Digging tools and neat plugs?

Ned

Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Messages
102
Reaction score
96
This item is great for grassed areas. If used correctly there will be very little evidence of your deed. This item is available at garden supplies and Bunnings and is used for transplanting. Stainless steel hinged body and spring loaded plastic handle. Depth marks on one side and serrated bottom edge for cutting through grass roots. Push down into grass whilst twisting, pull up the plug of grass and soil, place on a plastic sheet. The grass plug can be put to one side while you sort through the soil. Guage how deep by the marks on the side for reference details on how deep was the object. Pick up plastic sheet with soil on it and pour back in hole. Place the grass plug back in place. Nifty isn't it!

regards,Ned

1385759612_e-mail_plugcutter.jpg


1385759666_e-mail_plugcutter2.jpg
 

Ben78

Ben
Joined
Feb 18, 2013
Messages
912
Reaction score
275
These kinds of plug cutters will leave a dead circle of grass a few days later. You should always try to leave some roots attached on the side of a plug to allow the plug to live. Seen it all to many times dead circles where the whole plug was removed. Soil knives really are the quickest, cleanest and most effective way of digging a plug.
 
Joined
Nov 27, 2012
Messages
6,027
Reaction score
1,964
Ben, it sounds like the plugs were cut too horizontally, essentially cutting the roots in half. You can completely remove a plug providing the cut is reasonably vertical, leaving majority of the roots unharmed.

Grass can be pretty resilient but as duck mentioned in another topic, there is the risk of the plug being ripped out of the ground by a lawnmower, so the flap method is probably the better way.

Note: Regardless of which method you use, if you cut too much on a horizontal angle, the grass will die.
 

Ned

Joined
Nov 3, 2013
Messages
102
Reaction score
96
If you use the plug cutter correctly, you wont cut the roots directly below the grass.
This tool is for transplanting and by squeezing the handle will let the plug fall out.
You can also replace the plug of grass including the roots intact using the same tool.
The spring action will hold the plug and roots so that it will fit in the same hole.
Grass keepers replace grass plugs in damaged lawns. Maybe the grass could use a drink.

regards, Ned
 

Beagleboy

Milan
Joined
Aug 14, 2013
Messages
1,069
Reaction score
553
Location
Melbourne
I am not experienced in this but I have seen grounds keepers on the golf course moving holes on the green with similar tool. The grass does not die and all you can see is a circle on the lawn. It is a very precise tool they use though.
 
Joined
Nov 27, 2012
Messages
6,027
Reaction score
1,964
Ned said:
If you use the plug cutter correctly, you wont cut the roots directly below the grass.
This tool is for transplanting and by squeezing the handle will let the plug fall out.
You can also replace the plug of grass including the roots intact using the same tool.
The spring action will hold the plug and roots so that it will fit in the same hole.
Grass keepers replace grass plugs in damaged lawns. Maybe the grass could use a drink.

regards, Ned

I agree, the mother in law transplants grass all the time with no problems, it all comes down to the angle of the cut.
 

thesmithy

Brian Rourke
Joined
Apr 20, 2013
Messages
315
Reaction score
195
I know I should not be saying this but.

I use a golf club for removing the first layer of grass.......having had many years of practice.
replace divot.....handful of sand from little red bucket.....stomp..stomp and never look back.
SORRY Nugget I could not help myself.
cheers
TheSmithy
 
Joined
Nov 24, 2013
Messages
858
Reaction score
1,571
thesmithy said:
I know I should not be saying this but.

I use a golf club for removing the first layer of grass.......having had many years of practice.
replace divot.....handful of sand from little red bucket.....stomp..stomp and never look back.
SORRY Nugget I could not help myself.
cheers
TheSmithy

ha ! funniest thing i heard all week !
 

Ben78

Ben
Joined
Feb 18, 2013
Messages
912
Reaction score
275
When transplanting or cutting holes in greens do you do the transplant and then ignore the grass or do you water it daily until it takes? A park doesn't get watered daily. Of the thousands of holes in parks I have dug the completely removed plugs never fair as well as flap or horseshoe style. You can't equate greenskeepers or gardeners with what we are doing in parks unless you go back every day and water the plugs yourself.
 
Joined
Nov 27, 2012
Messages
6,027
Reaction score
1,964
The majority of my earlier plugs were completely cut out and I haven't seen one die yet (even in my own back yard), but as I said I've always made my incisions fairly vertical.

I honestly can't see how cutting the plug to say 80% would make any different to the overall survival of the grass. Grass will continue to live providing the roots haven't been butchered, this is the most important thing of all. The plug will have the same amount of moisture as the surrounding soil so I can't see that being a real issue either.

I have seen both types of plugs die off from over butchering, so my own personal opinion is that it all comes down to the angle of the cut and how well the plug is handled during target extraction.

I'll make a video someday demonstrating the technique I sometimes use as well as a 1 week follow up (with no watering) :)
 

Ozjono

jonathon
Joined
Apr 1, 2013
Messages
196
Reaction score
24
my round plugs never die and the ground is that dry and hard to dig, I tried one of those plug hole reamers no good round here way to dry but would be good in the wet season
 
Joined
Mar 28, 2021
Messages
4
Reaction score
4
Hi all
I have been out MD with my tiger blade however its not digging the best plugs for park hunts.
What kind of digging tool do you use?
Do you have to sharpen them up often ?

Any advise or tips would be good - these are local park hunts so I need to work on neat and tidy plugs.

Many thanks

Lisa
 
Joined
Nov 1, 2016
Messages
1,965
Reaction score
3,163
Location
Naked in your cupboard
I dont post on Youtube, so is there anyway to post a video up on the forum ??

Two weeks ago we were camping at Mannum, there were hacks everywhere from someone Detecting (not us).
Damaged grass, dying and dead grass.
Clearly a mattock in use.

We detect infront of City Council parks staff, and they have no issues with us, in fact happy and hoping we find something cool.

So I would like to show our techniques and how we deal with 'plugs', rather than 'hacks' with a mattock.

8 Years ago when we found that a Detecting Club used a park area near us for an annual Christmas Hunt, they salted the area with pennies by using a mattock,
encouraged the recovery of those coins by use of a mattock, and still later recovered un-found coins using a Detector and MATTOCK.

These were older experienced guys, and I watched them doing this from about 6 feet away, at that time I did not know better but thought it was a destructive practice.
Kato and I experimented with different methods, determined to not do visible damage and preserve the soil and root structure.

Soft soils with grass, we either slit the ground and find the item with a pinpointer, or we use a 'plug digger' method for deep targets, with a square hole only.
The square hole is for plug orientation, and a keyway to hold it in the ground should a mower go over it.
Most round plugs by nature are shaped like a cone so can move/slip under foot or wheel of a mower.
Both these methods have been successful at preserving the integrity of the plug sod and grass roots, and easy to replace/repair, we often cant locate them a few minutes later.

Dry hard soils with grass, we dont dig into usually, particularly if the target is deep, we mark it and wait for winter rains.
However if it is clearly a surface target we will do the screw driver method using the point of our hand diggers, sort of like slitting the grass but no deeper than 50mm.

Dry hard or compacted soils, not in pathway or clearly not an issue to disturb because it is off the general public use area, we will dig with tools
BUT we are careful to fill the "small hole" and compact the soil as best we can to leave it level and unseen.

Unfortunately at Mannum the buggers didnt even fill their holes in dry dirt, pretty sad. :rolleyes:
We went around and repaired their damage as we could find it.

How do I get videos up please ?

Plug digger template - https://www.prospectingaustralia.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=19869

:)
 
Joined
Mar 28, 2021
Messages
4
Reaction score
4
Hi everyone

Thanks so much for your advise
I have been giving up on targets because I didnt want to make much mess and havent mastered the art of the perfect plug.
Ie the pin pointer couldnt pick it up the target and after one or two digs with the tiger blade I couldnt find it - cover the whole back up neat

I did see one hack today - someone using a towel for any extra soil they dig that isnt in the plug - then they funnel the soil back into the whole and put the plug back in - looked like a neat trick for a perfect lawn !!!

Will try all your tips and tricks tomorrow
All the best

Lisa
 
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
205
Reaction score
179
I have both a Tyger Cub and Blade, never use them anymore for the reason you described, I made a Plugger Digger that Greenhornet posted, great digger and cuts very neat holes. A hori hori knife is very sharp and has a nice blade for cutting discreet holes for manicured parks.
 

Latest posts

Top