How to get rid of grass that grows from bulbs/large seeds?

Discussion in 'Plant ID' started by cindyfisch, Jun 11, 2010.

  1. cindyfisch

    cindyfisch New Seed

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    [​IMG]
    grass from bulbs? ( photo / image / picture from cindyfisch's Garden )





    [​IMG]
    Grass from bulbs growing... ( photo / image / picture from cindyfisch's Garden )

    This "grass" is a terrible pest in my garden (raspberries, rhubarb, tomatoes...). In the 1st picture I am showing the bulbs/large seeds that the grass is coming from, the 2 examples on the left show that the bulbs can actually be an inch or more below the grass and the "roots" of the grass, while the 2 on the right show examples of where the grass seems to be growing right out of the bulb/large seed. So, when the clay soil is wet, and the grass "pulls" out with roots and all, very easily - but it grows right back because the bulb is still below ground. The 2nd picture shows the bulbs/seeds that I missed when I completely dug up the area less than 2 weeks ago. Sun, temps in the 70-80's and frequent rain leads to lots of grass. It doesn't die in the hotter/drier summer months either. I don't want to mulch until I know I don't have to dig the area up again. How can I kill this stuff (and not my fruits) without spending all summer digging in one little garden area?? Thanks for any information/suggestions!
     
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  3. Palustris

    Palustris Young Pine

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    There is a grass which grows from 'bulbs' called (in Britain)Onion grass or Onon twitch. Proper name is Arrhenatherum elatior bulbisum. BUT the bulbs on that are greenish and do smell slightly of Onions. It is not native to the USA.
    So the other possibilty is that this is not a grass, but actually is a bulb. It does not look like Crocosmia, but it could be Schizostylis coccincea, that is a bit of a thug where happy. Certainly it seeds itself all round my garden.
     
  4. daisybeans

    daisybeans Hardy Maple

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    Cindy -- yes I have this in my beds and it's a real pain. If you leave it alone, it just grows thicker, right? I didn't realize it was growing from bulbs -- never looked that closely I guess.

    All I have to offer in terms of getting rid of it is that this year I refurbished a bed that previously had a lot of that "grass" -- removed and replaced a fair amount of the top soil -- and none of the grass has come back so I suppose I removed the bulbs... Not much of a help in established beds, I'm afraid...

    Good luck. I share your frustration and question. Maybe someone else will have some info for us.
     
  5. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    It looks like Cyperus rotundus - Nut Sedge/Nut Grass. If it is Nut Grass, it is resistant to most herbicides anyway but there are some that will take care of it.
     



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  6. thepondlady

    thepondlady In Flower

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    What does it smell like when you crush the tops? Looks just like the Garlic chives I just dug out my mimi rose bed. Gave them away with instructions to plant them in a container and do not let them go to seed. Horrid little buggers.
     
  7. KK Ng

    KK Ng Hardy Maple

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    Hi Cindyfisch,

    Welcome to the nutgrass club :D I too is having problems with this kind of weeds and I now name it killer weeds. I believe that they are nut grass cause I see them everyday. :D
    http://www.gardenstew.com/viewtopic.php?t=18024&highlight=

    The battle with this killer weeds is a ongoing daily affair and now it is getting managable. I think it is almost impossible to get rid of all of them event with weed killers. My mini farm is organic so I had to pull them out manually and everyday I'll spend about 15~20 minutes doing it. :)

    Good luck!!
     
  8. daisybeans

    daisybeans Hardy Maple

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    No... it's not either of those... at least not what is in my beds. Toni, I have never seen this particular grass get any sort of bloom or seed top, just green (almost like liriope, but not!). I do think I have nutgrass elsewhere in my yard though! And I'm sure it's not the chives Pondlady because I have those in abundance in my lawn. I just mow them and once the zoysia comes out of dormancy, I don't notice them anymore. They do spread terribly too, though, as you noted.
     
  9. cindyfisch

    cindyfisch New Seed

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    Thanks all for your feedback. No, this is not of the onion/garlic family, and correct - there is no flower. The grass is thick and grows up tall like razors - which is why I'm confused as to how it spreads or how more seeds grow. They are reddish in color. They are hard, and the smaller ones look like they have little spikes coming out of the seed, while the larger ones seem to have a smooth surface. I called it "spike grass" because that is what it looks like. I'll take a sample in to the local garden center and see if someone there can give me any advice. I'll keep watching to see if anyone can suggest anything other than digging to get rid of this! Like I said - pulling them will pull the grass and the roots, but not get the seed at the bottom (not really a "bulb" as it doesn't have layers like bulbs do).
     
  10. cindyfisch

    cindyfisch New Seed

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    OK, found out some more info... Manage, Sedgehammer, Bayer Advanced and Bayer Lawn Weed Killer are all valid chemicals to kill the nutgrass seeds. Additionally, one person also said that pouring about a cup of boiling at the base of each stem also killed the seed/nut. That was not necessarily the best recommendation - because it kills the worms and possibly other plants nearby (which I have several). I also read that this is more prevalent in poor soil (mine is mostly clay-like) so if you can get it under control - then do what you can (mix in compost, sand, good topsoil) to improve the quality of soil so that it is less likely to return. Note - some of these options are also ways to kill it growing in lawns as well. Roundup is noted as a possible option, but it kills everything it touches - so not good if you have plants you want to remain alive close by. Suggestions for this are to cut the bottom of a plastic bleach (or similar size plastic container) and place it over the grass. Spray inside the container so the chemicals don't overspray to the good plants. Hope this helps!! But it was pretty much agreed that the BEST way to get rid of it is to dig - deep, and remove the seeds, but these chemicals are now available for home uses. Thanks for all your feedback! I'm heading to Lowe's to get some Bayer Advanced (says it may take several weeks - and possibly several applications - so be patient, and diligent!) Happy gardening!
     
  11. toni

    toni Mistress of Garden Junque Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    So it is nutgrass then? Thought so, but so many weeds look alike it is really hard to be sure sometimes.
     
  12. hamid mazuji

    hamid mazuji New Seed

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    Take kk ng's advice. if you want to use chemicals, take responsibility for your decision, and don't sue them after you get cancer, because purchasing and using carcinogens was your choice
    i would rather my yard be full of nut sedge / nut grass than to have cancer, but that's just my personal preference
    getting back to how to get rid of it - i sift through the dirt in my yard one section at a time. the best tool to use is a 4 Tine Spading Fork. Break up the dirt and loosen it up, then comb through it and try to pull out colonies at a time by holding on to the runners and digging out at the same time
    go back over and over again daily to prevent missed bulbs from spreading
    there's another tactic of placing newspaper down, and cardboard on top of the newspapers to choke/smother them
    there's a f.b. site called 'pollinator friendly yards' that discusses this method in detail
    and yes, i've cleared out sections where they came right back. you have to be diligent. don't clear out a section before you're ready to constantly examine it. once you learn to start extirpating the entire colony of runners, your sections will become manageable. do not allow runners from the uncultivated sections (at the boundary) to creep back into your work
     

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  13. mart

    mart Hardy Maple

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    This is an old post ! Just plain old nut grass ! Dig it up but be sure to get the nut with it or it comes right back !
     

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