Every year around this time, it always feels like SUMMER is FLYING by.
We’ve been getting lots of questions about Grass Seed, which we DO SELL in addition to our 100% Kentucky Blue Grass sod and our Rhizomatous Tall Fescue Sod, and many other lawn care products (including fertilizer).
IDEAL TIMES TO PLANT GRASS SEED
Did you know that there are certain times of the year that are better to plant grass seed than others? If not, you’re not alone.
It turns out that in our part of the country, often 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. (One exception to this rule would be if you have a heavy shaded area due to trees, in which case you might want to consider a winter or spring seeding when the leaves have fallen and more sunlight can reach your soil bed.)
Why plant grass seed between August and September 15th? 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.
A FEW TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR ODDS FOR BETTER SEEDING RESULTS
First, let’s talk about what method of seeding or over-seeding you might consider. Many people try to simply cast the seed by hand or by using a spreader and leave it at that. But is this the most efficient way? The answer is NO for several reasons, including the fact that rain or wind will likely carry much of this seed away and it will never grow. Or much of it will become a yummy meal for wildlife. Also, without giving the seed a thin layer of soil over the top to grow in, there’s a good chance your rate of success will go way down. You can rent a slit seeder or a core aerator at most local garden centers.
We recommend using either a slit-seeder to plant your seed, or using a core aerator first and then seeding into the cores. These methods protect the seed from being carried away, and provide the much needed soil bed for the seed to germinate.
Let’s go a little deeper…
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.
FOR MORE DETAILS BEYOND WHAT WE INCLUDE BELOW, ALONG WITH OUR 2019 PRICING INFORMATION and APPLICATION RATES, CLICK HERE
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 sod-quality seed will match our most current variety of Kentucky Bluegrass 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. AVAILABLE IN 50 LB BAGS, OR IN BULK BY THE POUND.
Rhizomatous Tall Fescue (RTF) Seed …
This seed will match our No Net Rhizomatous Tall Fescue sod in production. Again, like with our 100% Kentucky Bluegrass, sod-quality seed, the RTF seed can be used to patch small areas in existing sod or seeding a large area next to sod. This seed takes 7-14 days to germinate. AVAILABLE IN 50 LB BAGS, OR IN BULK BY THE POUND.
Greenskeeper Custom Mix Seed …
OUR MOST POPULAR SEED! Works well in full sun and light amounts of shade. This variety contains 3 types of grass seeds and each type will germinate at a different time. AVAILABLE IN 50 LB BAGS, OR IN BULK BY THE POUND.
Greenskeeper 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. AVAILABLE IN 50 LB BAGS, OR IN BULK BY THE POUND.
Greenskeeper Super Shady Seed …
NEW IN 2018! If you have less than 2 hours of direct sunlight and have tried to other shady mixes with little luck, this may be the grass seed for you! This mix contains includes 5% Poa Supina bluegrass seed – some of the highest tech shad grass seed on the market. AVAILABLE IN 25 LB BAGS, OR IN BULK BY THE POUND.
Greenskeeper Valu Plus Mix
An affordable option, good for rapid establishment. Primarily consists of ryegrasses, with some Kentucky Bluegrass and Creeping Red Fescue. AVAILABLE IN 50 LB BAGS
Greenskeeper Low-Mow National Links Mix
Consists of low-growing fine fescues well adapted to the harsh conditions of golf course roughs and bunker faces. Left unmown, this formula provides maintenance savings, erosion control, and adaptation under varying soil conditions.AVAILABLE IN 50 LB BAGS ONLY
P-105 Princeton Kentucky Bluegrass
A compact-type variety. Excellent durability for meticulous sports fields, landscape professionals, golf course fairways, tees and roughs. Best traffic tolerance among commercial Kentucky Bluegrass. Adapts to wide range of soils and climatic conditions. AVAILABLE IN 50 LB BAGS ONLY
What’s more, if you don’t see what you are after, we may be able to special order 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.
READY TO TEST YOUR KNOWLEDGE ABOUT SEEDING? TAKE OUR QUIZ by CLICKING HERE
- 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