Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Planting the Buffalo Grass Plugs

After some final soil leveling, it took 2 people about 4 hours (with breaks) to plant 1200 square feet of lawn area.

  1. Mark the row with string. The string has been marked every 18 inches with a red marking pen.

  2. For evenly spaced plants on 18-inch centers, the rows need to be about 15 1/2 inches apart.

  3. Using nails tied on the string to mark off the spacing prevents errors. 2 nails and a 15-inch string are the spacers at each end of the row. The rows are offset 9 inches by using the first or second nail as the row starter.

    Spacing Strings
  4. Drill holes about 1 1/2 inches deep. We used a standard, CHEAP wood bit. If you do this for a living, a longer bit would be a back-saving investment.
  5. The planting person can reach 3 rows if they are on their knees, so have the drill person drill 3 rows and take a break. Kneepads are highly recommended.
  6. The plugs are soaked in a root dip called Zeba to minimize transplant shock.

  7. Then we thoroughly soaked the area and set the sprinkler timers to water the area 3 times a day for a few minutes each time. The objective is to keep the soil moist, but not drown the new grass.
And now it's just a matter of a few weeks until we have a lush, water-saving, heat tolerant lawn.


Will said...

Hi your pictures are very helpful... I am going to be doing this very thing in San Diego at my home next weekend. So you spaced your plugs out 18" on center? I was thinking of putting mine at 9". Is there anything you can recommend that would fill it in quicker than 16 weeks? I love how your turned out.

Great work and great blog,

Lazy Gardens said...

Will - The only way to make it fill in quicker is to plant the plugs closer together.

Fertilizer will not speed it up, it might kill it (this grass doesn't need much fertilizer, if any0

Definitely buy the root dip and use it. Press the plugs FIRMLY into the holes. Then soak the heck out of the lawn area.

Be VERY careful with watering, because the runners spread and root best when the soil surface is moist. I did 3 short waterings at dawn, late morning and mid-afternoon ... that grass was pampered.

will said...

Good to know on the watering, I have spent the past 2 weeks getting everything set and in about 15 minutes I'm going to start drilling for the plugs and planting. I hope my lawn does as well as yours.

Lazy Gardens said...

Will -
If you have your plugs at NINE inches apart, you will get far faster infill than we did.

One small section was planted with 9" spacing because we had some extra plugs.

By week 5, the early runners from the clumps were touching the other clumps and it had a dense mesh of runners by week 7.

If you have done your whole yard at 9" spacing, you should have full coverage before I did.

Anonymous said...

How did you choose the drill bit size? Was it roughly matched to the size of the plugs?

Lazy Gardens said...

Yes - I forget what the size was, but it was big enough to leave a hole slightly bigger than the plugs. Drop it in and press it in.