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How to Remove Lawn with Herbicide

Some Do-It-Yourself Landscapers will want information on how to best kill water inefficient lawn with herbicide and plant water efficient native plants. So…

Decide what part of your lawn to convert to waterwise native plants.  Grass should have 4-6 inches of leaves and be actively growing (not heat or drought stressed). Spring and fall are the best times. The soil should be moist for active growth and for the transplanting that you will be doing in 2-3 weeks.
Apply glyphosate herbicide at 3 or 4 oz of concentrated glyphosate (40% active ingredient) per gallon of water. This will work fine for Kentucky Bluegrass, perennial ryegrass, tall fescue and fine fescues.
You can use a larger boom if you have one.
A single nozzle boom also works fine. Be careful which direction the breeze may be blowing and be sure you do not drift any mist on any plants you want to keep. With these concentrations even the lightest mist will kill or make sick certain plants.
Wait 1-2 weeks for browning of turf and reapply to any skipped areas. Wait another 2-3 weeks to make sure all the lawn is dying. Then you are ready to proceed with your naturescaping.
Glyphosate leaves no harmful residues. Native plants are not hurt by residues left by glyphosate herbicide. See our FAQ Is Glyphosate herbicide safe for the environment?
Once the turf shows even browning after 14-30 days you can know the grass plants are dying and will be dead and you can proceed with your native plant landscaping.

To Kill Bermudagrass

As you have probably found out, Bermudagrass is very tough and hard to kill. It has an extensive root system that usually doesn’t get killed with just one herbicide application. The very best time to kill Bermudagrass is in late summer (August 1).

  1. Make sure the lawn is actively growing and has had plenty of water so that it is not semi-dormant. You cannot kill Bermudagrass after it begins to go dormant in the fall.
  2. Spray 5 oz of concentrated glyphosate per one gallon of water. Make sure you cover the area consistently.
  3. Wait 2-4 weeks and repeat the application if you have any skips. This may give you up to 95% kill on Bermudagrass. Likely you will have some sprouts coming back the next summer, so spot spray those sprouts with the same concentration.

Ask at your local hardware or farm supply store which glyphosate product to buy; some of the names are Touchdown®, Roundup®, Glystar, Buccaneer, and others.


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