What’s the Difference Between Grass and Sedge?

Sedges are grass-like weeds that can be hard to distinguish from turf grass because they look almost identical at first glance. But if you look a little closer, you’ll find that the major difference between grasses and sedges is that sedges have three-sided or triangular stems.

Where Do Sedges Grow?

Sedges are considered more problematic in warmer climates because of their extended growing season. These grass-like weeds thrive in soils that are wet or poorly drained, but they can also grow in dry, well-drained areas if competition from other grasses and/or weeds is limited.

There are both annual sedges and perennial sedges, meaning that they can reproduce through the air (via seeds) and the ground (via rhizomes and underground tubers). A handful of sedges—such as the Purple and Yellow Nutsedge—use all three methods to reproduce, putting your lawn in danger of a rapid takeover.

How to Reduce Sedges in Your Lawn

The best way to reduce grassy weeds and sedge populations is to make your lawn more competitive so weeds don’t stand a chance. This can be achieved by:

  • Boosting turf grass density
  • Avoiding excessive irrigation
  • Aerating your lawn
  • Improving yard drainage

How to Kill and Control Sedges

If sedges are threatening your outdoor living space, TruGreen® prefers using postemergence herbicides for sedge control. They should be applied when sedge populations are low.

Still, treatment doesn’t guarantee that sedges won’t pop back up later in the season or next year. Especially with perennial grassy weeds, tubers can lie dormant for years before sprouting and attacking your yard. Once these lawn weeds are established, it can sometimes take years to significantly reduce the sedge population.

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