sedge weeds growing in south florida

Fort Lauderdale's Handy Guide To Sedge Weeds

What Is This Weed?

sedge weed in lawn in south florida

When weeds take over your Fort Lauderdale lawn, it can be difficult to figure out which weeds you're dealing with. There are a lot of them. To make matters even more complicated, some weeds have a grass-like appearance and are able to blend in with your grass if you mow frequently. Today, we're going to talk about a grass-like weed called a sedge weed. Here is a quick and handy guide to sedge weeds in Fort Lauderdale.

What Is A Sedge Weed?

Sedges are one of the most difficult to eliminate types of weeds we deal with in our South Florida service area. Sedges are fast growing weeds that compete with your turfgrass for water, nutrients, and space.

In our area, a few common sedges are yellow and purple nutsedge, kyllinga, globe sedge, and annual sedge. These weeds quickly grow taller than your turfgrass and can make your lawn start to look unsightly. If you want a beautiful lawn, you're going to want to get control of these South Florida sedge weeds.

Annual & Perennial Sedge

sedge weed in yard in south florida

It is important to determine what type of sedge you have because some are annual and some are perennial. An annual sedge will take root during the season and be gone next year. A perennial will return year after year.

If you have a perennial sedge, it is important to prevent the sedge from growing and producing seedheads. These seedhead will disperse seeds and allow this type of sedge to spread across your lawn.

A perennial may also spread underground by way of rhizomes or tubers. So, even if you're able to keep your lawn trimmed and reduce the dispersal of seeds, these sedges can continue to spread.

Water Management

Sedge weeds are associated with too much irrigation and overwatering. If you notice that puddles develop or water is standing in your lawn, this is likely the reason for your sedge weed problems. We also often see sedge weeds in shady areas of lawns that don't dry as quickly as areas of turf in full sun.

There are a few ways you can address oversaturation and standing water:

  • If you have an irrigation system, make sure it is set properly. You want to make sure your turfgrass is getting only the water it needs. We recommend a maximum of three days a week of irrigation, only applied in the early morning hours. When you apply too much water, sedges will be able to outcompete your turfgrass and take over.
  • If you have compacted soil, it can prevent water from draining through the soil and can cause standing water to develop. Compacted soil also weakens turf roots and prevents healthy turf from being able to properly absorb fertilizer or grow properly. One way to address compacted soil is to have your lawn aerated. This should be done by a trained landscape professional with a professional-grade aeration machine.
  • If you have low-lying areas, they can allow rainwater or sprinkler water to collect. Installing French drains can be an easy method for preventing the accumulation of water. These trenches will channel the rainwater out of the low-lying areas to a location that will allow the water to find a pathway out of your yard. In some cases, it is possible to alter the grade of your ground to achieve the desired results. In complicated situations, a sump pump may need to be installed. This can be costly, but it will get the job done.

If you don't address the underlying issue of too much water and ground saturation, you will have a hard time getting control of sedges or ever heaving a truly healthy lawn in the Fort Lauderdale area.

Control Of Sedge Weeds

If you're looking to directly control sedge weeds, there are a limited number of options.

  • It is possible to pull these weeds. If you decide to do this, be sure to get the underground network of rhizomes and tubers. Check areas that have been plucked and look to see if any new plants have ground up from rhizomes or tubers you've missed.
  • It is possible to provide your lawn more of what it needs so that it can have an advantage over the sedge weeds. Keep your lawn well fertilized, limit the amount of water your lawn receives, and eliminate as much shade as possible over areas of the lawn you want to be weed free.
  • St. Augustine grass should always be kept above 3.5 inches in height. Every day we see lawns mowed too short. Low mowing weakens turfgrass roots and shortens the blades of grass, which increases the amount of sunlight that hits the soil, germinating seeds that are present of sedge and broadleaf weeds.

Herbicide Control Of Sedge Weeds

When there are large patches of sedge weeds, appropriate herbicides are needed. We recommend having these products selected and applied by a licensed lawn care professional. If you live in Fort Lauderdale, consider reaching out to Native Pest Management to schedule a free lawn analysis.

We can help you address sedge weeds, broadleaf weeds, and other lawn care and ornamental shrub and tree problems. We also provide year-round lawn care service that can give your lawn what it needs in every season, as well as reliable home pest control and commercial pest control services. Connect with us today. 

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