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How to Kill Grass Naturally

By Tanya Khan ; Updated September 21, 2017
Adopt a natural method of killing unwanted lawn grass.
Grass lawn image by Dan Marsh from Fotolia.com

A thick, healthy carpet of grass outside your house enhances curb appeal and the beauty of the landscape. However, despite your best efforts at creating a beautiful lawn, sometimes you need different methods of killing lawn grass. This could be because lawn grass is thin, scarce or diseased, and replanting is the only alternative. Adopting a natural method of killing lawn grass is important for the environment because it does not leave any harmful chemicals or residue in the soil or disturb microbial activity. Natural methods also cost less than chemical alternatives.

Mow the grass as short as possible. Use a manual or powered lawn mower and collect grass clippings in the collection bag. Dispose of them appropriately.

Moisten the area with a garden hose at a medium to low setting. Do not create puddles, but work with an even spray.

Form layers comprising of eight to 10 sheets of newspapers and begin laying them flat across the mowed grass. Start at a corner and continue laying newspaper layers until you cover the entire area. Let adjacent layers overlap each other by 3 inches.

Spray the newspapers with water lightly to prevent them from shifting or blowing away.

Spread an even layer of mulch over the newspapers to weigh them down and press them closer to the ground. This prevents sunlight, air and water from reaching the roots, thus smothering grass so it dies sooner.

Spray household vinegar (pickled or white) over unwanted grass as another method of killing it naturally. Make sure it contains 9 percent or more acetic acid so it burns grass quicker.

Wear rubber or plastic gloves and pour undiluted vinegar into a spray bottle. Replace the lid and douse sections of lawn grass with vinegar. The vinegar kills grass within days. Repeat application to kill stubborn grass.


Things You Will Need

  • Lawn mower
  • Garden hose
  • Newspapers
  • Spray bottle
  • Mulch
  • Vinegar (pickled or white)
  • Gloves


  • You can also moisten layers of newspapers before laying them over unwanted lawn grass. However, wet newspapers tear easily, thus taking longer to spread.
  • Select a hot summer day to spray vinegar over lawn grass. The heat of the sun acts as a catalyst and speeds up the burning process, usually causing the grass to die in the first application.
  • Spray vinegar over dry grass. Make sure you turn the water hose or sprinklers off several hours before application.
  • Bend down slightly as you spray vinegar over grass to ensure maximum contact.
  • Spread a tarp over plants you do not want to kill before spraying vinegar.
  • Douse small sections of unwanted grass with boiling water straight from a kettle to kill it naturally.

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.