Lawn & Turf

Planting Grass Plugs from Trays with the ProPlugger

Planting grass plugs from trays
  • Planting grass plugs from trays purchased online is a great option for filling in small or medium sized areas with spreading grasses such as ZoysiaBermuda, and Centipede
  • For larger areas it’s probably worth it to source your plugs from sod
    • Sourcing plugs from sod is much less expensive than trays, but isn’t as convenient

Watch the video or follow the directions below

Step 1: Prepare the planting area by killing the grass or weeds


Preparing the planting area for planting grass plugs

  • Glyphosphate
    • 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 it’s ready for plugging


  • 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 planting area 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 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 planting area 6″ apart

Smaller plugs (e.g. 1.75″ x 1.75″) will fit into the holes dug by the ProPlugger

plugging planting holes

Larger plugs (e.g. 3″ x 3″) require you to dig 3 holes in a triangle pattern

big holes for planting grass plugs trays

  • Use the 2″ depth ring to dig your holes

Step 3: Plant the grass plugs

planting grass plugs from trays

  • Add soil around the plugs

adding soil before planting square grass plugs

Step 4:  Water the grass plugs

watering after planting grass plugs from trays

  • Water the new plugs just like new sod
  • Use highly adjustable sprinklers like this one
    • In the picture above I’m using micro sprinklers attached to drip line irrigation, but a good adjustable sprinklers could have watered even very small areas like these without much over spray
  • Use water timers
    • They can be a bit tricky to learn at first, but once you get the hang of it they can save you a lot of time

Step 5:  Watch them grow

  • Plugs planted 6″ apart usually fill in within 1 year though it may take 2
    • Optimal growth is encouraged when…
      • Plugs are watered well during the 1st month of growth
      • Maintained on normal watering recommendations thereafter (e.g. 1″ once a week)
      • Overgrowth of weeds is prevented

grass plug growth progression

  • The picture above shows the growth of Emerald Zoysia plugs that have been taken from sod
  • Plugs planted from trays should do just as well

For additional information including weed control and more detailed watering instructions follow this link


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