August 15, 2017

It’s summertime! Your grass is finally greening up and is even filling in nicely where you had brown spots. The conditions are perfect … perfect for killing your lawn, that is.

Keeping a green, attractive lawn isn’t a simple task in the low desert. Grass doesn’t just grow where there is bare ground. You have to water it, feed it, aerate it. And then there’s the mowing, blowing, edging and dethatching to do. If you’re tired of all that time and effort, and if you’ve entertained the idea of converting your grassy outdoors to a colorful Xeriscape, the best time is right now!


A Xeriscape uses half as much water as grass.
A Xeriscape uses half as much water as grass.

Why is summer the best time to remove your grass?

Here’s the science behind it. The most effective weed killers (herbicides) for removing bermudagrass contain the active ingredient, glyphosate. This “systemic” herbicide is absorbed through the leaves and travels to the roots to kill all parts of the plant. This chemical is sold under many different brand name products such as KillzallTM, KleenupTM, TouchdownTM or RoundupTM.

June through September is the best time to treat your lawn with glyphosate because it is absorbed most efficiently when the grass is actively growing. Even better, right around June 21 (the summer solstice), our days start to get shorter in duration each day. This triggers a response in many plants to start storing food Grass Removal Brochureinto their roots. Bingo! That’s more chemical to the roots where it will have a greater impact. And, THAT’S why any time after the end of June (and before nighttime temps start to cool in October) is perfect for killing your lawn.

Don’t forget, when using any herbicide product, be sure to read and follow label instructions. Glyphosate is a contact, broad-spectrum herbicide that can kill any plant if the chemical comes in contact with the green, leafy parts.

Find our grass removal instructions

Dive into our Water – Use It Wisely resource page for lots of links and documents to help you with every step of lawn removal. There you’ll find “Good Reasons to Take Out Your Grass,” a Xeriscape design guide, and more! You should also contact your water provider and see if assistance or rebates are offered.

Donna DiFrancesco is a conservation coordinator with the city of Mesa, AZ, one of 19 Water – Use It Wisely partners to offer water-saving advice and programs