How to Kill Grass Lawns Permanently and Start Over (or Not)

How to Kill Grass Permanently

Kill your lawn and start again or not?

How to Kill Grass Permanently and Start Over (or Not)

So you want to kill your lawn and start again? Or maybe you just want to permanently get rid of it and put down some fake grass. Whatever your reason for killing off your grass read on...

Need a strong weed killer?

What's the best weed killer for grass?

Best for killing grass to replace lawns: Triple Action | Buy now

Best for a small amount of grass: Doff | Buy now

Best for killing weeds in lawns: Shake no Rake | Buy now

My lawn is hopeless I want to start over

It's infested with weeds and moss

If your lawn is covered with weeds or moss, you might think that spot-spraying, pulling them by hand, or raking them up is a good idea. But at a certain point, it may be better to just cut your losses and start again.

A good rule of thumb is: If your lawn is 50 percent or more bare ground and weeds, it's best to kill off the entire lawn and replace it with a new one.

Killing your entire lawn will get rid of everything grassy, broadleaf weeds, off type lawn grasses, and the few strands of grass you have left. But after killing your entire lawn, what remains is a blank canvas ready for a new weed free lawn.

It's uneven and waterlogged and I want to resolve these issues

Removing all the grass allows you to smooth any unevenness, correct drainage issues, reduce soil compaction problems & improve the health of your soil by adding fresh organic matter.

Most importantly, by starting over you have a good chance to introduce new and better grass that require less water and fertiliser and chemicals. Mother Nature will thank you.

I want to put down artificial grass

Artificial grass has become very popular as of late. It's not hard to see why, it requires very little maintenance, looks great year round and once installed it can last for many years.

Of course if you want to replace your existing lawn with artificial grass you will have to kill off the live stuff first. This will make it easier to even the surface and install the artificial turf.

How to kill grass permanently

Using weed killer

By far the easiest way to get rid of grass is to use a herbicide.

Glyphosate is easily the most effective and cost efficient grass killer available for use in the UK.

How to apply weed killer on grass:

Dilute the weed killer in a garden sprayer according to the manufactures guidelines.

Spray the weed killer onto the grass & wait. If using Glyphosate it can take 2-3 weeks before your lawn dies. Glyphosate is recommended if you are going to replant a new lawn or use the area for planting other flowers / plants. After a few weeks you can safely replant in the treated area.

Don't apply herbicides when rain is expected or they may wash off plants and into the soil and nearby waterways. Also, avoid applying on windy days to prevent drift onto nearby plantings. Wear protective clothing, such as gloves, long sleeves, long pants, and a mask when applying herbicides.

Using natural methods

Dig it up

Even with power equipment and a lot of effort, digging up a lawn can be hard work. You risk exposing weed seeds that were deep in the soil, allowing them to germinate. There's also a risk that you'll remove too much valuable topsoil. If you're using any gas-powered equipment, such as a tiller, sod-cutter, or any other gas-fuelled equipment, you'll need fuel and possibly a rental cost into the total cost of your project.

Vinegar + dish soap

Vinegar contains acetic acid, simply mix some in a sprayer along with dish soap and spray it all over your lawn. Fair warning this method will prevent you from replanting in the same area as the acid in the vinegar will ruin your soil not only that but it may not fully kill the grass, it may need multiple applications.


Bleach works well

Bleach is a brilliant spot cleaner but it also effectively & quickly kills plants. Sadly if your plan is to create a new lawn then this option is out, it will leave harmful residues in your soil preventing replanting in the area.

Please check with your local authority as it may be against the law and could harm the environment if used in this way.


Bleach wasn't designed to be a weed killer if you want to kill your grass and have no intention of planting anything there you should look into a long lasting herbicide.

Block & cover it

Smothering your lawn kills it and allows it to compost in place, adding valuable organic matter back to the soil. Start by mowing the grass closely. Cover the lawn with weed fabric or lots of layers of cardboard.

Overlap the layers well so light doesn't get through to the lawn. Wet the layers and cover them with at least 4 inches of grass clippings, compost or other organic mulch.

In addition to adding organic matter to the process, this material will retain moisture and hold down the layers. The newspaper, cardboard and organic material won't increase heat in the soil like plastic sheeting would but will block out light and stop photosynthesis, killing the grass in about two months.

Why you should just use weed killer

Whether your replacing your lawn with artificial grass, trying to start over or maybe doing something else entirely the best and most effective way to kill grass permanently is to use a Glyphosate based weed killer.

If your starting again be sure to check out the fastest growing grass seeds, this will allow you to create a whole new lawn FAST!


About the Author

Hey there, I am founder and editor in chief here at Good Grow. I guess I've always known I was going to be a gardener. I'm on a mission to share my UK based weed control & lawn care tips with you all. If you have any queries please post in the comments below.

  • George says:

    I used agricultural vinegar and it did kill off the dandelions but after six weeks or so the dandelions were back and before that I have used every thing that claims to kill them and NONE of them work is there ANYTHING ON THE MARKET THAT DOES KILL DANDELIONS BECAUSE I THINK I HAVE WASTED A-LOT OF MONEY ON THESE WEEDS CAN ANYONE TELL ME HONESTLY WHAT WILL KILL THEM PERMINENLY.

  • JOHN PLUMB says:

    A landscaper said he would kill grass first and leave it for a week before levelling the lawn and returfing.
    What sprays would do this .?

  • Derek Choules says:

    Intend to replace,moss and weed infested grass which also contains dandelion with decorative stone chippings
    Need to kill all this vegetation ideally without digging.
    Can you advise best product to use,sad to say just can’t cut it anymore.

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