Planting Grass: For Best Results Select Quality Grass Seed

Purchase Certified Seed

Purchase Certified Seed

Whether planting a new lawn or overseeding an existing yard, it is very important to carefully choose the grass seed you will use. There are large differences in lawn seed, and it pays to compare.

Yes, good bargains can be found at the local hardware or big box home improvement stores. However, you get what you pay for and the seed you buy will determine the quality of your lawn. Invest in quality seed now and the payoff will be a beautiful lawn for years to come.

Select The Proper Grass Type and Purchase Certified Seed.

Match the grass species with site conditions and intended use, there are several options to choose from: full sun or shade mixtures, premium turfgrass blends, no-mow and low-maintenance grasses.

Poor-quality seeds may be low in viability and contain weed seeds as well as undesirable grass species. Consequently, the use of poor-quality seed may result in unsatisfactory turf establishment, thus, wasting time, effort, and money. Also, If the species in the seed mixture are not adapted to the conditions at the site, the resulting stand may become thin and subject to soil erosion and weed encroachment. ~ Penn State Turf Advice

Information printed on the seed label will help you make a wise choice when purchasing grass seed.

  • Never purchase seeds with less than 70 percent germination.
  • Other crops and weed seeds should be less than 1%.
  • Inert material should be less than 4%.
  • No noxious weeds.

To choose quality turfgrass seed, you need to understand the information presented on the seed label. The seed label — or tag, as it may be referred to — is usually found on the back of a bag of seeds. The label contains valuable information including the cultivars, purity, germination percentage, crop seed, weed seed, inert material, noxious weeds and date tested. ~ MSU Turfgrass Science

Purchase Certified Seed: Certified seed is a guarantee from the seller that you will get the kind and variety of lawn seed named on the label. If the seed is certified, a blue label will be attached to the seed package.

This is the highest quality seed available. In order for turfgrass seed to achieve blue tag status, the following conditions must be met.

  1. Fields have been planted with either approved foundation or breeder seed, or established with certified planting stock.
  2. Variety is worthy of certification, or describable by the originator.
  3. Production fields meet sanitation standards and are grown with proper isolation distances (from other plants of the same species).
  4. The production fields have 0.03% or less off-type plants.
  5. Minimum standards for purity are met.
  6. Other grass contamination limits are met.

These conditions when met, ensure the buyer that the best quality seed is available to them. ~ University of Arizona Extension

TIP: Use the information on the seed label to Calculate Pure Live Seed. PLS can be used to determine the best seed to buy and to adjust the seeding rate.

Better-quality seeds should have higher levels of live seed as well as lower amounts of contaminants. But don’t take it for granted that your seeding rate doesn’t need an adjustment. It’s a relatively simple matter to check the seed tag and make the necessary calculations to adjust for impurities. You can do this by calculating what’s known as pure-live seed (PLS). You might be surprised at the difference this can make, not only in achieving the optimum seeding rate but also in finding the best buy. ~ Grounds Maintenance

Purchasing quality seeds is the first step to planting and growing a beautiful lawn.

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