What Is Nut Grass & How To Get Rid Of It

As a pool owner, you know that proper care and maintenance goes beyond the walls of your swimming pool. There are quite a few things that can damage your swimming pool from the outside, and one of them is nutgrass. Dealing with nutgrass invading your swimming pool is a recipe for headaches, frustration, and potentially expensive repairs. We’re here to tell you what you need to know about pesky nutgrass and how to prevent and eliminate it.

What is nutgrass?

Nut grass, also known as nutsedge, is a stubborn common weed that makes its way into many lawns, especially those with wet, anaerobic soil. Its strong roots, referred to as “nuts,” make the weed difficult to eliminate.

How to spot nutgrass

Unless you’re looking for nutgrass, it can be difficult to find but there are a few ways to spot it. For example, the weed is generally a bit taller and lighter than the rest of your grass. In addition, it grows thicker than normal grass and will have stems of three or more blades of grass.

Why is nutgrass bad for swimming pools?

Nutgrass poses a problem for above ground pool owners because it can actually grow through your vinyl swimming pool liner and ruin it.

How to prevent nutgrass

The easiest way to control nutgrass is to stop it from growing before it starts. If you plan on installing an above ground pool or are replacing your liner, a good way to prevent nutgrass growth is by spraying your pool area with chemicals. Once nutgrass is established, it is very difficult to control and eliminate, so stopping the problem before it begins is your best bet.

How to get rid of existing nut grass

Not everyone is lucky enough to be able to stop nutgrass before it begins to grow. Once you notice it growing by your pool or anywhere else in your yard, there are a few ways to stop it. Nutgrass can’t be kept down with weed cloth or mulch because it will grow right through it and standard herbicides are only effective when the weed is really tiny. In addition, it can spread via underground rhizomes and by nuts the roots produce. Here are a few methods of eliminating nut grass:

  • Herbicide

As mentioned, herbicides will only be effective when the weed is young. After five leaves develop, the herbicide won’t be able to stop the spread of the nutgrass. If the weeds are small, repeated application of herbicide can solve your nutgrass problem.

  • The Sugar Method

It might sound silly, but sugar can get rid of nutgrass too. This remedy works best when the weed is very young and is just beginning to sprout. The first thing to do is hose down your yard to evenly moisten the soil. Next, evenly sift sugar over the grass as you walk up and down your yard in straight lines. Once the sugar is distributed, lightly mist your lawn with just enough water to move the sugar into the soil. Because the nutgrass might not completely die off after the first treatment of sugar, be sure to repeat these steps two more times throughout the spring season.

  • Remove By Hand

This technique is exactly what it sounds like. You’ll need to find a pair of garden gloves and a trowel and start digging. The roots of nutgrass can be as deep as 12-18 inches in the ground so be sure to go beyond breaking the surface. Pry the weeds and all roots out of the round gently to not break too many roots, as leaving the roots may give the nutgrass the chance to grow again. Put the dug up weeds, roots, and soil in a garbage bag and put them in the trash to ensure there is no chance for them to grow again.

Nutgrass is tricky to get rid of, so it’s important to prevent it from growing or take steps to get rid of it as soon as it begins to grow. If you have more questions about getting rid of nutgrass growing by your pool, don’t hesitate to comment below or contact us.

If it’s too late and nutgrass has already done a number on your pool liner and you need to replace it, don’t worry. We’ve got plenty of bold, colorful pool liners to choose from!

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2 responses to “What Is Nut Grass & How To Get Rid Of It”

  1. Virginia Rendon says:

    There have been a few areas that i get these horrible thick weeds that have ruined a couple of liners I’ve had. I recently purchased one of your liners and now preparing to put it up. Was thinking, i have some roofing sheets and was wondering if i can use them. I would turn them upside down and cover with sand before the liner. the roots have come only about a foot and half from the perimeter of my pool. Thats where i was thinking of putting them. Do you think that would do any harm to the liner? Using them? Thank you in advance.

    • Pool Guru says:

      Thank you for your question and for choosing our pool liner, Virginia! We understand your concern about the weeds, and we’re here to assist you.
      We don’t recommend using roofing sheets as a barrier against weeds for several reasons:

      Placing roofing sheets under the liner may create uneven surfaces, potentially leading to wrinkles or other issues with the liner, making it more susceptible to damage over time. There’s also risk for tears in the vinyl.

      We suggest installing a professional-grade weed barrier fabric before placing the sand and liner. This specialized fabric is designed to inhibit weed growth while allowing proper water drainage. Also take some extra time to make sure the pool area is properly cleared of any existing vegetation, roots, or debris before installing the liner. This step helps minimize the chance of weed growth beneath the liner.

      If you have any further questions or need additional assistance, please feel free to reach out.

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