How to Remove a Bermuda Grass Lawn


Bermuda grass is a warm-season grass that is native to Africa. It is grown throughout the southern United States in lawns and for animal forage. The grass remains green and healthy from spring to fall, and is drought-tolerant in the warmest part of summer. But Bermuda grass can creep into flower beds and gardens due to its habit of spreading through rhizomes above ground and stolens at the root level. If you want to remove Bermuda from your lawn, you must completely strip it bare.

Step 1

Mow your lawn with your lawnmower decking set on its lowest setting. Rake up the grass clippings.

Step 2

Inspect your lawn and remove all debris that can harm the sod cutter. This can include rocks, sticks or wire.

Step 3

Water your clay soil with 1 inch of water per square inch of lawn from a garden hose 24 hours before removing sod. This will loosen the soil and make it easier to remove the sod.

Step 4

Mark obstacles in your lawn such as sprinkler heads, as well as your property boundaries with baking flour, which will not create an obstacle that can break your sod cutter.

Step 5

Position your sod cutter at the starting point with the blade out of the ground. Keep the gear shift in neutral and pull on the starter cord to start the sod cutter. Pull the blade engagement lever toward you while lifting the handlebar of the sod cutter with the other. Place the shift lever in slow gear.

Step 6

Press down on the throttle of the sod cutter while holding down the handlebar. Push the sod cutter forward. The blades will engage and cut the sod in 16-inch wide strips. Do not attempt to turn the sod cutter while it is cutting sod.

Step 7

Stop the sod cutter after you have cut a complete row of Bermuda grass by holding down on the throttle and pushing the blade engagement lever forward. Roll up the grass and remove it from your lawn. Reposition the sod cutter and cut a second row of sod. Continue until all the sod is removed.

Step 8

Lay the Bermuda sod on a new lawn, or pile it in the sun to naturally compost.

Things You'll Need

  • Sod cutter
  • Lawn mower
  • Garden hose
  • Baking flour


  • University of Florida UAFS Extension: Bermudagrass for Florida Lawns
  • University of Missouri Extension: Bermudagrass
  • University of Minnesota Extension: Lawn Renovation

Who Can Help

  • Taylor Rental: Sod Cutter Safety Procedures
Keywords: removing lawn, sod cutter, lawn renovation, remove Bermuda grass, remove Bermuda lawn

About this Author

Tracy S. Morris has been a freelance writer since 2000. She has published two novels and numerous online articles. Her work has appeared in national magazines and newspapers, including "Ferrets," "CatFancy," "Lexington Herald Leader" and "The Tulsa World."