How to Plug a Lawn

Rapidly spreading lawn grasses -- such as Zoysia and Bermudagrass -- are easily established by planting pieces of sod, or plugs. The best varieties of most warm-season, spreading grasses are available only in vegetative form: sod, plugs, or sprigs.

Plant pieces of sod, or plugs, 12 inches apart.
Plant pieces of sod, or plugs, 12 inches apart.

Prepare the soil as you would for seeding a new lawn. Purchase high-quality plugs of a variety of turf that suits your climate. A plug is a 2x2-inch piece of sod of a spreading grass variety. Plugs are planted individually 12 inches apart during the warm season. With proper care, the plugs take root and rapidly spread by rhizomes or stolons.

Use a 1x12-inch board to space plants 12 inches apart. Using the board as a guide, plant a row of plugs flush with the soil level; tamp each plug tightly into the soil. Start the second row 12 inches away from the first row. Keep the lawn watered until it becomes well established.

Sprigs are pieces of sod that have been shredded into 1- to 3-inch pieces of rhizomes. Sprigs are planted either by hand or by spreading them onto the bed and gently cultivating them into the top inch of soil. Each piece of rhizome will root into the soil and send up new leaves and rhizomes in a short time.

In the next section, you'll learn how to plant ground covers.

For more information on lawn care and related topics, try these: