9 Tips to Make Grass Plugs Spread Faster


Grass plugs are an excellent solution for starting a new lawn or a filler to repair damaged areas in your existing lawn. They offer a convenient middle ground between the lengthy process of growing grass from seeds and the relatively expensive option of sod installation.

Although grass plugs establish faster than grass seeds, many homeowners find it challenging to wait for them to cover the ground completely and form a dense, uniform green cover. Fortunately, there are ways you can make your grass plugs spread faster and maximize the potential of your lawn.

Factors that Determine How Fast Your Grass Plugs Will Establish

Several factors influence the growth rate of grass plugs, including timing and spacing. Planting warm-season grass plugs during their peak growth period, usually from late spring to early fall, creates prime conditions for successful establishment and rapid spread. The warm weather and longer daytime during these seasons allow them to take root and spread more effectively. Proper spacing between the plugs is also essential to allow them sufficient space to expand and fill your lawn.

Moreover, using fertilizers specifically formulated for newly planted grass plugs like NutriPod® can significantly speed up their growth rate. These fertilizers provide the nutrients essential to promote vigorous root development and overall plant health, resulting in accelerated growth.


How to Make Your Grass Plugs Spread Faster

With the right timing, spacing, and nutrient supplementation, you can maximize the growth potential of your grass plugs to achieve a lush, uniform lawn in a shorter time frame. Read further for more tips on speeding up your grass plugs' spread rate.

Use the Right Soil Type

Having the correct soil type sets the stage for growing healthy grass plugs. Most warm-season grasses prefer well-draining soils with a pH between 5.5 and 7.0, allowing for optimal growth and spread.

Although optional, conducting a soil test will provide valuable insights into your soil's nutrient levels and pH balance. With this information, you can make guided decisions about fertilizer and soil amendments to correct poor soil conditions and create the optimal environment for your grass plugs. You can do a soil test using a soil test kit or by contacting local garden centers for instructions.

Choose the Right Type of Grass Plugs

Bermuda grass and St. Augustine grass plugs are known for their fast-spreading characteristics, making them reliable options for homeowners seeking fast coverage and establishment. Their vigorous growth allows them to fill in bare patches and spread across the lawn efficiently, creating a dense, uniform turf.

These grass varieties also exhibit traits like quick recovery from damage, relatively easy maintenance requirements, and tolerance to various climates and soil conditions.

Plant at the Right Time

Planting grass plugs at the right time also influences their growth rate. For warm-season grasses, planting in early spring—when temperatures are moderate and conducive to root development—aligns with their peak growth period, ensuring fast establishment and vigorous growth.

While you can plant grass plugs any time of the year, planting during other seasons, like summer or fall, may require additional care, such as watering more often to keep the soil moist and patience in fall as the grass may enter dormancy, delaying growth until spring.

Ensure Proper Spacing

Ensuring proper installation is essential for facilitating faster spread of your grass plugs. Start by using a grass plug tool with an auger bit to drill holes into the soil. With each SodPods grass plug measuring approximately 3 inches by 3 inches, we recommend planting them 9-12 inches apart in a grid pattern. This spacing allows for adequate coverage, fostering faster growth and a denser lawn. After planting, cover any loose spaces with soil and tap the area to remove air pockets.



Fertilize Your New Sod

For optimal performance and accelerated growth, we recommend fertilizing your grass plugs with NutriPod. This specialized fertilizer for grass provides the essential nutrients required during the establishment period, promoting vigorous root development and overall plant health.

Simply drop each fertilizer pod into the planting hole before the grass plug, where it will slowly release nutrients accessible to the roots. This steady release of nutrients ensures continuous feeding for up to 45 days, supporting vigorous growth and helping grass plugs spread up to two times faster.

Water Adequately

After you install grass plugs, your new lawn will enter a 30-day establishment period, during which the grass takes root in its new environment. Daily watering during this time—whether through rainfall or irrigation—is essential to maintain consistent soil moisture, prevent stress, and promote healthy growth. After this period, you can gradually reduce the watering frequency to 1-2 times per week, focusing on deep watering to train the root system to grow deeper into the soil.

Mow at the Right Time

Mow your new lawn for the first time when the grass blades reach about 3.5-4 inches in height, making sure not to cut more than one-third of the length at once—the one-third rule. This practice prevents stress from scalping your lawn and facilitates healthy regrowth.

While mowing may seem counterproductive, it actually encourages new growth and faster spread. Keep in mind, however, to keep your mower blades sharp to ensure a clean cut, as dull blades only tear your grass, which makes it susceptible to disease.

Manage Weeds, Pests, and Diseases

Weeds, pests, and diseases can counter healthy grass growth if left unmanaged. So, prior to installing plugs, apply a non-selective herbicide at least five weeks in advance to control weeds and prevent them from competing with your desired grass for essential resources. Additionally, manually remove any weeds as they emerge.

Similarly, keep an eye out for signs of pests and diseases, such as discoloration, wilting, or brown patches on your lawn. Inspect your lawn regularly and immediately address any issues by taking appropriate pest and disease control measures. Proper lawn maintenance practices, along with proactive weed, pest, and disease management, are key to healthy grass establishment and fast establishment of your grass plugs.

Purchase Grass Plugs from Reputable Farms

At Bethel Farms, we pride ourselves on offering premium-quality, farm-fresh grass plugs that are cultivated in a weed-free environment. Whether you're looking to repair patches in your existing grass or establish a brand-new lawn, our well-nurtured plugs are guaranteed to deliver outstanding results. With optimal soil conditions, we aim to help you create a lawn that will thrive, flourish, and spread quickly.

When spacing grass plugs 12 inches apart, each plug usually covers approximately one square foot of space. This general estimate will help determine the number of plugs required for the project to ensure dense and thorough coverage.



While grass plugs may take longer to spread and establish than sod, implementing these strategies can facilitate a fast and healthy spread of your new lawn.

Nevertheless, the time and effort should be worth it, as the reward is a vibrant, resilient lawn that naturally limits weed growth and thrives even with little maintenance once established.

Ready to get started? Explore a range of warm-season grass plugs at the Try SodPods website today.

Jamie Tedder

Jamie surrently serve as Vice President on the board for Turfgrass Producers of Florida. He currently oversees the production of all grasses throughout all farms in Florida at Bethel Farms. He is actively working with top grass breeders, researchers, producers and end users from public and private institutions around the country to stay up to date on current industry developments. Being a University of Florida graduate, he has applied that knowledge to over 22 years of experience growing spectacular grass!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published