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How to Kill Buffalo Grass

By Tanya Khan ; Updated September 21, 2017
Buffalo grass

Botanically known as Buchloe dactyloides, Buffalo grass or St. Augustine grass is a warm season grass that requires at least 10 hours of sunlight a day. This grass spreads quickly to cover an area. You may want to kill this blue-green grass for a variety of reasons, such as clearing the spot for a flower bed or garden structure, or to grow another type of grass altogether. A few methods exist for killing buffalo grass.

Wear gloves and clear the area of rocks, stones or plant debris. Mow the grass down to an inch so it is easier to kill.

Spread an even layer of 10 newspapers over the buffalo grass, ensuring adjacent stacks overlap by at least 3 inches. Gently mist the newspapers down so they stay in place and are not blown away easily by strong winds.

Spread a 4- to 5-inch layer of mulch over the newspapers to compress them, so the grass is closer to the soil. This prevents sunlight or air from reaching the grass, causing it to smother and eventually die in 3 weeks to a month.

Follow manufacturer's directions to spray buffalo grass with herbicide containing glyphosate from your local nursery or garden supply center. Spray it directly over the grass so it penetrates the soil and kills the roots. You can also soak a sponge in the herbicide solution and squeeze it over the grass.

Burn sprigs of buffalo grass growing between cracks in your driveway with a blowtorch. Position the flame over the grass until it turns black and burns.

Spread a black tarp over the buffalo grass and weigh the edges down with bricks. The tarp prevents sunlight or air from reaching the grass, thus killing it at its roots.


Things You Will Need

  • Gloves
  • Lawn mower
  • Newspapers
  • Spray bottle
  • Water
  • Mulch
  • Glyphosate-based herbicide
  • Blowtorch
  • Tarp
  • Bricks


  • Although glyphosate herbicides are relatively safe for humans and pets, make sure you wear gloves and a face mask during application.
  • Follow the manufacturer's directions before applying weed killer over a spot, as each one has a different mixing ratio.
  • Cover any plants you do not want to kill with a tarp because a glyphosate-based herbicide is strong and kills any vegetation that it comes into contact with.
  • You can also spread weed killer in the form of granules over buffalo grass to kill it. You may need to water the granules so they melt and penetrate the soil.

About the Author


Tanya Khan is a freelance author and consultant, having written numerous articles for various online and print sources. She has a Master of Business Administration in marketing but her passion lies in writing.