How to Kill Old Grass


Removing old grass when performing a lawn renovation can be a hard and exhausting chore. Tilling it under can leave large clumps in your planting area which take extra effort to break up. By killing off old grass with a non-selective herbicide that contains glyphosate, you can seed directly into the old turf using a slit seeder without tilling the ground. This will save you the effort of re-leveling the planting area once it is tilled.

Step 1

Put on protective clothing that includes long pants, long-sleeved shirt, shoes, safety glasses and gloves. This will protect your body from the non-selective herbicide.

Step 2

Read the label of the non-selective herbicide to understand the mixing directions. Mix the correct amount of herbicide concentrate with water in your pump-up sprayer.

Step 3

Prime your pump-up sprayer and spray your grass until the foliage looks wet. Spray in smooth back-and-forth motions to ensure total coverage.

Step 4

Watch your grass closely over the next week to ensure you achieve a total kill as desired.

Step 5

Repeat the spraying process two weeks after the first application to areas that are still actively growing.

Tips and Warnings

  • Avoid spraying on windy days. The wind will carry the herbicide and it may land on desirable plants. Non-selective herbicide will kill all plants it comes in contact with.

Things You'll Need

  • Non-selective herbicide
  • Pump-up sprayer
  • Water
  • Protective clothing
  • Safety glasses
  • Gloves


  • Texas A&M: Grass Control
  • National Pesticide Information Center: Glyphosate Fact Sheet
  • Cornell University: Glyphosate
Keywords: kill old grass, remove grass, non-selective herbicide, pump-up sprayer, killing turf grass

About this Author

Robin Gonyo has been writing for several years now. She has a deep love for gardening and has spent a vast amount of time researching that subject. Previously she has written for private clients before joining Demand Studios. She hopes to share her knowledge with others through her writing.