help me to fight weeds (mostly grassy, however I also have some broadleaf), and fertilize my lawn. It is established lawn (3 years). I’m a little confused. The schedule gives me very broad time intervals for applications for each step. Can you suggest any specific time frame so I can adjust accordingly. Thank you.

    • Hi Vladimir
      They are giving you the window range for your applications. You should plan your feeding applications at 2 month intervals. If you tell me what was recommended I can give you some more specific suggestions.

      • Vladimir permalink

        Hello, Ashton,
        Thank you for your response.
        Here is the schedule they gave me:
        Scotts® Turf Builder® With Halts® Crabgrass Preventer – February – April
        Scotts® Turf Builder® With PLUS 2® Weed Control – April – June
        Scotts® Turf Builder® With SummerGuard® – June – August
        Scotts® Southern Turf Builder® with 2% Iron – July – August
        Scotts® Turf Builder® WinterGuard® Fall Lawn Fertilizer – September – November
        Scotts® Southern Turf Builder® with 2% Iron – Anytime.
        Late February I applied Turf Builder with 2% iron. I guess it is too late to apply Halt Crabgrass. So I’m planning to do TB Plus 2 somewhere in end of April.
        Thank you for your valuable time.

      • Hi Vladimir Yes, it is too late to put down Halts. Since you already fed your lawn once this year, here is a more specific suggested schedule for the rest of the year: – Late April: Since you said you only have a few broadleafs, I suggest you feed again with Southern Turf Builder and then spot spray any weeds and crabgrass with Ortho Weed B Gon MAX plus Crabgrass Killer. – June: Feed again with Southern Turf Builder or Scotts GreenMAX. If you want to put down a good fire ant protection and kill other insects like fleas and ticks, apply Ortho MAX Fire Ant Killer – August: Feed again with Southern Turf Builder or GreenMAX – Late Sept: Feed with Turf Builder WinterGuard

        Good Luck with your lawn!

  10. Vladimir permalink

    Thank you for advice.

  11. Art Hollands permalink

    I am innidated with Poa Annua. Can you tell me how to control this weed without killing my entire lawn?

    • Hi Art
      I have good news! Ortho Nutsedge Killer also kills Poa Annua. Treated areas can be seeded 4 weeks after spraying. Up until this product was available, the only suggestion we had was putting down Halts or Turf Builder with Halts around the first week of September.

  12. Dolores permalink

    I live in the pine barrens in New Jersey. What should I use on my lawn?

    • Hi Dolores
      You can feed your lawn with Turf Builder. I think you are probably too late to put down a crabgrass preventer when you feed. If you have weeds like dandelions you can put down Turf Builder with Plus 2 instead. Be sure to apply to moist foliage so the particles will stick to the weeds and pick a day when rain is not expected for 24 hours. I am going to do a blog posting soon about signing up for email reminders to suggest what you can put on your lawn through the year based on your type of grass and where you live. Check back in the next week or so.

  13. Tom permalink

    I live in northern NJ can you tell me the optimum number of times to fee the lawn?

    Also I’m trying to decide if I should use Super Turf builder again or Green max since I am looking to keep my grass Green in the summer but not give up growing a thicker lawn..


    • Hi Tom
      I like both Super Turf Builder and Green MAX. Unless you have some Super Turf Builder in your garage now, I suggest you try Green MAX. You will still build your turf and you will have extra iron, which is helpful this time of year. Super Turf Builder has extra nitrogen which is very good for feedings later in the year. Good Luck with your lawn.

  14. Ken c permalink

    I take care of my mothers grass in southern NJ. The soil has a lot of clay in it and is also acidic. The grass is green but the grass accross the street is greener. I have a secret competition going because they use a lawn service. I have emailed Scotts and they said to use Winterguard to bring up the pH which I have done. I have not tested the soil again since but plan too. Can you suggest a feeding schedule based on this? I want to give Scotts Max Green a try to boost the color. My first feeding is done with Halt and it does an excellent job stopping crab grass. I spot kill other weeds with Ortho. It’s just missing the deep dark green. Thanks.

    • Hi Ken
      I am going to lay out product suggests that will help your secret lawn competition:
      Feed now with Scotts GreenMAX
      Put down GrubEx sometime this month
      Feed in late August with Turf Builder
      Put down some Granulated Lime sometime this fall
      Feed in mid October with WinterGuard
      Around the time of your first mowing next spring feed and prevent crabgrass with Turf Builder plus Halts
      Good Luck with your lawn

  15. eric w permalink

    So if the nutsedge killer isn’t available in new york what should I use? I’m on Long Island with a new lawn that looked great until this stuff showed up!

    • Hi Eric
      Sorry to say Ortho Nutsedge Killer is sold in every state except New York. I do not have another product to recommend. If you pull Nutsedge, more plants will grow from the small “bulbs” in your soil. Sorry I can not be more help.

  16. Kathy permalink

    Why do you have to put Summerguard onto dry grass, and then water it in? Why not just do it onto wet grass?

    • Hi Kathy
      With Turf Builder SummerGuard, it is best to get the granules down to the soil before watering to acitvate. This is different than a weed and feed like Turf Builder Plus 2 that you want granules to stick on wet weed leaves to get them absorbed.

  17. jim permalink

    I used to have a blush green lawn, I use scotts products all season and it worked great, until recently when my yard has been overcome with nutgrass.Do you know of anything I can use with killing eveything in sight?

    • Hi Jim
      Try spraying your Nutgrass with Ortho Nutgrass Killer. This is a ready to spry bottle that does not need to be mixed with water. It should kill your Nutgrass (may take a couple of applications) without killing your good grass. Good Luck!

  18. Deborah permalink

    In spring i used Scotts turf builder with weed control and developed. crab grass to the entire lawn. What should i do?

    • Hi Deborah
      Sorry you have crabgrass problems. The Turf Builder with Plus 2 weed control you put down in spring was for non-grassy weeds, like dandelions, that are in the lawn when you apply the product. The best product for early spring application to prevent crabgrass is Turf Builder plus Halts Crabgrass Preventer. For this time of year, you can spray existing crabgrass without killing your good grass with Ortho Weed B Gon MAX plus Crabgrass Killer. I should point out that crabgrass is harder to control once it gets big. Once you get a frost later in the fall, your crabgrass will die (since it is an annual), however the seeds will be in your soil to sprout again next year.

  19. Bob permalink

    Ashton, I just moved into a house a little south of Tampa, what should I be putting on my grass now? This is my first time in FL with grass. The house has many weeds. Thanks

    • Hi Bob
      If you have St. Augustinegrass (some folks call a specific variety of this grass Floratam), you can put down Scotts Bonus S now and water after application. If you have Bahiagrass or Bermudagrass, or Zoysiagrass, you can put down Scotts Turf Builder with Plus 2 weed control now, apply to moist foliage in the morning when no rain is expected that day. Good Luck.

  20. Bob permalink

    Thanks Asahton but isn’t the Scotts Bonus S for the spring feeding of a yard and not a fall feeding? Also, should I spot spray the weeds with a wed be gone type product? I know the are very hardy now and will be fifficult to kill so I’m sure it will take many times.

    • Hi Bob Bonus S can be used in fall as a weed & feed on St. Augustinegrass. While the feeding is not the same as the WinterGuard, your lawn will still benefit. If you only have weeds in certain areas, you can feed with Turf Builder WinterGuard and spot treat your weeds with Ortho Weed B Gon for Southern Lawns. Note that this weed control is not recommended for Floratam, a variety of St. Augustinegrass. Good luck with your lawn.

  21. Kim permalink

    hello Asahton, can I use Scott’s SUPER turf builder, Winterizer on my St Augustine grass? I live near Austin Texas.
    I dont have a weed problem (yet) but want to feed it with the right product.
    thank you

  22. rick permalink

    I live in Tennessee. Recently applied Halts. But I have alot of clover coming in. Can I sprat Ortho Weed B Gone within two weeks to address the clover ( and other weeds?) thanks

    • Hi Rick
      Yes you can spray with either Ortho Weed-B-Gon Chickweed & Clover Killer or Ortho Weed-B-Gon MAX plus Crabgrass Killer. Feeding your lawn three or four times a year and mowing a bit taller will really help your grass better compete with weeds.

  23. Rocco Castiglione permalink

    I live in NJ I applied Scotts Halts on March 15th and I have a lot of chick weed my question to you is how long do I have to wait to apply Scotts plus 2.

    • Hi Rocco
      Assuming you mean you put down Turf Builder with Halts (the one with the lawn food and not the straight Halts with no lawn food), you can push the usual timeframe of 6 to 8 weeks between feedings down to 4 weeks. However, you may find extra mowing because of the overlap in feedings. An alternative is to spray your chickweed (and other weeds) with Ortho Weed B Gon MAX and then your next feeding would be Turf Builder rather than Turf Builder Plus 2 Weed & Feed.

  24. Laura Tapper permalink

    I live in Mobile, Alabama and have Bermuda grass. I used Scotts Weed B gone in early April and it seemed to do a fine job on the Weeds (although I wish they would colour it so you know where you’ve sprayed !!) . then I repeated it just this week and now it seems like portions of the grass has turned brown. Have I damaged it or is it perhaps not the actual Bermuda that has been damaged? I realize this is hard to answer when you don’t live next door but any incite would be helpful.

    • Hi Laura
      Sounds like you may have gotten some temporary injury on your grass. This can happen with Bermuda when sprayed too heavy or if the temps got in the 90’s the day you sprayed. Suggest you feed your lawn if you have not done so recently. Scotts Southern Turf Builder or Scotts GreenMAX would be a good choice and your Bermudagrass would love it this time of year.

  25. Misti permalink


    • Hi Misti
      If the areas are circular this could be a fungus. You can treat with Scotts Lawn Fungus Control. Sometimes more random yellow grass blades can be treated with a good lawn food with lots of Iron like Scotts GreenMAX.

  26. I found that Bonus S did not work on most weeds in my Floratam/St. Aug grass. I had dollar weed and sedge and it didn’t do much to kill off either. It did a nice job of greening up the grass but the weeds didn’t disappear. I had to go to a commercial outfit to do that. Floratam is a specific St Aug and your normal weed killers will kill out the grass if above 85 degrees. Try to find a day in FL from April to Oct that the temps are NOT above 85 degrees.

    • Hi BB
      Thanks for your input. You are right Bonus S does not get sedge. I think the best timing for dollar weed is January with a follow up application in March in South Florida, or Feb and April in North Florida. Our researchers at our Apopka, Florida Research Center are developing an improved Bonus S.

  27. Dave permalink

    Hi, Ashton I’m from Northern KY and I think my front yard is 50% nutsedge. I applied turf builder with halts a couple weeks ago. I know ortho makes nutsedge killer. What would be my plan of action after I apply it?

  28. Hi Dave
    Your Nutsedge will be easier to kill when it is actively growing in May. You could give your lawn another feeding in mid May and then next fall decide if you need to do some seeding or to continue feeding your existing lawn to improve it. Lawns in your area really benefit from at least two fall feedings. Our best grass seed for your area is Heat-Tolerant Blue, which could be seeded in late summer/early fall if needed. Good Luck with your lawn.

  29. I live in San Diego and recently overseeded my tall fescue, how long do I need to wait to apply Ortho Nutsedge Killer For Lawns to control Nutsedge & Kyllinga?

  30. Janice permalink

    Hi Ashton,

    Yesterday I applied Ortho Nutsedge Killer on my lawn to get rid of onion grass that is moving in at a rapid rate. My question is can I now apply weed and feed or do I have to wait a few weeks? I live in New Jersey if that matters.


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