How to Find Quality Turf Seed That Makes Your Customers’ Lawns Look Perfect

You know that the type of turfgrass seed mix you buy determines how well your customers’ lawns look throughout the growing season. If you cut any corners with quality grass seed, you’ll be hearing a lot of customer complaints.

So, how do you find quality turf seed that makes your clients’ lawns look perfect?

You learn how to select quality grass seed.

How to Select Quality Turfgrass Seed

It can be confusing to pick the best quality turfgrass seed that does well in your local area and holds up against heat stress and drought.

The seed analysis label on the seed lot and a trustworthy vendor can help you find the first-rate grass seed you need to please your customers.

But first, here are some questions to think about before you buy your lots:

  1. Where is the seed going to be used?
  2. What is the condition of the site?
  3. What’s the planned use of the turf site right now and in the future?
  4. How well will the site be maintained?
  5. What are the quality and seed performance characteristics of the varieties you want to buy?

Write down your answers and take them with you when you meet with your local distributor.

Learn more: How Winter Fertilizer Keeps Lawns Green and Healthy during the Winter Months

What’s the Difference between a Blue Tag / Certified Grass Seed and Quality Seed?

The blue tag or certified turfgrass means that the seed variety in the bags has completed a process that ensures the genetic purity of a turfgrass seed variety throughout the production process.

The blue tag should not be confused with the analysis tag which guarantees by law the content and varieties by percent in the bag of grass seed. However, the blue tag doesn’t guarantee the seeds’ quality. Using a reliable seed vendor, with good varieties tested in the NTEP, is more important than using certified seed.

How to Read the Grass Analysis Tag

Look at the grass seed lot, and you’ll see a tag that gives you a breakdown of the following going clockwise:

  • Name of the grass variety
  • The grass species
  • Germination
  • Origin
  • Test date
  • Address
  • AMS#
  • Noxious weed
  • Weeds
  • Inert
  • Crop
  • Pure seed – purity

Each cool season variety and cultivar goes through a thorough testing process at different universities throughout the U.S. and Canada. The seed tag on your turfgrass lot states the seed’s purity, also known as the seed’s physical quality.

Learning the Pure Live Seed ratio in your seed lot helps you find the seed’s quality and compare it with other mixes or varieties at the same cost.

You can determine the Pure Live Seed (PLS) Percentage using the following equation:

If Seed Mix A lists pure seed as 98% and the seed germination is 90%, you multiply .98 x .90, which equals 88.2% PLS.

Seed Mix B contains 95% pure seed, and the germination rate is 85%, you’ll multiply .95 x .85, which equals 80.75% PLS.

You would pick Seed Mix A for its 88.2% PLS instead of Seed Mix B with 85% PLS if the lots were the same price, giving you more pure seed with a high germination rate.

Read more: Do You Provide Fall Tree Fertilization Services?

How Do Seed Breeders Determine the Germination Rate of Their Turfgrass?

You control which turfgrass seed varieties will work best in your climate by researching the different turf varieties. You want only to use the best grass seed on the market.

Turfgrass breeders continue to enhance their varieties so that their seeds do better in the market. You can research these improved seed blends through the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program (NTEP).

The NTEP organizes turfgrass seed trials at universities across the U.S. and Canada. Then the NTEP publishes unbiased rankings on its website.

By checking out the NTEP, you can analyze which turfgrass seed provides you with the best seed quality that fits your budget and turf program.

Keep in mind that NTEP tests on a five-year rotation cycle. However, you can ask NTEP about newly released varieties that are available. A turf breeder can make a lot of seed improvements within five years.

LebanonTurf Grass Seed Varieties Meet Quality Standards and Blue Tag Certification

If you’re looking for a turfgrass seed company that has a long history of producing the best in turfgrass, fertilizers, and other lawn care products, you came to the right place at LebanonTurf.

Find your local LebanonTurf distributor on our website.


LebanonTurf, Buying Turfgrass Seed.

Ibid, Turfgrass Seed Due Diligence.

The University of Massachusetts, Understanding a Turfgrass Seed Label.