How to Sprig Bermuda Grass

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You can plant individual grass plants to establish a Bermuda grass lawn.
You can plant individual grass plants to establish a Bermuda grass lawn. (Image: grass image by Marek Kosmal from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

There are a number of ways to establish a Bermuda grass lawn, including seed, sod and sprigs. Sprigging is an inexpensive way to establish a new Bermuda grass lawn because it takes less grass than sodding. Bermuda grass establishes easily because the grass is a very aggressive growing variety of lawn grass. Sprigging is accomplished by setting grass plants into the soil in intervals on a bare yard. Once the grass becomes established, it will spread quickly.

Things You'll Need

  • Soil auger
  • Bucket
  • Plastic bag
  • Rototiller
  • Compost
  • Composted manure
  • Peat moss
  • Sulfur
  • Lime
  • Landscaping rake
  • Garden hose

Test your soil before establishing a lawn by digging up to 10 soil samples from the lawn’s surface with a soil auger. Each soil sample should be 2 inches wide by 6 inches deep. Mix the samples in a bucket and allow them to dry. Collect 1 cup of soil in a plastic bag and take it to your local county extension service. An agent at the extension service will help send your soil to a state university soil-testing laboratory for a small fee. The test results will be returned in approximately three weeks, and will indicate your lawn’s pH, soil structure and amendments you can add to the soil.

Break up your soil to a depth of 6 inches with a rototiller. Spread amendments over the soil in a 4-inch layer. Mix the amendments into the soil with the rototiller. Good amendments for a lawn include nitrogen-rich organic fertilizers, such as compost and composted manure, as well as peat moss to aerate the soil and improve drainage. Lime is another good soil amendment to lower the soil pH. Sulfur will raise the pH.

Re-grade and smooth your soil with a landscaping rake. Your yard should slope gradually away from your home to cause water to run away from the foundations. Create furrows with the rake that are 1 inch deep and 10 inches apart in the soil.

Press a single bermudagrass plant, known as a sprig, into a furrow. Sprigs should be spaced 4 inches apart in each furrow.

Tamp around the sprigs with your shoe and water daily to keep the upper 2 inches of soil in the furrows as damp as a wrung-out sponge. Continue to water daily for the first two weeks until the sprigs become established. Then water once every 10 days.

Tips & Warnings

  • Establish lawn grass well in advance of the first frosts of the fall. Lawn grass can take up to two months to become established and develop a root system that will help it through winter.

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