DIY Network

How to Repair a Lawn by Sod Coring or Plugging

Essentially the lawn version of a hair transplant, this method works well only with spreading grasses such as Bermuda or St. Augustine.

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  • Time

    Under Half Day

  • Price Range

    $1 - $50

  • Difficulty



Step 1: Prepare the Transplant Area

Prepare the damaged area by removing all dead grass and 1" to 2" of soil 3/4" past the edge of the dead grass.

Water the area, then amend the soil by working in either compost, leaf mold or fine-milled peat moss to a depth of 3" to 5". Be sure to add enough to make up for the soil you removed.

Step 2: Transplant Healthy Turf

Cut 2" by 2" by 1" plugs of grass from an area of healthy lawn and transplant them to the prepared area about 6" to 12" apart (4" to 6" works best for slower-growing grasses, 4" to 12" for St. Augustine grass).

transplant healthy turf to prepared site

Step 3: Tamp the Transplant

Tamp them down with your foot, then keep them moist until you see them start to spread.

Regarding fertilization for transplanted areas, it's best to wait until your next regularly scheduled fertilization. Applying fertilizer during or shortly after the patch process can burn the roots of newly transplanted plugs.