The Planning Stages FAQs

Do you sell sod directly to homeowners?

Yes. We sell sod directly to anyone who wants to buy it.

 

Where is your farm located?

Red Hen Turf Farm is located about six miles west of the South Bend International Airport. Our address is 29435 Darden Road, New Carlisle, Indiana (Click here for a GOOGLE MAP LINK). We deliver sod to customers in Indiana and Michigan. Or you can pick up sod at our farm.

 

So, what is “turfgrass sod” anyhow?

“Turfgrass sod” can also be called simply “sod.” Sod is a piece of mature grass, grown from seed or sprigs/stolons by a sod farmer for approximately 18 months to 2 years. The sod will consist of mature grass, its actively growing roots, a very thin layer of soil and some thatch. Sod is usually sold sod in sizes of square feet or yards. At Red Hen Turf Farm, we sell sod by the square foot. Once harvested on the farm, it will need to be transplanted in 12-48 hours, depending on heat and humidity, otherwise the quality may begin to deteriorate.

 

Do you grow and sell more than one type of sod?

Yes!  Red Hen’s currently has two different choices for an INSTANT LAWN: Kentucky Bluegrass Sod and Rhizomatous Tall Fescue Sod.  To dive into the differences between the two, check out THIS ARTICLE we wrote. 

 

Do you sell anything else besides sod?

Yes! We sell several varieties of grass seed, including the seed that matches our Kentucky Bluegrass Sod and our Tall Fescue Sod. We also sell a select range of fertilizers, herbicides, erosion control materials, and landscaping tools. In addition, we sell soil test kits that include Red Hen interpreting the results and helping you apply the information to your own yard’s needs.

 

How big is a roll of sod, and how much does it weigh?

For homeowners and DIYers, our Little Rolls of sod are 2 ft x 5 ft (10 sq ft), each roll weighing approximately 35-50 lbs depending on precipitation and irrigation.

For landscapers and other professionals, we also offer our Big Rolls of sod, which are 2.5 ft x 80 ft (200 sq ft). Big Rolls are very heavy and require special equipment to install. In addition, to order big roll sod, we require a special agreement and commercial certificate of insurance.

 

How many little rolls are on a pallet, and how much does that weigh?

A “standard full pallet” is 50 rolls of sod, which covers 500 sq ft, and weighs approximately 1 ton.

 

How much does sod cost?

Our pricing is based on the square footage - the more you purchase, the bigger the discount. Give us a call at 574-232-6811 for a free quote based on your project measurements and we would be happy to give you pricing based on your project.

 

Do you have some tips for measuring my project area for sod so I don’t order too much or too little?

Basically, you use a tape measure or a measuring wheel and measure the area (length, width, any unusual features) and sketch it out. You can calculate the square footage or we can help you.  For more tips, check out THIS LINK on our website. 

 

Which is cheaper to buy? SOD or HYDROSEEDING?

In terms of purchase pricing, over the past few years, we’ve talked to quite a few people who’ve gotten quotes for sod and hydroseed, and many times they’ve found that sod actually costs less or about the same. It never hurts to get a quote for both so you can make a better-informed decision. Give us a call at 574-232-6811 for a free quote based on your project measurements and we would be happy to give you pricing based on your project.

 

I’m thinking of picking some sod up. Do I need to call ahead?

We highly recommend calling ahead, whether it’s 24 hours or more in advance or the same day.. Since sod is a perishable item, we cut it out of the field fresh-to-order, on-demand, and aim for 0% waste. There are times when we cannot cut sod due to weather or equipment issues. To avoid potentially wasting a trip and going home empty-handed, we recommend calling ahead and reserving your sod so there are surprises.

 

When I come to pick sod up, what should I expect?

Typically, once you’ve called ahead to confirm when we can have your sod available, cut fresh-to-order on-demand out of one of our many different sod fields, FIRST you’ll drive on out to our Shop / Office located at 29435 Darden Road, New Carlisle, Indiana. When you come into our shop, you might be surprised to hear that you will NOT see shelves of perishable sod plants waiting for you. Here at the Shop, we’ll take care of payment and we’ll be happy to talk over any questions you have about your sod project and lawn care in general. Then, we’ll let our sod harvesting crew know you’ve arrived so they have a head’s up that you will be driving out to the field we recently cut your rolls of sod out of. You’ll receive verbal turn by turn instructions, along with a printed map with turn-by-turn instructions. Once you arrive to the field location where our crew is loading sod, we will usually prefer to load your order by using a forklift to place the pallet(s) into your vehicle. From there, you won’t need to handle your sod until you get home.

 

What tips do you have for hauling sod safely, and leads on renting trucks or trailers?

First, to cover how much sod fits in various vehicles without being too heavy, in general we find that:

  1. Small car 8-10 Rolls
  2. Big car / crossover / SUV  15 Rolls
  3. Small pickup truck 45 Rolls
  4. 1/2 ton truck 50 Rolls
  5. 3/4 ton truck 100 Rolls

For more tips on hauling a load of sod SAFELY and EFFICIENTLY, check out THIS ARTICLE we wrote.

 

Do you install sod, too?

Red Hen Turf Farm does not offer installation services. However, we do deliver (call for delivery quotes) and would be happy to refer you to one of our recommended landscapers that provide installation services in your area.

 

How much lead time is required for delivery?

We typically find that we’d need 4-5 DAYS notice for delivery. Sometimes we can fit you sooner, and at our busiest points in the season we may be more like a week out.

 

What tips do you have for having sod delivered?

Check out THIS ARTICLE we wrote on how to make your sod delivery go smoothly.

 

Is time of year important to consider when it comes to establishing a lawn?

Both science and experience shows that typically in our region (Northwest Indiana and Southwest Michigan) the very best time to plant grass seed is between August 15 and September 15.  The second best time to do a seeding is in winter after the ground has frozen for the season. Spring is the third best time (unless your area has lots of trees, and then you may find spring is the best time since the leaves are off the trees and this provides more sunlight).  

On the other hand, turfgrass sod can be installed at anytime, according to most growers, and this would include placing it on frozen ground, if the sod is available.  However, laying sod during a dry, hot period will mean that you’ll need to plan on watering it a LOT more than if rain were more plentiful. The spring and the fall are the easiest times to lay sod because the cool temperatures help stimulate root growth and you’ll save a bit on extra watering needed to jumpstart the transplant process.. Summer sodding can be very successful if the condition of the soil and grass are watched carefully, though - and especially if you have a sprinkler system installed.

 

How long does it take to install sod?

If you’re site is prepared ahead of time, in general you should expect that 1 person would take about 1-1 ½ hours to install a single 500 sq ft pallet of sod. Areas that are harder to access or require a lot of cutting / fitting will take longer.

 

Is sod difficult to install, especially if I’m not terribly “handy” when it comes to technical things around the house?

It’s not actually terribly hard at all.  There are few projects that are less technical or more forgiving than laying sod. If you follow the GREEN SIDE UP Rule, you should be just fine. You just pick up a roll lay it on the ground and unroll, making sure to “butt” the edges tight with no overlapping. Then start watering. It’s basically that easy. The harder part can often be preparing your site ahead of time.  For more details on preparing your site and installing, check out THIS LINK, and for more details on watering your sod once it’s installed, along with general care tips, check out THIS LINK.  The good news is that unlike tiling or installing carpet, sod will grows together and looks better each day.

 

I’ve decided to sod my yard. How quickly can my new lawn be used?

Here’s where sod beats seeding every time — your sod is ready to be used instantly. The only concern is how soft the underlying soil is. Making deep footprints when the soil is soft won’t hurt the sod, but will make for an uneven lawn. If children or pets play and turn up a corner, just pat it back down.


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