Being highly resistant, Nutgrass is impossible to be eliminated in simple ways without struggle, but vinegar can do a better job. Vinegar can kill Nutgrass, but unlike other weeds, the intense invasion will strike again. However, you must try it, as vinegar is highly useful for weeds and is a cheap and accessible resource.

Will Vinegar Kill Nutgrass

Purple and yellow varieties of Nutgrass are very aggressive and spread rapidly in the entire garden, making its removal challenging. Even though this weed has cooling as well as anti-inflammatory effects, it can cause serious trouble to your plants.

Here we have explained the detailed procedure to kill Nutgrass using vinegar and other natural methods.

Preparing Vinegar Based Solution to Kill Nutgrass

Vinegar is truly the best and secret solution to kill nutgrass in your garden and yard. All you should do is follow the right instructions but keep the acidic concentration in vinegar higher than usual. The acidic content shouldn’t be less than 10% to 20%.

Preparing Vinegar Based Solution to Kill Nutgrass

Items You Will Need

Here are a few things you must have to prepare a natural and non-toxic vinegar-based solution that will pose no harm to you and your pets.

  • White Vinegar
  • Salt
  • Spray Bottle
  • Liquid Dish Soap


  • Start with adding all ingredients inside the spray bottle.
  • Keep the proportions measured and do not exceed the limit.
  • For a gallon of vinegar, a cup of salt is sufficient. You can add a single drop of dish soap to the mixture.
  • Shake it well to mix.
  • Spray on certain plants and avoid other plants getting in touch with the solution.

Though vinegar isn’t harmful to humans, it damages other plants you don’t want to be disturbed.

As soon you notice nutgrass sprouting in your garden, spray it with vinegar to inhibit its growth.

You can also use another effective nonchemical solution, horticulture molasses, to kill nutgrass. For this purpose, add 1/4 cup of horticulture molasses in one gallon of water and sprinkle the 3 to 5 lb. mixture per 100 square ft.

What Safety Tips to Consider Using Vinegar to Kill Nutgrass?

In order to keep other plants safe and get the best results after using vinegar to kill nutgrass, you must consider some safety considerations.

  • Instead of pouring the solution on weeds, spray it.
  • Keep the nozzle settings adjusted correctly.
  • Do not set it to mist, but keep the flow streamlined from the spray nozzle.
  • Spray thoroughly without leaving an inch of nutgrass.
  • The vinegar solution will dry out the weeds due to the strongly acidic contents.
  • Do not spray the solution on nearby plants to cause any damage.
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What Are Alternative Methods to Kill Nutgrass?

There is no doubt about the efficiency of vinegar, but its effectiveness lies only at the surface level. The leaves and stem might get dried with vinegar acidity, but the roots will remain intact. Surprisingly, the nutgrass seeds can stay dormant for almost ten years. It means vinegar will do the job to some extent but not enough to eliminate the nuisance permanently. Here are some other methods that can also prove helpful.

What Are Alternative Methods to Kill Nutgrass

Digging Out

Digging out nutgrass from roots is a good way to get the required results. This is highly effective because you can dig out nutgrass at different growth levels.

Removing it in the early stages of growth is best because the roots will hardly reach the depth of 50 cm, which you can dig using a trowel or spade.

Applying Pre-Emergent Weed Killers

What could be better than inhibiting the growth of nutgrass altogether? All you need to do is to mow the ground and apply pre-emergent weed killers. This will prevent the nutgrass from popping out of the ground but ensure safe chemicals for your soil and other plants.

Another easy trick is to add shade to your lawn where nutgrass is grown. This weed grows rapidly under the sun, but shade will limit its infestation. However, do not exceed the shade from limited areas to surround other valuable plants that need sunlight.


Instead of relying on chemicals, you can get rid of nutgrass by using some weeding tools. One of the best ways is to use mulch by chopping tree bark, leaves, straw, and grass. All these forms of mulch can do the job conveniently.

It is recommended to keep the layer 3 inches thick; within this thickness, the seeds of nutgrass will not sprout. However, keep the mulch a little distant from the valuable plants. The mulch will add several benefits to your soil by keeping it moist instead of drying and keeping the temperature optimum in summer.

Using Sugar

Will sugar kill nutgrass? It seems interesting to rely on sugar instead of vinegar which has harmful impacts on other plants. But the nutgrass will die at the surface, and roots will remain firm.

However, there is an amazing benefit of this method, it is completely safe for soil and doesn’t harm other plants. Also, the sugar will add more nutrients to the soil and acts as a fertilizer.

How Long Does Vinegar Take to Kill Nutgrass?

Usually, vinegar requires almost 24 to 72 hours to kill nutgrass. If the infestation is controllable and nutgrass isn’t deeply rooted, vinegar will take less time to deliver an outcome.

However, you will need to keep spraying it for the coming days, as you may not get the best results with just a single treatment. Slowly but steadily, treatment will dry out all the nutgrass foliage.


What causes nutgrass in lawns?

Nutgrass grows massively due to overwatering in the lawn, heavy rainfall, or any other way of excessive water. This weed has poor drainage, which makes it too wet for longer than expected. You can limit its growth by planting dense turf in lawns that will outcompete all nutgrass nutrients.

Can smothering help kill nutgrass?

You can smother your ground if the infestation has covered a large area. Dig out the plants and smother the land with weed cloth packed inside a layer of mulch to prevent resprouting of seeds.

Wrapping Up

Nutgrass is an unwelcome threat to gardens because it suffocates other plants to death. It consumes all nutrients your vegetables, fruits, and flowers need for growth, but vinegar can help kill nutgrass. However, you might prefer to avoid your other plants exposed to vinegar. So, ensure safety first and get rid of weeds in your garden.

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