Nutsedge is hard to control

The spiky yellow seed head and sharply pointed blade of nutsedge should spur any lawn owner into immediate action. (Walter Reeves for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

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The spiky yellow seed head and sharply pointed blade of nutsedge should spur any lawn owner into immediate action. (Walter Reeves for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Q: Nutsedge has taken over a whole section of our front yard. What should I use that won’t kill my Bermuda? Elly Algarin, email

A: Nutsedge is one of the worst weeds to contend with, so act quickly to bring it under control. The chemical imazaquin can be used to control both yellow and purple nutsedge in Bermuda grass, centipedegrass, St. Augustine grass, and zoysiagrass but not in fescue lawns. Since this chemical is absorbed by the roots, be sure to water the area after application. Nutsedge control can also be gotten with halosulfuron, but I rarely see it for sale in retail stores. A new product is sulfentrazone. Research suggests you’ll get best control with split applications 30 days apart.

Q: Last year, army worms destroyed 3,500 square feet of my fescue lawn. Is there anything preventative I can do in advance to avoid this happening again? Dave Johnson, email

A: Army worms are voracious! Once the caterpillars hatch from eggs, any lawn is lunch. There is no way to kill the eggs, but you can be wonderfully proactive by starting a daily egg scan in your landscape around the time you saw them last year. Eggs are usually laid in a mass of 100-200 on light-colored surfaces, including fence posts, lawn equipment or tree limbs. The eggs often look moldy or fuzzy because they are covered with gray scales. Eggs hatch in four days, and the little caterpillars start chomping. When you find eggs, spray the lawn with carbaryl to kill those worms that have already hatched. Repeat in 10 days. Another strategy is to mow more frequently. This will remove eggs from the grass blades and disrupt their life cycle.

Q: I was in a hurry to get my seed in the ground and planted long rows with the seeds very close together. There are peas and butterbeans in these rows. How much room should there be between each plant? Neal Russell, Cobb County

A: Plant bean seeds a little less apart than my father’s hand spread wide, thumb to pinkie. That man could go down a garden row at 50 miles an hour, bent over and placing his bean seeds more precisely than I could hope to repeat. Since he is no longer with us, I stretched my own hand and believe the spacing between seeds should be 6 inches. Experience will teach you if you need to adjust this for large varieties. I have a planting guide for other garden plants at bit.ly/GAgdnchart.

Email Walter at georgiagardener@yahoo.com. Listen to his occasional garden comments on “Green and Growing with Ashley Frasca” Saturday mornings on 95.5 WSB. Visit his website, www.walterreeves.com, or join his Facebook Page at bit.ly/georgiagardener, for his latest tips.