How to Dig up a Lawn Quickly- 5 Effective Methods

From a heartfelt viewpoint to all readers, Lawn care is complex, especially growing green, weed-free grass can be challenging at times. Furthermore, regularly watering a thirsty lawn can be stressful, increasing your water bills.

These are some reasons you might wish to replace your grass with something more manageable, such as a hardscape element.

Digging up a lawn sounds like a drastic option, but it is the best approach if you want to avoid those nasty chemicals. This method does not negatively impact your lawn; when done correctly, you don’t have to take long days under the scorching sun digging out your lawn.

So here is how to dig up a lawn quickly to allow you to get more creative with your front yard.

How to dig up a lawn quickly

1. Digging using a shovel

Using a shovel to dig out a lawn is more labor intensive, but it is the cheapest way to go if you are not afraid of breaking a sweat. This method can be made less daunting by mowing and watering the grass before you start the digging.

Digging out tall grass will require you to work out a muscle, so mow your lawn on the lowest mower setting to scalp it, making your work easier.

Also, making your soil moist a few days before you start digging it out will make the digging faster. Ensure the soil is moist, not soggy. Soggy soil will make your digging messier.

Use an edger or a shape spade to cut the lawn into parallel strips running 2 inches deep and about 5 inches wide, depending on the thickness of the tuft.

Next, pry up the pieces of turf by sliding the shovel underneath them, cutting the grass at the root level. Lift out the pieces, ensuring it has fibrous roots; otherwise, the grass will sprout again.

When there is a lot of loose soil underneath, you should use a fork so that this soil can be shaken back when lifting the sod.

Using a shovel to remove the grass is suitable for a modest lawn. The downside of this method is that it’s a lot messier, leaving you with a back sore and creating an uneven surface on your lawn filled with divots from your shovel.

But on the brighter side, it’s a cheap way to remove your lawn quickly. Also, you will have to monitor the lawn and dig up any weeds that have reappeared.

2. Using a sod cutter

Due to the tidy and speedy work they conduct at lawn removal, sod cutters have ceased to be a tool shed for lawncare professionals and have become a beloved tool for homeowners.

So, instead of digging up your grass with a shovel or hiring someone to do it, a sod cutter is one way to save money and get the work done quickly.

The sod cutter has rollers that allow it to be moved quickly, and beneath the machine are blades that remove the grass at the root level, allowing you to expose large areas of your sod in a short period.

There are two types of sod cutters available on the market: manual sod cutters and gas-powered sod cutters. The decision is yours, but the gas-powered sod cutter will make your job easier.

3. Using a rototiller

A rototiller is a tool to dig up lawns quickly.

The rototiller turns over the soil creating fresh bare soil for you to set up your garden or lawn. By churning the top soil six inches deep, the rototiller kills off the old grass clearing your old lawn.

See also: How to get rid of grass clumps after mowing

A rototiller is a tool to dig up lawns quickly.

Clear any debris from your lawn before beginning work with the rototiller. Water the grass sparingly since you don’t want dust clouds or dirt caught on the tiller from a soggy lawn, and then make sure the tiller has the blades at the proper depth.

It will only take a day for ‘this high-speed blender” to clear your lawn if you push the rototiller over it evenly and with a steady hold on the handlebars. Handling the lawn in rows is important to guarantee that not a single inch is overlooked.

This tool helps dig up lawns but is also dangerous, so safety precautions should be considered while using the machine.

See also: what to do with leftover turf

4. Using a skid steer

A skid steer is a convenient vehicle for landscaping. Skid steers are ideal for large lawns. The skid steer is simple to operate; the only disadvantage is that this way of digging up lawns is costly.

How to dig up a lawn quickly

Furthermore, the truck loan company will require you to have a commercial driver’s license to loan you this machine; nevertheless, if you are not comfortable operating the skid steer, you can hire an expert.

The machines shave and scoop the undesired grass from the area.

See also: How to ask neighbors to mow their lawn

5. The chemical method

Herbicides are used to dig up the lawn in this manner. It’s quick and cheap, but it should only be used as a last resort because chemicals are dangerous to your family and the environment and the chemicals can lead to stunted growth.

Additionally, it will be effective if you combine it with other methods.

Herbicides such as glyphosate round-up burn are efficient herbicides for removing lawns because they burn all root systems, allowing the grass to come out quickly.

Within 24 hours, the grass dies and withers; the next day, arm yourself with a shovel and rejuvenate that lawn.

See also: Can you apply fungicide to wet grass

Lawn removal takes a lot of resources and time, but with all of the strategies we’ve described, it should be a quick and simple task, allowing you to use that space for any other landscape element you like.

With the appropriate attitude, the job will be a snap.

The choice is yours, whether to use a sod cutter, shovel, herbicides, skid steer, or rototiller. Clear that space and install that swimming pole you’ve always wanted. Happy gardening!


Fine Gardening: 4 Ways to Remove Sod

University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources: Kill the existing turf and weeds


  • Jannete

    My name is Jannete, and I'm passionate about all things related to gardening and the outdoors. I love spending time in my garden, tending to my flowers and vegetables, and I also enjoy spending time in the great outdoors, hiking and camping. As an author who writes about lawn care, landscaping, gardening, and the outdoors, I have been in the business for over five years and have seen it all regarding yards. I met Ricky from We Mow Dallas at a networking event for small business owners. We started a conversation, and I could tell he genuinely loved and appreciated his work. Ricky is a second-generation lawn care provider and told me his story. We collaborated because we share a passion for the outdoors and lawn care. In my articles, I share my knowledge and experience on lawn mowing, watering, fertilizing, and other aspects of lawn care. I also write about gardening tips, landscaping ideas, and ways to enjoy the outdoors. I hope every reader will learn from my success and failures in the lawn care and landscaping industry. I believe that everyone has the potential to create a beautiful outdoor space, and I am passionate about helping people to realise that potential. Whether you are looking to start your garden or want to maintain a healthy lawn, I can offer you advice and guidance based on my extensive experience. So if you are ever in need of some expert lawn care advice, check out our We Mow Dallas Articles. You won't be disappointed.

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