I moved into a house that had an old elevated flower bed in the front yard. It had become overgrown and had various types of big tall grasses, flowers, shrubs, and plants in it. I paid someone to pull out most of it, but then spent several hours trying to flatten it out and using a pick-axe to loosen up the soil and pull out the biggest and majority of the big root balls I could find. I sowed grass, but in the back of my head I was skeptical. Sure enough, shoots of one of the types of plants are coming up in masse all throughout and I feel like it's going to starve any chance for the grass to get started.

I didn't have a tiller and couldn't plow up the ground to a a depth of a foot or two so I did the best I could at the time. Any ideas?

grass growing

no grass

plant up close

showing intact root

  • I don't suppose you know which plant it is that's shooting? Can you add photos of the area please
    – Bamboo
    Commented Sep 2, 2019 at 15:13
  • Unfortunately no. I’ll attach a few pictures of where there is spotty grass growth, then where there is none and the aforementioned plant is dominating. It could just be some thick kind of crab grass, but it pulls up really easily and in one piece, unlike what I would expect of grass.
    – NathanLite
    Commented Sep 3, 2019 at 16:19
  • 1
    Welcome OzarkNathan! I see you posted your pictures as a separate answer instead of an edit to this question. I moved them here, and will flag that post for a moderator to delete for you. Don't worry, it happens all the time! Commented Sep 7, 2019 at 23:53
  • Hi! In the future, If you want to add more pictures or text, just press the gray edit at the bottom of your question. It will open up, and you add or subtract anything you want!! Check out our help center for guidance, and please leave us a comment if you need any help! We're glad you're here! Commented Sep 7, 2019 at 23:54

3 Answers 3


The close up looks like "nut grass" or "nut sedge". It has shallow roots and is easily pulled out. Grass often spreads by rhizomes underneath the ground, but I'm not sure with nut sedge. Pull all these out by hand every 2 weeks then throw them in the trash. Do not put on the compost heap as they will grow again and spread more.

What I do is spend some time pulling all these out then I leave them on a block of cement to dry and bake in the hot summer sun. Only then do I throw them in the yard waste bin to be taken away.


Where I live we call this onion weed or nut grass. It actually grows along runners and takes over fast. You can get a herbicide for it (link provided) but I used the solar method using black plastic over the patch in the middle of summer for 2 weeks.



It looks like Liriope spicata to me. It's almost my nap time, otherwise I'd go out and pull some of mine for comparison.

It's also called Creeping Lilyturf, a member of the lily family as best I recall. It can be fairly agressive....every year or so I have to pull one or two big piles of it where it's wanting to escape its bed and take over the neighboring path.

That said, it is a good groundcover for dry shady areas where almost nothing else wants to grow.

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