Cultural Practices for Athletic Fields: Seeding/Sprigging/Sodding


Seeding can be used to establish new fields or to overseed existing fields. When establishing a field from seed, consider time of year to ensure plant survival. In addition, consider germination period to be sure plants are mature before the field is used. Overseeding can occur throughout the year to fill in bare areas and maintain a dense, uniform stand of turfgrass.


Sprigging is the process of removing stems (stolons or rhizomes) from mature turfgrass stands and replanting the vegetative cuttings in a different location. Any grass that has a lateral growth habit can be established by sprigs, and it has become a very popular way of establishing new fields, especially bermudagrass fields due to its aggressive growth. Sprigs are typically from 3 to 5 inches long and contain numerous nodes (i.e. growing points) from which new roots and shoots develop. Sprigs are intended to be soil free, thus eliminating any issues with soil layering that sod may present.


Sodding provides immediate turfgrass cover. It does not require the special care of a new seedbed because plants are already healthy and mature upon installation. Sod can be installed almost anywhere at any time of year. It establishes very quickly and is ready for use within a few days to a few weeks depending on thickness.