How to Easily Install Grass Plugs!

How to Easily Install Grass Plugs!

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Spring is the time when you step out into your winter-ravaged lawn and say "What the heck happened here?!"

It's also the time to plant grass plugs and reclaim your yard, transforming it into the beautiful green specimen you know it should be!

Here at we often get asked about grass planting this time of year. People say that they like the idea of grass plugs over the expense of sod or the uncertainty of seeding, but are afraid that planting grass plugs is too hard. Winter Ravaged Lawn

Nature Hills Nursery is here to tell you a resounding "NO!"

Whether you are improving a small patch, the entire front lawn, or starting with no lawn at all - grass plugs are super easy to work with, plant, and get growing fast!

Getting Started With Your Grass Plugs

We start shipping grass plugs from spring all the way through early fall depending on your growing zone. Depending on how large an area you are planting, the first step is to know the area of your yard! Measuring can be tricky to get exact measurements so break your property into sections that are easier and add them all together.

Typical Grass Plug Spacing:

The closer you plant the plugs, the quicker the lawn will fill out!

  • 12-inches apart -1 tray of 18 plugs will cover 32 square feet
  • 15-inches apart -1 tray of 18 plugs will cover 40 square feet
  • 18-inches apart -1 tray of 18 plugs will cover 56 square feet

Preparing the Ground!

New Lawns

Looking out at that expanse of bare soil, it can seem like a green lawn is ages away! But this bare canvas is perfect for a new lawn! Start by clearing your canvas of all surface debris, stones, remaining vegetation, stumps and other litter.

Then properly grade your yard, because sod or grass plugs will not hide bumps or slopes and low spots in your yard. Now is also a great time to ensure all areas have proper drainage!

Renovating Lawns - Herbicide Method  Fresh Lawn

If you have a weed patch that hasn’t had any real lawn before, you need to level the playing field. Spraying with herbicide is the fastest and least labor-intensive method.

When using any chemical - it’s vitally important to always follow the label instructions! Spray the area you are adding the grass plugs to with glyphosate, non-selective herbicide such as Round-Up. After around 10 days, check on your site to be sure all vegetation is dead. Repeat the treatment if the vegetation is not all dead and wait an additional 10 days.

Renovating Lawns - Non-Herbicide Method

Prepare the soil by one of the following methods.

  1. Remove the weed/sod layer using a sod cutter (these can be rented) and get a clean bare canvas to work from, giving you a level surface with good drainage.
  2. Or, till all existing vegetation under in the entire area to a depth of 3 to 4 inches, mixing it with the soil. Water the area, let it dry, and then till it again. Depending on the amount of vegetation, you may have to repeat this several times. Water one last time to firm the soil, let it dry and rake it smooth. Make sure all areas will drain properly.

What To Do Once Your Plugs Arrive

Unpack the plugs as soon as possible from the box they were shipped to you in or remove them from your vehicle as soon as you get home. Place the trays in a single layer in an area protected from the wind. Water the plugs immediately and keep them moist until you are ready to plant them. 

Grass plugs are perishable and don’t necessarily need to be planted immediately, but can be kept in a shady area outdoors and kept watered - do not let these trays dry out at all! 

Planting Grass Plug Planting - As Easy As Can Be!

Once you’ve prepped the area and have added any soil amendments and irrigation - it's time to plant your grass plugs!

Step 1 - Thoroughly water the area you intend to plant, whether a whole lawn or a small bare patch. This softens the soil and helps it settle. Do this the night before you plan on planting.  Steps

Step 2 - Dig holes for the plugs in a checkerboard pattern for the best coverage, following your chosen spacing. The holes should be only as deep as the plug roots. To speed this up use an auger made for planting bulbs and plugs. You can also use a dandelion digger, or simply a long screwdriver to dig the holes! This is attached to a hand drill and will save you time and a serious backache.

Step 3 - In each hole put a light sprinkling of lawn fertilizer, and Boost Grass Plug Root Dip to give the grass a head start. Or simply broadcast fertilizer over the top of the planting when the grass blades are dry after the plugs have rooted in.

Step 4 - Plant the plug in the hole and tap the soil around it so that is snug and secure. Be careful that you plant the plug no deeper than the plant is growing in the trays.

Step 5 - Water the area making sure each of the plugs remains moist as well as the soil they were planted into. Water evenly over the area with two light waterings each day when sunny is very important so the plugs and the soil around them stay moist.

Step 6 - After 4-6 weeks you can mow the lawn as normal.

Types of Grass Plugs

Nature Hills Nursery starts shipping grass plugs spring all the way through early fall. Grass plugs are a cinch to plant and very easy to care for and are a great alternative to seeds and sod. Picking your plugs may be the toughest part!

Bluegrass  Bluegrass

Bella™ Bluegrass is good for Growing Zones 4-8, Bella Bluegrass is a very dark green color and it retains that color all season long. These grass have strong rhizomes and will keep your lawn looking solid and flawless. This variety is great for those that want less mowing, and less watering than other Bluegrass varieties, plus it stays green for a long growing season!

St. Augustine Grass

Ideal for hot growing zones and since its introduction thousands of homeowners can attest to the easy maintenance and aesthetic appearance of this landscaping turf offers!


Dog Tuff

Other than being gorgeous green grass for any kind of yard, this grass is extremely tough. This grass is also deer resistant and drought resistant! Talk about a low-maintenance lawn. 

  • Dog Tuff ™ - Dog urine resistant and traffic-resistant!
  • Latitude 36™ - Lush visual quality and very well adapted to the Southern States

Zoysia Grass

Zenith® Zoysia grass provides the benefits of using less water than bluegrass or fescue and in general, requires less maintenance. Zenith® Zoysia is also an improved variety with excellent color and exhibits good cold tolerance in growing zones 5-11. If you're not sure what to plant, Zoysia is a pretty safe bet as it grows over most of the continental US from the Deep South to the frigid north.

Buffalo Grass

Buffalo grass is a tough native grass, suitable for the western states. Its dense canopy of fine leaf blades creates a very soft carpet that is perfect for lawn activities. It has a dark blue-green color and naturally only grows 3 to 5 inches high. It's lush and soft while at the same time durable and hardy.

Blue Grama Grass Plugs

A vigorous grower, Blue Grama is a beautiful native grass that originated on the Western Plains and is a very vigorous selection of the Blue Grama. Use this grass in areas of high foot traffic and in areas such as highway medians. It will also do well as an accent plant in arid gardens.

Fescue Grass Plugs

Greenspan Spreading Fescue is a lush, heat-resistant and disease-resistant grass. Featuring deep roots for weed resistance, unwanted invaders simply can't compete with its thick root system. This grass is able to tolerate full sun up until 80% shade! Best in hot growing zones where these turfgrasses remain green year-round in USDA hardiness zones 8 to 9.

Fertilizing and Weed Prevention  Pulling Weeds

Typically, lawns enjoy plenty of fertility and plentiful rainfall at this time of the year. Fall is the very best time to spray dandelions and other broadleaved weeds so in the spring they are gone and will not flower and set more seeds. (If you missed a few weeds, you can spot-treat them in the spring before they bloom). Use weed and feed or spot treat with your favorite approach, while the weeds are actively growing. It also eliminates weeds for next spring too!

Winterizing Lawn fertilizer is very welcome in the fall and will help to beef up your turf and give those roots a boost before winter. Whether you use chemical or organic fertilizers, if you only use fertilizer one time per year...this is that time!

What to Avoid

Please do not compact your soil! Each spring, we see people having their lawn rolled. One of the biggest problems of growing most plants is soil compaction. Lawn rolling uses a heavy weight to roll over your grass area to eliminate bumps or imperfections. Instead, if you have imperfections in your lawn, you are better off raking topsoil into the lower areas and filling them in, instead of rolling and compacting your soil. 

Dull mower blades lead to chewed-up or torn, ragged grass ends. A sharpened mower blade gives your lawn a cleaner look but also keeps your lawn healthier!

Green Acres!

A greener lawn to make your neighbors envious is within reach with quality Grass Plugs from! Check with your County Extension Office for varieties that do best in your area and tolerate your climate and weather conditions specific to your growing zone!  Green Acres

Soon you’ll enjoy a lawn that’s picture-perfect! Planting grass plugs is easy with the help of Nature Hills Nursery!

Happy Planting!

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