If you live in the extreme southern United States, there is a good chance that you've run into a lawn planted with St. Augustine grass. St. Augustine is an alternative to Bermuda grass, especially if you like a lawn that can be mowed higher. St. Augustine grass is available as sod, plugs and seed. Sod is the most expensive way to install St. Augustine grass but will give you an instant lawn. Seed is the least expensive option, but can be a challenge to germinate. Planting St. Augustine plugs is a great alternative to seeds or sod and will give you a usable lawn in a few months' time.
Planting in Rows
Dig a row to the depth of your plugs using your hoe. Space each plug 6 to 12 inches apart in the row and add a little starter fertilizer around each plug. Use a starter fertilizer that is high in phosphorous.
Rake the soil back around the row of plugs so that the top of the plug is flush with ground level.
Dig another row 6 to 12 inches away from the first row and follow steps 1 and 2 for that row. Continue to follow these steps until your whole yard is plugged.
Roll the entire lawn with a half-filled lawn roller to firm up the soil.
Digging Individual Holes
Dig individual holes with a bulb planter that is the same width as your St. Augustine plug. Form a row with individual holes 6 to 12 inches apart.
Sprinkle a little starter fertilizer in the bottom of each hole. The starter fertilizer should be high in phosphorous.
Place a plug into each hole and firm the soil around the plug to remove any air pockets.
Follow the above steps for each individual row until the entire lawn is plugged. Rows should be spaced 6 to 12 inches apart.
Roll the entire lawn with a half-filled lawn roller to firm the soil up.
How to Care for Plugs
Water the lawn daily for two to three weeks. Water until the soil is moist to the depth of the plugs. Use a screwdriver to determine how long it takes water to penetrate the required depth.
Water every other day for another three to four weeks. Once again, water until the soil is moist to the depth of the plugs.
Prevent people and animals from walking across your lawn until it is fully filled in. Section off the area with a fence of string if needed.
Fertilize after a few months of growth. Use a high quality lawn fertilizer and broadcast over the entire lawn at the bag's indicated rate. Use a broadcast spreader to effectively spread the fertilizer.
Mow your lawn at 2 1/2 inches every seven to 10 days. Mowing will help your lawn fill in. Don't bag the clippings when mowing.