How to Remove Turf Grass With a Sod Cutter


If you're tired of trying to maintain a green lawn while dealing with water restrictions, cinch bugs, and weeds it may be time to remove some turf grass from your landscape. Small areas of turf grass may be removed by hand, but larger areas should be removed with a sod cutter.

Things You'll Need

  • Rented sod cutter
  • Marking paint
  • Have all utility lines marked and flagged before you dig. Call your utility company's 811 or "Miss Dig" service to have all lines marked for free. You will be expected to provide the scheduled start date, duration and type of work being performed.

  • Mark grass to be removed using white marker paint. The utility companies will use other colors than white. Flag the location of any sprinkler heads. Grass surrounding sprinklers should be removed carefully with a shovel.

  • Rent a sod cutter from an equipment rental supplier. Look for a machine with a reverse drive gear as it gets cumbersome, pulling the machine back to maneuver in tight spots.

  • Familiarize yourself with the sod-cutting machine's cut-depth adjustment and throttle control. Pull-start the engine and engage the drive wheels to get a feel for the weight and operation of the machine.

  • Align the edge of the cutting blade with the grass edge to be cut. Lower the cutting bar to the desired depth and allow the drive wheels to pull the sod cutter forward as you walk behind it.

  • Roll-up the cut grass and remove it or drag it onto the remaining lawn. Use a rake to shake out the topsoil from the grass roots. If you have sandy soil, the dark topsoil seen in the grass should be used to top dress the remaining turf grass. Don't throw away that topsoil.

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