How to Kill Grass Organically


When killing grass on your lawn, many gardening experts recommend using an herbicide spray to get the job done. However, there is a more natural way to clear unwanted grass without using chemicals. Newspaper and mulch can be used to smother the unwanted grass over a period of several weeks. Though the newspaper method requires quite a bit of newsprint, it is an organic way to kill grass that also recycles the paper.

Step 1

Unfold and flatten out sheets of newspaper. Make sure that you are only using the black-and-white newsprint sections of the newspaper. Glossy paper that some news sections come printed on will not work for this method.

Step 2

Layer the newspaper in a 10 sheet deep, overlapping pattern on top of the grass you wish to kill. Make sure that no patches of grass are exposed between the newspaper sheets.

Step 3

Spread a four-inch deep layer of wood mulch on top of the newspaper. The mulch weighs down the paper and further blocks the sunlight from the grass.

Step 4

Sprinkle the mulch with a light coating of water to weigh it down and start the decomposition process. Allow the newspaper and mulch to rest on top of the grass for about three weeks.

Step 5

Rake the mulch off of the newspapers. The newspapers and grass should have already mostly decomposed. Use the rake to mix the decomposing bits of newspaper and grass into the soil. The grass and newspaper will both enrich the soil by adding organic compost to the area.

Things You'll Need

  • Newspaper
  • Wood mulch
  • Gardening rake


  • Colorado State University Extension
Keywords: kill grass organically, naturally kill grass, killing grass with newspaper

About this Author

Katie Leigh is a freelance writer and editor based in Chicago. A Loyola University New Orleans graduate with a Bachelor's degree in communications, Leigh has worked as a copy editor, page designer and reporter for several daily newspapers and specialty publications since 2005.