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Environmentally Friendly Ways to Get Rid of Grass

Category Grassy Weeds
Sometimes there are areas that you no longer need grass and want to safely remove it. This guide is about environmentally friendly ways to get rid of grass.


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
April 10, 2008


I need some advice for making a grass-free environment, it's for business purposes. We need to keep the soil but without any grass growing on it. We have been using round up for quite a long time but only killed the grass after each application, and it comes back soon after rain. So, is there any organic, non-chemical, cheap and environment friendly way I can get rid of all of the grass for a really long period ?

Hardiness Zone: 11

chphoea from Surabaya, Indonesia



Instead of killing the turf, why not remove it completely? If you are not worried about losing topsoil, consider renting a sod cutter for the afternoon. The cost of rental (if availability exists where you are) is usually quite reasonable and the effects are long lasting. Sod cutters leave a clean edge, removing the grass (roots and all) and the top 1 to 2 inches of soil. You'll be left with a 1-2 inch depression which can then be filled in with mulch, gravel or your medium of choice.

The sod can also be removed manually with a shovel, but this requires more "back power" and is not exactly easy. Also, if you need the topsoil to remain for your business (for example, growing food for a restaurant), or you have very little to spare in the first place, this method is probably not the best option.


Another option is to kill the grass by smothering it. This will take a lot more time (up to several months) and a bit of patience-especially to kill the roots. Mow the grass as short as possible and cover the area with dark plastic, corrugated cardboard, or a thick layer of newspaper or wood chips. In the end, this method will be just as effective as using chemicals or removing the sod completely.

Good luck!



February 28, 20080 found this helpful

I can think of a couple of ideas presently. One is to use salt. I pour over my driveway to kill out unwanted grass at times and also cover the soil with plastic sheeting and anchor in place, but not very attractive.

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By Sweetu (Guest Post)
February 29, 20080 found this helpful

Hi. Try pouring boiling water on the grass. It kills it without altering the soil and surroundings. Hope this helps.

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March 1, 20080 found this helpful

First cut grass as short as possible. Than cover grass area with black plastic to smother grass. This will take several weeks (4-6).


Once it is dead, I would recommend covering the area with a layer of wood chips 6 inches deep. You may get a little returning grass occasionally but you can just spot treat that.

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By (Guest Post)
March 1, 20080 found this helpful


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By Satellite (Guest Post)
March 1, 20080 found this helpful

Best way I have found is to cover the grass with layers of newspaper. I wet the paper to keep it from blowing away. Then cover the wet newspapers with wood chips or pine straw. I took out my entire backyard, little by little, using this method. Try it, you'll like it! It does work best.

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March 1, 20080 found this helpful


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By Rock (Guest Post)
March 3, 20080 found this helpful

Yes Yes & Yes! The Ruth Stout No-Work Garden Book, copyright 1971:
Things can't grow without sun! She proposes a deep mulch over anything you don't want, in your case, grass!


I've shrunk my back yard grass to a small oval for the pets and outside that oval I have room for vegetables, shrubs and even a 20 ft privacy screen thicket of volunteer plants like African Sumac.

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By Rock (Guest Post)
March 3, 20080 found this helpful

I left out the most important part: grass clippings (still have them from front yard & back yard oval) piled as much as a foot deep.

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By 0 found this helpful
September 9, 2010

What do you do if you want to kill grass under a mature tree so you can put ground cover in a big circle around the tree? Can one safely use black plastic that will deny water to the tree? Maybe use weed block? How long do you leave on whatever cover you use to kill the grass?

Hardiness Zone: 4a

By bill c. from Minneapolis, MN

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