How to Plant a Lawn from Stolons

Stolons are creeping stems of grasses that you can use to establish warm-season lawns that cannot be started from seeds. Stolons have nodes that can take root and form a new plant. They are usually sold by the bushel, with a bushel being the equivalent of 1 square yard of sod. Learn how to plant a lawn from stolons to establish a great-looking lawn of St. Augustine, Bermuda, Centipede, or Zoysia grasses. Some cool-climate grasses can only be multiplied through the use of stolons since they may not produce seeds at all. Stolons have an advantage over planting a lawn with seeds because birds do not eat stolons. They are often less expensive than sod, but they are very perishable and should not be ordered until you're ready to plant.

Steps

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    Add an irrigation system before planting a lawn with stolons.
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    Grade or edge the area where the lawn will be planted as needed. Make sure the grade is away from buildings.
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    Add topsoil to a depth of 6 to 8 inches (15.24 to 20.32 cm).
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    Till the lawn to be planted with stolons. Use a hand tiller or a tractor with a tiller attachment.
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    Rake the area smooth, remove any large rocks, and break up thick dirt clods.
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    Prepare your soil for planting stolons by applying a lawn fertilizer.
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    Add a weed control if the topsoil has been brought into the site or if the area has a lot of weeds. Stolons are quite susceptible to weeds during the first few weeks after planting, and putting down weed control before planting will give them a head start over the weeds.
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    Fill a bucket with water, and soak the stolons 3 to 4 hours before planting.
    • If the stolons came in a bag, fill the bag with water. When you are ready to plant, puncture the bag and drain the water.
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    Scatter stolons on top of the tilled soil, or plant them in rows.
    • To plant stolons in rows, make small furrows in the topsoil 2 inches (5.1 cm) deep and 6 to 12 inches (15.2 to 30.5 cm) apart.
    • Place the stolons in the furrows with the nodes in contact with the soil.
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    Cover the stolons with 1/8 to 1/2 inch (.32 to 1.27 cm) of topsoil, peat moss, or other moisture-retaining planting material.
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    Use a lawn roller to gently press the stolons into the topsoil.
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    Water the lawn immediately after planting. Keep the stolons moist for at least 10 days after planting. You may need to water every few hours throughout the day. After 10 days, the watering may be decreased.
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    Allow 60 to 90 days for full coverage of the lawn.

Tips

  • Plant stolons early in the morning to prevent them from drying out.
  • Fertilize 2 weeks after planting and then every 4 to 6 weeks after that for maintenance.
  • Keep stolons moist until planting. Stolons can dry out and begin to die in as little as 15 minutes.
  • Correct mowing will encourage the stolons to spread. Begin mowing 3 to 4 weeks after the stolons have been planted to encourage them to spread laterally.
  • When broadcasting stolons, be sure the coverage is even or your lawn will look patchy for awhile.

Warnings

  • Do not allow puddles to form while watering.
  • Do not spray herbicides on a newly planted lawn. If weeds become a problem, pull them by hand until the lawn has been mowed at least 3 times. After this, the stolons will have established themselves and chemicals may be applied to the lawn as needed.

Things You'll Need

  • Tiller or tractor with a tiller
  • Rake
  • Stolons
  • Lawn roller
  • Fertilizer
  • Weed prevention
  • Water

Article Info

Categories: Lawn Care