Question: [Tuesday, 18th Nissan, 5782]
We were having a picnic in the park together with our family and out of mere habit I was plucking grass from the ground. Someone who was there mentioned to me that it is forbidden to do so on Chol Hamoed. Is this correct?
Indeed, it is forbidden for one to uproot items from the ground on Chol Hamoed, unless it serves a need of the holiday, such as for one to pick vegetables to eat during the Moed, or to pick herbs to use for food or to smell during the Moed. Thus, one may not rip grass out from the ground for no reason during Chol Hamoed
Sources: See Michaber 533:1 “One may cut wood from the attached …for the need of the Moed. However, not for the sake of the Moed is forbidden.”; 547:12 in name of Hagahos Maimanis Yom Tov 8 “One may not tear grass or earth from ground on Chol Hameod [by a funeral] as is normally done during the week.”; Moed Katan 12b; Meiri Moed Katan ibid; Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 104:9; Beir Moshe 7:11; Chol Hamoed Kehilchaso 2:91; 4:14; Shemiras Hamoed Kehilchaso 4:41