Chilly weather can hit warm season grasses like St. Augustine grass, Bermuda, and zoysia hard; so sometimes it’s necessary to do a little damage control by filling in the bald spots. If you’re getting ready to plant new warm season grass or need to supplement areas that look a little bit bare, grass plugs and sprigs can be the best solution for getting the healthy lawn you’ve always dreamed of.
Plug and Play
Plugging and sprigging a lawn isn’t hard if you’ve got the proper tools and materials, so before you get started, here are a few things you’ll need:
- Turf fertilizer (new lawn formula)
- Heavy duty steel rake
- Tape measure
- Wooden stakes
- Irrigation system or sprinkler of some kind
- Water-filled lawn roller
- Grass plugs or sprigging grass (depending on the project)
Plug It In
Grass plugs and sprigs can’t just be plopped down or shoved into the dirt willy-nilly. In order for them to work their magic, the soil has to be properly prepared, so you’ll need to weed the area and remove any less-than-desirable plants. If you’re using plugs to plant a completely new lawn, you’ll also need to spread a layer of compost. Apply the fertilizer; and if your soil pH needs adjusting, now is the time to use lime or sulfur to balance its levels. The soil needs to be damp, as well, so run a quick watering cycle to hydrate the area.
Once the ground is moistened, use the rototiller to penetrate the soil to about six inches. Grass plugs and sprigs should be planted as soon as possible, and they should be kept cool and moist. Stakes and string will be used to mark out the rows where plugs need to be planted. Each row should be spaced between six and 12 inches apart so that more area can be covered with fewer plugs. Use a trowel or a lawn plug aerator to dig shallow holes in each row in a grid pattern, spacing the holes 6 to 12 inches apart. Next, plant the grass plugs into the holes and refill the holes with soil.
If you’re using sprigs rather than plugs, use a hoe to create one to two inch-deep trenches in the soil and space the trenches 10-18 inches apart. Lay sprigs leafy side-up, four to six inches apart in the trenches, then bury the bottom two-thirds of the sprigs in soil as you fill in the trenches.
The newly planted area should be gently raked smooth. Next, roll over the ground with a lawn roller or simply pack the soil with your feet. Keep the area well hydrated as the new plantings take root, and take a break from mowing for a month or two while the roots become more established.
Plug some power into your lawn’s growth! Call the experienced team at Executive Landscaping, Inc., to schedule your consultation today!