Whether filling in bare spots in the lawn or planting grass in a large area, gardeners have four choices in the way they plant grass. They can use seed, plugs, sprigs or sod. Regardless of the method of planting chosen, select a variety of grass tolerant to your local climate, light and moisture conditions for a problem-free lawn. As when using any method of planting grass, prepare the area first by removing unwanted vegetation, debris and leveling the planting site.
Gardeners desiring the gratification of having an instantly green lawn should plant sod. It is a quick fix for covering bare areas in the yard. Other than achieving an instant lawn, sod is relatively basic to install as it comes in large square or rolls and already has roots. Gardeners lay each piece of sod upon prepared soil. Butting the pieces against each other and making sure each piece has good soil contact is essential for proper growth. For the best results, install the sod as soon as possible. If not, store the sod in a shaded area keeping it moist. Water newly laid sod regularly to keep it moist until it establishes itself. The downfall of using sod is that it is expensive.
Of all the methods of planting grass, seeding is the least expensive and labor intensive. Gardeners will find many varieties of grass types available in seed. After preparing the planting site, moisten the soil before sowing the grass seed for better adhesion. Spread the grass seeds over the planting site, per package directions and lightly dust the seeds with a layer of soil. Water the planting site immediately after planting and keep it moist for the first two to three weeks while the seed germinates and begins establishment.
Planting grass plugs are like planting miniature squares of sod, only not as close together. Grass plugs are not as expensive as sod, are relatively easy to plant, but require time to fill in. Plugs are spaced 6 inches to 2 feet apart, with closer placement allowing the area to fill in quicker. Gardeners should plant the plugs into a hole that is deep enough to cover the roots and pack the soil firmly around the leaf blades to hold the plug in place. It is essential to keep the area moist while the grass plugs establish themselves.
Grass sprigs are small pieces or strips of grass with attached roots. Other than seeding, this is the slowest method of obtaining a filled-in lawn. It is inexpensive because gardeners can use sprigs of grass from other areas of their lawn. Plant the grass sprigs 6 to 12 inches apart in furrows or holes deep enough to cover the root with the leaf blades exposed. Pat the soil firmly around each sprig to hold it in place and keep the area moist until the grass sprigs begin establishing themselves.