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What is the best way to get rid of a lawn?

My mom has finally decided to let me re-do her yard, and one of the big problems is our lawn. The grass is yellow and dead, and the dirt underneath is as hard as a rock. What is the best way to remove the grass and soften the dirt so I dont have to work for hours just shoveling one area? The lawn is about 15×15 ft. Are there special chemicals I can use that won’t destroy the plants I plan to put in the lawn’s place? Any unusual ways to get rid of the lawn easily and soften the underlying ground?

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18 Responses to “What is the best way to get rid of a lawn?”

  1. Seth B said:

    burn it with gasoline lol no just mow it with lawn mower then water with hose

  2. Brando said:
  3. Jasmine said:
  4. RE said:

    You will probably have to plow the ground. Then, you will have to put down tons of peat. You will always have to pull weeds. You can kill them with weed killers, but eventually, they will come back.

  5. boogie said:

    soak the yard with a hose and then use a digger or just use a shovel.

  6. milyfaz said:

    get an electric tiller, or rent one it chops up the Grass and loosens the dirt. you can fertilize and replant. here’s an example. http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productList&Ne=7000&category=Ground+Preparation&N=0+5002613

  7. nickelrustler said:

    get a roto-tiller and till it up.

  8. Justin R said:

    I don’t know any chemicals to use, you can try Round-up I know it works on green plants but not sure about grass, then once the grass is dead you should be able to take a garden rake and rake all the dead grass up. But to soften the ground you may want to till it and level it, then put a layer of topsoil over the top of it.

  9. mdk2121 said:

    cover the lawn in a black plastic tarp and leave like that for a week. The heat from the sun on the black plastic will burn up the grass and the moister from the grass will stay trapped and it will loosen the soil.

  10. TAP said:

    A BOBCAT AND A ROTOTILLER, Its going to be some work but that’s the best way.

  11. spence dog said:

    light it on fire!!!

  12. eeeeelias said:

    There are machines.

    They have like blades on the front, powered by gasoline.

    That should do the trick, I have no idea what they are called.

    The blades are circular, they usually have a tire on the back, motor on top, handle bar look a like thing to control. Easy to use, and that machine will sink into the ground and turn the dirt. If you go to your local hardware store, you might find one that you can rent.

    Don’t use chemicals, that is not enviromently friendly and will cause damage to your future grass.

    Lose ground is not that bad, it will let the roots spread easier, if it is too hard, the roots won’t spread the plants might die.

  13. Lach said:

    Chemicals will either stay in the dirt and ruin your new lawn or wash out into the environment, and should probably be avoided. Some people use vinegar, as it messes with the PH balance in the soil and can kill the grass, but it will also harm downstream life from the runoff. I would recommend watering the ground quite a lot then renting a rototiller. A 5.5 horsepower gas powered rototiller won’t cost you much for 3 hours of rent-time and will do all the hard work for you. Go ahead and till in all the old grass, as it will be useful fertilizer for the new seeds.

    I suggest you either beg her to pony up the money to rent a rototiller or find someone in your neighborhood association or church you can borrow one from. They are delightful machines.

  14. Myster E. Man said:

    ok saturate the lawn with water for a quite a few hours and allow the ground to absorb the water which will lessen the rock hard soil. then this is the fun part you take a shovel or a tiller and literally break up and turn over the lawn then re water it and plant miracle-gro grass seeds and keep the lawn off limits for at least a month to let the seeds root from there it should be routine maintainence and ur grass should have a fine luxurious mane lol

  15. Blondi said:

    Have you thought of raised gardens? Leave the hard stuff alone & just build 4′ x 8′ beds on top of it. It’s much easier to plant, weed & maintain otherwise as well at knee level (or even higher). We used landscape timbers and the log-cabin style of stacking, drove 8 fence poles on the outsides of each corner, then filled with a variety of biodegradable material topped off with about 8″ of good garden soil. If you compost, use in that top layer.

    This way you can position each “garden” in the optimum position for sun-loving, shade-loving, or mixed-light plants and fill each bed with similar-need plants, then use gravel or wood chips (or lawn clippings!) to mulch between the beds where you will be walking.

    Another method, if you have the time, is to plant “ground-cover” crops (Google that term; I think timothy hay is one of them that is suggested) after using a rake to scratch the surface so the seeds won’t just lie there on top of the packed earth. Let the crop grow until frost kills it, then next spring when you turn it over (past frost) the roots will have aerated the dirt where they grew, separated the soil particles, then froze in the winter, then biodegraded after the soil warmed up. Let the plants do your work for you. Next spring, tilling that soil should be a cinch.

  16. Michael S said:

    Seeing how its only less then a 2 square section my suggestion would be to rent a rototiller and til the yard (grass and all) several times then re plant with fresh seed. When you by new grass seed you want to buy the best for the region that you live in and take into consideration the shad different seeds grow best under certain conditions.
    You mentioned that the ground is as hard as a rock,this sounds like you are living on a clay based soil if this is so I would till the lawn to break up the clay,then remove about six to eight inches and replace with fresh top soil.(if it is real hard clay I would dig out 10-12 inches and lay down about 2-3inches of #2 stone then put the fresh soil in. This will help with the drainage. (make sure it slopes away from the house)) If you do replant with flowers use some sort of mulch and replace it every year,this will keep essential nutrients in the soil for your plants to thrive and grow healthy.

  17. rmbrruffian said:

    Raised bed would be good. That way you don’t have to mess with the ‘concrete’ under the grass.
    If you want to work the soil, you will need to rent a rototiller and buy lots of compost. You need to rototill the compost into the soil to loosen it up. It will take lots of compost to help the soil. Another thing that helps is Gypsum. It is sold in 40# bags. Gypsum helps break down clay soil.

  18. six cents said:

    If the grass is yellow and dead, I am assuming it has not had consistent watering. Which explains the rock hard soil.
    There are two ways in which to approach the old grass.
    To use chemicals or not to use chemicals.
    If you decide to Solarize (application of a tarp Black/Clear to heat and kill the lawn and weeds, this process will be longer.
    Using chemicals is faster, and there are some that do not stay in the soil or migrate to other areas. Check with the local garden store on which one will be best for your grass. Bring a piece of grass with you, so you will know if you are dealing with warm season grass or cool season grass. This is important because your grass could be dormant now and not actively growing. Grass and weeds must be Actively growing so they can uptake the chemicals. This will sound crazy, but you may have to start watering so the grass will grow. Follow the directions on the package, and it will also tell you when you can begin planting.
    You can then rent a sod cutter that will take a couple of inches off the top, mostly the dead grass. Do not as recommened take more than that and back fill with topsoil. Any labelled topsoil you buy is mostly semicomposted steer manure. Cheap Shi*. Then you can rent a rototiller to loosen the soil. Since you will have watered to make the grass grow, you shouldn’t need to water quite a lot. In fact ask the rental people how what they recommend for both pieces of equipment.Too soggy and you will compound the problem of compacted soil. And if the soil is really wet when you use the sod cutter, you will have a heavy mess to get rid of.

    Some answerers gave directions on how to plant new grass, but you state you will put in plants. If this is the case do not rototill in the grass, unless you want more grass.
    Raised beds are a good idea. If you plan to plant directly into the ground, organic compost is the best.




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