remove turfAre you looking to remove your turf and move to a more desert friendly landscape for your yard? Considering that turf grass is one of the most water-intensive plants in your landscape, it’s no wonder, here in Arizona many are removing the water-guzzling turf and going for a lower maintenance, lower water use landscape design. In addition to water conservation, other reasons may include maintenance, upkeep, and aesthetics. The most common turf in Arizona is Bermuda, which is one of the most difficult plants to kill. Bermuda is dormant in the winter months when the temperatures are below the 70’s. It starts to grow back in the spring when the temperatures reach close to the 90’s. This is the optimum time to start eradicating your lawn. If you try to treat the turf in the cooler months when the Bermuda is dormant, the chemicals will have very little effect. There are many ways in which to try to kill off Bermuda but the following is our most efficient process that we have come up with. Remember, just turning off water to your turf area will not kill Bermuda. The minute it starts to receive water it will start growing again. If you plan on removing your turf, healthy green grass will be the easiest to kill. Regardless of the reason you have decided to remove turf, following these steps will get the job done right!

  1. Keep your turf area healthy and watered, the healthier your turf area is, the easier it is for the chemicals to be ingested into the root system. This may seem odd, but if your turf area is not healthy to begin with, Xeriscapes recommends watering it and nurturing it before beginning this process.
  2. Turn off water to your turf area and begin by spraying area with glyphosate, which can be purchased at your local nursery or hardware store.
  3.  Keep water off to the area for two days to let the chemical do its thing.
  4. Turn water back on and continue a normal watering schedule for five days.
  5. Treat the area again and repeat the above process.
  6. Within two weeks the area should be dead and ready to remove using a sod cutter. You may turn water back on a couple days before you are going to remove the turf. The sod cutter works better when there is moisture in the ground.

The area where you had turf in is now dirt and essentially offers a blank slate. Options may include installing granite or artificial turf. Your existing sprinkler system can now be converted to a water savings “drip system” to water your new Xeriscapes design.

Go to for some of the low water use plants or contact for a complete list of water savings ideas.