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Instructions for Installing Buffalograss Plugs


Measure the area to be plugged

Measure the area to be plugged. Refer to "How much Sod Do I need?" if you need help calculating the square footage.  To calculate the number of plugs needed, use the following formula for the appropriate spacing.

Spacing Desired Number to multiply your square footage by
18 inches on center multiply by .44
15 inches on center multiply by .64
12 inches on center multiply by 1.00
9 inches on center multiply by 1.78
6 inches on center multiply by 4.00

Plugs placed 18 inches apart should cover in 2 to 4 growing months.  Reduced spacings should be used for areas subject to erosion, such as slopes,or when a quicker establishment is desired.

Storing the plugs until planting


You do not have to plant the plugs immediately, but the plugs are perishable.  Unpack the plugs as soon as possible from the box they were shipped to you in or remove them from your vehicle as soon as you get home.  Place the trays in a single layer in an area protected from the wind. Water the plugs immediately and keep them moist until you are ready to plant them.



Soil Preparation

New Lawns

Remove all construction debris, stones, vegetation, etc. Start with a properly graded yard. Do not expect the plugs to hide a rough grade. Be sure all areas drain properly.   After final grade is complete, firm any loose soil by rolling or water (slowly to avoid erosion) and let soil settle. Rake smooth. Then follow the "Spacing and Planting" directions below for planting the plugs.

Renovated Lawns

Herbicide Method -
Following label directions, spray the entire planting area with glyphosate non-selective herbicide such as RoundUp®. If you have “hard-to-kill” perennial weeds or invasive grass, such as Zoysia or Bermuda, wait one week and apply a second application of Round Up®. After a minimum of 48 hours your site is ready to plug. Mow to 1 inch height before planting.

Mechanical Method -
If you prefer not to use chemicals in your renovation you need to remove the current grass by one of the following methods:

Remove the existing grass using a sod cutter (these are available at many rental stores). Till the area to a depth of 3 to 4 inches, let it dry for a few days. Then water to compact the soil. Rake to an even grade when dry.

front yard landscape

° Roto-till the area to a depth of 3 to 4 inches, tilling the existing vegetation under, mixing it with the soil. Wait 5 days to allow the tilled vegetation to die. Water the area, let it dry and roto-till it again. Be sure to repeat several times to get a good soil bed, free of dirt clods and old vegetation. Firm any loose soil by rolling or water slowly to avoid erosion and let soil settle. Rake smooth. NOTE: Mechanical eradication may not work with “hard-to-kill” perennial weeds or invasive grasses like Bermuda or Zoysia. Use herbicides for these situations.


Spacing and Planting

NOTE: We recommend dipping your plugs in ZEBA as you plant.

Mark the area to be plugged with your desired spacing.  Stagger the rows as in figure 1.  At each plug location drill a hole about 1-1/4 inch deep.  If you are planting a small amount of plugs, a 1-1/4 inch drill bit can be purchased at a hardware store.  If you are planting a large number of plugs you might want to consider purchasing the 18 inch Soil Auger.  It fits on any 1/4" or larger electric or cordless drill and can reduce the amount of strain on your back from bending down to the ground.   Place the plug into the hole being sure it is firmly against the bottom of the hole.  This is very important.  If the plug is not pressed in it will create an air pocket under the plug and could reduce the chance of survival.   Repeat for all plugs.  Water areas as they are completed.

Figure 1    x            x            x            x               x

x            x            x               x            x


"Click Here" to view a short clip of buffalograss plugs being installed.

Soil Erosion Prevention


If you have a slope that you want to place the plugs on, but are worried about erosion, you will need to use some kind of erosion control.  After installation is complete, place a lightweight biodegradable erosion control mat or straw mat on top of the plugs.  This will help control the erosion and help keep the area moist, but will not interfere with the growth of the plugs.





Water your new plugs immediately after planting, soaking each plug thoroughly with Miracle Gro 15-30-15 general purpose plant food, following label instructions.  This will give your plugs a boost that will help insure success.  Keep the area wet for the first two weeks, then slowly reduce watering, but keep the ground moist.  After the fourth week, soak the area once or twice per week until the plugs have completely covered the area.  This additional watering will keep the plugs actively growing and spreading as quickly as possible.  After this period, additional watering will depend on your natural rainfall and temperatures, as well as your soil type.  Clay soil will require less water than sandy soil.  Water your buffalograss to prevent stress.  Buffalograss is under stress when the grass blades wilt or the tips turn a purplish/brown color.



After installation is complete, saturate each plug with Miracle Gro general purpose fertilizer or fertilize the area with a sod/seed starter fertilizer.  Both are available at your local garden center.  Read and follow the directions on the label for proper rates and application.





Weed Control

Immediately after planting, apply a fertilizer with pre-emergent weed control following the label directions.  Scotts makes Halts Crabgrass Preventer® or Turfbuilder with Halts®.   Most garden centers will have these products or similar herbicides. Repeat this application at 1/2 rate in 8 weeks.

In poor soil conditions or Southern climates a third fertilizer application, without pre-emergent, may be done in mid-summer and a fourth application can be applied in early fall.

Throughout the summer, Broadleaf weeds such as  dandelions, clover or pigweeds can be controlled after they emerge using broadleaf weed herbicides without 2-4D or a granular weed and feed. Products like Scotts Turfbuilder Plus2® , which contain 2-4D, can be applied when the temperature is below 85 degrees Fahrenheit.


Caution: Never use a product which contains 2-4D when the temperatures are above 85 degrees.  This will harm your buffalograss.


The following herbicides can safely be used on Buffalograss at anytime of the year to control most weeds.  They must be RTS [Ready to Spray] formulations.  The container attaches to your garden hose for quick and easy application.  The large amount of water applied with the RTS makes injury to the buffalograss unlikely, even during high temperatures.  If applying during the summer, apply in the evening. A second application may be needed in 10-20 days for some weeds.  Available at most garden centers.


Broadleaf weeds may also be controlled at any temperature with "Spotlight®" or "Momentum™".  Annual grassy weeds that are present like crabgrass or foxtail may be controlled with "DRIVE®" or "Tenacity™".  Consult a professional lawn care company for application of these chemicals.

 Hard to kill perennials and unwanted perennial grasses like bluegrass and fescue can be eliminated in the late fall or early spring by spraying round-up on your lawn while the buffalograss is dormant and when the unwanted weeds or grasses are still green and growing.  Buffalograss is dormant when no green shows in the foliage; a small amount of green at the base of the plant is okay.  Mowing can also be used to control weeds, but is not as effective as herbicides.  New herbicides are being developed for buffalograss.  Consult your extension agent or Todd Valley Farms or return to this web site for the latest material available.


Without Herbicides

If you wish to avoid the use of chemicals, hand eradication of weeds and mowing at 1 - 1 1/2 inches during establishment will benefit your new planting.  When using this method, your establishing buffalograss plugs will still benefit from fertilizer applications.


To reduce the amount of hand weeding, an organic weed control, corn gluten or an organic fertilizer with corn gluten can be applied to reduce the amount of weeds in the planting.  Corn Gluten is not 100% effective the first few years but continual use every year will improve control.  Corn gluten is a natural product made from corn and is available at most Garden Centers.






Mowing is important during the establishment period to encourage the buffalograss to spread and to control weed growth. Mow the area at 1 1/2 to 3 inches as frequently as necessary to control weed growth. If left un-mowed, your grass will reach a height of 3 to 8 inches, depending on variety and your local climate. There is no set mowing height for these buffalograss varieties. Just mow to the look you desire. In preparation for winter in Zones 6 and below, mow to a height of 2 to 2 ½ inches in late summer and early fall. Remember to mow to 1 inch or less in the early spring.    800-869-8544     View our PRIVACY POLICY       Revised March 1, 2010


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