Yellow nutsedge

Because of its appearance, many people think yellow nutsedge is a grass. But it’s actually a perennial plant.

Yellow nutsedge has been lurking in your grass all summer, just waiting to make an appearance.

All it took was that hot spell a few weeks ago and some moisture.

“Right now, it’s just going bonkers,” said Scott Evans, the horticulture program coordinator for Nebraska Extension in Douglas and Sarpy Counties.

While heat makes fescue and Kentucky bluegrass slow down, it does the exact opposite for nutsedge. The plant relishes both that and a lot of rain, and starts to take over. It can be worse in irrigated lawns.

Because of its appearance, many people think it’s a grass. But it’s actually a perennial plant. And like a tulip, it has a bulb.

If you try to pull out the grass or spray now, you’re leaving the bulb behind to grow again.

Evans said it works much better to treat the nutsedge in the spring, when it’s starting to draw energy from the bulb to grow. “It’s easier to kill when it’s small,” he said.

The best products are Sedgehammer (halosulfuron) or Ortho Nutsedge Killer (sulfentrazone). The only organic solution is pulling out the grass and making sure to get the bulb, too.

“Photograph where you have nutsedge, and next spring is when you start management,” Evans said.

Butterfly collisions

Several motorists have reported arriving at their destination with a grill full of dead butterflies.

That’s because there’s been an irruption, or above-average numbers, of painted lady butterflies in the upper Midwest. Observers have noticed thousands of the orange insects.

“They are just everywhere,” Evans said. “Here at the office, they are going nuts on the oregano in our flower beds.”

Evans said he’s sad to say there is nothing motorists can do to avoid them. The butterflies should be continuing their migration south soon.

Marjie is a writer for The World-Herald’s special sections and specialty publications, including Inspired Living Omaha, Wedding Essentials and Momaha Magazine. Follow her on Twitter @mduceyOWH. Phone: 402-444-1034.

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