How to remove dead grass after Roundup? You will still need to pull out the dead blades from the soil manually even though Roundup is one of the most potent glyphosate-containing herbicides out there, and it will kill all your grass.

Remove Dead Grass

This article discusses several useful ways to conduct an effective roundup product cleanup operation.

How To Remove Dead Grass After Roundup

You can remove dead weeds and grass two weeks after using Roundup using either a rototiller, rake, shovel or weed whacker. Each method has its benefits and disadvantages, so you can choose the one that suits you the best.

1. Prepare Yourself

Prepare yourself well before removing grass and roundup weed after a round of glyphosate herbicide. First of all, decide on a method that suits you and your grass well and get all the things ready. Clean up any tool or instrument that you will be using beforehand.

Prepare Yourself

Keep a close eye on the weather forecast and choose a day that is neither too sunny nor too windy. A rainy day is, of course, totally out of the question. Before working outside, ensure you have full-sleeved clothes and a hat on. Wear sunscreen because this job will take a couple of hours at the very least.

Wear your toughest rubber gloves and boots because you will work with sharp tools. It also helps to keep a first aid toolkit ready and close in case of any unwanted emergency. 

2. Wait At Least Two Weeks

Round-up is one of the most effective methods of killing all weeds and grass from a lawn or turf. It is a post-emergent herbicide recommended when weeds or invasive grass begin to get out of control.

Round up is a non-selective weed killer and will kill all kinds of weeds from your lawn. However, it takes at least two full weeks to absorb the soil and grassroots thoroughly. This continued action for weeks after application contributes to its higher efficacy.

Removing dead grass before two weeks may lead to a disruption of the round-up killing action. Give the herbicide a solid two weeks until all grass and weed turn yellow or brown. Then you can use any method described below to remove and discard the dead grass.

3. Different Methods

  • Go for a sod cutter

A sod cutting machine should be your go-to choice when you have a large area to remove dead grass. It is motorized lawn equipment that removes grass blades along with the top two to three inches of soil in a short time. 

Use a Sod Cutter

The topsoil is where the grassroots are clustered most thickly. Hence, you get to remove a significant portion of the grass along with most of the roots making the soil ready for installation of new sod or sowing of fresh grass. 

We don’t recommend you go and purchase a sod-cutting machine just for one-time use on dead grass. Instead, ask if someone might be willing to lend it to you.

We are sure the people at your local hardware or gardening store will be happy to let you have it for a couple of bucks for a day’s use. You can set the cutting height of most modern cutters to ensure deeper roots are also uprooted. 

Although this cutter resembles a lawn mower, it is a bit more difficult to move and maneuver, especially for first-time users. You will need a helping hand with it so that you can finish your job in time. After this cutter removes the grass and the topsoil, you must roll it up and pack it yourself by hand.  

  • Use a string type trimmer

A string trimmer or a weed whacker is a piece of cool gardening equipment you can use to trim grass at its very base. It works by using a piece of nylon string vibrating very rapidly to cut grass, especially at the corners.

We have found weed whackers very effective in areas such as driveways or sidewalks. Often we see grass growing in between the cracks of the road and pavements too. Naturally, you cannot use a sod cutter in these areas nor dig or dethatch the dead grass there.

You might think that a trimmer only cuts grass at the very base of the soil and does not pull out the roots. You don’t need to worry about the roots in this case because glyphosate in Roundup kills the roots for good. After trimming the grass blades off using a trimmer, you can rest easy knowing that it will not grow again.

  • Use raking and dethatching 

The traditional method of cleaning up after Roundup uses a rake to pull up the dead patches of grass and associated thatch. You only need a conventional rake, power rake, or dethatching tool to pick up the dead plants manually.

Use Raking and Dethatching

You can better use this method on a small area of land because it just is too much hard work. If you feel up for the task, then there is no reason why it won’t work on a larger too. Once the grass is dead, remove your mower and cut the grass as low as you can.

Use a smaller rake first to pick up the superficial pieces of grass, weeds, and thatch. Then switch to a heavier rake to dig deeper for the roots. Take your sweet time to work slowly and steadily, taking care not to leave any patch neglected.

There are several other benefits to using a rake over the rest of the methods. First, it is the most cost-effective method, and you can work at your pace. There will be no reason to level the soil after raking and dethatching. 

  • Tilling helps too

If you can get your hands on a large rototiller model from a nearby farm, this would make your job much easier. A small tiller is fine, too, but you will need to work on a pass longer with it.

Set this machine so that it tills the soil to a depth of six inches at least. This would remove about 90 percent of grassroots in the case of most grass types. 

Some grasses develop very long roots that reach deep underground. The rest will decompose independently if you remove the top six inches of their root system.

Another hidden benefit is using a tiller to remove dead grass after Roundup. You get to aerate your soil, mix it with fertilizer, mulch, etc., and sow new grass seeds. 

  • Dig with a shovel and then dethatch

If you have a shovel or mower in the house, it could also help with lawn care after Roundup. Using a shovel is a job for only the physically strong, and we suggest you better use it for a small lawn area.

Use your mower to cut the brown grass down to the base and dethatch it if you can. Divide the total area into sections to be solved one by one. We are assuming you know how to use a shovel properly at this point. If not, look it up online, so you don’t tire your back or neck muscles during this work.

Pull out each marked section of the grass along with two to three inches of associated topsoil. One little hack we employ to make digging easier is to water the area deeply the day or a few hours prior. 

One drawback of using a shovel is that the land becomes uneven. Before you plant seeds or install new sod, you will have to level it up again.


4. Discard or Compost the Grass Removed

After this operation, you will be left with many uprooted grass. You can either collect them all in a bag and throw them in the organic waste compartment of your garbage, or you can recycle them.

Yes, grass killed by glyphosate is safe for use in composting. This is because once it has exerted its action and become dry, glyphosate becomes inactive and no longer a health hazard. Throw the clippings into your compost or mulch collection if you don’t want them ending in a landfill. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Should You Remove Dead Grass?

Yes, getting rid of dead grass from a lawn would be best. Otherwise, the new grass will have difficulty establishing itself and develop in uneven patches. A lawn with a mixture of dead and alive grass gives a very uneven and poor appearance. Your new grass will be of much poorer quality than otherwise.

2. How Long For Roundup To Kill Grass?

Roundup takes one to two weeks to completely kill all grass and weed from the lawn. Its active ingredient glyphosate begins exerting its action on grass blades as soon it comes in contact with them. The rest of the herbicide then seeps into the soil and kills the grass roots, weeds, or plants.

According to the latest research, Roundup can stay in the soil for upto a year. That is unless you deeply flush the soil several times after this grass killer has done its job. It’s best to spray Roundup during a period of no rainfalls. You want to give it a week or two to do its job thoroughly. 

3. Will Grass Grow Back After Roundup Application?

No, grass will not grow back up after Roundup has killed it. This glyphosate-containing herbicide is the strongest; it fries grass and weeds from roots to blades. It will permanently eradicate weeds from the soil if applied according to instructions and given a week or two to exert its action.


This article discussed ways to pull up dead grass after killing it with Roundup.

  • The easiest method would be to get a rototiller from somewhere and till the whole area with it.
  • A sod cutting machine will quickly pull up the grass and the topsoil.
  • A trimmer would work most effectively in case of dead grass in corners and between crevices.
  • Manual pulling by using a shovel or rake would suffice in a short patch of grass. 

Have you been delaying using Roundup because of how hard the cleanup afterward is? After reading this guide, you can now make a more informed decision about the method that would be the easiest for you to carry out.

5/5 - (16 votes)