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How to Plant Grass Plugs

Clever Gardening Hacks: How to Plant Grass Plugs

Planting grass plugs is an ideal way to start growing a lawn as seeds take a long time to grow and laying sod is quite expensive. This article provides tips on how to plant grass plugs.
Gardenerdy Staff
Last Updated: Mar 7, 2018
For a newbie, there are three options of growing a lawn. The first is to sow grass seeds and wait till their germination and growth into a lawn. This may, however, take several years to mature from the date of sowing. The second alternative is laying sod over the lawn area, which is quite costly. The third option, which neither takes a long time for the establishment of the grass nor requires a huge investment, is grass plugs.

What are Grass Plugs?

For people who want an instant lawn, placing sod is the only choice. In comparison, grass plugs take a longer time for establishment. These are small-sized pieces of pure sod, that do not measure more than 2 to 3 square inches. They are a cheaper alternative to growing sod and ensure a quicker establishment of lawn (less than 2 years) as compared to grass seeds.

Process of Planting

Grass plugs are a popular choice for growing lawn among many gardening enthusiasts. You should opt for plugs of a grass variety that is suitable to your area. You will find these in plant nurseries. While installing them, make sure to leave some space between the pieces.

Get Rid of Vegetation
Although these plugs come with roots and adhering soil, some amount of garden soil preparation is suggested to promote quick development of the root system. In case you have an already existing vegetation, kill the weeds by using a general herbicide. Let the soil be for a month and then plant the plugs.

Prepare the Planting Area
While growing a lawn with grass plugs, the most common problem faced by hobbyists is compacted soil and resultant impaired growth of roots. Collectively, they hinder the growth of the plugs, thus taking a longer time for establishment. With a plugger or other appropriate garden tools, loosen the soil and water it generously before growing the plugs.

Fertilize the Planting Soil
Test the soil pH. If it is too acidic (pH 6), use lime, whereas if it is alkaline (pH 7.5), use sulfur. Irrigate the soil everyday (about an inch deep) for at least a week. This will increase the water level of the garden soil and promote quick development of the roots. Using a starter fertilizer is recommended to ensure the healthy growth of turf grass.

Installing the Plugs
Before planting the plugs, dig the soil in a checkerboard manner and add a scoop of farmyard compost or slow release fertilizer in each of the planting holes. This will solve any soil compaction problems. Place a piece of grass plug in each of the fertilized holes. Press lightly over the plug and the surrounding soil to secure this grass piece.

Care for Grass Plugs
Water the newly-planted grass regularly for about 10 days. This aids in its quick establishment to the garden soil. Do not disturb the growth or directly walk on the planted area. Within a month the new growth of grass will be seen.

If you follow the watering and lawn care routine properly, the grass plugs become ready to be mowed within 4 weeks of plantation. By this time, you can cut your lawn grass down to its recommended height. Also, reduce the watering frequency as per the requirements of the grass species and weather conditions. The lawn may grow completely within two seasons of planting it.
Grass Heart
Gardening Tool in soil
Old garden tools
Shovel Full of Compost, Home Composting