A homeowner may want to kill his or her grass to prepare to plant a new sod lawn. Or the homeowner may have decided to put in a rock garden or plant cactus instead of a lawn. There are several different ways to remove your grass, including the use of herbicides, but a less toxic method is the smothering method. Grass needs sunlight to produce the energy it needs to stay alive. Remove sunlight, and your grass will soon die.
Set your lawn mower to 1 inch and mow your lawn. Scalp your lawn as much as possible. Bare spots are a plus.
Spread 8 layers of black and white newsprint (no color inks, as they can contain heavy metals) or two layers of cardboard over the grass you want to kill. Overlap your newspapers and cardboard, and do not walk on them once you have put them down. Try to pick a nonwindy day.
Cover the newspaper or cardboard with 1/4 to 1/2 inch of organic manure, and water lightly. The water will help weigh down the manure.
Continue watering for 8 weeks, keeping the manure damp but not soaking. If necessary place boards or other weights around the edges of your lawn to keep the covering in place. No light must leak through to the grass under the covering. Without light, the photosynthesis that keeps grasses alive ceases, and the grasses and their roots die.
Plant new vegetation directly on top of and through the manure and newspaper or cardboard after 8 weeks. The newspaper and cardboard does not need to be removed--it will decompose into the soil and make an excellent compost for anything that you choose to plant in place of your now-dead grass.