Lawn & Turf

How To Repair Bare Spots in Your Lawn with the ProPluggger (with video)

repairing bare spots in lawn

Transplant grass plugs from healthy areas of your lawn to bare spots with the ProPlugger

Grasses that can be plugged:

Watch the video or follow the directions below


Step 1:  Kill any weeds that have grown in the area that needs repair.

These weeds can grow up  and around new plugs before they have a chance to grow.


  •  Glyphosate
    • The old brand name is Round-Up, but there are many formulations.
    • Follow the directions on the label for mixing and spraying.
      • Spray it, wait a week, spray it again, wait a week, and then it’s ready.


  • This will get rid of your existing grass without the need for chemicals.


  • Solarizing involves tilling, watering, and then covering an area with clear plastic during the summer for at least 4 weeks.  This is a more involved process but comes with the benefit of killing seeds in the ground, which the other methods don’t do.

Step 2: Water the repair and healthy areas of your lawn the night before plugging.

  • Moist soil is much easier to plug than dry soil, particularly if your soil has a heavy clay content.
    • Don’t over water. 
    • If the soil gets too muddy the plugger may clog up, or plugs may have difficulty coming out of the ground.     
  • Here is a link on how to deal with clogs while using the ProPlugger .

Step 3:  Take plugs out of the bare spot 6″ apart.

repairing bare spots taking soil plugs

  • Use the 2” depth ring.
    • You can use the 4″ depth ring if you are transplanting from established grass and want to keep all 4″ of roots.  
  • Dump your plugs into a wheelbarrow.
  • Dispose of this soil.
    • You can keep this soil for Step 7 if it doesn’t have weed seeds in it.
  • If you’re having trouble with your plugger clogging follow these instructions to unclog the ProPlugger and prevent future clogs.

Step 4: Take plugs out of your healthy grass.

repairing bare spots taking grass plugs

Step 5:  Transport the plugs over to the bare spot.

lawn repair transporting plugs

  • Be gentle with the plugs when transporting them.
  • Some soils can crumble if you aren’t careful.

Step 6:  Plant the grass plugs.

repairing bare spots planting grass plugs

  • Sometimes plugs can end up being too short, or too tall for the hole. This is because you may have hit a root or rock while plugging.
  • Add some loose soil around to add a bit of height to short plugs or crumble a bit of soil from the bottom of tall plugs.

Step 7:  Fill up the holes you plugged in the healthy area.

lawn repair filling holes

  • Use a commercial soil mix that doesn’t have weed seeds in it.
  • If there are only a few holes you can fill them up individually.  
  • If there are a lot of holes, pour some compost or garden soil on the ground, and use a rake to go back and forth until the holes are filled.

Step 8:  Water the new grass plugs.

Repairing bare spots in lawn finished

  • Your watering schedule will probably look something like this:
    • Weeks 1 – 2:  3 times a day for 20 minutes
    • Week 3: 2 times a day for 20 minutes
    • Week 4:  Once daily.
    • Thereafter:  Follow the normal watering recommendations for the grass you are plugging.
  • This is the schedule I use, but you need to adjust it for how hot your climate is and your soil type.
  • Use a watering timer .

    • These sprinkler can be adjusted down to water even very small areas.

Step 10:  Water the healthy area you transplanted donor plugs from.

  • Usually twice a week for 3 weeks.
  • After that just follow the normal watering directions for your grass you are plugging.

Step 11:  Wait for grass regrowth.

  • The bare spot should be covered in 1 planting season.
  • The grass you took plugs from will regrow in about 6 weeks.

Be sure to check out the helpful information on our website, including other uses for the ProPlugger including:

  1. Planting annuals
  2. Planting ground covers
  3. Bulb Planting
  4. Soil testing


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