How Many Trays Will I Need?
Measure the area to be installed. To calculate the number of plugs needed, use the table below for the desired spacing. Then divide your total by 72 (72 plugs per tray) to find the number of trays you will need; round up or down based on your preference.
We usually recommend 12″ center spacing for California Buffalograss, which comes out to one plug per square foot. Plugs placed 12 inches apart should cover fully in 3 to 6 growing months (Plugs will go dormant during the winter and will not grow. We do not recommend planting during this time). 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
Don’t stress if you can’t immediately get to planting your plugs! Just take care of them and they’ll be fine to sit until you’re ready to roll!
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.
It is extremely important to treat your space prior to installation to make sure that an exisiting weeds, plants or lawns have been killed off so that they do not overtake your young plugs when they are establishing. We can’t stress this enough! Take extra time and extra care to make sure you’ve killed off everything before you install your plugs and save yourself some major stress!
Often, this is a several week process. After killing off your existing lawn or weeds with a product such as Round-Up Weed and Grass Killer, you will want to wait one day and then begin to regularly water your space to encourage existing weeds and grass to come up. Apply another application to anything that pops up. Repeat this process until everything is eradicated. The chemical absorbs through the leaf and stem only so its killing power won’t spread to non-target plants through soil, but to be safe wait one week after your last application before installing California Buffalograss. Taking the time to do this before installation will save you from the headache of having isolate the weeds or old grass from the establishing California Buffalograss plugs. Here is a list of helpful advice from the Lazy Gardens blog on what to do before your installation!
Not taking the time to properly prep your space could mean having to deal with invading grasses and weeds while trying not to harm your newly planted California Buffalograss plugs. Trust me, it will be a huge pain in the butt! Take all the extra steps you need to make sure you’ve eradicated everything!
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.
Spacing and Planting
Mark the area to be plugged with your desired spacing – some people also simply “eyeball” it or create some sort of marker as a guide (measure 12″ increments on a piece of scrap wood or piping). Don’t get too frustrated if everything isn’t exactly in a perfect grid – it doesn’t have to be! The plugs send out runners above the ground and eventually it will fill where it needs to.
Stagger the rows as in figure 1. At each plug location dig or drill a hole about 2 inches deep. We offer a custom auger drill bit attachment that can assist you in your installation and can reduce the amount of strain on your back from bending down to the ground. Trust me, you’ll want one!
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.