How to Plant Zoysia Plugs


Zoysia is a warm-weather perennial grass that enjoys full sun but will do well in areas with at least six hours to eight hours of daily sunlight. Zoysia plugs are made from rolls of sod that are approximately 2 inches in diameter and at least 2 inches to 3 inches thick with soil and roots. The area in which the plugs are to be planted must be well-prepared for the plugs to effectively take root and fill in the bare soil patches.

Step 1

Conduct a soil test for the ground in which the zoysia plugs are to be planted. Contact your local agricultural extension service for its process and procedures.

Step 2

Prepare the soil by means of mechanical cultivation by using a rototiller. Add the recommended soil additives, such as limestone, for raising the pH level if needed. Zoysia grass does well in pH levels of 6.0 to 6.5.

Step 3

Apply fertilizer at the rates indicated by the soil test results. Generally, a 12-12-12 lawn fertilizer with a broadcast rate of 8 lbs. per 1,000 square feet may be used.

Step 4

Add organic soil amendments such as peat moss or compost.

Step 5

Till the material into the soil to a depth of at least 4 inches to 6 inches deep.

Step 6

Insert the plugs into the soil using the plugger or long-handled bulb planter. Space the plugs according to the desired rate. Close spacing of the zoysia plugs will result in a more vigorous lawn. Spacing the 2-inch-diameter plugs every 6 inches will require 4,000 plugs per 1,000 square feet of area; 8-inch spacing will require 2,250 plugs, while 12-inch spacing will need only 1,000 zoysia grass plugs. One square yard of sod, 3 feet by 3 feet, will make approximately 324 plugs, 2 inches in diameter.

Step 7

Push each plug into the soil with your foot. You may wish to roll the plugs into the soil using a heavy lawn roller. Regardless of the method, the roots of the plug must make good soil contact.

Step 8

Water the plugs for the first two weeks to three weeks after planting. The roots of the zoysia plugs must not dry out. Irrigate the grass plugs in the early morning to reduce disease. The water must reach a depth between 4 inches and 6 inches deep. The zoysia grass plugs may take up to two full growing seasons to fill in all bare areas of the new lawn.

Tips and Warnings

  • Keep children and pets from any outdoor area that has a chemical applied to its surface.

Things You'll Need

  • Soil test
  • Mechanical cultivation (rototiller)
  • Fertilizer (8 lbs. of 12-12-12 per 1,000 square feet)
  • Limestone
  • Compost or peat moss
  • Plugger or long-handled bulb planter
  • Zoysia plugs
  • Lawn roller (optional)
  • Water


  • Texas Cooperative Extension: Zoysia grass
  • Missouri Extension Service: Establishment and Care of Zoysia Lawns
Keywords: grass plugs, plant zoysia, summer grass

About this Author

G. K. Bayne is a freelance writer, currently writing for Demand Studios where her expertise in back-to-basics, computers and electrical equipment are the basis of her body of work. Bayne began her writing career in 1975 and has written for Demand since 2007.