St. Augustine Plugs Vs. Sod Which One Is Better

St. Augustine Plugs Vs. Sod: Which One Is Better

St. Augustine plugs vs. sod are two of the most popular methods for planting or replenishing a lawn. While they may seem similar at first glance, some subtle differences could make one or the other a better choice depending on the lawn. This article compares and contrasts sod and St. Augustine plugs to help you decide the best option. Scroll down to learn more!

Compare And Contrast

These types have their benefits and drawbacks. Moreover, they are suitable for different situations. Let’s compare them based on different factors!

#1. Price

The price is among the most significant factors when choosing between St. Augustine plugs and sod. The first are the better option if you’re on a tight budget. These are considerably cheaper than sod. Sod can be expensive, especially if you need to cover a large area. Meanwhile, St. Augustine plugs are sold in trays containing small sections of grass and are much cheaper than sod.

#2. Ease Of Installation

Regarding installation, St. Augustine plugs are easier to install than sod. Plugs require less soil preparation and are easier to handle, making them a perfect choice for DIY lawn enthusiasts. Sod requires more soil preparation, including soil testing and grading, which can be difficult for beginners. Furthermore, avoiding gaps between the sod pieces is essential to prevent weed growth during installation.

#3. Soil Preparation 

Both require soil preparation before installation. However, the sod requires more soil preparation than plugs. Sod needs well-prepared soil, which should be free of debris, rocks, and weeds. It is recommended to till the soil and add organic matter before installation. On the other hand, plugs can be planted in a hole dug with a garden trowel, and the soil around the spot can be lightly raked and watered.

#4. Time Taken to Establish Roots

One of the essential factors to consider when choosing between St. Augustine plugs versus sod is the time taken to establish roots. Sod has already established roots. It generally takes less time to settle in. Sod can start showing signs of root growth as soon as one week after installation. In contrast, St. Augustine plugs can take up to several weeks to establish roots, depending on the soil conditions and the climate.

#5. Size

The size is another factor to consider when choosing between the two .Sod comes in large rolls or sheets, which makes it ideal for covering large areas. On the other hand, St. Augustine plugs are small sections of grass that need to be planted individually. They may be a better option with a small lawn. However, sod may be the more practical choice if you have a large yard.

#6. Maintenance Requirements

Another factor to consider when comparing is their maintenance requirements. Sod requires a lot of water and daily attention during the first few weeks of installation to ensure that the roots establish correctly. On the other hand, St. Augustine plugs require less water than sod, and once they establish roots, they can survive on less water than sod. However, they require more maintenance and upkeep during the establishment period, including regular mowing, fertilizing, and weed control. If you are confused about the fuel type for your lawn mower, read our guides!

If you are in a hurry, check the comparison table below to know the differences between these options:

St. Augustine Plugs St. Augustine Sod
PriceCheaperMore expensive
Ease of installationEasierMore challenging
Soil preparationMinimalMore complicated
Time to establish rootLongerShorter
Maintenance requirementsMinimalMore regular maintenance

Pros And Cons

St. Augustine plugs have their advantages and disadvantages. Check them carefully before getting this grass type!


  • Cost-effective
  • Quick establishment
  • Less water required


  • Limited availability
  • Inconsistent growth
  • Prone to disease
  • Require much time to fill in

Pros And Cons Of St. Augustine Sod

Like any other grass, St. Augustine sod has its pros and cons. Weigh them carefully before installing this type for your yard!


  • Tolerance to heat and humidity
  • Good shade tolerance
  • Dense and attractive appearance
  • Establish roots quickly


  • High maintenance
  • High cost
  • Difficult installation
  • Complicated soil preparation
  • Susceptibility to diseases

Which Is Better?

When deciding between St. Augustine plugs and sod for your lawn, there are a few factors to consider. 

First of all, if you are seeking a more affordable option, St. Augustine plugs may be the way to go. 

They are less expensive than sod. Also, they require less maintenance over time. However, if you’re in a hurry to have a complete and lush lawn, sod may be the better choice. 

With sod, you can have an instant lawn ready to use and withstand heavy foot traffic right away. However, while St. Augustine plugs are a great cost-effective option, they require some patience. 

You’ll need to wait for them to fill in and grow before you have an entire lawn. On the other hand, sod is a more expensive option, but it provides an immediate solution to your lawn needs. 

Ultimately, the decision between St. Augustine plugs and sod comes down to your personal preferences, budget, and lawn needs. 

Whatever you choose, consider the factors above before making a decision.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to choosing between St. Augustine plugs and sod, there is no clear winner. Both types have pros and cons. Hence, the choice ultimately comes down to what you’re looking for in your lawn. 

Whether you choose one or the other, maintaining a healthy lawn requires proper watering, fertilization, and maintenance. 

This way, you can get a beautiful, lush lawn for years. If you want more maintenance tips, visit our site!

Happy gardening!

Photo by Bruno Aguirre on Unsplash

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