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STATE GUIDE | TURF HELP | GRASS CHOICES | CLIMATE ZONE | HOME

Recommended Grass For Indiana Lawns:

The primary varieties of turfgrasses recommended (this is an Ohio State paper but applies to Indiana also) for Indiana lawns Include the following species listed below (in Red).  Perennial Ryegrass & Fine Fescue is often used in blends of Bluegrass or Tall Fescue.

Do NOT plant Tall Fescue into a Bluegrass lawn. Bluegrass is the #1 choice in a turf grass for Indiana lawns, except in the very bottom southern portion of the state. Southern Indiana is considered a transition zone, suitable for planting Tall Fescue or even Zoysia or Bermuda.

When to Plant Grass In Indiana

The cool season grasses listed above are best planted when temperatures are in the 60 to 75 degree range. In the fall plant as temperatures approach 75. In the spring plant as they rise above 60 degrees. Fall is best time to plant as it allows for two growing seasons for maturity of the grass before facing the harsh temperatures and drought of summers. Warm Season grasses such as Bermuda & Zoysia should be planted in late spring / early summer. Planting times.

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GRASS VARIETIES (Cultivars) FOR INDIANA LAWNS

Kentucky Bluegrass: The primary grass planted in Indiana, especially in the Northern 2/3 of the state is Kentucky Bluegrass. It is considered the best quality turfgrass and makes a fine textured lawn. It has the ability to fill-in damaged areas without reseeding. Bluegrass is also more winter-hardy than the rest of the lawn species used in Indiana. Newer varieties are more resistant to diseases. It performs best in full sun, but can be mixed with a fine fescue for use in shady areas. Bluegrass can take 1 to 3 months to germinate and establish depending on site conditions.  It makes an excellent athletic field. Bluegrass can be seeded or sodded for establishment. Read more Bluegrass information.

Perennial Ryegrass: Most of the perennial ryegrass used in lawns is in a mix of Kentucky Bluegrass. Its fast establishment time works well with the slower establishment time of Bluegrass. It is also a fine textured grass similar to Bluegrass with good drought tolerance. It is not as cold tolerant as Bluegrass but is suitable for Indiana lawns. Read more Ryegrass information.

Fine Fescues: Red, hard and chewings fescues are all used in the state of Indiana. Their primary use is in blends with either Tall Fescue or Kentucky Bluegrass on shady lawns. While they can be planted alone, usually they are a part of a mixed variety lawn. Creeping Red is the most popular of the varieties because its texture is considered the best turf type. Hard & chewings are used in blends for areas in which increased shade or inadequate soil types are more of an issue. - Read more Fescue information.

Tall Fescue: Tall Fescue is a cool season grass with a coarser, wider blade texture. Leaves usually range as wide as 1/4 inch, though some newer varieties are finer leaved. It has increased in popularity in Indiana due to its good drought and heat tolerant allowing the lawn to remain green in hot summers that usually stress Bluegrass. It is often used on home lawns, roadsides, parks and playgrounds, and athletic fields where the wider blade width is acceptable. Read more Tall Fescue information. Tall Fescue is more suited to the lower 1/3 of the state because of summer & winter temperatures.

Bentgrass: Bentgrass will grow in Indiana, but are predominately limited to high maintenance locations such as Golf Courses. This is because the cultural issues involved in keeping Bentgrasses healthy (disease / mowing / fertilization / irrigation) are much more involved and require more frequent attention than other lawn varieties. It is NOT recommended for the average homeowners use. Penncross Creeping Bentgrass is considered the best choice in variety for a homeowner who "must" have a grass green in their back lawn. - Article on building a backyard putting green. Read more Bentgrass information.

OTHER GRASS TYPES:
Zoysia is planted to a lesser degree in Indiana, than in more Southern located states. This is because of the long dormant period in which Zoysiagrass is a brown color from fall to mid spring. While it is not really compatible with the cool season grasses above, it has still maintained some popularity because of its drought / heat tolerance vs the cool season grasses in Indiana's summers. - Annual Ryegrass is not generally planted because it does not survive the high and low temperatures of Indiana very well. Perennial Ryegrass is the preferred ryegrass. Bermudagrass is also used in the southern part of Indiana. Most varieties available to date do NOT have the cold tolerance and special management needed to survive severe Indiana winters without some loss. Newer varieties such as Mohawk do have increased winter hardiness and are finding some use. Buffalograss is occasionally planted in Indiana for use as a low maintenance grass.

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BEST PLANTING TIMES: - COOL SEASON GRASSES

(1) FALL IS BEST TIME - Middle of August through the end of September is ideal to plant cool season Grasses. --- When soil temps range between 50- 65 degrees and air temps range between 60-75 degrees.

(2) SPRING IS SECOND BEST - Same temps apply.
For cool season grasses the next best establishment time is from the middle of March to the middle of April is an ideal time to plant cool season grasses. -- Keep in mind that depending on the summer conditions some of your plants might not survive to fall.  You may need to reseed (overseed) in the fall to fully establish your cool season lawn.

BEST PLANTING TIMES: WARM SEASON GRASSES IN ILLINOIS

Warm season grasses should be planted starting in the spring to mid/early summer after the soil / air temperatures are 70 degrees or higher (under 95). Generally this is around May-June. Do NOT try to plant these once you have reached 90 days before first frost to avoid winter kill of small immaturely established seedlings. Warm season grasses need heat and moisture in order to best germinate and grow.

INDIANA LAWNS - A FEW RECOMMENDED MIXES & VARIETIES:

COOL SEASON:  Mid America Super Shade; Seedland Bluemix; Seedland Elite Blend KBG; Midnight KBG; Rebel Shady Lawn Tall Fescue Blend; Creeping Red Fescue; Professional Select Perennial Ryegrass; Superstar Perennial Ryegrass. ---

WARM SEASON: MohawkBermudagrass; Zenith Zoysiagrass; Companion Zoysiagrass. - NOTE: These are only a few of the most popular seed blends and varieties available at Seedland.com

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Online Resources For Growing Grass In Indiana

Indiana Turf Info Links:

Indiana- Purdue University Lawn Publications: Excellent list of Illinois articles: http://www.agry.purdue.edu/turf/publicat.htm

Purdue Extension - Lawn Establishment from seeds:

http://www.agry.purdue.edu/turf/pubs/ay3.htm

Turfgrases for the Midwest
http://www.turf.uiuc.edu/NCR-192/turf_midwest/default.htm - Great site for Illinois lawns.

Purdue University Turf Tips: http://www.agry.purdue.edu/turf/tips/turftips.html

Ohio State Extension Web Sites: - Excellent Ohio Lawn Information that applies to Indiana!
http://www.ag.ohio-state.edu/~ohioline/hyg-fact/4000/index.html - This well designed turf grass site has lots of articles on Lawns for Ohio or Indiana.

Also read www.lawnfertilizers.com for fertilization tips.

Maintenance of Indiana Lawns: http://www.agry.purdue.edu/turf/tips/turftips.html

Variety comparisons: www.ntep.org 

Lawn Tips from Purdue University - Updated Weekly

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Climate Zone Map & Grass Selection Chart For Indiana

 

INDIANA
CLIMATE ZONES

7 & 8

Grass Zone Selection Chart

Northern 2/3 area of Indiana - Zone 7
Southern 1/3 area of Indiana - Zone 8

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