The Hack That'll Make Digging Out Grass So Much Easier

When you are looking into creating a garden, adding pavers or a new patio, or installing artificial turf for a dog run, you will need to remove any existing turf or plants in the area. You could choose to kill the grass over a period of several weeks, making it easier to dig the plants out and remove them. You then have a clean slate for starting your new plans for the space. However, if you don't have the time to wait for the existing turf to die, you have some other options. If the space is small enough that you don't mind doing a bit of physical labor, you can dig the existing grass by hand. You will want to follow a particular TikTok hack to make the job easier by using a flat-blade shovel, which is a handy tool for this process. 

Use the flat-blade shovel to penetrate the turf a few inches to sever any tangles between the grass roots. If the blade of the shovel is about 6 inches in width, make two penetrations next to each other. Then move to a 90-degree angle to the first penetrations and make two more. Keep moving around until you've cut a rough outline of a square in the existing grass about 1 square foot in size. Tilt the shovel blade and shove it forward to finishing loosening the piece. This hack also preserves the turf and roots, so you can replant it later.

Challenges with digging existing grass out of a yard by hand


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When you try to dig out existing grass with a regular spade with a rounded tip or a pointed tip, you may create a ragged cut in the turf. This makes it far more difficult to pull the piece of turf away from the ground, as you may not fully sever the roots. This often means the piece will catch as you try to remove it, forcing you to bend over and pull or loosen it by hand, leaving the piece of turf in chunks and not easily replantable elsewhere. Using a shovel with a flat-edge blade as found in this TikTok hack solves this problem. It also creates a very clean edge between any remaining grass and the section you're digging out, which is ideal for making a sharply edged bed in the lawn for landscaping materials or for creating an edge for artificial turf.

If the ground is particularly hard, consider watering the area where you plan to dig a few days ahead of time, which softens the existing soil and makes it easier to cut through. Don't overwater, though, or the spot will be muddy and the squares will lose their firmness.

If you are digging in a large space, you might not want to do the work by hand, as it may take a few days. You could consider renting a sod cutter power tool to simplify the job.