Things You'll Need
Garden spade or pitch fork
Sod cutter (optional)
St. Augustine grass grows in the warm southern United States because of its high tolerance to heat and sun. However, the grass requires more water than other varieties and can take up a lot of weekly maintenance. If you want to remove the St. Augustine and plant it with something else, you must first dig up the existing lawn. Although it is a tedious task, using the right lawn tools will make the job go much quicker.
Water the entire surface of the St. Augustine grass using sprinklers until the ground is moist to a 4- or 5-inch depth. This makes the removal process much easier and should occur at least two days prior to the grass removal.
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Move to one end of the lawn area so that you are facing the longest length. Measure over approximately 1 foot from the side of the lawn and insert an edger tool into the ground. Remove the edger and reinsert it next the first location. Repeat until you have cut a straight line going all the way down the length of the St. Augustine grass.
Return to the starting location and move over another 12 inches. Repeat the process to create another cut line parallel to the first. Continue until the entire St. Augustine lawn has 12-inch wide strips along the length.
Return to the starting position and insert a garden spade or a pitch fork 2 to 3 inches under the edge of one of the 12-foot wide strips.
Push the tool forward in a back-and-forth motion to detach the grass roots from the soil. Roll the grass up as you loosen it so that you can easily access the roots.
Cut the grass roll off every 6 to 10 feet using the edger tool and set the rolled grass aside. Continue using this method until all of the St. Augustine grass is removed.
If you have a large area of St. Augustine grass to remove, rent a sod cutter from a home improvement store.