Zilker Neighborhood Gardens

Commentary by a National Wildlife Steward who helps Zilker neighbors establish native plant gardens

Photos: Killing Grass with the Newspaper Method

As a followup to my post about how to kill grass, I wanted to show some pictures of the process. I have done this twice – first in Minnesota where I lived for 7 years (and which are reflected in the pictures below) and second, here in Austin just in December, 2010. I used this method to setup some planting beds in my backyard. I have planted a few things there but have not yet finished.

Step 1: Identify the area where you want to make your planting bed. I chose this area where I had already planted a flowering crabapple tree. You can design your bed using a garden hose to see it before you destroy it!

Pictures of grass area that will be killed

Step 2: Layout your newspapers in 10 sheet thickness, spray with water and put 6-8″ of mulch on top. See the black hose in picture below to see how I outlined my bed before laying out newspaper.

Picture of newspaper and mulch on top of grass

Step 3: Wait for 1-2 months for the grass to die.

Picture of planting bed with mulch
Step 4: Plant your plants. Just dig a hole through the newspaper, remove any grass if it still exists, and plant your plant. You may have to remove some of your mulch because it is so deep.

Planting plants in bedAll done!

Bed planted with plants

Step 5: Let it grow. Here’s what my garden looks like about 5 years after I planted it. I have since moved, but I was back in Mpls and took a picture of my beloved garden last May, 2010.

Picture of garden after 5 years

Gardens with native plants absorb much more water run-off than the grass they replace. This is good because it reduces storm run-off. Plus, I think this garden looks a million times more interesting than the former grass that was there.


2 responses to “Photos: Killing Grass with the Newspaper Method

  1. Pingback: Update on Killing Grass with Newspaper « Zilker Gardens

  2. Pingback: Soil Solarization – Killing More Grass (without chemicals) « Zilker Neighborhood Gardens

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