Herbicides are the basis for conventional management of purple nutsedge, one of the world's most troublesome weeds. However, as concern rises over their environmental impact, farmers are being required to reduce herbicide usage. Herbicide efficacy is strongly affected by weed growth stage and density at application, and when herbicides are applied under optimal conditions, low rates can provide maximal control efficacy (CE). Therefore, this study aimed to determine the time window for control of purple nutsedge using a low rate of herbicide, based on an effective degree days (EDDs) model, at low (one tuber) and high (10 tubers) densities. Two experiments were performed under field conditions, in the summers of 2009 and 2010. Rate of 3.75 g a.i. ha−1 trifloxysulfuron was applied once on each of five individual application dates. The growth of both treated and untreated plots was evaluated by means of leaf cover area (LCA) and biomass, which were then used to establish the time window for control. Results showed differences in both growth parameters between low and high tuber densities. The high-density patches reached LCA and fresh biomass values of 1,367 g and 1.12 m2, respectively, compared to 604 g and 0.69 m2, respectively, in the lower density patches. The favorable control periods based on biomass and LCA for the lower density patches were set to later dates than those for the higher density patches, 626 EDD compared to 483 EDD for biomass, and 786 EDD compared to 502 EDD for LCA, respectively. Although differences between the biomass- and LCA-based favorable control periods were observed at both tuber densities, the computed linear relations between the two growth parameters enabled adjusting them and setting the appropriate control period.