Sprigging is a method of planting a new lawn where single grass plants
at set intervals so the grass can fill in across the bare soil.
Sprigging can be accomplished either mechanically or manually. It normally
involves planting sprigs (stems or runners with 2 — 4 nodes or joints in the grass blade)
in furrows 1" — 2" deep and 10" — 18" apart.
Sprigs should be placed at 4" — 6" intervals within the cultivated furrows.
Shallower planting results in a more rapid establishment. The ideal placement leaves about 1/4 of each sprig above ground
after planting. Roll or tamp the soil around sprigs after planting and keep
the upper surface (1" — 2") moist by daily, light watering
until the grass is well rooted and spreading out.
In large areas, it is
best to sprig and water smaller sections at a time. Sprig warm-season
turfgrasses at least 2 months before the first fall frost in order
to allow enough time for the sprigs to spread out and take root.
There are several methods of planting sprigs
One method is to cut
shallow furrows in the prepared planting area by using a push-plow
or the edge of a hoe. Place the sprigs from one end to the other, or about every 6" — 12" along the row. Cover a part of each sprig with soil and firm
by rolling or stepping on the furrow. The closer together the sprigs
are planted, the faster the grass will cover the soil. Rows should
be placed no further than 6" — 8" apart.
A second method is to
place the sprigs on the soil surface at the desired interval end-to-end,
about 6" apart, and then press one end of the sprig into
the soil with a notched stick or a dull shovel.
A portion of the sprig should be left above ground exposed to the light.
Each sprig should have some leaves, but a single node will do if the stolon
has no leaves.
Regardless of the planting method, each sprig should
be tamped or rolled firmly into the soil. This will help keep the
sprigs from drying out. As with seeding, soil must be kept
continually moist— not wet— until rooted.
Watering lightly 1 — 2 times daily will be required for several weeks. Mulching can also be used in vegetative planting for
moisture conservation and erosion control.
Another method of sprigging, which is used where rapid cover is needed,
is stolonizing or broadcast sprigging. The sprigs are prepared by mechanical
shredding or hand tearing of sod into individual sprigs, or purchased
by the bushel (most common method used with bermuda). The material is broadcast,
like a mulch, over the area by hand. Sprigs are then cut into the soil
with a light disc or covered with ½" of soil topdressing,
rolled, and watered. This method provides very fast coverage.
sprigs are planted at a shallow depth, they are susceptible
to drying out. Frequent watering's are necessary until roots