Use Horticultural Molasses to Kill the Dreaded Nutsedge – Organically!

By Kim Reiss

I hate nutsedge – and my lawn is full of it. I once used a chemical product in a small area to treat it, and because I didn’t read the directions correctly, I burned away the nutsedge – and all the grass – for 3 years. I had a round dirt patch in the middle of my lawn where I eventually had to remove and replace the soil so I could grow grass seed.

Not my proudest moment! And I relived it each time I explained to someone what the big dirt patch was in my front yard.

So you can understand why I was excited when I heard about a new organic product – Soil Mender Horticultural Molasses – that is a fertilizer for your soil that has the side benefit of killing nutsedge.

Soil Mender Horticultural Molasses is applied to the affected area and works by attracting beneficial soil microorganisms that eat the nutlets attached to the root of the nutsedge. You won’t see an immediate eradication of the nutsedge – and it will probably take 2-3 applications – but after a few weeks it should yellow, and by lifting a plant you should see – voila! No roots or nutlets! AND you’ll be increasing the health of your soil.
One half to 1 pound of Soil Mender Dry Molasses covers 100 square feet. Don’t be afraid to combine it with humus or compost to help break up heavy clay soil, and use it when planting new perennials or shrubs as an added bit of TLC to the soil around the roots.

Michael O’Brien, a Horticulturist and Organic Gardening Expert with Hummert International Seed Co., says he likes the combination of organic weed killer with beneficial soil microorganisms. “It’s a natural and organic way to help promote soil activity and get rid of nutsedge without the use of harsh chemicals. A true two-for-one product,” he says.

While you wouldn’t want to put the product on your pancakes, it is safe in your yard for pets and children.

You can bet I’ll read Soil Mender’s instructions carefully before I apply it – I learned my lesson! But between my kids, my dogs, and the lasting memory of that brown patch, I feel a lot more confident about using this organic product to get rid of such a tenacious weed.

Kim Reiss works at Sugar Creek Gardens in Kirkwood, Mo., a nursery specializing in unusual. For more information call 314-965-3070 or visit www.sugarcreekgardens.com.