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How to Plant Grass Runners

grass,lawn image by Greg Pickens from

There are several ways to begin a new lawn, including seed, sod, sprigs and runners. Stolons, also called runners, resemble vines, which grow atop a lawn’s surface. Attached to a runner are grass blades and roots. It is possible to cut runners from one lawn and start an entirely new lawn by planting the runners in prepared soil. Depending on the region, late spring and early fall is often the ideal time for planting runners.

Prepare the soil as you would for any new lawn, which includes tilling the soil some 4 to 5 inches deep, removing root clods and stones, enriching with several inches of peat moss, compressing with a roller, raking to smooth and leveling the area.

Water the soil prior to planting to moisten it. The soil should be moist, not soaking.

Lay the runners on the soil with the node or root side on the soil. Space the runners 1 to 2 feet apart.

Run a stolon roller over the runners to press them into the soil. You can rent a stolon roller from an equipment rental center, and follow the manufacturer’s operating instructions.

Cover with a layer of straw mulch, approximately 1/2 inch deep, to retain moisture. And make sure to keep the soil moist.

Plant Grass Runners

When you are setting out a new lawn, you may be faced with the choice of seeding, sodding or sprigging. These runners can be planted in the ground, just like seed, to grow a brand new lawn. Rake the soil to remove rocks, sticks or debris and re-grade the soil so that it slopes away from your home to improve drainage. Mix these amendments into the soil with the rototiller. Press the stolons into the soil with a stick containing a notch on the end. Push the dirt over the furrows with the hoe so that only one-third of the tops of the stolons are exposed. Roll over the lawn with a lawn roller to press down the soil. Water the lawn with ¼ inch of water per square inch of lawn up to four times daily for up to two weeks, while the roots of the grass become established.


Plant freshly harvested runners.


Instructions may vary depending on grass type and region.

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