Lawn Plug Planting Guide
Planting lawn areas with our grass plugs (or plugging) is a process by which 3x3 inch plugs of sod are placed in holes equally spaced in your yard. Our plugs have an excellent root system because they are grown in the trays which are shipped to you. We offer warm season grasses which are adapted to growing zones in the Southern US. Our plug varieties include Empire Zoysia, Bermuda 419, Centipede grass and Palmetto, Sapphire, Bitter Blue, Saphire and Floratam varieties of St Augustine.
Planting your lawn with plugs can have advantages and disadvantages to other methods such as laying sod, seeding, or sprigging.
Advantages of Lawn Plugs
1. Plugs have more roots than sprigs and usually establish a full lawn coverage in less time the springing.
2. Plugs cost much less than sod if they are planted in recommended spacings.
3. Plugs can be purchased online and delivered to your door.
Disadvantages of Lawn Plugs
1. Digging small trenches and/or holes for each plug can take some time and effort.
2. Plugs can be much more expensive than simply seeding or sprigging your lawn.
Selecting the Grass Variety
We offer Empire Zoysia, Bermuda 419, Centipede, and the St. Augustine varieties - Palmetto, Sapphire, Bitter Blue, Seville and Floratam. These are warm season, perennial grasses that will live year after year if given proper care and are properly suited to your climate. Factors that you may consider when choosing a lawn grass variety include: the desired appearance, primary use, sun and shade requirements, growing zones, salt tolerance, drought and insect resistance and required maintenance.
Determining the number of plugs needed
To help determine how many plugs you will need, it is a good idea to measure your lawn and determine the square footage to be planted. Plugs are usually placed in rows diagonal or off set with each other( a criss cross pattern). The closer the plugs are together, the quicker the grass will cover the bare areas in between. When planted 1 plug per 1 square foot, the number of plugs equals your square feet ie. 100 square feet requires 100 plugs. Since Zoysia grass tends to grow at a slower pace, it is a good idea to space them no farther than 12 to 18 inches from center to center of each plug. Each homeowner must make the decision about how many plugs based on his or her own desires.
Helpful Chart to determine the number of plugs needed
Planting your Plugs
Once you have cleared and prepared your soil, you are now ready to plant the plugs in your lawn. Water the area to be planted to thoroughly moisten the soil. Placing the plug roots into moist soil is very beneficial in the planting process.
There are two basic ways to plant plugs: planting in rows, and digging individual holes..
Planting in Rows
Use a hoe to dig rows 2 to 3 inches deep. When digging, space each row 15 or 18 inches apart depending on the spacing your have chosen. Place each plug into the rows spaced from 15 or 18 inches apart based on your choice. Remember, the closer the plugs, the faster your lawn will fill in. This is usually a good time to sprinkle a starter fertilizer around the base of each plug.
When you complete a row, fill in with the displaced soil so the top of each plug is flush with the ground level. You may lightly step on each plug to compress it into the soil and remove air pockets under the plug. Make sure that soil is pressed against the plug on all sides.
Planting by Digging Individual Holes
The easiest way to dig holes while planting plugs is through the use of a hoe or a 3in x 3in sod plug tool. Be sure the holes are deep enough so that the plug will be level with the existing ground when planted. When you dig the holes, remember to space them 15 or 18 inches from center to center in each direction depending on your needs. Start with one row, and then stagger the plugs in the next row in a checker board or criss cross pattern. You may sprinkle a very small amount of starter fertilizer into each hole before adding the plug. Be careful to press each plug into the hole until it is flush with the level ground. It is very important that the plug fit snugly into the hole with no air pockets under or on the sides of the plug. (Air pockets allow the plug roots to dry out and die.)
Caring for your newly planted lawn
Once you have completed planting, thoroughly water your lawn and continue to water on a daily basis for the next 2-3 weeks. The important point to remember is that you don't want the plugs to dry-out during this time. After 2-3 weeks of daily watering, you can cut-back to every other day for the next 3-4 weeks until your lawn is well established. At the time of planting, a light application of a starter fertilizer can be sprinkled around each plug or across the whole area. Fertilize again in one month and then follow recommended applications for your lawn variety.
Once your plugs are established, you can begin to mow it. Mowing will actually help spread the grass, causing it to grow horizontally instead of vertically.