Early August UPDATE – The Window of Time for Fall Grass Seed Planting Will Be Here and Gone Before You Know It!

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Article last updated on 08/11/2021

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 Turf-type Tall Fescue Sod, and many other lawn care products (including fertilizer).

Red Hen Turf Farm - Grass Seed

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.

WHAT IS 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.  To achieve this, 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.

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.

Also, check out OUR GRASS SEEDING GUIDE and Purdue’s Seeding Guide.

Some of your choices for grass seeds here at Red Hen include:

Red Hen 100% Kentucky Bluegrass Seed … 

  • This sod-quality seed will match our most current variety of Kentucky Bluegrass sod in production.
  • Aa beautiful, lush, and finely textured natural grass – definitely the BEAUTY QUEEN of our 2 types of sod
  • A blend of four high quality, top performing seed varieties
  • Widely used on golf courses, athletic fields, and home lawns.
  • Fertilizing Needs for our Kentucky Bluegrass Sod will be 4-5 applications each calendar year
  • Seed can be used to patch small areas in existing sod or seeding a large area next to sod.
  • Takes 21 days to germinate and will be very slow to fill in.
  • 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.

Red Hen Turf-type Tall Fescue Sod Mix (90/10) Seed … 

  • This seed blend mix matches our Current Tall Fescue Sod
  • Comprised of 90% Rhizomatous Tall Fescue and 10% Kentucky Bluegrass
  • Superior density, dark color, and fine leaf texture.
  • The fescues in this mix provide increased spreading ability, deep rooting, and are drought tolerant.
  • The fescues and Kentucky Bluegrass in this mix provides lower irrigation requirements once established.
  • A great choice for sites without installed sprinkler system and for sandier soil types.
  • Fertilizing needs for our Tall Fescue Sod Seed Mix will be closer to 1-2 applications each calendar year, focus on applying during the fall months because in the fall, the grass plant will use what it needs, but store some of the nutrients for the next season, making your dollar stretch further.
  • The fescue seeds in this mx take 7-10 days to germinate and the Kentucky bluegrass seeds in this mix will take 21 days to germinated and will be slower to fill in.
  • AVAILABLE IN 50 LB BAGS, OR IN BULK BY THE POUND.

Red Hen 100% Turf-type Tall Fescue Seed … 

  • Comprised 100% Rhizomatous Tall Fescue
  • Superior density, dark color, and fine leaf texture.
  • The fescues in this mix provide increased spreading ability, deep rooting, and are drought tolerant.
  • Fertilizing needs will be closer to 1-2 applications each calendar year
  • A great choice for sites without installed sprinkler system and for sandier soil types.
  • This mix will take about 7-10 days to germinate

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.
  • The ryegrasses in this seed mix should germinate in 3-5 days, the fescues will germinate in 7-10 days, and the bluegrass seeds will germinate in about 21 days.
  • 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.
  • The ryegrasses in this seed mix should germinate in 3-5 days, the fescues will germinate in 7-10 days, and the bluegrass seeds will germinate in about 21 days.
  • For more information, visit the “Grass In Shade” section of our website. A
  • VAILABLE IN 50 LB BAGS, OR IN BULK BY THE POUND.

Greenskeeper Super Shady Seed …

  • 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.
  • The ryegrasses in this seed mix should germinate in 3-5 days, the fescues will germinate in 7-10 days, and the bluegrass seeds will germinate in about 21 days.
  • 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.
  • The ryegrasses in this seed mix should germinate in 3-5 days, the fescues will germinate in 7-10 days, and the bluegrass seeds will germinate in about 21 days.
  • AVAILABLE IN 50 LB BAGS ONLY

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.
  • The fescues will germinate in 7-10 days
  • 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

LEARN MORE

  • 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 (turf@redhenturf.com).
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3 thoughts on “Early August UPDATE – The Window of Time for Fall Grass Seed Planting Will Be Here and Gone Before You Know It!

  1. Understand the basic functions of turfgrass in the landscape. Cool-season grasses grow best in the spring and fall and less active in the summer. When making a selection, remember to consider the amount of time and effort. Good article & excellent way to articulate. Keep it up.

  2. Help I have some lawn damage due to construction and I removed It. I’m in NY it’s July and it’s 100° I need to have lawn there,., what do you suggest?
    Brand? Type? Peat Moss? Hay?

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