Grass plugs are becoming more commonly used amongst homeowners for various reasons: to fill in damaged or bare areas of their lawn, or as a cheaper alternative to a full sod installation. Sod University started a series on two grass plug plots we grew here at our office since planting in May of 2019 with a blog that summarized the first day of planting, a fall update and a spring update. It has now been over a full year since the day of planting and the grass plugs have made impressive progress.
Since our last update in March of 2020, the grass plugs have made tremendous progress and have completely filled in all bare spots of soil.
Pictured above: A close-up and a few far away shots of CitraBlue St. Augustine grass plugs.
Pictured above: A close-up and a few far away shots of Innovation Zoysia grass plugs.
In the late spring of this year, we made sure we applied herbicides to the grass plugs before temperatures became too warm. Herbicides typically shouldn’t be applied when temperatures exceed 85 degrees as they will damage your grass. You can read more about this in The Best and Worst Times for Herbicide Applications. One of the types of weeds we encounter around this time is called doveweed, a summer annual weed that germinates during the late spring. Doveweed leaves are thick, shiny and around four inches in length. Because of its long, grass-like foliage, doveweed is often overlooked in St. Augustinegrass or centipedegrass lawns. Doveweed spreads aggressively within the lawn with their stolons.
We applied Spectracide Weed Stop For Lawns Plus Crabgrass Killer to half of the test plot that contained Innovation plugs. St. Augustine and centipedegrass in particular are sensitive to herbicides with the active ingredients 2,4-D and MSMA. Herbicides with Atrazine as the active ingredient are safer to use on this type of grass, so we made applications of an Atrazine-based product on the half of the test plot containing CitraBlue St. Augustine grass plugs. The purpose was to help with weed pressure in our plots as the grass plugs filled in more. As with all control products, read product labels thoroughly before application.
If you apply a fertilizer to your grass plugs, take note that you will also be helping weeds grow. This does not mean you should stop applying fertilizer, however. The ultimate goal is to help your grass plugs grow and establish so that weeds do not continue to be an issue in your lawn. In the late spring/early summer, we applied a bottle of Lawnifi® Recover help with the stress of heat. Recover is a powerful nutrition package that delivers micronutrients such as iron along with a combination of the nitrogen and carbon needed to grow a healthy lawn during stressful conditions. Recover gives lawns the nutrients needed to fight through seasonal and environmental stress.
Four weeks later, we followed up with an application of Lawnifi Maintain, a fertilizer designed to help fortify plant and root zones with potassium, amino acids and carbon for increased microbial activity and soil health. With the use of Catalyst TechnologyTM, Lawnifi allows you to use less fertilizer with better results while covering 5,000 sq. ft. with just 32 oz. of liquid fertilizer. Learn more about Lawnifi here.
For more information on the grass plugs and our progress so far, be sure to check out these previous articles: What are Grass Plugs and How to Use Them, Fall Grass Plugs Update and Spring Grass Plugs Update.