How to Kill Grass


Getting rid of grass is a challenge. If you have an area that is lawn covered that you'd like to change to a flower bed, it's necessary to kill the grass. The trick is you can't use an herbicide. It will definitely kill the grass and anything else you subsequently plant there. Most commercial grass killers are harsh chemicals, and it's possible to kill grass without them.

Newspaper Method

Step 1

Mow the lawn as short as possible.

Step 2

Lay a one-inch-thick layer of newspapers over the area where you want to kill the grass and plant the flowers.

Step 3

Outline the area with bricks to hold the newspapers down and to edge the new flower bed.

Step 4

Wait two to four weeks. The lack of water and sunlight will kill the grass.

Step 5

Remove the newspapers or add a four-inch layer of compost on top of the newspapers. Water well every few days. After four weeks, dig up the bed, newspapers, dead grass and all. Turn the soil over and plant the new flowers.

Black Plastic Method

Step 1

Mow the grass as short as possible.

Step 2

Cut black plastic garbage bags down each side, and open each one into one long strip.

Step 3

Lay the strips on the grass, overlapping them slightly. Place rocks over the corners of the long strips to hold the plastic down.

Step 4

Wait two weeks. The heat generated from the black plastic, plus a lack of water and sunlight, will kill the grass.

Tips and Warnings

  • Young children can suffocate with the black plastic. Use the newspaper method if young children will be in the area.

Things You'll Need

  • Newspapers
  • Black garbage bags
  • Bricks or rocks


  • Gardening Know How: How to Kill Grass
Keywords: killing grass, kill a lawn, rid of grass

About this Author

Katie Rosehill holds an MBA from Arizona State University. She began her writing career soon after college and has written website content and e-books. Her articles have appeared on, eHow, and GolfLinks. Favorite topics include personal finance - that MBA does come in handy sometimes - weddings and gardening.