Why You Might Want To Kill Your Grass And How To Do It

It's part of what we think of as the American dream; to have a beautiful, lush, green lawn. We love to see children and pets playing in the grass in the summertime, and it provides a lovely backdrop for backyard entertainment as well. We judge our neighbors' houses on how nice their lawns look, and strive to compete with our own — but what happens when no matter what you do, your grass just refuses to grow? There comes a time when the smart thing is to throw in the towel and start over.

There are multiple reasons why someone might decide to kill their grass, or even just part of it. If this is something you're contemplating, we've got some ideas on how to accomplish it in the safest, most efficient way possible. Taking care of a lawn is a huge undertaking by itself, and when you face inordinate challenges, sometimes, the key lies in knowing when to admit defeat.

Why you might want to kill your grass

Here's how you can tell if you should kill the grass and start over: if over half the lawn is dead or dying, this is your sign. If bare spots and/or weeds are taking up half the area or more, the same is true. Perhaps you want to put in a rock landscape instead, which allows you to save water, time, and money. There are other very good reasons why someone might want to kill at least a portion of their grass, like to put in a pool or a garden. As you can see, there are quite a few valid reasons for doing so.

The fact is, you'll also give yourself the perfect opportunity to make a few upgrades. For example, if the ground isn't level or there are areas that need smoothing out, this is the time. Any type of soil compaction or other soil issues can be resolved once the grass is removed. Additionally, we mentioned gardens; if you want to plant a garden or at least designate a spot for one, this is the perfect time to do so. Another terrific idea is to install an irrigation system at this point, as this is a crucial part of caring for any grass and garden.

How to kill your grass

There are a few ways to effectively kill the grass, should you decide to do so. If you don't mind herbicides, try glyphosate, per Family Handyman. It's fast and effective in 10 to 14 days, and is said to be safe for humans. However, if you're trying to do your part in being environmentally-conscious and prefer not to use chemicals, there are several other alternatives. One of the best options is horticultural vinegar, which is a high-strength variation of household vinegar at a 20% solution, as opposed to the usual 5% we see in kitchens. This solution can be costly, however, depending on the size of your yard.

You can also use the sun to kill your grass by solarization. You start by mowing your lawn as closely as your lawnmower will get. Then, immediately take black plastic sheeting to cover the grass completely. Be sure to weigh down the edges with rocks or bricks. It can take anywhere from a month to eight weeks for everything to die out completely, after which you can remove the plastic and throw it away. Depending on your budget, time, and other individual factors, one of these methods should work for you if you need to kill all or a part of your grass.