From the Red Hen Turf Farm “Frequently Asked Question” File – “Is it TOO LATE to SOD my LAWN?”


RED HEN FAQ – “Is it TOO LATE to SOD my LAWN in August? in September? in October? in November?”


In our recent blog post about SEEDING your lawn in Northern Indiana, we talked about how August 15 – September 15 is the BEST WINDOW of TIME to PLANT GRASS SEED (CLICK HERE to read more).

Over the past few weeks, and on a related note, one of the most common questions we’re hearing is whether it’s too late to LAY SOD in Northern Indiana.

The short answer is NOPE!

In fact, FALL is the OPTIMUM WINDOW FOR SOD INSTALLATION of cool season grasses like Red Hen’s 100% Kentucky Bluegrass Sod.

A fall installation date will allow adequate time for the roots to develop prior to the next summer. We will be harvesting sod each day that we can (weather-permitting) well into November.  

YES, YOU READ THAT CORRECTLY!  If you really need to and if the Mother Nature cooperates, it is possible to lay sod in November, although it would probably be better to get it laid by the end of October.  Give us a call and we can talk more about the logistics involved.

We sell our sod, seed, fertilizer, mulch, top soil, and MORE direct to the public, to landscapers, to contractors, to businesses … to YOU … Available for pickup at our farm in New Carlisle, Indiana, or for delivery in most cases.

  • Not sure if sod or seed is your best bet?
  • Not sure how to prepare your site for sod or seed?
  • Not sure if you want to install sod yourself or hire someone?
  • Need some technical advice on sod, seed, fertilizer, or maybe some problems you’re having with your lawn (even if you didn’t use our sod or seed)?
  • Looking for an estimate? (and ready to be surprised by just how reasonably priced Red Hen’s Sod is?)

THEN – Give us a CALL at 574-232-6811. We’re here Monday – Friday, 7:30 AM – 4:00 PM (Eastern Time) and Saturday (from April to late October) 7:30 AM to 11:30 AM (Eastern Time).

Or contact us 24/7 by email at

Until next time …

Jeremy and the Crew at Red Hen



More Tips for Improving Grass Seed Germination


Like we mentioned in our previous post on planting grass seed in the late summer / early fall, certain conditions are necessary in order for the seed to GERMINATE at its highest potential rate.


Here are some things to keep in mind when you’re trying to get your newly planted grass seed to germinate:

  • Soil temperature and air temperature play a critical roles in this process, and different varieties of grass may germinate best at different temperatures.
  • The seed hull, or hard outer casing, may delay this process until conditions are favorable.
  • Once the germination process begins, if the environment changes significantly (for example, if it becomes too hot and dry), the seed or young plant (a.k.a. grass seedling) will be vulnerable and may even die.  If conditions become unfavorable, the seed or seedling may become unable to begin the growing process, or it may pause and restart the growing process when conditions become better again.  On the other hand, if conditions are unfavorable, some or all of the grass seed or seedling may simply die.
  • When the grass seedling breaks through the seed, it also needs oxygen for the growth process. If the soil is over-saturated with water or if the soil is too compacted, there won’t be adequate oxygen and the new grass plant will likely die.
  • If the grass seed is planted too deep (more than ¼ inch), seedlings won’t be able to break through the surface in order to get the sunlight required for the photosynthesis process to occur and create food for the plant.
  • The grass seed should be in direct contact with the soil to absorb moisture.  Rake the soil two times to incorporate the seed into the ground. Some seed will be visible on the surface. Again, seed buried deeper than ¼ inch will not likely come up.
  • If you’ve used any chemicals like weed killers, weed & feeds, or pre-emergents on the lawn area you’d like to seed, you will need to wait the appropriate length of time before planting seed.  The product label should indicate the waiting period.
  • Avoid purchasing inexpensive “too good to be true” grass seed varieties when establishing or renovating lawns.
  • Be aware that birds love to eat uncovered seeds.
  • Kids and pets are known to disrupt the grass seed germination process.
  • CONSISTENT, LIGHT, FREQUENT WATERING is essential. Avoid over-watering. Avoid under-watering. When you see new plants emerging, reduce watering to the point where you prevent the soil from drying out but do not keep the soil saturated.
    • Mow your new grass when it needs it.  CLICK HERE to read more about grass seeding, including Purdue Extension’s recommendations for mowing new grass grown from seed.

Call Red Hen Now

  • AND OF COURSEYou can always feel free to give Red Hen Turf Farm a call and we’ll do our best to help you out.  Our phone number is 574-232-6811 (or toll free 1-800-359-8035).  For our current hours, please CLICK HERE to visit the “About” page of our website.

The Window for a Fall Grass Seed Planting Will Be Here and Gone Before You Know It!


NOTE:  The post below was published a few years ago.  FOR OUR 2018 UPDATE, CHECK OUT THIS LINK:

This post was originally envisioned as Tip #3 in a 3 Part Series on Late Spring / Early Summer Lawn Care, but here is it August already!  

Do you agree that this SUMMER is FLYING by?  

At any rate, it’s pretty typical for us to get calls about Grass Seed, which we DO SELL in addition to our 100% Kentucky Blue Grass sod and many other lawn care products (including fertilizer).

Red Hen Turf Farm - Grass Seed


You might be surprised to learn that there are certain times of the year that are better to plant grass seed than others.

The BEST TIME to plant Cool Season Grass Seed is in the LATE SUMMER / EARLY FALL.

Specifically, in the northern-third Indiana, August 15th through September 15th is the ideal time period to plant Cool Season Grasses.

Why is this?   Well, according to Purdue turf expert, Zac Reicher, planting turf grass seed in northern Indiana within this late-summer / August 15th – September 15th window offers several advantages:

  • Air and soil temperatures are more moderate, which improves seed GERMINATION.
  • It typically rains more frequently, which helps reduce (but may not eliminate) extra watering … this also improves your chances for successful seed GERMINATION.
  • Grass seedlings face fewer pests than they do in the spring or the hottest parts of summer, again improving GERMINATION.




New grass seedlings have poorly developed root systems, which means they cannot effectively absorb nutrients from the soil.

For this reason, it is important to WATER and FERTILIZE PROPERLY after seeding to encourage germination and establishment.  

  • Fertilizer Application #1 – Do this right after planting your grass seed.   We recommend using 12-12-12 (or another starter fertilizer).  The rate of application will depend on the species of grass you are planting.  You should also water 2-3 Times each day while the seeds are in the process of germinating.  Apply enough water to keep the soil moistened. When you see the new grass plants (seedlings), you may reduce the number of times you water.
  • Fertilizer Application #2 –  4-6 weeks after planting (depending on the type of grass seed you’ve planted).  Use some more of the starter fertilizer that you applied in the first application.  Again, the rate of application will depend on what kind of grass you’ve planted.  Continue to water as needed to prevent the soil from drying out. However, be careful that you do not keep the soil saturated, leaving your new grass vulnerable to pests and diseases.
  • Fertilizer Application #3 – Do this 4-5 Weeks after your 2nd Application (once again depending on the type of grass seed you’ve planted). Our 25-0-10 fertilizer would be perfect for this 3rd Application. Or, for the 3rd Application, you could apply a broad leaf herbicide if needed to control broadleaf weeds (such as our 22-0-5+Trimec+Iron). On the other hand, if you’re dealing with grassy weeds, they are difficult to kill with herbicides, so proper mowing is your best choice for controlling them.


Here at Red Hen Turf Farm, we sell several varieties of grass seed by the pound, which is handy whether you have a very small or very large area to plant.  Contact us for prices and recommendations based on your specific needs and goals.  Some of your choices include:

100% Kentucky Bluegrass Seed … 

This seed will match our most current varieties of sod in production. Seed can be used to patch small areas in existing sod or seeding a large area next to sod. This seed takes 21 days to germinate and will be very slow to fill in. This seed will require some extra attention to establish, but it exhibits the same deep green color and disease resistance that Red Hen’s sod does.

Greenskeeper Custom Mix Seed … 

Works well in full sun and light amounts of shard.  This variety contains 3 types of grass seeds and each type will germinate at a different time.

Premium Shade Mix Seed …

While no grass loves shade, this blend has varieties that exhibit better growth habits in partially shaded areas. For more information, visit the “Grass In Shade” section of our website.

Other Varieties of Grass Seeds …

We also sell Dry Spell Tall Fescue and Annual Rye.  What’s more, we can get the seed you need. Just let us know the seed specifications you have and we will do what we can to get it for you for a reasonable cost.


  • Contact Red Hen Turf Farm … Whether you’re a recent customer, a customer from years or even decades ago, or you’re simply looking for information or pricing, we’re here to help.  What’s more, regardless of whether you end up purchasing anything from us, we genuinely enjoy talking with and educating people.  Give us a call (574-232-6811) or drop us an email (

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