How To Get Rid Of Asian Watergrass (Hygroryza Aristata)

Most folks don’t mind weeds – as long as they’re not in their garden, flower beds, or crowding their once-pristine lawn. Once the weeds cross the boundary from their neighbor’s yard into their lawn or flower bed, these weeds become a nuisance. 

Aside from being an eyesore, tufts of watergrass can complicate things for your lawn. So, to improve the overall health of your lawn, you’ll need to remove the invading grasses. This guide explains how to do it, so continue reading to learn more!

What Is Watergrass?

Watergrass is often used as an umbrella term that actually refers to a few different types of grass. It’s usually used generally to refer to certain grasses that people consider weeds, but the two main types are crabgrass and yellow nutsedge. 

Crabgrass is the type of grass you typically see poking through little cracks or gaps in the sidewalk or along the side of the road. It stays low to the ground, forming small clumps of thick blades. It flourishes during warmer weather, but the seeds germinate in the early to late spring before the temperatures heat up. 

Crabgrass dies every year when the temperature falls below freezing, so it’s an annual plant. However, before it dies, it produces thousands of seeds that guarantee its return the following year. 

Yellow nutsedge, on the other hand, isn’t technically a grass. Instead, it’s a sedge, easily identifiable by its “V”-shaped leaves skirting a yellow flower. At the end of its life, the flower eventually becomes a seed head, which seals the deal on its return. The rhizomes of yellow nutsedge can extend over a foot into the ground, so management can be tricky. 

How To Kill Watergrass

In order to kill the watergrass plant that is invading your lawn, you need to figure out exactly what kind of grass it is. Then, you can pick out an herbicide that will target the weed in question. 

When you’re browsing for the best weed killer, make sure you consider your household’s needs. For example, if you have pets or kids, verify that the herbicide is safe for what you have. Additionally, double-check that the herbicide won’t kill the surrounding plants and grass. 

Pull Up The Weeds

Pull weeds by hand

If you want to avoid potentially damaging the grass around the weeds altogether, consider doing a bit of weeding. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Gardening gloves
  • Bucket
  • Garden trowel (as needed)

Carefully pulling up weeds is always an option. However, you need to be careful not to spread the seeds to surrounding areas, or you’ll end up with a larger problem on your hands. So, put on a pair of gardening gloves and grab a bucket and a trowel (optional).

Grab the plant as close to the ground as you can and firmly remove it from the ground. It’s usually easier to weed when the soil is soft, like after rain or early in the morning. Remove the entire plant, ensuring you pull up the root structure.

Use the trowel to dig around the plant and collect all of the root structures. Set the whole plant into your bucket, being cautious not to spread any seeds in the surrounding area. 

Make Your Own Herbicide

If there are more than a few miscellaneous watergrass plants scattered in your yard, weeding them by hand probably isn’t the best option. So, you could take a different route and make your own herbicide. 

Natural solutions are a great alternative to store-bought weed killers and tend to be much safer. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Vinegar
  • Spray bottle

Fill a spray bottle with some white vinegar – you might not need to fill it all the way, it just depends on how many weeds you need to get rid of. Vinegar acts as a natural weed killer, but in some cases, it might not be strong enough to kill the weeds. 

However, it doesn’t hurt to try, so spray the weeds directly with white vinegar. Be careful not to spray the surrounding areas. 

Buy A Weed Killer

Syngenta 46256 Tenacity 8oz Herbicide, Clear

In some cases, household vinegar might not be concentrated enough to get the job done. So, you’ll need to find a stronger solution to get rid of the weeds. Some store-bought weed killers use a concentrated vinegar base, which is a great safer option for getting rid of troublesome weeds. 

Look for an herbicide that will kill the weeds but leave the surrounding grass unharmed. Options like Syngenta herbicide and Compare-N-Save weed and grass killer are solid choices, as they won’t damage the surrounding grass or affect your soil’s health. 

Again, make sure you buy a weed killer that meets your household’s needs (pet or child-safe). 

Call The Professionals

If you’ve tried everything, to no avail, it’s time to call the professionals. Contact a local lawn care company for help tackling your watergrass problem. They have the tools, products, and knowledge to get rid of the watergrass and keep it gone, so it doesn’t hurt to ask for some guidance. 

Some herbicides, like Certainty and Basagran, aren’t available to the general public. These herbicides are extremely effective for removing and preventing weeds. While they aren’t available for purchase to the public, some lawn care companies may carry these products.