Effective Ways To Eliminate St. Augustine Grass

Looking for a solution on how to tackle that unruly St. Augustine grass? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Killing St. Augustine grass can be a tricky task, but fear not, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we will guide you through effective methods to bid farewell to this resilient grass once and for all. From identifying the best approach to implementing practical steps, we will equip you with the tools you need to reclaim your lawn. So, let’s delve into the world of St. Augustine grass eradication and achieve that lush, desirable landscape you’ve been dreaming of.

Effective Ways to Eliminate St. Augustine Grass

How to Kill St. Augustine Grass: A Comprehensive Guide


If you are dealing with an overgrown or unwanted St. Augustine grass in your lawn, you may be wondering how to tackle the issue effectively. While St. Augustine grass is a popular choice for lawns due to its ability to thrive in warm climates, it can also become invasive and take over other desired plants. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore various methods to kill St. Augustine grass and regain control of your lawn. Whether you prefer organic solutions or chemical treatments, we have you covered. Let’s dive in!

Understanding St. Augustine Grass

Before we delve into the methods of eradicating St. Augustine grass, let’s first understand its characteristics. This warm-season grass is known for its dense growth, rich green color, and ability to withstand heavy foot traffic. However, these same attributes make it a challenging plant to eliminate once it becomes invasive. St. Augustine grass spreads through above-ground stolons and below-ground rhizomes, which helps it quickly establish a firm grip on your lawn.

1. Manual Removal

If you prefer a hands-on approach to weed removal or have a small area with St. Augustine grass, manual removal can be an effective method. Here’s how you can go about it:

  • Use a sharp spade or shovel to cut through the roots of the grass, creating small sections.
  • With your hands or a garden fork, carefully lift the sections of St. Augustine grass and remove them from the soil.
  • Ensure you remove as much of the root system as possible to prevent regrowth.
  • Dispose of the grass clumps in yard waste bags or a compost pile, depending on your local regulations.

2. Smothering

Another effective method to kill St. Augustine grass is smothering it with an impermeable layer. By depriving the grass of sunlight and oxygen, you can effectively eliminate it. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Mow the St. Augustine grass as short as possible, removing as many leaves as you can.
  • Layer thick black plastic or cardboard over the grass, ensuring complete coverage and overlapping the edges.
  • Weigh down the edges of the covering with stones or bricks to prevent it from shifting.
  • Leave the covering in place for several months to smother the grass effectively.
  • After the waiting period, remove the covering and dispose of the dead grass.

3. Solarization

Solarization is an organic method that uses the sun’s heat to kill unwanted grass. Here’s how you can use this technique to eradicate St. Augustine grass:

  • Mow the grass as short as possible to prepare it for solarization.
  • Water the area thoroughly to ensure the soil is moist.
  • Clear away any rocks or debris from the area.
  • Place a clear plastic sheet over the grass and secure the edges with soil or rocks.
  • Leave the plastic sheet in place for at least six weeks during the hottest months.
  • The trapped heat will kill the grass and its roots.
  • After the waiting period, remove the plastic and dispose of the dead grass.

4. Herbicidal Control

When manual removal or organic methods are not sufficient, herbicides can be an effective tool to kill St. Augustine grass. However, it is essential to choose the right herbicide and apply it correctly to avoid damaging desired plants or the environment. Here are a few options to consider:

  • Selective herbicides: These are designed to target specific grass types while sparing desirable plants. Look for a herbicide formulated to kill St. Augustine grass in particular.
  • Non-selective herbicides: These herbicides kill any vegetation they come into contact with. They are useful when the entire area needs treatment, such as a complete lawn renovation.
  • Pre-emergent herbicides: These herbicides prevent the growth of St. Augustine grass by inhibiting seed germination. They are applied before the grass starts actively growing.

5. Replanting

In some cases, completely removing and replanting the affected area is the most efficient and practical solution. Follow these steps to ensure successful replanting:

  • Remove the St. Augustine grass and its roots manually or using herbicidal control.
  • Prepare the soil by loosening it and removing any rocks, debris, or remnants of the old grass.
  • Amend the soil with organic matter to improve its fertility and drainage.
  • Choose a new grass variety or alternative groundcover suitable for your region.
  • Follow the recommended planting guidelines for the chosen grass or groundcover.
  • Provide sufficient water and care during the establishment period.


Dealing with an invasive St. Augustine grass can be challenging, but with the right methods, you can successfully eradicate it from your lawn. Whether you opt for manual removal, smothering, solarization, herbicides, or replanting, follow the appropriate steps carefully to achieve the desired results. Remember to consider the size of the affected area, environmental impact, and your personal preferences when choosing a method. With patience and persistence, you can reclaim your lawn and create a thriving outdoor space you can enjoy.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I kill St. Augustine grass effectively?

There are several methods you can use to get rid of St. Augustine grass. Here are some effective approaches:

1. What are the steps to manually remove St. Augustine grass?

To manually remove St. Augustine grass, follow these steps:

1. Dig up the grass using a garden shovel or a spade, ensuring you remove the entire root system.

2. Dispose of the grass and roots to prevent regrowth.

3. Fill the remaining bare area with new soil and plant the desired vegetation or cover it with mulch.

2. Can I use herbicides to eliminate St. Augustine grass?

Yes, herbicides can effectively kill St. Augustine grass. Selectively target the grass by using a non-selective herbicide, such as glyphosate. Follow the instructions on the herbicide label for proper application and safety precautions. Be careful not to spray the herbicide on desirable plants, as it may also harm them.

3. Is solarization an effective method for eradicating St. Augustine grass?

Yes, solarization can be an effective method to kill St. Augustine grass. Here’s how to do it:

1. Remove any debris, rocks, or large clumps from the area to be treated.

2. Water the grass thoroughly to ensure it is moist.

3. Cover the grass with a clear plastic tarp, securing the edges with rocks or soil to create a seal.

4. Leave the plastic tarp in place for at least six weeks during the hottest part of the summer.

5. The heat generated under the tarp will kill the grass and its root system.

4. Can I smother St. Augustine grass to kill it?

Yes, smothering St. Augustine grass can effectively eliminate it. Follow these steps:

1. Mow the grass as short as possible.

2. Cover the area with several layers of thick cardboard or newspaper, ensuring complete coverage.

3. Wet the cardboard or newspaper thoroughly to keep it in place.

4. Top the cardboard or newspaper with a layer of mulch or similar organic material.

5. Leave the covering in place for several months to effectively smother the grass and prevent sunlight penetration.

5. Are there any cultural practices that can help control St. Augustine grass?

Yes, implementing proper cultural practices can aid in controlling St. Augustine grass. Consider the following:

1. Regularly mow the grass at its highest recommended height to weaken its growth.

2. Avoid overwatering the turf, as St. Augustine grass thrives in moist conditions.

3. Reduce fertilization, as excessive nutrients can promote vigorous growth of St. Augustine grass.

4. Improve air circulation and sunlight exposure to discourage the growth of this grass species.

Final Thoughts

To effectively kill St. Augustine grass, follow these steps: First, remove any weeds or debris from the area to be treated. Next, apply a selective herbicide specifically designed to target St. Augustine grass. Follow the instructions carefully, applying the herbicide evenly across the affected area. After application, water the area lightly to help the herbicide penetrate the soil. Repeat this process if necessary, ensuring all traces of St. Augustine grass are eradicated. Remember, proper maintenance and regular monitoring are crucial in preventing its reestablishment. Killing St. Augustine grass can be achieved by following these steps and employing proper care and attention.

Read also  How To Combat St. Augustine Grass Gray Leaf Spot