I have a quick question. While I know a good bit about bushes, shrubs and potted plants, I'll admit I don't know much about grass. We live in the south east with a lot of clay soil. Some of the best grass in our yard is just random grass that either blew across the driveway while we were planting at one time or else a bird dropped some there at one point. We have a small field we mow to keep it looking good.

I never water or fertilize it, but it is almost always great looking grass. I don't know the kind, but it's one of the ones that goes by runner. However, they're so dense it's almost like walking on carpet. It doesn't really brown in a drought, though it does go brown and dormant in the winter. I can forget to cut it and it doesn't grow fast or tall. I can cut it lower if I want and it doesn't seem to hurt it.

I'd love to start moving it around my yard and get it started in other places if possible. I have bad luck with grass, though. I know you can get the runner type grass in plugs and plant them slightly apart and they fill in. I'd like to try that, but I don't know how you collect the plugs. As it stands right now, I would try to take a piece of steel pipe and pop it down a few inches into the ground to get plant and root, then I'd take it up and use the "plug" to propagate it and put some good soil in the hole I made to let the grass grow back over it. I'd just take a doze or so of these to start with.

I figured I could then till up the spot I want to start them in and add some miracle grow dirt or compost and plant and water them. If they take I can repeat the process until I have as much as I want. I even have a spot I could make into a sacrifice spot and only use it for the purpose of propagating this grass. Does this sound like a viable way to spread this grass? Thanks for the help. I think it looks like Zoysia grass, maybe? Who knows. I'll get a pick on here if I can.

2 Answers 2


Lots of fancy grasses are sold commercially as plugs. To harvest them they use what looks like a lawn aerator but about 1" to 1.5" in diameter.

To cut plugs like for your purpose you need to make a tool. I would try this:

Take a shovel and cut off the blade about 4" down from the foot rests.

Take a chunk of electrical conduit about 8" long by 1" to 1.5" diameter. (Look in the back of an electrical contractor in the dumpster for scraps.)

With a saw or cutoff wheel, cut a slit about 4" long. This slit goes through both sides of the pipe, so you end up with a deep narrow notch, like what is used on an arrow.

cut off one side. You now have a chunk that is a pipe for 4" on one end, and a half pipe on the other end.

Flatten out the half pipe, so that the end is close to flat. Leave as much curve in as you can, consistent with a straight or nearly straight end.

Bolt this flat part to the remainder of the blade of your shovel. Use 3 bolts, one about an inch above the join between half pipe and pipe, and two near the upper edge of the flattened half pipe. You may find it works better to bolt to the backside of the blade depending on the blade shape.

In use:

  1. Mow the area you are going to harvest.

  2. Water it well the day before you harvest.

  3. Place end of pipe on ground. Step on foot rests. This will gouge a plug.

  4. Repeat. The second plug will push out the first.

This same tool can be used to plant them in a new location. Techique is slightly different: Insert your new plug tool, but not quite as deep. Wigge in a circle to slightly expand the hole. Pull a plug, and push a transplant in. Since it's not as deep, it runs out of room. Stomp hard to make it expand into the hole. You may find it works better if you let the plugs dry for a day to shrink.

You may find it easier if you make a somewhat longer chunk of conduit and cut the end off at a 45 degree angle. Sharpening the end is optional.


Whew! Great idea on making the tool, but I got tired just reading about it. If you don't have all the necessary tools, you may want to look up "grass plug extractor." I found a couple for under $50.

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