Bella Bluegrass

Bella Bluegrass Plug Installation

Measure the area to be plugged

To calculate the number of plugs needed, use the following formula for the appropriate spacing.

Spacing Desired Number to multiply your square footage by
12 inches on center multiply by 1.00
9 inches on center multiply by 1.78
6 inches on center multiply by 4.00

Plugs placed 6 - 9 inches apart should cover in 6 - 9 growing months. A reduced spacing should be used for areas subject to erosion, such as slopes, or when a quicker establishment is desired.

Storing the Plugs Until Planting

You do not have to plant the plugs immediately, but the plugs are perishable. Unpack the plugs as soon as possible from the box they were shipped to you in or remove them from your vehicle as soon as you get home. Place the trays in a single layer in an area protected from the wind. Water the plugs immediately and keep them moist until you are ready to plant them.

Soil Preparation for New Lawns

Remove all construction debris, stones, vegetation, etc. Start with a properly graded yard. Do not expect the plugs to hide a rough grade. Be sure all areas drain properly. After final grade is complete, firm any loose soil by rolling or water (slowly to avoid erosion) and let soil settle. Rake smooth. Then follow the "Spacing and Planting" directions below for planting the plugs.

Soil Preparation for Renovated Lawns

  • Herbicide Method - Following label directions, spray the entire planting area with glyphosate non-selective herbicide such as RoundUp®. If you have "hard-to-kill" perennial weeds or invasive grass, such as Zoysia or Bermuda, wait one week and apply a second application of Round Up®. After a minimum of 48 hours your site is ready to plug. Mow to 1 inch height before planting.
  • Mechanical Method - If you prefer not to use chemicals in your renovation you need to remove the current grass by one of the following methods:
    • Remove the existing grass using a sod cutter (these are available at many rental stores). Till the area to a depth of 3 to 4 inches, let it dry for a few days. Then water to compact the soil. Rake to an even grade when dry.
    • Roto-till the area to a depth of 3 to 4 inches, tilling the existing vegetation under, mixing it with the soil. Wait 5 days to allow the tilled vegetation to die. Water the area, let it dry and roto-till it again. Be sure to repeat several times to get a good soil bed, free of dirt clods and old vegetation. Firm any loose soil by rolling or water slowly to avoid erosion and let soil settle. Rake smooth. NOTE: Mechanical eradication may not work with "hard-to-kill" perennial weeds or invasive grasses like Bermuda or Zoysia. Use herbicides for these situations.

Spacing and Planting

Mark the area to be plugged with your desired spacing. Stagger the rows as in figure 1. At each plug location drill a hole about 1 1/4 inch deep. If you are planting a small amount of plugs, a 1-1/4 inch drill bit can be purchased at a hardware store. If you are planting a large number of plugs you might want to consider purchasing the 18 inch Soil Auger. It fits on any 1/4" or larger electric or cordless drill and can reduce the amount of strain on your back from bending down to the ground. Bella plugs are square but they are very pliable so they can easily be squeezed with your hands and formed to fit the round hole. Place the plug into the hole being sure it is firmly against the bottom of the hole and push the loose soil created from drilling the hole around the plug. This is very important. If the plug is not pressed in it will create an air pocket under the plug and could reduce the chance of survival. Repeat for all plugs. Water areas as they are completed.

Figure 1    x            x            x            x               x

x            x            x               x            x

Soil Erosion Precention

If you have a slope that you want to place the plugs on, but are worried about erosion, you will need to use some kind of erosion control. After installation is complete, place a lightweight biodegradable erosion control mat or straw mat on top of the plugs. This will help control the erosion and help keep the area moist, but will not interfere with the growth of the plugs.

Watering

Water your new plugs immediately after planting, soaking each plug thoroughly with Miracle Gro 15-30-15 general purpose plant food, following label instructions. This will give your plugs a boost that will help insure success. Keep the area wet for the first 3 to 4 weeks, then slowly reduce watering, but keep the ground moist until the plugs have completely covered the area. This additional watering will keep the plugs actively growing and spreading as quickly as possible. After this period, additional watering will depend on your natural rainfall and temperatures, as well as your soil type. Clay soil will require less water than sandy soil. Water Bella to prevents stress remembering Bella will establish a deep root system reducing the watering frequency. It will take about 12 months for the root system to fully develop.

After installation is complete, saturate each plug with Miracle Gro general purpose fertilizer or fertilize the area with a sod/seed starter fertilizer. Both are available at your local garden center. Read and follow the directions on the label for proper rates and application.

Weed Control

Immediately after planting, apply a fertilizer with pre-emergent weed control following the label directions. Scotts makes Halts Crabgrass Preventer® or Turfbuilder with Halts®. Most garden centers will have these products or similar herbicides. Repeat this application at 1/2 rate in 8 weeks if you planted in the spring.

Throughout the summer, Broadleaf weeds such as dandelions, clover or pigweeds can be controlled after they emerge using broadleaf weed herbicides labeled for bluegrass. Common products are 2-4D or Trimec or a granular weed and feed products like Scotts Turfbuilder Plus2®. ALWAYS READ THE LABEL BEFORE APPLYING!

Without Herbicides
If you wish to avoid the use of chemicals, hand eradication of weeds and mowing at 1 - 1 ˝ inches during establishment will benefit your new planting. When using this method, your establishing Bella plugs will still benefit from organic or inorganic fertilizer applications.

To reduce the amount of hand weeding, an organic weed control, corn gluten or an organic fertilizer with corn gluten can be applied to reduce the amount of weeds in the planting. Corn Gluten is not 100% effective the first few years but continual use every year will improve control. Corn gluten is a natural product made from corn and is available at most Garden Centers.

Mowing

Mowing is important during the establishment period to encourage Bella to spread and to control weed growth. Keep area mowed at 1 to 1˝ inches as frequently as necessary to control weed growth. After establishment mow as you desire. If left un-mowed Bella will reach an average height of 3 to 4 inches.

Bella Bluegrass

  • Dark, green alpine color
  • Low to no mowing - reduced mowing 50%-80%
  • Excellent heat tolerance
  • Very good wear and injury recovery
  • Requires 20-30% less irrigation than standard bluegrass

Bella Bluegrass Plugs

Testimonials

Dr. Robert Shearman | University of Nebraska
"For a Kentucky bluegrass, I am impressed with Bella. It is dark green, low-growing, and has excellent heat and drought resistance"
Wayne Thorson | Todd Valley Farms
"Bella has a very dark green, dense turf canopy that helps prevent weed growth, and since it only grows 3-4 inches tall, the end user can reduce mowing by 50 to 80%"
Warren Bell | BioGrass Sod Farms
"The most striking feature of Bella are its dark blue green color, slow and low growth habit, and its ability to spread laterally. Bella provides a low input lawn without sacrificing any quality characteristics. it is truly a revolutionary grass."