• Kelly Grummons

How Do I Safely Kill Grass to Put in a Xeriscape?

Q: I live in Larkspur, altitude 6782. Spring and fall 2020 planted grass seed, rototilled, new soil, the works. Then drought worsened and water bill increased exponentially. Didn't sprinkle all year, but rain kept some alive. I would like to replace it with ornamental grasses, perennials - make it a rock garden, I guess xeriscape. How do I kill the grass, so I don't harm the soil in order to grow other plants? I've read everything from covering with plastic, chemical, vinegar, etc. - details please and thank you!


A: I would water the site to stimulate growth. It may not be as dead as you think. Once it has greened up, cover it with black plastic and leave it on until next May. Uncover it, water it, and evaluate the situation for a couple of weeks. If no growth resumes then you are good to re-landscape the area. If the turf does resume, recover it for a couple of months, then reevaluate.


Kelly Grummons owns the mail order businesses COLDHARDYCACTUS.com and DOGTUFFGRASS.com