Everyone seems to want to grow grass, but what if you want to remove grass? Whether you are planning to put in a patio or a garden, lay sod, or are just sick of mowing, here are our best tips for removing grass from your lawn!
Grass is a great ground covering – but sometimes you don’t want the ground covered!
Maybe you want to remove grass to start a garden, pour concrete, or put down a patio.
Whatever your plans, removing large sections of grass can be intimidating.
You don’t want grass growing back and looking weedy in your non-grassy space.
Here’s our best advice for how to remove grass the easy and right way.
How to remove grass
The easiest and best way to remove grass is to do it by hand. It will be a bit of manual work, but it has the best long term results.
Here are the best ways to remove grass permanently:
- Dig up with a shovel
- Till up grass
- Kill the grass
- Smoother the grass with paper or plastic
Let’s take a look at each of these grass removal methods!
Best tools for removing old grass
You don’t need anything fancy to do lawn removal! The tools that you need to remove old grass are pretty simple:
- Long handled shovel or spade
Remove grass with a shovel
Use a shovel or spade to loosen up a border around the area of grass that you want to remove.
Dig the blade down a few inches, angling in towards the middle.
Work in strips the width of your shovel. Use the blade to lift them up. Once they are separated from the ground, roll them up like sod.
This grass is now able to be re-planted somewhere else in your yard. Read that whole grass transplanting process here.
Easiest way to remove old grass – by tilling
If you do not want to save the grass, you can simply till it up.
Old grass can be composted and used in the future to nurture your yard!
How to kill large areas of grass
If you want to kill a large section of grass before removing it, you can do that as well, you just can’t re-use the grass somewhere else in your yard.
To kill large areas of grass, cover the space with a large piece of plastic like a tarp on a hot day. It will take over a month, but the grass underneath will die.
To kill grass, you can also cover the area with mulch. You should first lay down newspaper or a weed liner and then top with mulch or pebbles.
Just be sure to contain these methods to the grass you want to remove and keep it off the rest of the lawn.
Removing grass from concrete or between pavers
If you have grass in concrete or in between stone pavers that you want to remove, the process is a little different.
You can’t dig it up your grass lawn but will instead need to treat it like a weed.
Ideas for how to permanently remove weeds and grass include different methods:
- Spray with (organic) weed killer [don’t get on any plants you want to keep]
- Spray with 30% pure vinegar [don’t get on any plants you want to keep]
- Pour boiling water on the grass or weeds
- Pull by hand
- Smoother with layers of newspaper or plastic sheeting
Replacing old grass
After you remove the grass, you are probably not going to want to leave it as a dirt pile. Here are some ideas for what to replace old grass with:
- A raised garden or a new garden bed
- Plant new plants or bushes
- Transplant the grass to a new spot
- Patio or deck
When should I remove grass?
The best time of year to remove grass is Spring. This is because it is growing season and the warm weather will allow your grass the best chance to grow if you transplant it or any new plantings to grow or fill in the area.
What other questions do you have about permanently removing grass?
It's easier than you might think to transplant grass from one spot to another.
- None needed
- Till the land where you want the transplanted grass to go to break up the soil.
- In the area where you want to remove the grass, start by using a shovel or spade or go around the entire area you want to remove.
- Gently lift the grass from underneath with the shovel. Work in strips about the width of your shovel.
- Once the whole strip has been separated from the ground, roll it up into itself lengthwise, so it looks like a cinnamon roll or a roll of sod.
- Place it on the new transplant location.
- Work the new grass into the tilled ground. This encourages the roots to take.
- Repeat strip by strip.
- Water heavily to combine the new soil with the existing tilled soil.
- Keep well watered until it takes.