There are several ways to safely kill unwanted grass from your area. These methods are not only economical, but better for the environment, because they do not disturb microbial activity in the soil or leave harmful chemicals behind. Use safe, organic products to rid your area of unwanted grass, especially if you have children or pets.
Household vinegar contains acetic acid that burns grass, causing it to die down. This safe method of killing unwanted grass is economical because most of us have vinegar in our kitchen cabinets. For best results, use vinegar that contains 7 per cent or more acetic acid, so you kill grass in the first application. Make sure you apply vinegar on a hot sunny day, preferably in the summer, as the sun speeds up the drying process to kill grass quicker. Pour it directly over the area and let it settle down and penetrate the soil to eventually kill the grass.
Boiling water is a safe, simple and inexpensive fix to killing unwanted grass that grows between driveways, pathways and bricks. Wear closed shoes and pants to prevent burning yourself. Pour it over the grass with a long-spouted kettle to ensure the main stream reaches the grass plant to dry and kill it immediately.
Use newspapers for a safe way to kill unwanted grass. Mow the grass as short as possible and spread eight to 10 sheets of newspapers over it. Weigh the newspapers down with an even layer of mulch. The grass smothers and dies due to no contact with air, water and sunlight. Do not worry about removing the newspapers once the grass dies out because they break down naturally and are not harmful.
Many people use plastic as an alternative to newspapers for killing grass safely. Spread a layer of thick, black plastic over unwanted grass and weigh it down with mulch. The plastic prevents grass from receiving sunlight, water and air, thus smothering and killing it. It also traps heat, acting like an oven to kill grass quicker.
Pull out small areas of unwanted grass by hand. This method is the most effective because it removes the entire plant without leaving any rhizomes in the soil. Do not pull out large areas of unwanted grass by hand, as it is laborious, exhausting and time consuming. Loosen the soil around the grass with a hand shovel, and pull out sections along with the roots.