Option #1: Till When it’s Dry
Option #2: Roast It With Tarps
Option #3: Hack it Out
St. Augustine grass isn’t really that hard to remove compared to some grass. Once you get going, you can carve away big swaths with the right tool.
Or one of these grape hoes from Easy Digging.
Pile up the grass and roots someplace where they can dry out – like a concrete slab or on a tarp – and they can later be added to a compost pile.
Option #4: Sheet Mulch
Gather cardboard, layer it down, then pile at least a foot of mulch, leaves, straw or other organic matter on top of it. The grass beneath will suffocate and then be turned into rich compost by the worms.
One of my friends piled up mulch and then planted corn right into it. Amazingly, it worked!
Goodbye, St. Augustine grass – hello deep fertility (and corn on the cob!).
As grass goes, St. Augustine really isn’t the worst. It’s better than having bare soil, so make sure that wherever you get rid of St. Augustine grass you have something to replace it, whether gardens, trees, wildflowers or mulch. The soil degrades rapidly when uncovered, so keep it covered.
You might consider just taking out the grass in sections over time, leaving it where you’re not actively working just as a cover for the ground.
Good luck and may you never need to mow again.