If you are preparing your land for a new lawn, one of the first things you need to do is remove the old grass. This is best done by killing the lawn so that none of the old variety grows back and takes over again. You can kill the grass by using store-bought products or by using a few basic supplies in the home.
Pour full-strength white vinegar into a spray bottle. For large lawns, it might be easier to use a tank system. The acid in the vinegar kills grass within a couple of days.
Spray the grass area that you want to kill with the vinegar. Saturate the soil during the hottest part of the day for best results. Avoid spraying near plants that cannot tolerate an acidic soil, because they also might be weakened or killed by the vinegar. Woodsy plants such as rhododendrons and evergreen shrubs are more likely to withstand the extra acid. Grass near plants is best dug up with a shovel.
Rake the dead grass and layers of old grass with a stiff rake to loosen and dethatch the lawn. Remove the old grass that you rake. This allows sunlight to reach the soil.
Mix a 1-to-16 ratio of baking soda and water and spray the lawn to bring back the soil balance and make it less acidic.
Till the lawn after the grass is dead to loosen the earth and make it easier for new seed to take root. Mix in new dark, rich soil if your yard is made of clay or you feel it is nutrient-poor.