Nutsedge in green lawn

Manual Removal of Nutsedge: A Step-By-Step Guide

Combatting nutsedge in your lawn requires a straightforward, yet strategic approach to ensure thorough eradication and prevent future infestations. Known for its resilience and ability to regrow from remaining tubers, nutsedge can quickly turn a lush, problem-free lawn into a battleground. Successfully removing nutsedge manually, especially ensuring the elimination of its stubborn tubers, requires a strategic and thorough approach. Let’s explore a detailed step-by-step method to manually eradicate nutsedge from your lawns. 

Step 1: Identification and Timing

Ensure it’s Nutsedge: Confirm you are dealing with nutsedge and not a look-alike weed by checking its triangular stems and rapid growth rate.

Discover the subtle, yet distinctive characteristics that confirm the presence of nutsedge in your lawn by exploring our dedicated article on how to properly identify nutsedge, ensuring your efforts are precisely targeted and utterly effective.

Timing is Key: Aim to remove nutsedge in its early growth stages to prevent further spreading and tuber development.

In the southern United States, nutsedge typically begins its growth in early to mid-spring, when soil temperatures consistently reach approximately 50°F (10°C) and above. This period might vary slightly based on specific regional climate patterns, but generally, you’ll notice the emergence of nutsedge from March through May.

Step 2: Gather Necessary Tools

Hand Puller: A weeding tool or a hand puller that allows you to get deeper into the soil can be especially useful. 

Gloves: Protective gloves to safeguard your hands. 

Knee Pads or a Kneeling Mat: Optional, but helpful for protecting your knees during the process. 

manual hand weeding tool

Step 3: Pre-Weeding Preparation

Watering: Lightly watering the area or choosing a time after a rain can soften the soil, making it easier to extract the entire plant, including its tubers. 

Marking: Identify and mark all visible nutsedge plants to ensure none are missed during the removal. 

Step 4: Mindful Extraction

Gentle Pulling: Grasp the nutsedge as low to the ground as possible and pull gently to avoid breaking the plant and leaving tubers behind. 

Leverage with Tools: If using a weeding tool, insert it at a slight angle to help loosen the soil around the plant, making sure to get beneath the tubers. 

Ensure Tuber Removal: Be mindful to remove the entire root system, paying close attention to extracting the tubers to prevent regrowth

Step 5: Dispose of Properly

Avoid Composting: It’s vital to discard the removed nutsedge and its tubers appropriately. Avoid composting them, as this can lead to spreading. 

Seal and Trash: Place the extracted weeds in a sealed bag and dispose of them in the trash to prevent accidental re-seeding or spreading. 

Step 6: Post-Removal Care

Fill the Gap: After the nutsedge is removed, fill the resultant void with quality soil and consider re-seeding or replacing that section with new sod to prevent re-infestation. 

Regular Monitoring: Keep a close eye on the previously affected area for any sign of regrowth from missed tubers. 

Consistent Lawn Care: Maintain a consistent lawn care routine including proper mowing, watering, and fertilizing to encourage robust turfgrass that can resist nutsedge reinvasion. 

Manual removal of nutsedge, while labor-intensive, offers an immediate and environmentally friendly solution to tackle infestations. Ensuring every piece, especially the vital tubers, is removed is crucial to preventing a speedy return of this pesky weed. With meticulous care and regular monitoring, you can uphold the lush and immaculate aesthetics of your lawn, safeguarding it from the clutches of invasive nutsedge. 


Explore our wide array of robust, resilient sod varieties at NG Turf and empower your lawns to stand tall against nutsedge and other invasive elements. Don’t leave your lawn’s health to chance. If you have questions, give our Certified Turfgrass Professionals a call at 770.832.8608 or email at  

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