NOTE: The post below was published a few years ago. FOR OUR 2018 UPDATE, CHECK OUT THIS LINK: https://redhenturf.com/blog/index.php/red-hen-2018-fall-grass-seeding-update/
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?
IDEAL TIMES TO PLANT 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.
- 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.
WATERING & FERTILIZING TO IMPROVE YOUR ODDS FOR BETTER 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.
PURCHASING GRASS SEED AT RED HEN TURF FARM
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Read Purdue Extension’s Publication, “Establishing Turfgrass Areas Establishing Turfgrass Areas From Seed From Seed” via http://www.extension.purdue.edu/extmedia/AY/AY-3-W.pdf
- Read Purdue’s article, “August the time to seed lawns, Purdue turf expert says“ via http://www.purdue.edu/uns/html4ever/1996/960809.Reicher.html
- Read Purdue Extension’s Publication, “Control of Broadleaf Weeds in Home Lawns“ via http://www.agry.purdue.edu/turfnew/pubs/ay-9.pdf
- Read Purdue Extension’s Publication, “Identification and Control of Perennial Grassy Weeds“ via http://www.agry.purdue.edu/turfnew/pubs/AY-11.pdf