How to Use Newspaper to Kill Grass


There are many reasons one may wish to kill grass, and several chemical ways to do so. Spreading chemicals around the yard is not ideal, however, especially if you have children or pets. The newspaper method is an easy, nontoxic way to kill unwanted grass over a large or small area. It is also inexpensive. If your household doesn't have newspapers delivery, you can always ask friends and neighbors to give you their old newspapers.

Step 1

Choose a calm day to lay down the newspaper. If you choose a windy day to do this, you'll be chasing down blowing newspapers.

Step 2

Mow the grass first, if you are doing a large section and the grass needs cutting. Then mark out your area. You can use paint, rope, string or just about anything else to mark off the sections you want to kill.

Step 3

Place the newspapers over the grass you want to kill. Colorado State University Extensions suggests laying at least 10 pages down per section--in other words, the layers should be 10 single-pages thick. Black and white print pages, as opposed to glossy, work best.

Step 4

Pour wood chips over the top of the newspaper--the chip layer should be 4 inches thick, according to Colorado State University Extension. This will hold them down and keep them from blowing away. (Alternatively, you can use compost, as suggested by The News Tribune.) Just spread the compost over the newspaper--use just enough to keep the newspaper from blowing away.

Step 5

Water the newspaper and wood chips or compost lightly to weigh things down even more.

Things You'll Need

  • Newspapers
  • Wood chips (or compost)
  • Garden hose


  • Colorado State University Extension: Retrofit Your Yard
  • The News Tribune: Losing The Lawn
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About this Author

Corey M. Mackenzie is a professional freelance writer with knowledge and experience in many areas. Corey received a B.A. with honors from Wichita State University and has been a writer for over two decades. Corey specializes in pets, interior decorating, health care, gardening, fashion, relationships, home improvement and forensic science. Corey's articles have appeared in Garden Guides, Travels and other websites online.