St Augustine plugs vs sod is an important decision when planting this grass in your yard. Both are very different means of growing this grass on the lawn, and each one has its pros and cons.
This article compares the advantages and disadvantages of both sods and plugs. Carry reading to determine which fits your lawn requirements and budget the most.
|Size||Two to three inches in length and width||The standard size for sods is around a width of two feet and length of five feet|
|Ease Of Installation||Easy to install||Difficult to install|
|Soil Preparation Needed||Little to none||Extensive soil preparation needed|
|Time Taken To Establish Roots||Quickly||Might take time|
- How Are St Augustine Plugs Different From Sods?
- Characteristics of St Augustine Plugs
- Characteristics of St Augustine Sods
How Are St Augustine Plugs Different From Sods?
Augustine grass plugs are smaller in size and much less expensive when compared to grass sods. Sods require extensive soil preparation beforehand and might need professional help for installation. Grass in plug form takes roots much quicker than sod form.
Characteristics of St Augustine Plugs
The characteristics of the St Augustine plugs are that they are prone to grow in trays, and distance must be kept between them. Moreover, they are cheaper options if you grow them and quite easy to be installed. To catch their issue is quite simple as they would root easily.
Buying multiple small plugs of this grass and planting them in the yard will help you get a lush lawn cost-effectively and quickly. Otherwise, the St Augustine grass seeds take several weeks to germinate and take root.
– Growing in Trays
Plugs of St Augustine are grown individually in trays with soil under them. Each tray or plug comprised a thin layer of soil and established grass to be transplanted into the lawn. Plugs vary from seller to seller but, on average, measure about two to three inches in length and width. Depending on the dimensions of your lawn, you need to buy the right number of plugs.
– Distance Kept
Each plug needs to be planted at a distance of about 10 to 12 inches from the next ones on all sides. Keep in mind that plugs need to be installed in the lawn along with the soil. Over time, the grass will grow roots deep within your lawn’s soil and spread to fill the bare spots between each plug.
– Cheaper Option
Plugs are a much more economical option for those on a tight budget concerning the lawn, which means it is a great choice if you wish to invest in this type of grass. On the other hand, it is also a much more viable option for those with a very large lawn when buying an entire turf would become too expensive. In fact, for a medium-sized lawn, buying plugs costs at least six to seven times less than a sod type would.
When you factor in the low installment costs that are needed with plugs, no doubt remains that, for most of us, this is the better option. As a beginner in lawn care, we understand if you want to try out plugs before laying down a good turf.
– Installed Easily
Using grass plugs is easier and more convenient if you want to plant grass yourself. It would be best if you had proper plug tools to dig the right-sized holes in the soil. We have found that a trowel works just as well too. You can save yourself the hassle, as you wouldn’t be needing an expert in the field to come and install it for you.
Each plug should only be planted at the level of its soil. Planting it any deeper puts it at risk of developing rot etc. Lastly, gently move a roller over the planted plug so that it forms intimate contact with the ground below.
– Problems Are Easy to Solve
When Augustine grass plugs are planted in the soil; adequate spaces are placed between each plug. It takes several weeks for the grass to grow and these spaces to fill up. In the meanwhile, this helps you localize potential problems in the lawn.
Until the grass properly takes root in the soil, you can gently lift the plugs and see under it, whether there are pests, or a fungal problem, it is quite simple to tackle them.
If a certain section of the lawn suffers from drainage problems, you can spot and diagnose them by seeing which plugs are affected. It is also far easier to lift individual plugs and treat the underlying problem than lift the entire sod.
– Take Root Easily
Not all grasses behave the same when grown and sold in plug forms. Grass species that do not grow via stolons are not good at growing via plugs. The good news is that St Augustine is not one of them. It does extremely well in plug form and establishes very quickly in the lawn.
Plugs are also quick to take root in the soil compared to other types, which means that in a fast pace, you will have a grass that is very well established and fixed. Because they do not already have a proper layer of soil underneath, it tends to stay a little more challenging. In short, the grass in plug form, is a type that you would invest in which is characterized by how it hates its confined nature and is quick to take root whenever planted on the lawn.
Characteristics of St Augustine Sods
The characteristics of the St Augustine sod are that they grow as carpets, and need prior soil preparation to establish themselves. Moreover, they do not need any time to be filled in. When you invest in these, you see that they are expensive, however, they prevent soil erosion from happening.
In short, sods of St Augustine are quite expensive and heavy on a budget of an average lawn owner. However, planting sod means instantaneously getting a lawn full of Augustine.
– Grows as Carpet
Sod grass, also known as turf, is carpet-like patches of soil and grass, and these are quite a popular choice that you can have. The grass growing on turf has shallow roots growing into the thin layer of soil underneath.
Like a carpet or turf, this type of grass can be easily folded in various shapes and sizes, get cut to fit properly and even adjusted if you have a curvy ending around your lawn. The latter means that you can purchase sod roughly the size of your lawn and then lay it all over it.
Professional turf owners create these sods that would be made from the healthiest varieties of grasses. With sod or turf, you can instantly get green grass on the lawn.
– Needs Prior Soil Preparation
Unlike plugs, sod cannot be placed over the soil and is expected to take root. Proper soil preparation is required before sod can be laid over the lawn; otherwise, it won’t take root, and the money spent on it will go to waste.
The first step you must take in this situation is to clean your lawn of all the debris present over it. Anything bigger than two to three inches, like rocks, stones, and twigs, must be cleaned off the lawn. This is essential because you want it to have a proper grip, or a healthy establishment when you are adjusting it.
You need to grade the lawn and create a drainage path away from your house. If the lawn is already sloped, then this needs to be reduced. Which means that you can use hand-held tools for grading smaller areas, while a tractor-mounted blade will be needed for a larger lawn.
Next, you must either till the soil up to a depth of two to four inches or carry out proper soil aeration. Aeration followed by tilling will also get rid of weeds and improve drainage. On the other hand, don’t forget that you must also test the soil to see if it needs amendment, then add premium-quality topsoil. The most important step is to use a roller to flatten the surface of the lawn so that sod attaches properly to it.
– No Time Needed For Fill-In
Unlike other types, if you invest in sods, they are ones that come in a single carpet like a roll of soil and grass. It is bought the same size as the lawn and then cut according to its exact curves and corners. After you have prepared the soil well and placed sod over it, you instantaneously get a yard full of grass.
This is unlike planting St Augustine in plug form, in which you must wait for the grass to become established and fill in the spaces between each plug. If you are short on time to get your lawn established within two to three days, sod is the best choice.
– Very Expensive
When you decide to plant St Augustine, be ready to spend a fortune on it compared to plugs of grass. On average, the sods of this grass cost at least three to four times as much as buying plugs needed to cover the same area. Although you will have a proper fitting option, but it is going to be heavy for your pocket, which means if you have a tight budget, you should think twice.
Afterward, you also need to add in the cost of the extensive lawn preparation required before sod can be installed. Sod is also not easy to establish all by yourself either. You will likely need professional sod installers to place sod on the lawn.
– Helps Prevent Erosion
In sloppy lawns at risk of soil erosion from rainfalls; sod is an effective prevention method. Sod is a layer of soil and grass planted over the eroding soil. The established grass soon forms an extensive network of roots underground. Within a week or two, sod has already begun to carry out erosion control.
Both plugs and sod are effective means of growing St Augustine in a lawn in a short amount of time rather than waiting for the seeds to germinate for one whole month. In this article, we have discussed these methods’ major pros and cons in great detail.
This is the best choice if you can afford to buy and get sod installed professionally, however, you can also check this with the benefits that it also has, such as preventing erosion. Otherwise, using plugs is also a quick and cost-effective method that works just as well.
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