Lawns can be killed using large sheets of clear plastic. This method works best in areas with full sun for most of the day and should be done during the warm months of the year.
  1. Solarization Steps
  2. Get Your Materials
  3. Additional Resources
Solarization Steps
  1. Cut the grass as short as possible and water well.
  2. Lay soda cans or other objects on the lawn so that the plastic will be held 2-4 inches off the lawn.
  3. Using clear plastic with a thickness of 1-4 millimeters, cover all of the lawn to be removed.
  4. Using soil, cover the edges of the plastic. If you must use 2 or more pieces of clear plastic make, sure to overlap them by 6 inches and tape the length of the sheets on both edges with clear wrapping tape. Make sure that all edges and seams are completely sealed. The plastic sheets trap the sun's radiant energy. If all seams and edges are sealed properly the plastic should balloon up during the day. When properly done, the top 3-4 inches of the soil may heat up as high as 140° Fahrenheit.
  5. Leave in place for 4 to 8 weeks, depending on how hot the weather is, until the grass is dead. The high temperature may also kill some insects, plant diseases, nematodes, and soil pathogens in the top layer of soil.
  6. Remove the plastic, add compost and/or mulch, and leave the dead grass to compost in place.