How to Use Plug Tools for Grass Correctly: A Quick Guide


Grass plugs are small, ready-to-plant sections of sod that are primarily used for two reasons: establishing a new lawn or repairing damaged or sparse areas of your turf. These pint-sized wonders—usually 3x3 inches in size—consist of healthy grass with a well-established root system and soil and are generally sold as individual plants in trays.

In landscaping and lawn care, grass plugs are strategically placed about 9-18 inches apart. These plugs will take about 30 days to spread and fill any blank space, providing a lush, uniform green cover that can resist daily wear and tear.

While you can manually dig holes for the plugs, you can speed up the process using a plug tool for grass. This garden tool is an auger attached to a hand drill, which you can use to bore holes where you will plant the plug.

How to Use a Grass Plug Tool for Planting Sod

Selecting the right garden tool for optimal results is necessary when planting grass plugs. 

  1. Prepare the soil. Start by preparing the soil by clearing debris and loosening it to improve aeration. This creates a favorable environment for the plugs to grow and become established into your lawn.
  2. Choose the right tool. Most commercially available grass plugs today measure approximately 2-3 inches in length and width. So, choose a sod plugger that suits the size of the plugs you are using. The sod should fit tightly into the prepared holes to ensure better growth and survival.
  3. Dig holes. Position your grass plug tool over the selected area and press down firmly to create receiving holes for the plugs. Create holes in a checkerboard pattern and ensure proper spacing to prevent overcrowding.
  4. Extract and insert plugs. You can also use a sod plugger to transplant grass from a healthy part of the lawn to your target area. It can extract uniform plugs and transfer them to the surrounding grass with little disruption.
  5. Adjust the depth. The spiral bit of a sod plugger allows you to adjust the depth of your holes as necessary. This ensures precise planting to promote successful growth.

After planting sod, water the area generously for the first two weeks. This will help settle the soil, promote root growth, and minimize transplant shock so the plugs can grow and spread quickly. Then, slowly reduce watering, but make sure to keep it moist. Avoid heavy foot traffic until the pugs are well-established.


Beyond Grass: Other Uses of a Sod Plugger Tool

Besides planting grass plugs, a sod plugger tool can also double as a multi-functional garden tool for various garden tasks. Below are the alternative uses of a grass plug tool.

Lawn Aerator

Over time, soil settles naturally and densifies into a compact mass. This prevents water, oxygen, and nutrients from reaching the roots, which can affect your overall lawn health—the grass can become weak and the turf sparse, pale, or patchy.

Aerating your lawn is an effective remedial measure to break up hard, clay soil and allow water and nutrients to penetrate the grass roots. With its heavy-duty build, you can transform your sod plugger into an effective lawn aerator. Simply push the tool into the soil and pull out a plug of soil and grass.

Bulb Planter

Just as you can use your plug tool to plant grass plugs, you can also use it to dig evenly spaced-out holes to accommodate bulbs. Set the tool over where you want to create a receiving hole, then push it down until it sinks into the ground. Twist it multiple times before pulling it out to make a hole.

Weeding Tool

Finally, the same tool you use for planting plugs can also be an effective weeding tool. Use it to pull out unwanted weeds with minimal disturbance to the surrounding area. 

Sod Plugs and Sod Plugger Tools at Bethel Farms

For everyone seeking a comprehensive solution for lawn maintenance, Bethel Farms introduces the SodPods® Power Planter auger—a handy grass plug tool designed to help you plant grass plugs and more! Explore our bundled options for a complete lawn care experience by visiting 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