Seed blends all come with labels. Why? They provide essential information such as the type of seeds in the blend or from where the seeds originate. Every seed bag must contain a label by law, and failure to provide one or to include faulty information could result in the vendor facing jail time.
How to Read a Seed Label
Reading a seed label is pretty straightforward. It will contain the most relevant information as well as miscellaneous data such as when the blend was tested or whether it has been treated with a plant growth stimulator.
Turf Performance Index Score
The Turf Performance Index Score is a ranking of turf seed blend according to the data from the National Turfgrass Evaluation Program. It's tested for gray leaf spot, brown patch and more and receives a ranking based on the findings. It will be found on all seeds and seed blends from Heritage PPG.
Up to 22,000 pounds of seeds can go on a lot. The lot number provides info about where the seeds came from, which fields it came from and so on. Therefore, all the specifics of the seed can be found on its seed lot report.
Purity is the percent of weight of pure seed within the blend.
Variety name, or commodity, has to go on the seed tag. It tells you which type of seed is in the blend and has to include the variety name and the species name, such as Avenger III and Tall Fescue or Spyder 2LS and Tall Fescue. You may see common or VNS in this section. VNS stands for Variety Not Stated, which means it's known what variety is in the blend.
Germination is the percentage of seed that is viable and will germinate. For example, if 90 out of 100 seeds put in a warm, moist place with ideal growing conditions germinate, it will get a score of 90 percent. This percentage is the industry standard for most seed vendors.
This information denotes where the seeds were from, such as OR, which means Oregon. In fact, most cool-season seeds come from this area.
Other Crop Seed
This section states whether other types of crop seeds are included in the blend. It's very bad to have any percentage of other crop seeds in turf seed blends.
Anything in the seed bag that does not grow, such as cracked seeds, coatings, florets and stems, are labeled as inert matter.
The percentage of common weed seeds found in the seed blend.
Noxious Weed Seed Per Pound
Every state regulates its own seed tags. If a state considers a certain weed noxious and it's found in the seed bag, the seed bag is unsellable. This section of the tag will inform you whether a certain amount of noxious seeds are found in the blend.
This is the date when the seeds were first tested for purity, variety, resistance and more.
You will also find other information on the seed tag, such as:
- When the seeds should be sold by in specific states
- The Texas ID vendor number to sell the seed in Texas
- Information for the weight of the seed bag
- The AMS seed packaging number that every seed company has to have
- Whether the seeds are GMO or treated with growth stimulators