LawnMasters Lawn and Landscape              Paris, TN
Sprigging a New Lawn                                                           Puryear, TN
When sprigging a lawn, most of the steps required to seed a lawn are
taken, but instead of spreading seed, you spread sprigs across the lawn.  A
sprigged lawn requires about 10 bushels of sprigs per thousand square
feet of lawn area to be spread out and worked in.  


Sprigs are simply shredded sod. Most of the time sprigging is done with
warm season grasses that spread by rhizomes and stolons. Bermuda and
Zoysia in our area of West Tennessee, Paris, Tn. Henry County.  You will
have to call your local sod farm and buy the sprigs unless you happen to
have a large patch of the grass type you could till up. Lets assume you will
order your sprigs. Till the lawn up just as you would do in a new seeding
project. Get the grade set, till the soil deep at least 4". Then get your sprigs.
Spread the sprigs over the soil by whatever means you have. We use a
front end loader. Sod farms will do it for you with a machine that drills the
sprigs into the ground. You can take them wheel barrow at a time and
spread them by hand if you have to. After they are spread out as even as
you can get them they will need to be incorporated into the tilled soil. You
can pull a large roller over the ground and press them into the soil, or take
a tiller and till them working them into the ground. The method doesn't
really matter as long as you get them in good contact with the soil.  


After working the sprigs into the soil, we cover them with straw just like you
would after seeding a lawn. It's not absolutely needed, but it does conserve
water and keeps them moist. Just like in a seeding project, if you don't keep
the sprigs moist they won't grow.  Since the sprigs are a living growing
piece of grass, they need to be watered just as soon as possible. Soak the
ground until water runs off then keep the soil wet. It will take a couple of
weeks to see the sprigs start to return to life. They will be green when you
put them into the soil, but then turn brown and look dead. Don't worry, when
dealing with warm season grasses like Bermuda and Zoysia, you just
about can't kill it. Water is the key, give it plenty.

They timing for sprigging is the same as for seeding Warm Season
grasses. First of May through July is acceptable in our area of Tennessee.
Farther north may not have as long of a window but farther south has a
longer window of sprigging dates. After sprigging and keeping it watered for
a couple of weeks you will start to see the sprigs come to life along with a
lot of weeds and junk grass you don't want right now. Don't worry too much
about the weeds now, fertilize the lawn every 2 weeks with small amounts
of nitrogen to encourage fast spreading of the stolons and rhizomes of the
grass you planted. Use about 4# of 15-15-15 per thousand square feet
every two weeks for the first 6 weeks. Then start using Ammonium Nitrate
at the rate of 3# per thousand sq. feet. The Bermuda or Zoysia will start to
green up and start crawling and putting out new stems and leaves. You will
have a few bare spots around but the Bermuda is a crawling grass and
should cover all of the spots by the end of the growing season.
After the grass and weeds have grown tall enough to start mowing, about 3"
tall, mow the grass tall the first time, right at 2". Remember this is warm
season grass and can be cut shorter than fescue grass.  After mowing the
grass twice you can start putting weed control on the lawn. If you have a
sprayer that pulls behind a lawn mower, the type with a 15 or 20 gal tank
and a 12 volt pump you can spray the lawn easily. You can do it with a hand
sprayer it will just take a long time.  A good chemical to use is MSMA while it
is still available, there is talk that it will be taken off of the market soon.  It is
a grass and broadleaf weed killer that works well on bermuda without
hurting the bermuda. Always follow label instructions when using any
chemical, and if your not comfortable and completely understand what your
doing, hire a professional. If you use the MSMA, you will spray monthly
through the growing season and it will keep the crabgrass, goose
grass,
barnyard
grass, and some 60 other annual grassy weeds and broadleaf
weeds out.

With a sprigging project, you must keep the grass watered, keep it fertilized
and keep the weeds out, and keep it mowed short. Mowing short
encourages lateral growth which is what crawling grasses like to do. Do
these things and you will have complete coverage in 6 to 8 weeks if you
follow all directions.  Good Luck on your new lawn and email us if you have
any questions.
Questions? Email us
Plugging is much like sprigging in the objective. You are placing several live
making a solid lawn of the grass you plugged. The closer you can put the
plugs the faster the lawn will grow together, as a general rule, put them
1foot apart on a row and column pattern. You can use a large tulip bulb
planter to make holes in the lawn, take some chopped up sod of the variety
you are going to install, just wad up a hand full and stuff it into the holes as
tight as you can.
731.642.2876  888.664.LAWN