Can You Plant Grass Plugs in Winter?


As homeowners seek solutions to establish new lawns or fill in damaged areas, grass plugs emerge as a convenient and cost-effective alternative to sod installation. Each grass plug is a mature plant with an established root system growing in grass plug trays. With SodPods®, each plug measures approximately 3 inches by 3 inches, which over time, can spread and fill about a square foot when planted 9-12 inches apart. It creates a dense green cover of your preferred grass variety.

With several factors to consider for successful grass plugging, many homeowners wonder: can grass plugs be planted in winter?

When is the Best Time to Plant Grass Plugs?

The optimal time to plant warm-season grass plugs is during late spring or early summer when soil temperatures range between 64 and 110 degrees F, and the grasses are actively growing. This time frame allows them to establish before winter sets in and they enter a dormant state.

The mild temperatures and occasional rainfall in spring, along with the warm days and cooler nights of early summer, create favorable conditions for the roots to grow and adapt to the new environment, contributing to the success of grass plugging.

While spring and summer are prime seasons for planting plugs, it’s possible to do so year-round. This is particularly true in Florida’s warm, humid climate. With the absence of snowfall and the lack of freezing temperatures during the colder months in the state, the grass may not enter a fully dormant state and will continue to grow, even though slower.

However, proper timing and preparation remain crucial for ensuring their survival and a successful outcome in any season.


How to Plant Grass Plugs in the Winter

When planting warm-season grass plugs in the winter, the grass may be dormant and look brown, seemingly dead. However, dormancy is a natural response to colder temperatures, the same way animals hibernate in winter. But the grass should regain its color in the spring as the temperatures warm up.

Despite dormancy, introducing grass plugs in winter follows the same process as in any other season. Therefore, ensuring adequate watering is just as necessary, if not more so, during the colder months to keep the soil consistently moist. Cold, dry winds prevalent in this season can easily dry out the roots, potentially leading to issues such as desiccation. Learn more in our step-by-step guide on how to start a lawn with grass plugs.

Below are some key points to remember when planting grass plugs in the winter.

Your grass plugs will grow slower in winter.

The shorter days, reduced sunlight, and cold temperatures slow down photosynthesis, the metabolic process by which plants convert sunlight into energy for growth. Consequently, these factors create an environment that is less conducive to plant development, leading to a slower growth rate during this season. It may even force your grass to enter a dormant state. 

However, there’s no need for concern as grass growth decelerates—your grass will grow vigorously once the weather improves. Nonetheless, due to the prolonged establishment period, taking proactive precautions, such as ensuring consistent watering and providing enough nutrients, becomes crucial.

Water consistently and adequately throughout the winter.

How often you should water your new grass plugs will vary based on weather conditions and soil moisture levels. Generally, they should be watered immediately after installation and kept consistently moist throughout the winter season.

Monitor the soil moisture regularly, particularly on dry or windy days, when there is a higher risk of soil drying out and desiccation. Adjust the watering schedule accordingly to ensure your grass receives adequate moisture without becoming overlogged.

Fertilize your new grass plugs.

While you’ll want to add nutrients when the grass is actively growing, your new grass plugs will benefit from a winter fertilizer application to facilitate healthy root establishment. 

NutriPod® is a granular fertilizer formulated specifically for new grass plugs, containing essential macronutrients—nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium—that are vital for supporting vigorous root development. Each pod is placed in each planting hole before inserting the grass plugs, where it provides a gradual and consistent release of nutrients for up to 45 days. For subsequent applications, wait until the following spring when the grass is more established and actively growing, ensuring continuous feeding to meet your lawn's nutritional needs throughout the growing season.



Planting grass plugs in the winter is possible, but it’s essential to consider your local weather conditions and adjust your approach accordingly. While cooler temperatures may slow down grass growth, the season can provide an opportune time to establish grass plugs when sunlight may be less intense.

However, paying close attention to watering is even more critical during this time—the cooler weather may dry out the soil more slowly, but on particularly dry, windy days, your new grass is at a higher risk of drying out. By adjusting your watering schedule accordingly, you can ensure the successful establishment of your grass plugs even during the winter.

Explore a wide selection of high-quality, farm-fresh, warm-season grass plugs with SodPods®. Visit our 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