A sod plugger allows plugs of grass to be removed from an existing lawn or sod and transplanted to establish a new lawn. The photo above shows how these plugs are replanted. The tool can also be used dig holes for plugs that are purchased.
Not all types of grass can be replanted as plugs. The type of grass needs to be a variety that spreads to fill in bare spots. These are typically warm seasons grasses like Bermuda, Centipede, Zoysia, and St. Augustine. However, there are some cool season grasses that do spread such as Kentucky bluegrass.
Before you purchase a sod plugger, we recommend viewing the below video. It provides an excellent overview on using our favorite sod plugger, the ProPlugger. The video provides instructions on how to use the sod plugger for both new sod and taking plugs from existing turf. Generally, the other sod pluggers featured here work in a similar manner to the ProPlugger.
Best Sod Pluggers – Quick Summary:
1- ProPlugger 5-IN-1 Lawn Tool and Garden Tool
- WATCH OUR VIDEO - Click the video to see the ProPlugger in action.
- PLANT LIKE A PRO – Step, twist, pull and you’re ready to plant. Dig 2 and 1/8 inch diameter planting holes quickly, one after another, from a comfortable standing position. Soil gets stored in the tool as you work and empties by turning the tool upside down. Depth Rings allow you to consistently dig perfect planting holes at 2 inch, 4 inch and even 6 inch deep. Avoid digging in dry or overly saturated soil.
- MULTI-USE GARDEN TOOL – Plant your garden favorites. Spring and fall bulbs, annuals, ground covers, vegetables and more. Makes a great lawn and sod plugger (Not Recommended for St. Augustine Grass), weeding tool, soil sample tool and drip-edge fertilizing tool.
- TAKE THE PAIN OUT OF PLANTING – The ProPlugger 5-IN-1 Planting Tool allows you to work from a standing position, saving your back and knees. Comfortable, sturdy hand grips are helpful for seniors or those with mild arthritis.
- MADE IN THE USA of durable all welded carbon steel.
The ProPlugger works by driving the tool into the existing lawn. It has heavy-duty step plates to allow the legs to do most of the work. Once the ProPlugger is in the ground, you give it a twist and pull. You will then have your first plug inside the tube chamber.
What we love about this tool is that the plugs collect inside the tube as you work. Once the tube is full or you’ve pulled your desired amount of plugs, you simply tip the tool upside down to release the plugs out of the hole by the handle.
The plugger will dig 2-1/8 inch diameter plugs. It also comes with depth rings to dig holes that are 2, 4, or 6 inches deep. In other words, you’ll have a lot of options for how deep you go.
You might be wondering why this is a 5-in-1 tool. In addition to being used as a sod plugger, it can used as a bulb planter, weeder, annual planter, and a soil tester. It is an extremely versatile tool that you will likely get much more use out of than the occasional sod plugging.
This is a USA made product that is constructed out of a durable welded carbon steel.
2- Yard Butler Sod Plugger
- GREAT FOR TRANSPLANTING PLUGS OF ALL TYPES OF TURF GRASSES. Zoysia, Bermuda, Centipede, St. Augustine and many others so you can choose the best sod to repair your lawn.
- PICKS UP A 3" X 3" SQUARE PIECE OF SOD OR SOIL - the size of most commercially available grass plugs. Plugs fit tightly into prepared holes, ensuring better growth and survival for your turf.
- EASY EJECTOR HANDLE ELIMINATES BENDING OVER. Sawtooth blade and foot bar for extra leverage makes cutting into soil more manageable.
- DURABLE POWDER COATED STEEL TOOL IS BUILT TO LAST. 33 inches tall, 9 inches wide, weighs 4 lbs
- YARD BUTLER’S NO RISK 30 DAY SATISFACTION GUARANTEE. If it is not perfect for you, return it for a full refund or replacement.
There is nothing high-tech about this Yard Butler sod plugger, but there is no doubt that it works for plug-after-plug.
It features saw tooth blades to easily cut into the turf to create a 3 inch by 3 inch grass plug. This is the same size as the typical commercial plugs.
The foot bar allows for extra leverage to drive this tool deep into the ground. This takes the strain off the upper body including much of the back and arms.
There is no need to struggle with removing the plugs from the bottom of the tool near the potentially dangerous teeth. This sod plugger comes equipped with a 33 inch ejector plunger near the handle to make releasing the plug a safer task.
However, there are some complaints with the ejector mechanism. If the soil conditions are not right, it has been difficult for some people to release the sod plug from the tool. A rubber mallet hit on the ejector seems to be the go to method to release the plug from the tool.
This Yard Butler is made with a cushioned handle for comfort during long-term use. It weighs only 4 pounds, therefore, it is not overwhelming heavy to easily fatigued the user.
It is made with a high-quality powder coated steel that is built to last for many seasons ahead.
Yard Butler makes are favorite manual lawn aerator that we personal use on our lawn. While this is a different tool, the same quality of construction is found in this sod plugger. You should expect this tool to last for years ahead with many hours of use.
3- CHUMAA Sod Plugger – 5-in-1 Lawn Tool
- SIMPLE AND EASY TO USE – To use, drive the Long-Handled Bulb Planter into the soil and turn clock-wise and counter-clockwise a few times to loosen up the dirt, then pull up. Dig 3.5inch diameter planting holes quickly, one after another, from a comfortable standing position. Avoid digging in dry or overly saturated soil.
- MULTI-USE GARDEN TOOL – Plant your garden favorites. Spring and fall bulbs, annuals, ground covers, vegetables and more. Makes a great lawn and sod plugger, weeding tool, soil sample tool and drip-edge fertilizing tool.
- TAKE THE PAIN OUT OF PLANTING –5-IN-1 Planting Tool allows you to work from a standing position, saving your back and knees. Comfortable, sturdy hand grips are helpful for seniors or those with mild arthritis.
- COMFORTABLE T-BAR DESIGN – Let your feet do most of jobs, with foot plate design, not only saves wear and tear on your hands but also dig an accurate planting depth by its position you fix it to. It also has an extra-wide non-slip foot plate for ease and safety.
- DURABLE STRONG-STEEL DESIGN – The Bulb Planter is made from carbon steel. NO RISK 30 DAY SATISFACTION GUARANTEE. If it is not perfect for you, return it for a full refund or replacement.
The CHUMAA is another efficient sod plugger that is designed to pull out 3.5 inch plugs. The maximum depth is 4.7 inches.
It is operated by driving the tool into the ground by placing downward pressure on the T-bar handle and the footplate. Once deep enough into the ground, the tool is twisted and then pulled upward to release the sod plug from the ground.
This tool is about 34.5 inches tall and weighs approximately four pounds. It is constructed out of carbon steel that will hold up to the wear and tear of typical yard use.
This is a 5-in-1 tool that is versatile beyond just being a sod plugger. It can also be used as a bulb planter, flower planter, weeder, and soil sampler. Even if you only use this tool for one sod plugger task, it will likely be useful for numerous other garden panting task in the future.
4- Corona LG 3720 Sod Plugger
- Fill grassless areas without the expense of buying and installing sod
- Creates properly sized holes to accept standard 3-in. grass and sod plugs
- The quick release plunger effi ciently removes sod plugs
- Heat-treated, high carbon steel construction for lasting durability
- Slip-resistant traction groves designed into the footplate
The Corona Sod Plugger is very similar to the Yard Butler. If you are considering the Yard Butler, you should also consider this sod plugger.
To use this tool, you simply step down on the slip resistant footplate until the bottom of the footplate is even with the sod surface. The tool can then be removed from the ground with the sod plug inside the tool. Near the handle is a plunger that can then be pressed to release the sod plug. The tool produces a 3 inch plug.
Similar to the Yard Butler there are complaints about the plugger on this tool. It can difficult to remove the plugs with the plunger when soil conditions are not ideal.
The Corona Sod Plugger is made with high carbon steel. It also features cushioned ComfortGel handles to help prevent the hands from rapidly getting tired. The weight is four pounds making it easy to haul.
5- STBM Sod Plugger, Bulb Planter, Annual Planter, and More
- The Bulb Planter tool is a gardener’s best friend. Convenient and cost-effective, it allows you to plant bulbs quickly and easily while reduce bending and stooping.
- Easy twisting action makes a perfect hole for bulbs and bedding plants. Quickly dig a 7 inch deep, 2.5 inch wide hole.
- Long Handle prevents excessive bending so you can plant while standing straight, saving you time, and your back.
- Perfect Size Holes for Planting All Kinds of Bulbs and bedding plants. Tulips, Crocus, Dahlias, Gladiolus, Lilies, or any other spring flower bulbs and most bedding plants are easy to plant at the perfect depth.
- Durable Powder Coated Steel Tool is Built to Last. 32 inches tall, 13 inches wide, weighs 4 lbs.
This STBM tool is twisted into the ground to dig a maximum 7 inch deep hole that is 2.5 inches wide.
This tool is made from powder coated steel that will help the plugger hold up over time. It is 32 inches tall and weighs four pounds making it extremely portable.
It can be used for a variety of gardening activities beyond being a sod plugger. It can also help complete tasks such as bulb planting, weeding, annual planting, and soil testing.
Sod Pluggers: FAQ
You can, of course, use the tool on any type of grass. However, the purpose of planting plugs is to have the grass spread or creep to fill in the lawn. If the grass type does not spread, planting plugs will provide undesirable results. You must determine if your grass is able to be planted as plug to spread before planting.
Yes. Sod plugs can be found at a variety of places such as sod farms, nurseries, Lowe’s, Amazon, Home Depot, and more. You can use a sod plugger to establish the holes for the plugs assuming it creates holes of roughly the same size as the sod plugs.
Some sod pluggers are not recommended for certain types of grass. For example, the ProPlugger featured as our top pick is not recommended to be used on St Augustine sod. Before you purchase a sod plugger tool you should verify that it is designed to work on your grass type.
Most sod pluggers are constructed with carbon steel so option are limited. For add protection, look for tools with a powdered coating over the steel. This will help preserve the steel from the elements and general wear and tear.
You should consider your height to the overall height of the sod plugger. Ideally, you want to eliminate as much bending as possible to reduce back straining. This is especially true if you intend to complete a substantial amount of work with the tool.
You should consider the size and shape of the hole that the tool creates if you plan on purchasing plugs from a store. You will want the hole that is created from the tool to at least somewhat match the size of the plugs that are purchased. If you are removing sod plugs and replanting them, the plug size will not matter in terms of fit.