The homeowner’s guide to seeding from scratch or spot seeding

The best of the best in Indiana

The very best time to seed your lawn in Indiana is in fall (late August through early October) when cooler temperatures prevent seeds from drying out, but there’s still enough sun and rain to encourage a strong start before winter hibernation. Because crabgrass and other weeds die off this time of year, seeds also have a better chance for success without a lot of competition. Spring comes in a close second (early March through mid-May) with cool conditions and plenty of moisture. And while timing is of the essence, so is a little research.

This year, we’ve done it for you! Check out this list of Indiana’s most common lawn grasses, their strengths, and potential weaknesses. It all depends on your lawn requirements. Just below, you’ll also find a list of Execu-Turf grass seed blends that bring the best of all varieties together.

Indiana’s Common Lawn Grasses

BLUEGRASS

  • Spreading growth habit
  • Good wear tolerance and recover
  • Excellent color, density, and texture
  • Slow germination and establishment 
  • Heat intolerance

FINE FESCUES

  • Excellent for shade and low-maintenance lawns
  • Good establishment
  • Attractive leaf that tolerates lower cutting height
  • Heat and drought tolerant
  • Medium germination, between blue and rye
  • Sensitive to traffic and wear until established

PERENNIAL RYE

  • Excellent germination, establishment and wear tolerance
  • Good disease tolerance
  • Compatible with bluegrass and fine fescue
  • Excellent for overseeding thin/damaged turf
  • Fair shade tolerance
  • Underperformer in low fertility

TALL FESCUE

  • Best heat and drought tolerance
  • Longest green
  • Tough, excellent wear tolerance
  • Requires less water and fertilizer
  • Not as attractive as blue or perennial rye
  • Doesn’t spread as quickly as blue
Execu-Turf Grass Seed Blends

EXECUTIVE SUN  MIX

  • 20% Stellar Ryegrass
  • 20% Apple Ryegrass
  • 20% Pangea Ryegrass
  • 15% Milagro KY Bluegrass
  • 15% Impact KY Bluegrass
  • 10% Jackpot KY Bluegrass
  • FOR NEW LAWNS: 4-5lbs/1000sq ft or 220lbs/acre
  • OVERSEEDING: 2-3lbs/1000sq ft

PREMIUM SHADE MIX

  • 20% Perennial Rye
  • 20% Kentucky Bluegrass
  • 20% Creeping Red Fescue
  • 20% Chewing Red Fescue
  • 20% Hard Fescue
  • FOR NEW LAWNS: 4-6lb/1000sq ft or 225lb/acre
  • OVERSEEDING: 2-3lb/1000sq ft

PLAYMAKER MIX

  • 30% Aquavita Tall Fescue
  • 30% Rhambler SRP Tall Fescue
  • 20% 2nd Millennium Tall Fescue
  • 10% Jump Start Kentucky Bluegrass
  • 10% Rainwater Perennial Ryegrass
  • FOR NEW LAWNS: 8-10lbs/1000sq ft or 425lbs/acre
  • OVERSEEDING: 4-5lbs/1000sq ft

TUFF TURF BLEND

  • 34% 3rd Millennium SRP Tall Fescue
  • 33% Firecracker SLS Tall Fescue
  • 33% Cochise IV Tall Fescue
  • FOR NEW LAWNS: 8-10lbs/1000sq ft or 425lbs/acre
  • OVERSEEDING: 4-5lbs/1000sq ft

PREMIUM SOD BLEND

  • Blend of Kentucky Bluegrass
  • FOR NEW LAWNS: 3lb/1000sq ft or 130lb/acre
  • OVERSEEDING: 4-5lb/1000sq ft

Starting from Scratch

A few tips for those of you moving into new homes or renovating an entire lawn:

  • SOIL 
PREP:
 For our heavy-clay Indiana soil, it helps to add gypsum to loosen up for healthy growth.
  • PREPARE
 THE 
SEED 
BED: 
Till or turn soil, remove rocks or debris, and rake smooth. Do not till when soil is wet.
  • SOW
 SEED:
 Sow the Execu-Turf grass blend of your choice at the recommended rate. 
  • ENGAGE 
SEED:
 Gently rake seed into the top 1/2-inch of soil for rapid, uniform germination.
  • APPLICATION: 
Use a broadcast or drop spreader to apply Elements fertilizer. We love this stuff for the way it breaks up clay soil and helps transport a power protein shake of nutrients to seeds. 
  • PROTECT
 SEED:
 Apply EZ Mulch or straw to prevent seed loss and to help retain soil moisture.
  • WATER:
 Thoroughly water, being careful to avoid water run-off or puddles. Then water everyday for 15 minutes until seeds germinate. In the event of extreme temperatures, more than one daily watering may be necessary. After your seeds germinate, water every other day for 15 minutes to keep the roots sufficiently moist. After about week 5, your lawn should be established and require only 1” of water/week.

Spot Seeding

A simple, 4-step approach to RESEEDING PATCHES:

  • RAKE:
 Remove dead turf.
  • PREPARE:
 Apply a thin layer (approx. 1”) of topsoil and the recommended amount of Elements lawn starter fertilizer over entire patch/area.
  • SEED:
 Spread your Execu-Turf grass seed blend by hand or with a spreader (based on size of area) at the recommended rate. 
  • PROTECT
 SEED:
 Apply EZ Mulch or straw to prevent seed loss and to help retain soil moisture.
  • WATER:
 Thoroughly water, being careful to avoid water run-off or puddles. Then water everyday for 15 minutes until seeds germinate. In the event of extreme temperatures, more than one daily watering may be necessary. After your seeds germinate, water every other day for 15 minutes to keep the roots sufficiently moist. After about week 5, your lawn should be established and require only 1” of water/week.

A simple 3-step approach to LAWN OVERSEEDING (where turf exists but is thin):

  • SEED:
 Broadcast your choice of Execu-Turf grass seed blend over existing turf.
  • FERTILIZE:
 Apply Elements lawn starter fertilizer.
  • WATER:
 Water area well without creating run-off. Then water 1-2”/week until lawn thickens.

Caring for newly seeded areas

  • MOWING:
 With mulching mower set at highest setting, you can begin mowing after 6 weeks. As lawn thickens, gradually lower mower setting with each mowing to a height no lower than 3”. For non-irrigated lawns, keep at the highest setting during summer to preserve moisture. A high cut results in deeper, more drought-resistant roots, slower regrowth, hardier turf, cooler soil with higher water retention, and greater resistance to weeds, insects, and disease.
  • FERTILIZE:
 Lawns that are re/overseeded in spring should be fertilized in September and November with all-purpose Elements fertilizer. When lawns are re/overseeded in fall, no fertilizer is needed until the following spring.
  • NO 
WEED 
CONTROL:
 Never apply pre-emergent crabgrass control at the time of seeding. New seedlings can be harmed by weed control, so we recommend waiting until the following season when the new grass will be a bit more mature.