How to kill grass?

Grass Removal Methods

Removing lawn

Sonoma County Master Gardeners Cathy Williamson, Rosemary McCreary, Sandy Metzger and Steven Hightower contributed to this article-

The current drought situation has motivated people to replace their lawns with alternatives that use less water. Sounds great, but what is the best way to remove your lawn? Listed below are several ways to remove turfgrass. The one you choose will depend on how large your lawn is, how much manual labor you want to invest, how much you want to spend, and what you plan to do with the area after the grass is gone. And lastly, how big of a hurry you are in. Methods can be broken down into quick and slow. On the quick side, we have:

Herbicide
There are a number of herbicides that will kill turfgrass, but most are not substances that the Master Gardeners would endorse using, as they are residual and carry too much risk of eventually ending up in the water supply. Other choices, such as glyphosate (the active ingredient in widely available Roundup™), are much less residual, but this would be a very expensive way to remove your lawn. In short, we would not suggest using an herbicide for turf removal unless your lawn area was very small.

Physical removal
The fastest way to remove a lawn is to physically remove the sod by cutting it into strips with a sod cutter, rolling the strips up, and either taking them away or turning them over and letting them compost in place. The cut sod can be laid upside down in the middle of the area being removed, to create a mound, as fill in a low spot or to create a berm if needed elsewhere in the garden. Whether moving to a new spot, or composting in place, cover with a layer of newspaper (6-10 sheets thick, and overlapping) and 4-6 inches of compost, and lastly with 3-4 inches of mulch to decompose, create good soil, and prevent grass re-growing. (Note that if you leave the sod in place, or mound it, you’re turning a quick method into a slower one.)

You can do the same thing in a small area with a flat shovel, but it is labor intensive—see Alan Chesterman’s related essay this month. And for another master gardeners personal experiences with grass removal, see the end of this article.

Removing sod doesn’t work if you have a persistent perennial lawn grass like Bermuda grass. Simply removing the sod on Bermuda guarantees that it will be back, since the roots go down for several feet, and it only takes an inch of root to grow it all back. In this case, the only way to get rid of the lawn is through solarization (or herbicides)—plus several months of waiting to be sure it’s really gone.

The slower (but efficient and inexpensive) methods include:

Solarization
Technically, solarization is a method of soil sterilization using clear plastic, but a version, which might be called ‘light exclusion’ using black plastic, works for lawn removal. This method works best in areas with high summer temperatures, and should be done as spring is turning to summer. Cut the grass as short as possible and water well. Cover with large rolls of sturdy black polyethylene held in place by rocks or metal stakes. Cover the area, making sure it is airtight with no holes. The plastic sheets allow the sun’s radiant energy to be trapped in the soil, heating the top 12 to 18 inches. When properly done, the top 6 inches of the soil will heat up to as high as 140°F, depending on the location. Leave in place for about 4–8 weeks—depending on how hot the weather is–until grass is dead. The high temperature may also kill some insects, plant diseases, nematodes and soil pathogens in the top layer of soil. Remove the plastic, and leave the dead grass to compost in place. This method also requires minimal labor and has minimal environmental impact. However, it takes a fair amount of time, must be done in hot weather and is unsightly.

Sheet composting
Cut the grass as short as possible. Cover the entire area with cardboard (either used boxes or purchased rolls) or newspaper (10-12 layers). Make sure that the edges overlap a goodly amount and no sunlight gets through the paper. Water paper, cover with a layer of compost, then mulch at least 4 inches thick. You can scatter grass and/or wildflower seeds in the compost if you’re looking for a ‘meadow’ (before you apply the mulch). You can also cut holes in the paper to plant individual plants, or wait until the paper has decomposed and dig planting holes for your new plants. This method adds organic matter to soil, requires minimal labor, and does not require removal and disposal of turf. It also takes a fairly long time, and is not practical on steep slopes.

A variation on this theme is termed “lasagna gardening”. Master Gardener and author Rosemary McCreary writes:

“In many cases, the lawn is the only open area that can absorb a new garden bed, but this may be the best place of all especially if you’ve been looking for a way to diminish the size of your lawn. Here’s where the lasagna comparison enters the picture. The new planting site will be the resting spot of faded flowers and foliage of all types layered with kitchen scraps, fallen leaves, leftovers from the vegetable garden, and any other organics and soil you can scavenge.”

The lasagna is essentially new soil created atop the lawn you wish to remove, consisting of layers of anything and everything you can find. Interleaving torn newspapers and cardboard with yard trimmings and clippings, kitchen scraps, bag-ends of potting soil, leaves, straw or hay—most anything organic creates it. Like compost, the lasagna should be roughly half “green” materials and half “brown”.

McCreary continues: ” Build your new bed up to 3 feet high in the center and let it slope a little lower toward the edges. Some recipes insist on a smattering of soil sprinkled on one or two layers of organics; others use a couple layers of manure to facilitate the breakdown of tough plant fibers.”

Cover with a topping layer of compost and mulch, and water occasionally, if out of the rainy season (this method works best if done in the fall, taking advantage of winter rains, but can be done any time). Within six months “the new bed will have shrunk to half its height or less and will be ready for a final mulch coating after you finally set out all those plants that have been waiting for a permanent home,” concludes McCreary.

Irrigation Conversion

Don’t forget about your irrigation! Prior to starting on lawn removal, tag the sprinkler heads. Depending on the replacement planting, overhead sprinkling can be re-used—for example in the case of a natural meadow, or grass alternatives such as carex. Alternatively, the existing sprinkler locations can be converted to a drip irrigation system—if for example shrubs, natives, low-water or Mediterranean plants will be installed.
It is possible to use a combination of the above methods depending on your situation. For example you could remove small amount of sod near front door by hand so you can plant there right away, and light-exclude or apply sheet compost to a larger lawn area. But whichever method suits you, if you have areas of lawn that really aren’t needed as lawn—start saving water, and money!

Master Gardener Sandy Metzger reports:

Regarding lawn removal. I’ve done it three ways:

  • Round-up
  • Sheet mulching
  • Renting sod removal equipment

Round-up works but sometimes you have to do it again, and then the dead lawn is still there. Frankly, I think it’s a good idea to sheet- mulch right over top of it–helps to start the dead grass decomposition more quickly and works better to keep any sneaky, errant weeds down. So, you could skip the Round-up and go straight to sheet mulching.
Plus, when you sheet-mulch and add layers & layers of grass clippings, dead headings, etc. and lots of compost, maybe a layer of planting mix, you can plant into it right away.
The sod removal machine was effective. I used it for my rain garden because we had to remove several additional yards of the clay soil, haul in a lot of compost & then mix back in some of the native soil. It was an arduous process, and I see some little weeds beginning to emerge. And of course they would, because there were probably plenty of weed seeds still in the soil under the sod.
I’ve had several people in my workshops tell me they were just going to rototill their entire lawn. One I was able to dissuade, but the other went right ahead. He didn’t quite understand that every little chopped up piece of crab grass was yet another new crab grass plant.
I’ve also had a number of people return to my workshops and verify that the sheet mulching worked great–they were nice testimonials that I hadn’t counted on or planted! Just two weeks ago, one lady verified the whole process and loved it. That sure had a lot of traction with the audience.
Right now I’ve got a labyrinth in progress. Much of the soil I removed from the rain garden I used to make the labyrinth. I’m doing sheet-mulching this time plus grass clippings and compost–the lasagna thing–for the raised circles I’ll be planting. However, I did give the pathway areas some shots of roundup. I will eventually put down either weed barrier or newspaper and pathway mulch. It’s taking me a long time. I plan to use a lot of rocks too because it’ would end up being too many plants.
I really do like the whole sheet mulching process. (Oh also, under the planting beds, to discourage gophers, I laid rolls of hardware cloth before doing the sheet mulching.) I make my own compost plus buy yards of Sonoma Compost’s “Mallard Mulch” which is really a rich compost, but I guess they liked the alliteration. I use it both ways.
In the end, I suppose it depends upon the conditions and the size of the area of lawn one wants to remove. It does take time to collect the newspapers and/or cardboard. I like the sheet mulching/lasagna idea too because of the berms that can be built up with the various layers. It adds a different aspect to the area.

©Sonoma County Master Gardeners

How to Get Rid of a Lawn Full of Weeds

All year long, we look forward to sinking our feet into lush, radiant green grass. But nobody wants stringy ivy, coarse clovers or fuzzy dandelions grazing your toes instead!

And once you’ve spotted one, you’re sure to see more! Weeds seem to keep multiplying until they’re a huge, unattractive problem.

Luckily, you can bring your lawn back to life by ridding it of weeds and boosting your turf’s health. Here’s how to get rid of weeds in your grass for good.

My lawn is all weeds. What should I do?

Taming a lawn full of weeds might feel daunting, but it’s all about keeping your turf as healthy as can be.

What’s the best way to get rid of weeds permanently?

Even though we consider weeds a nuisance, they’re plants–just like grass, flowers or shrubs! That means they’ll grow just as thick and rampant as our favorite herbs if we let them.

So, the best way to get rid of weeds is to make your lawn an environment where it’s difficult for them to thrive.

Low-mowed grass, compacted soil and water-deprived turf all encourage weeds. Reversing these problems and maintaining a healthy lawn is the best way to permanently say goodbye to weeds.

Any tricks for killing weeds in the lawn without killing grass?

Pre-emergent and post-emergent herbicides are designed just for this. Both are made especially for weeds. So, the pre-emergent for crabgrass or post-emergent for dandelions were created just for those plants. They won’t hurt your lawn (if applied correctly).

If you’re looking for natural ways to kill weeds, scroll on. And if you go that route, your lawn will be just fine.

If weeds are starting to overturn your turf, here are four steps to stop them in their tracks:

  1. Examine your lawn to figure out what weeds you’re dealing with. Since treatments are made to target specific weeds, you’ll need to figure out what’s plaguing your lawn before buying products.
  2. Choose a treatment made both for the type of weeds and the stage they’re in. If you plan to target weeds in spring before the growing season, you’ll need a pre-emergent. For established weeds, get a post-emergent.
  3. Kill the weeds by carefully following the directions for both how much product to apply and when to use. Read the bag at least three times before starting to be safe!
  4. Keep up with a proper lawn maintenance schedule to help keep your lawn weed-free.
    • In the fall, seed your lawn and aerate if necessary.
    • Give your turf one last short mow and fertilization treatment before winter.
    • Come spring, start fresh with pre-emergent and hand pick any lingering weeds.
    • Mow your lawn regularly in spring and summer, being careful not to remove more than a third of grass at a time.

Can I get rid of weeds in a lawn naturally?

Yes! But it may take more time and effort. Spraying vinegar directly on weeds is a natural way to get rid of them. It dries out the plant leaves and kills what’s above the ground.

Also, pick vinegar that contains more than the standard 5 percent acetic acid. Head to a home improvement store instead of the supermarket to find vinegar with 10 to 20 percent acetic acid.

If you spray that, you can kill 80 to 100 percent of weeds’ top growth, found USDA research.

This method works best for a few weeds spread throughout the lawn. For larger spreads, it’s best to go with a safe, effective herbicide.

How To: Get Rid of Moss in the Lawn

Photo: istockphoto.com

Low-growing greenery that reproduces by means of spores, moss can be a lovely velvety addition to your landscape if grown intentionally—but few folks want clumps of it in the middle of the lawn. In fact, the appearance of moss may indicate that all is not well with your turf. The damp conditions that favor moss growth are not conducive to a healthy lawn, and as grass suffers, moss will continue to flourish. Read on to learn how to get rid of moss in the lawn, as well as make simple changes sure to restore its natural beauty.

RELATED: The 10 Best Things You Can Do for Your Lawn

Break out the Rake

Unlike most other plants, moss doesn’t have true roots—making it relatively easy to remove with vigorous raking or scraping.

Rake by hand. To get rid of a small patch of moss in the lawn, use a spring-tine lawn rake. The trick is to rake at the moss from different angles to loosen and lift it. Then, collect and toss the moss into your compost bin or trash.

Use a mower dethatching blade. For a more extensive moss problem—or to simply make the task easier—remove it while dethatching your lawn. Use a dethatching blade (available at most garden centers or home improvement stores) on your push mower to pull up the thick layer of dead grass accumulated between the soil and the living lawn—and get rid of moss in the process. Dethatching makes it easier for water and nutrients to reach the roots of your lawn and, ideally, is best done in the spring or early summer. But if your primary goal is getting rid of moss in the lawn, you can dethatch at any time of year.

Rent a power rake. These gas-powered machines, available for rent at home centers for about $75 per day, resemble lawn mowers. Instead of neatly clipping the tips of the grass, however, they aggressively remove thatch—along with moss—from the soil line. Power raking can be tough on your lawn, however, so it’s best to consider this option only if your lawn has an inch or more of thatch, along with heavy moss growth.

Photo: istockphoto.com

Reach for the Chemicals

Kill moss with an herbicide and it can easily be mowed or lifted out of your lawn. The two chemicals commonly used against moss have their downsides, however—and they’re strong stuff! Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions carefully, and keep children and pets out of the area while treating with either chemical.

Glyphosate: The active ingredient in Roundup (which you can pick up from Amazon), glyphosate has only mixed results on moss. It will, however, kill any grass or other plants it comes in contact with, so only use this chemical on patches of moss growing on otherwise bare soil.

Iron sulfate: More effective than glyphosate, iron sulfate (also called ferrous sulfate) kills moss in the lawn by drying it out. This chemical turns moss black, often within hours, and kills it entirely in just a day or two. Iron sulfate won’t hurt your grass—in fact, it’s a component of most lawn fertilizers—but it will create rust spots or stains on nearby concrete, brick, or stone. Be sure to wash away any stray herbicide right away with water and a scrub brush; stains that linger can be removed with a tri-sodium phosphate (TSP) and water solution.

Make Moss Move On!

After getting rid of moss in the lawn, investigate the underlying conditions that allow it to flourish so it won’t come back. Below, some of the most common moss culprits and how to address them:

• Soggy soil: Moss thrives in damp conditions. So if your lawn is receiving too much water or it doesn’t drain well, moss—as well as patches of mildewed or dying grass—are bound to crop up. Cut back on watering to improve the situation.

• Too much shade: Moss prefers shady spots of the lawn, such as underneath trees or where structures block the sun in the yard. Because most grass does best in full sun anyway, you may wish to devote shaded areas to such hardy shrubs, ground covers, or perennials as rhododendron, pachysandra, and ajuga.

• Acidic or infertile soil: Check out your soil’s pH and nutrient levels with a soil test kit, easily found at a garden center or home improvement store. If your soil is acidic—which is hard on grass but great for moss—add lime to balance your lawn’s pH. If soil fertility is an issue—low levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, or potassium are often the cause—the soil test kit will guide you towards the best supplements or fertilizers to remedy the situation.

• Compacted soil: Heavily compacted soil negatively impacts grass growth by preventing water and nutrients from reaching the roots, but it doesn’t bother moss one bit. Break up hard soil with a hand or power aerator annually, or as needed.

How to Kill Grass

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Most people with natural grass lawns spend their time and money keeping them alive, but there are some instances where you might need to kill grass instead. If you find yourself in this situation, there a 7 easy ways to kill grass. We cover them and reasons you may need to remove grass below.

  1. Commercial herbicides
  2. The shovel method
  3. Vinegar
  4. Boiling water
  5. Salt
  6. Solarization
  7. Layering

Here are five of the most common reasons for killing grass in Southern California:

1. Your grass is a real creep.

Creeping grass varieties spread through underground rhizomes and aboveground stolons, and, if not effectively held in place by landscaping borders or hardscapes, they may creep into areas where you never intended to have a lawn. When this occurs, you may need to kill the grass to keep it from spreading.

2. You want to spend less time on yard care.

At some point, most natural grass lawn owners grow tired of the constant mowing, weeding, edging, fertilizing, aerating, and watering. When they reach this point, they usually either hire a company to care for their lawn, or they reduce it or remove it and replace it with low-maintenance landscaping options.

3. You need to conserve water.

More than 50% of outdoor water usage goes to watering lawns. This means that anyone who wants to lower their water bill or reduce their home’s environmental impact can easily accomplish both of these goals in one step: removing their lawns.

4. You need space to start or expand your vegetable garden.

Growing food plants is a great way to know where your food is coming from and how it is grown while also teaching your kids about caring for food plants all the way from planting seeds to harvesting. If you plan on growing very much food in your backyard or front yard, you are going to need some space. Removing your natural grass lawn is the perfect way to increase the space you have available for growing food for your family.

5. You want a lawn, just not a water-wasting, time-consuming, natural grass lawn.

You still want a green, lush lawn for your kids to play on, your dogs to nap on and for that all-important curb appeal, but you are over it when it comes to the maintenance and irrigation requirements. Plus, it gets brown spots, needs to be reseeded, and just takes a lot of effort to keep it looking healthy and inviting. So, when you are ready to replace it with low-maintenance synthetic turf, you are going to need to find out how to kill grass so you can make the switch.

7 Ways to Kill Grass

1. Commercial Herbicides:

When possible, it is always better to use natural options for all of your landscaping tasks, but commercial herbicides that contain potentially harmful chemicals are quite effective and should at least be on this list. If you choose this method, wear long sleeves, gloves and eye protection to limit exposure. You should also pick a day with no wind and no rain in the forecast.

2. The Shovel Method:

If you don’t mind a bit of hard labor, you can manually remove your grass by digging it up. Stop watering your lawn so that it will turn brown and die. Once it is dead, grab a shovel – and hopefully some friends – and start excavating. Make sure you know where your irrigation lines are to avoid adding irrigation repairs to your chore list. Even if you use other methods on this list, you may need to use some sort of excavation process to remove your dead lawn if you cannot simply let it compost in place.

3. Vinegar

Vinegar is a good choice for folks looking for an inexpensive, natural method for killing grass. You can simply spray your lawn with vinegar and wait for it to die. For the best chance of success, choose a day with no wind and no rain in the forecast. Hotter temperatures help with this process, so choose the hottest day possible for your vinegar application. You may need to spray your lawn again every few days until all of the grass is dead. The thing to remember when working with vinegar is that it is an indiscriminate killer, which means you must keep it away from any plants you want to keep.

4. Boiling Water:

Pouring boiling water over grass, weeds or unwanted plants is an inexpensive way to kill them, but it is not the easiest method. First, you have to be very careful not to spill any of the boiling water on your skin while carrying it from the kitchen to your lawn. Second, unless you are only trying to figure out how to kill grass in a tiny area, it is going to take a lot of trips back and forth to the kitchen and a lot of time waiting for pots of water to boil.

5. Salt:

Salt is an easy, natural way to kill weeds, grass or any unwanted plants. Like vinegar, salt is an indiscriminate killer, so you will need to be careful when applying it to your lawn. You can either sprinkle it all over your lawn, and then water your lawn to get the salt down into the soil, or you can mix salt and water in a garden sprayer and spray your lawn. Either way, you will need to keep the salt away from flowerbeds or any wanted plants. You should only use salt in areas where you never want anything to grow again. While soil can recover from the introduction of salt over time, you are going to need some serious patience to wait around for this to happen.

6. Solarization:

Mow your lawn, cover it with black plastic sheeting and let the sun do the rest. Killing grass with solarization can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, but it is an effective and inexpensive option.

7. Layering:

If you have access to a lot of newspaper or cardboard, layering is an effective method for killing grass and improving the soil for whatever you might want to grow in that area once your lawn is gone. All you need to do is mow your lawn, add multiple layers of newspaper or cardboard (or both), wet it down, and then cover it with a layer of mulch. This method usually takes about two months to kill the grass, but the layer of mulch will make the area less of an eyesore during the process.

How To Kill Grass Naturally – Kill Unwanted Grass In Your Yard

Hate herbicides but dislike grass weeds more? There are natural ways to kill unwanted grass. All it takes are some household items, mechanical labor, and tenacity, and you can kill your grass without introducing chemicals into the home landscape. So if you have a patchy lawn, grass weeds or an area of sod you want removed for a garden bed, keep reading for tips on how to get rid of grass naturally.

Ways to Kill Your Grass Naturally

There are many reasons to get rid of grass in the landscape. The trick is in how to kill grass naturally without resorting to dangerous chemical preparations. The good news is that there are several natural ways to kill grass, all using items normally found in the home. Once the deed is done, you will be left with a safe, weed, and grass free zone ready for planting.

Solarizing to Kill Your Grass

For larger areas, one of the best ways to kill unwanted grass is to cook it. Focusing the sun on areas of the sod at its highest heat level will cook the roots and effectively kill it. You can use an old window or black plastic to hone the sun and heat in on the area. The optimal time for solarization is summer when the sun is at its hottest.

Cut the grass to a short length and then cover the area with plastic or glass. Black plastic works best but you can also use clear plastic. Hold the plastic down with rocks, soil staples, boards or whatever you have handy. It can take a few weeks to a month to kill the roots completely. Then remove the covering and turn over or remove the dead sod.

Using Natural Liquids to Kill Grass

It may sound ridiculous but boiling water will do the trick. If your grass area is not too large, pour boiling water over the plants. Initially, they will brown out but the roots may still be viable, so repeat the process every few days until no greening is observed.

Better still is horticultural vinegar. Commercial grocery store vinegars are not strong enough, so you will need the horticultural version, which has 20 percent acetic acid vs. the home vinegar at just 5 percent. Fill a spray bottle and direct stream the vinegar onto the grass plants. You may have to repeat again in a week.

How to Kill Grass Naturally by Sheet Composting

One of the best natural ways to kill grass is with lasagna gardening or sheet composting. Mow or weed-wack the area and then cover with cardboard or several layers of newspaper (both are readily available at little or even no cost). Water to moisten it well and top with a thick layer of compost and several inches (5 to 7.6 cm.) of bark mulch.

Over time, the paper layer will smother and kill the grass, while the mulch and compost will help break down the paper, adding nutrients to the soil. Soon the bed will be a rich loamy soil bed ready to plant. Keep in mind this can take several months for a finished bed, but it will be weed free and ready to accept your new plants.

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Every gardener knows the struggle of trying to keep gardens weed free. There are so many chemical weed killers and toxic-smelling concoctions that you can use to pour over your garden but is there a better way?

If you want to avoid putting harmful chemicals on your garden you may have searched for natural methods and discovered vinegar. But does vinegar kill weeds? There is evidence to say that vinegar does kill weeds permanently and can be really effective at keeping your flowers and displays weed-free.

From thistle to horsetail, you can use malt, distilled, white vinegar and even apple cider to stop the spread of weeds in your garden. Read on to find out why this solution works and how you can use it to kill weeds in your flower beds.

Table of Contents

WHAT IS VINEGAR?

While you may be used to covering your chips in vinegar or using posher versions drizzled in some oil, vinegar actually has thousands of uses apart from just flavouring your food.

It is sour tasting due to a high acidity and the malt version (which is brown in colour) is the one most of us will be familiar with. It is often used as a condiment and seen on most cafe tables. The white variety is sometimes used in natural cleaning products and it can also be used to kill weeds.

It is a 100% natural product and is made through fermentation – usually apples, grapes or grains. Using apple you will get a cider which can also be used to kill weeds. The process of making this clear solution involves no man-made chemicals and happens when yeast reacts with natural sugars to the acidic vinegar. Vinegar also contains vitamins and other compounds which give it the distinct taste and flavour.

HOW LONG DOES VINEGAR TAKE TO KILL WEEDS?

You might want to ask how long does vinegar take to kill weeds? And does vinegar kill the roots of weeds, too? And as your garden might become overrun with problem plants, speed is key in nipping any weed growth in the bud.

But I think many people would be surprised to hear just how fast it works. Spray a solution onto weeds in the heat of the day and in full sunlight for example and you can see the plant starting to shrivel and die within one hour. If you’ve got a particularly strong crop of weeds, or a hardy species of plant, then the effect may take a little longer and you might not see any changes until the next day.

However, compared to chemical based commercial weed killers it performs really well. Most shop bought weed killers are expensive and state you should wait for 24 hours before you see results

There is some great time lapse footage of a person who uses dish soap mixed with 5% vinegar and uses a sprayer to treat weeds in their garden. Over the course of seven hours, the weeds are monitored and you can actually watch them shrivel and turn brown. The 1 gallon of vinegar based weed killer only cost less than two dollars.

BEST WAY TO USE VINEGAR TO KILL WEEDS

There are many different YouTube videos showing people’s home recipes for vinegar-based weed killers that they use in flower beds and to kill thistle and horsetail weed.

Look for a vinegar with a high acidity content (explained above) and then get yourself a spray bottle or applicator to make the job easier. You can mix the vinegar with ordinary dish soap to make it more effective. The dish soap makes the mixture break down oils on the leaves of the weed and help the vinegar do its job of removing moisture.

Some people also advocate adding salt to the mixture itself as that prevents regrowth and makes the effects of the weed killer last longer. This should be used carefully though as adding salt to soil means that nothing will ever be able to grow there again. So while you won’t want to put this on a lawn or in flowerbeds, you can add salt to an area you want to permanently stop any plant growth such as a pathway or patio.

A rough guideline for the amount of ingredients you should use is a gallon of vinegar, a cup of salt and a tablespoon of dish soap. You may have to experiment with the different levels of ingredients and concentrations to get your mix right if you have particularly stubborn weeds.

A good tip is to try your mixture on a small weed or area of weeds in a tucked away corner of the garden. By watching its effects on a small clump of weeds you will be able to tell how effective it will be without dousing your entire garden.

And, as with any gardening advice, please use your judgement and decide whether this will work as a weed killer in your garden. In addition, you should always use a good pair of gardening gloves when handling any sort of material, chemical free or not.

CONCLUSION

So, does vinegar kill weeds permanently? Yes! And sometimes it works even more effectively than over the counter products.Mix a white, malt or apple cider in a sprayer like this one and then add dish soap and salt (if needed). Use the sprayer to target weeds in problem areas.

It can be unpredictable so it is a good idea to test an area first and make sure you have the concentration right.

Once you have applied it, just sit back and watch your weeds die and your garden flourish! If this worked for you, comment and share your experience below.

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How To: Kill Grass

Photo: fotosearch.com

Grass can be great—when it’s like lush, lovely lot-to-lot carpeting beneath your feet. Flawless grass can be a pain to maintain, though, especially if you’re affected by less-than-ideal climate or watering limitations; more often, you’re left with an eyesore of a lawn, plagued by weeds or patchy spots. Fortunately, if you’d like to remove your lawn, you’ve got a variety of solutions to choose from. Just be sure to check what restrictions your homeowners’ association or municipality may have on the use of certain equipment or herbicides, should you choose to go that route.

MATERIALS AND TOOLS Available on Amazon
– Lawn mower
– Plastic sheeting
– Bricks
– Newspaper
– Mulch
– Herbicide
– Tiller
– Shovel
– Troweltype rake

Photo: fotosearch.com

Use Solar Power
For totally natural, reliable lawn removal, consider solarization. Check the weather forecast for a string of sunny days. Then, mow the grass as close to the ground as possible. Water the lawn to the point of saturation and cover it promptly with clear, plastic sheeting, held in place at the edges with bricks, cement blocks, planters—anything heavy enough to keep it from blowing away. The heat of the sun does the rest, effectively “sweating” or “cooking” your grass to death in about six to eight weeks.

Smother It
Can’t depend on the sun? Try smothering, also known as layering or composting, to lose your lawn. This method is especially popular for banishing a small lawn or a section of a larger one. Begin with a close mow, and then cover the patch with several layers of overlapped newspaper or cardboard. Wet it all down and top with a layer of grass clippings or mulch. The technique prevents light from getting through, so no photosynthesis can occur. Unwanted grass will be gone in about eight weeks and, if curb appeal is a concern, the mulched area may be considered less unsightly than plastic sheeting. Plus, as the paper breaks down, it boosts soil quality—great if you intend to plant in the area.

Get Help from Herbicides
Treating grass with an herbicide such as Roundup will kill it in as little as two weeks. Or try Ortho Grass B Gon, which was designed not to spare surrounding plants. Note that herbicides generally need repeated applications to get the job done. Consult a pro at your local nursery for advice on which herbicide to use, and be sure to follow directions carefully to ensure safety.

Dig It Up
If you don’t want to wait weeks, you can banish grass with basic garden tools—plus some elbow grease—in one fell swoop. Just take care to locate any underground irrigation areas to avoid before any digging begins. If you’ve got a small grassy area, break it up with a hand tiller; for a larger lawn, you’d be wise to rent a heavy-duty tiller. Once it’s been thoroughly tilled, use a wood-handled, medium-sized shovel to break apart and scoop up large sections. After all the grass is gone, go back over the area with a trowel-type rake to round up any rocks that may be present.

So what about the technique of killing grass with boiling water or vinegar? Both can be effective—but only on weeds. The methods detailed above will give you a grass-free zone for a garden, hardier plants, or hardscaping. And you’ll get to enjoy a no-mow summer!

If you’re not yet ready to sell your lawn mower and give up the idea of having a lush lawn, here are a few mowing tips to help you up your lawn care IQ.

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