How do I kill existing turf to be replaced by drought tolerant plant materials?
There are a few ways:

  • Non-Chemical Option A: Physically pull, rake, roto-till, shovel etc. to remove roots stems and rhizomes. May take weeks or months. Water the area to germinate missed seeds, stems & roots to ensure full removal.

  • Non-Chemical Option B: Cover turf area with clear plastic and seal at edges. This will allow grass and weeds to grow, then die from heat and suffocation. After two weeks, remove plastic and allow area to breathe for approximately three weeks. Give the areas water to germinate any remaining plant life. Repeat plastic process for another two weeks.

  • Chemical: Herbicides with Glyphosphate as the active ingredient will kill turf grasses. Sometimes two to three applications of the herbicide are needed to insure that Bermuda grass and other emerging weed seeds are also killed. Water the dying turf grasses normally three days after first herbicide application and all other subsequent herbicide applications.

Show All Answers

1. Does CBWCD provide rebates for artificial turf or other turf removal?
2. Do you recommend putting in artificial turf to save water?
3. How do I get started trading my thirsty lawn for a more drought-tolerant landscape?
4. How do I kill existing turf to be replaced by drought tolerant plant materials?
5. Do I have to plant all California natives in order to save water?
6. Do California native plants require extensive soil amendments and fertilizers?
7. Are all California native plants drought tolerant?
8. What types of irrigation do drought tolerant landscapes require?
9. Can I water plants with water from the washer?