When establishing a new St. Augustine lawn you can either solid sod the area which is more expensive as you indicated or use plugs or strips of sod. If you use plugs or strips it is better to sink them down to their natural growing level as opposed to setting them on the surface like when solid sod is set out. By sinking them down to where the grass is as soil level you will reduce drying of the plugs or strips of grass and increase establishment success.
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