killing the grass for replanting

leripatFebruary 25, 2007

Hi all -

I'm trying to kill off large parts of my backyard lawn to replant with low-water-use shrubs. What's the best/easiest way to do this? I've used Roundup, and that has worked ... sort of. Is it safe to dig the remaining dead grass into the soil and then plant? And why in the world do sod growers use that blasted indestructible, non-biodegradable, infuriating green netting? Do they think no one is ever going to want to dig up the sod someday? (Can you tell I've been dealing with it today?)

Thanks in advance ...

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I too am looking to do this in my backyard. We moved into the new house last fall and the home builder installed the sod that is now well established. Unfortunately our ground is clay and insanely heavy so if you just go and dig the stuff out it's really unpleasant. I was thinking of placing plastic sheets on it and weighing them down and waiting for it to die. I have dogs that run out back so I don't really want to poison it. I am worried though that this bermuda is more resilient than I think and that the plastic sheeting won't do anything to it. Any ideas?

    Bookmark   March 11, 2007 at 5:51PM
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I'm in costal So Cal and have been asking similar questions.

Below is a paraphrasing of the responses to my questions and other bits I've found on the forums (none of it is my direct experience... yet!)

The black sheets will work, but it takes about a year. And it seems that the whole area needs to be covered, not just a portion (another person was asking about raised beds, and was told that wouldn't work).

Round up works as long as the grass is growing, and needs to be used several times. Since you want the grass growing, it's important to keep watering and then use round up several times.

I am very interested in how successful you are in killing it and then planting shrubs and the like.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2007 at 12:13AM
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I found this on the website. Hopefully it will help, but you'll have to wait until the bermuda starts growing, which it probably is by now.

If your area to plant has any existing grass or weeds, these must be eradicated prior to planting. Many grasses may be removed with a single dose of glyphosate (Roundup) or 20% vinegar. For the quick and complete removal of Bermuda or other hard-to-kill grasses, weÂve only found one consistently reliable method: Let the Bermuda grow up to a height of 3" and treat with glyphosate, then wait 4 days and mow the grass very short and immediately treat again with glyphosate. This will kill Bermuda all the way down through the roots and rhizomes so it does not come back later. Wait about a week before tilling the area and installing plugs. After establishment, any invading Bermuda may be killed with Fusilade, which will only brown the Tech Turf without killing it.

Hope this help.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2007 at 4:53PM
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To Cavemanrod
How does vinegar work? What does it kill,and does it leave any residual that will interfere with replanting?

    Bookmark   April 18, 2007 at 4:56PM
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I tried the laying down newspaper and piling dirt and mulch for a raised flower bed (the lasagna method?) and it worked great!

    Bookmark   April 27, 2007 at 6:49PM
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I xeroscaped my back yard with one good coat of round up (I did mix it double strength). Waited for it to turn brown and topped it with mulch. It's never come back. I use fresh dirt to plant my new gardens in, each plant gets new dirt. I do have to spray on occassion because of weeds popping through.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2007 at 2:30PM
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jrod(z7 NM)

Like the others have said, it's hard to beat Roundup. I install landscapes for a living, so i've done this many times. I have seen some other landscapes that have not been sprayed(just hand weeded) and they always seem to have problems with weeds.

I personally use Roundup QuikPro. It contains Glyphosate(systemic), Diquat(kills plants at foliage), and it also has a surfactant.

If you do have Bermuda grass, make sure you have completely killed it before you plant in the area. You will regret it in the future because Bermuda sure is a pain in planting beds.

    Bookmark   May 22, 2007 at 12:26AM
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