How to Remove Dead Grass From Lawn – 4 Methods to Try

There is nothing more frustrating than looking at your beautifully landscaped lawn only to notice patches of stubborn dead grass that just won’t grow back

You water it and fertilize it, but nothing seems to work. Before long, your once healthy lawn is now a dead lawn with lawn thatch and weed seed.

In terms of lawn care, dead grass can be a big problem and very troublesome to remove, depending on the cause. 

But there is hope! 

We have a few different options to suggest that might help solve your problem.

In this article, you will find:

  • Four methods to help remove dead grass
  • Natural remedies to try when treating dead grass
  • Great products to use to remove dead grass

4 Methods to Try When Removing Grass from Your Lawn

The four best methods for getting rid of brown grass from your lawn are by cutting it away with a shovel, weed whipping it down to the soil, mowing it down and out, or using a sod cutter. You can do this yourself or you can leave it to a lawn care service.

So, don’t get down when you notice patches of dead grass popping up on your once-healthy lawn. The best thing to do in these situations is to figure out the reason for the dead grass, remove it, then treat it.

In this article, we’ll touch on the other two topics but mainly focus on how to remove dead grass from your yard successfully.

1. Use a Shovel and Rake

removing dead grass patch

If your grass is dead due to soil issues or pests, remove the trouble spot with a shovel, cutting around the entire patch along with a little extra space on each side.

If your grass is dead because you sprayed it with a weed killer or any other form of weed control, give it about two weeks before removing it.

An important thing to keep in mind here is that when removing your grass this way, you have to make sure you are digging deep enough to remove the grass roots.

Even if you are using a grass killer, sometimes the roots are not affected, and the problem area may remain.

2. Use a Trimmer or Weed Eater

trimming dead grass

Next up, try using a weed whipper to remove dead grass. In this scenario, you want to whip the grass as low as possible before adding grass killer. This is going to help the liquid get to the roots faster and easier.

If you are struggling with critters such as grubs, doing this will also help you treat the area more efficiently with pest control products.

3. Mow Grass Down to Soil, Then Remove

Just like with the weed eater, you can use your lawnmower to get the job done. In the location of the dead grass, put your mower on its lowest setting and go over the spot multiple times, stripping the area of as much grass as possible.

Once you are finished mowing, use a metal rake to remove the rest of the thatch and soil, bag it up, and then mow again.

4.  Use a Sod Cutter

This is probably one of the easiest and quickest ways to deal with dead patches of grass if you are lucky enough to own or have access to one. A sod cutter mows your grass while also cutting away at the roots.

Using a sod cutter will be extremely helpful and can handle two jobs at once, saving you time and work.

Natural Ways to Remove Dead Grass

If you are attempting to remove grass from your lawn because of poor growth, or because it’s growing in places it shouldn’t, there are easy, natural ways to deal with this situation without having to use harmful chemicals.

Here are a few natural ways to kill and remove dead grass from your lawn successfully.


Vinegar is a great way to naturally and quickly kill unwanted grass patches. All you have to do is pour pure vinegar straight from the bottle onto the spots you want to get rid of on a day there is no rain in the forecast.

Vinegar is full of acid that is extremely useful in destroying grass and its roots. Sunlight will aid in the scorching process, speeding up the results.

Lemon Juice

Lemons and other citrus fruits such as oranges are high in acidic properties and can take care of your grass problems fairly quickly.

Pouring straight lemon juice on the trouble area daily is going to slowly kill the unwanted grass, mixing it with vinegar and speeding up the process.


Sprinkle some rock salt (or table salt) over the grass you are trying to get rid of, and you will be surprised how well and how fast the area is going to die.

This process works so well because the salt draws water from the grass and kills it through dehydration.

We like all of these options for easy and natural solutions to killing your grass. By applying the methods for getting rid of dead grass from your lawn, you will notice some amazing results.

Products For Removing Dead Grass

We gave you a ton of ways to remove dead grass once it is destroyed and natural remedies to help speed up the process of killing unwanted growth.

Here is a list of products you should take a look at when trying to remove dead grass.

  • Thatching Rake – A thatching rake is specifically designed to help break up and remove dead roots that have intertwined themselves with live ones.
  • Compost – Smother your grass with compost. Not only are you going to quickly and effectively kill the grass, but the compost is going to help pour nutrients back into the soil, so new growth will come in vibrant and full.
  • Plastic Sheeting – Not in a hurry? You can use plastic sheeting to kill trouble areas in your lawn. Black plastic sheeting works best because it will keep heat inside, speeding up the process and blocking out sunlight. This prevents photosynthesis from happening too soon.
  • Herbicides Herbicides, or weed killers, are extremely efficient at killing grass, and they make it simple to remove any dead organic matter. When using herbicides, it is vital you follow the instructions precisely and choose one that is specifically made for the job at hand.

What Are the Main Culprits for Dead Grass Spots in Your Lawn?

A lot of the time, homeowners purposely kill their unwanted grass, whether overgrowth has started moving into their gardens or the type of grass that is growing isn’t the best for the lawn.

However, there are other reasons for dead grass spots that should be considered:

  • Grubs
  • Underwatering
  • Mold, mildew, and fungus
  • Overwatering
  • Overfertilization
  • Underfertilization
  • Animal activity

No matter what is causing your lawn to look less than perfect, there is a way to solve the issue, and the first step is removing the dead grass.

Final Thoughts

Getting rid of dead grass doesn’t have to be a headache. We know time is precious, and no one wants to spend hours or days removing unwanted grass.

That is why we provided you with some of the best ways to treat and remove dead grass from your lawn quickly and effectively.

About Tim Stephens

I'm a professional gardener with degrees in Horticulture & Landscape Gardening. I want to help you create the garden of your dreams. I want your garden to look like it’s maintained by a professional. As if I was there doing it all for you!

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