November 20, 2019
Normally, what kills the grass is a combination of destroying roots, not removing air pockets when replacing the plug (tamping it back down will help), and digging when it is dry, or hot.
If you can avoid destroying roots by gently removing the plug, make sure you tamp out any air pockets, and water just a little, or do this on a wetter day, then the grass likely won't notice one bit.
The killer is leaving the plug in a state which will not allow full recovery, simply put.
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