How to Kill Sedge Grass at a Vegetable Garden

There are more than 900 types of sedge — a fast-growing, grasslike plant that loves moist, sunny locations — found throughout North America, which makes it one of the most common weeds you’ll encounter in your vegetable garden. Don’t let sedge rob your vegetable plants of the dirt space and nutrients they require. Using a combination of mechanical, chemical and cultural controls, then it is possible to kill sedge and produce an environment that’s unfriendly toward that vigorous weed.

Water your vegetable plants only when absolutely necessary and apply water directly at the base of each plant instead of using a sprinkler or indiscriminately spraying the whole garden. Sedge requires moist growing conditions, and its appearance generally means you are over-watering your vegetable harvest. Letting the soil dry out will often quickly kill this weed.

Arrange your vegetable plants as closely as possible in tight rows to shade the soil, and think about intermingling thin, tall vegetable plants with large, leafy vegetables, such as lettuce or chard. This helps shade the vegetable garden as most sedges cannot tolerate shade, it may tighten or kills existing sedge when decreasing the growth of new sedge.

Pull the sedge out by hand by grasping the weed at its bottom and pulling upwards. Hand weeding typically leaves supporting the bud roots and it will regrow, but continuous removal forces the plant to utilize its energy to generate new shoots, and doing so once every two weeks will normally overstress the sedge and destroy it.

Spray the sedge using herbicide if all other methods of control and eradication don’t suffice. For the best results specifically against sedge weeds, then the herbicide should contain one of the following chemicals: sulfentrazone, bentazon, imazaquin or halosulfuron. Use the herbicide in line with the manufacturer-specific guidelines as toxicity and potency varies widely by product, and avoid getting the herbicide on any of your vegetable plants.

See related