How To Get Rid of Grass in Vegetable Garden

how to get rid of grass in vegetable garden

Gardening is an excellent way to utilize leisure time. It has a unique impact on our mind and body. A gardener or garden owner’s heart leaps up with joy to see flowers bloomed, fruits, and vegetables filled garden.

But things become frustrating when little green hostiles peek and spread throughout the garden. These hostiles are none but the grass in the yard where you wish to plant veggies. They restrict the growth of other plants and become rivals in farming vegetables. Here you will learn something new and exciting methods. You will learn how to get rid of grass in the vegetable garden.

Methods of Killing Grass in Vegetable Garden

While you are spending time in increasing the growth of veggies, grass and weeds would do the opposite. Grass having a hollow, segmented stems grows faster. Even if you cut them, they will re-appear within days. So, planting vegetables in the garden becomes stressful. If you are planning to make a new garden from barren land, you should remove grass first. These are some helpful, proven tricks to get rid of the grass.

Method One – Digging

Digging the soil of the vegetable garden is the fastest way to remove grass, including the harmful insects. It provides clean and immediate results, especially if it’s for a new garden.

How to do:
You can get different soil digging tools such as spade, fork, etc. But direct use of these tools for sod removal may need a lot of time. You may get tired soon or get sore muscles. You should do the task in other ways.

Spray water in the area a few days before start digging the soils. It will make the ground soft and lose, which is easy to dig. But you should be careful that soil is moisturized but not soggy. Saturated soil is harder to dig as it is more substantial. Besides, this soil can restrict the natural growth of vegetables.

Now, take an edger or sharp spade to cut the sod into one or two feet wide parallel strips. This size depends on the density of turfgrass and the thickness of strips. Then, pry up a sod piece from one end and use the space to slide under it. Don’t forget to cut the taproots and other grass fibrous roots. For loose soil under the sod, use a fork. Then, roll the strips up and keep peeling from their back.

For better installation of bed and sod removal, you can use sod cutter made of a steel blade. After clearing the side, check if there is any pest or larvae available or not. Remove them too.

Sod removal through digging is an excellent method. But it has a negative side too. During sod removal, organic materials are also moved. These natural materials are suitable for growing healthy plants. However, you can use them as preparing compost.

Method Two – Tilling

Lawn gardening tools are useful for planting vegetables. A rototiller is such a kind of stuff that can clean all the old weeds and grass. The Tilling method helps to retain the original organic matter. You can fertilize the soils besides tilling the beds.

How to do:
Firstly, you should clean up the yard before tilling. Remove all the sticks, rocks, particles, and other garbage from the garden. You can rake the area to do so. After that, you can think about the old sods. Take a sod cutter to eliminate grass from their roots.

Now, you should wet the soil with water. Let the water soak two inches deep (at least). But you have to be careful that you are not making muds. You can start tilling if the damp soil if it isn’t holding in a clump. Let’s catch up on the rototiller and finalize the task.

You should set the depth bar between 4-6 inches on the rototiller. Keep the cover down if the device has any door or guard. Then use mulched compost or fertilizer on the soil. Then rake the whole area and level the top of the ground.

Assume that you are mowing the garden. So, look for any existing grass in the yard. You shouldn’t leave gaps between the rows.

For a better result, you can till the soil again from another direction. Like you have done tilling from North to South. Now, till from the East to West direction. Always rake the ground to level the surface. Now, it’s good to go for planting vegetables.

Tilling a garden offers immediate plantation of vegetables. However, it becomes hard when the soil is rocky and drier.

Method Three – Smothering

Smother or solarizing the grass is the stress-free. You would hardly find such easy of getting rid of weeds and grass. Layers of newspaper, plastic, cardboard, etc. are the things you will need to complete this task. This process stops the grass’s photosynthesis.

How to do:
Bring a thin plastic paper according to the size of the vegetable lawn. You can choose polythene paper available on the market. But you should make sure no air or sunlight can’t pass through the paper.

Spread the plastic over the lawn garden where the grass is creating issues. Be careful about covering each edge. Leaving any grass open or uncovered can make a smothering failure. So, cover the place adequately so that sunlight or air can’t go through the layer.

What happens in this way is grass can’t grow anymore as there is no sunlight. As you cover each edge, the internal temperature beneath the plastic paper will go higher rapidly. So, the grass gets dried from their stems and die. Plastic cover works greater than newspaper or cardboard. But it’s not biodegradable. It kills organic materials of soil too.

Choose old papers, newspapers, cardboard as an alternative to plastic. After spreading these on the garden, cover them with leaf mold, mulch, grass clippings, etc. This will kill the grass but protect the organic materials. Experts suggest using newspapers having printed with only black and white inks. Other colors may contain heavy metals.

Smothering is good until you want to plant immediately. If you wish to do faster, choose the newspaper or cardboard. Plastic smothering will delay planting up to several months.

Method Four – Herbicides

Herbicides are the last solution if all these above aren’t fruitful or possible to do. These are grass killing medicines that many users rely. Some chemical-based herbicides may have adverse effects in some cases. It will remove grass, including other plants. So, choose the correct herbicide and apply it on the lawn.

How to do:
Usually, each herbicide comes with directions on its label or package. You should read the way how to apply herbicides on the grass. When you are buying an herbicide, check its formula. Check whether it is designed for killing only grass or not.

Don’t use herbicides if there is any chance of rain. Rain can wash away the medicine and spread to somewhere else. Select a dry and windy day before applying them. Then use protective gear like hand gloves, long sleeves and pants, mask, etc.

You may need more than one application. It depends on the condition of the turfgrass. After the application, you will need to wait for a few days. There won’t be any presence of grass anymore for 6-12 months.

There are alternatives to chemical-based industrial products. You can make natural herbicide at your home: mix vinegar, bleach, baking soda, and salt in water. In general, vinegar and baking soda don’t require to be diluted. But bleach and salt mix ratio would be one-to-two with water. Then spray the solution using sprayer over the yard for gardening.


Grass removal or killing grass is an essential task in lawn or yard gardening. The above methods are effective in getting rid of grass from the garden. You can follow any of them. Before following any of these ways, ensure your protection first. The result will be visible within weeks and last up to a year.

Indeed, you have learned from this content “how to get rid of grass in the vegetable garden”.

Leave a Comment