How to Plant a Lawn from Stolons. Buy or root your own stolons (foot-long sprigs of grass with stems and roots attached) to grow a quality lawn for less money than sod. Warm-season grasses are often planted from stolons.
Prepare the soil where you'll introduce your stolons - till, toss out the rocks and weeds, and rake smooth. ('Stolon' is the formal name for runners; they're also called 'sprigs' in various parts of the country.) With a hoe, make a series of furrows (or trenches) 3 inches deep, running the length of the area to plant, and 10 inches apart.
Buy enough stolons to plant. (You'll need about three stolons per linear foot of furrow.) Select stolons of vigorous grasses like Bermudagrass and centipedegrass already rooted. Keep them damp in plastic bags or wet burlap until planting.
Or root those grass runners that invade your flower bed and stretch across the driveway. Here's how: Cut or dig up enough foot-long pieces to plant your area and lay them in a shallow flat of moist potting soil or quarry sand until they root - in about 10 warm days.
Broadcast compost in a 1/2-inch layer across the planting area the day before you want to plant. Then soak the area thoroughly with water and let it dry only overnight.
Lay the stolons 6 inches apart in the furrow - put each on an angle with one end at the bottom. Be sure at least one piece of green leaf rises above soil level.
Wear gloves and use your hands to cover all but the top sprout of the stolons with soil. Press the grass and soil together firmly, then smooth it out so the whole area is level with sprouts only showing.
Water immediately and often. Keep the grass very moist for the entire growing season, and don't let it dry out over the winter, either.
Fertilize with a slow-release lawn formula after the lawn greens up the following year. Expect a thick lawn one year after planting.