Plugging a lawn is one way to spread good grass or fill in holes that need patching. It is quicker than seeding but not as reliable, since the grass is subjected to transplantation, which is more difficult to pull off.
Zoysia grass is a hardy, warm-season, slow-growing grass, so plugging it may be more effective than seeding if you are simply trying to fill in holes. Zoysia plugs are available at many nurseries or can be taken from an existing yard with zoysia grass.
Identify the areas you want to cut plugs from, and move plugs to. Choose zoysia that is growing well and has a good green color to re-root. Add it to areas that are bare, sandy or otherwise not growing well. Plugging should be done in the early spring, so the grass has a chance to re-root throughout the growing season.
Get the areas to be plugged ready. Dig holes for the plugs, slightly larger than the size of the plug you plan to put in. They should be 2 to 4 inches deep, depending on how well-rooted the plug is. You can check this ahead of time by cutting a test plug to see how deep the roots are.
Cut the plugs from your existing zoysia grass. Square is the easiest shape to cut without special tools. Use a garden knife or spade, depending on the root depth, to cut out a block of your grass, forming the plug.
Wrap the plugs, if needed. If you can’t get to the re-planting right away, place the plugs in plastic bags or wrap their bases in clear plastic, to keep warmth and moisture in. They should be planted as soon as possible, however, so that the grass doesn’t die.
Replant the plugs. Moisten the soil before planting. Set them in the prepared holes, anywhere from six to 12 inches apart, depending on how fast you want the grass to spread from the new plugs. Closer plugs require more plugs, but will give an attractive result sooner.
Fill in the holes. Don’t leave divots in your lawn where you cut the plugs; it’s unsafe as well as unsightly. You can use garden soil, or fill dirt or sod to fill the holes. Water and fertilize the cut areas to encourage new growth.