Purchasing the right grass seed is critical for lawn care. Learn how to pick grass seed and the importance of reading seed labels. Description An outstanding blend of three of the newest dwarf fescues available. These varieties represent the latest in turfgrass breeding technology
How to Pick Grass Seed & Importance of Reading A Seed Label
No two bags of grass seed are created equal, which can make knowing what type to purchase a challenge. Push past all the marketing gimmicks and fancy wording—and choosing grass seed is all about reading the specifics on the label in order to have a healthy lawn.
Grass seed labels can include a mix of numbers, percentages and industry terminology. Below, we decipher the most common items found on a seed label so that you can make smart decisions when it comes to learning how to pick the right type of grass seed or hiring a company to put seed down for you.
Plus, reading seed labels and choosing grass seed carefully can help you grow a lush lawn that naturally keeps weeds at bay (even those pesky winter weeds).
Purity is the percent, by weight, of pure seed of each component in the mixture. Not all the pure seed is live seed. Look for percentages over 97.5—the higher the better.
Variety is the specific type of grass included. Do not buy seed that does not list the variety. Variety not stated (VNS) seed lots often include older varieties not well adapted to lawns.
Tells how much of each pure seed variety included will sprout (the amount of live seed in the bag). Look for percentages over 80—the higher the better.
Crop is the percent, by weight, of seeds in a package that are grown as a cash crop. Examples may include orchardgrass, timothy, clover, redtop and bentgrass, which are considered weeds in turf. Look for seed with a crop of less than 0.3%—the lower the better.
Inert matter is the percent, by weight, of material not capable of growth (i.e. filler). Filler can be any substance added to take up space. For example: broken seed that couldn’t be removed, dirt, corn cobs, sand, etc. Look for the percentage to be less than 2—the lower the better. Otherwise, you’re paying for “junk”!
Weed seed is the percent, by weight, of weed seed in a package. It can be difficult and expensive to catch all weed seeds during the cleaning process. Acceptable limits range from 0.0% – 0.3%. The lower the percentage of weed seed, the higher the quality of grass seed.
Most states have certain weeds so troublesome and undesirable that a tally of their presence in the seed mixture is required on the seed label. You want a seed that reads “NONE” under this category.
Picking the Right Seeds Is a Robust Defense Against Weeds
You should read seeds labels closely so that you select the optimal variety for the given season and climate. A thriving, dense-growing lawn will naturally crowd out weeds. For example, lawns planted with warm-season grass seed (such as Bermuda grass, Centipede grass, and St. Augustine grass) are vulnerable to henbit. Henbit is an annual winter weed. It often takes hold in patchy spots in a lawn where the grass grows less densely.
Key Takeaways: How To Pick Grass Seed
- Buy certified grass seed—it’s guaranteed by the seller to give you the kind of seed named on the package.
- Generally speaking, the higher the cost of grass seed, the higher the quality of product.
- Buying seed out of bulk bins
- Seed mixes containing annual ryegrass
- Contractor type blends of ryegrass
If you have any questions about reading a seed label or signing up for an aeration and seeding service, get in touch with your local NaturaLawn of America expert.
An outstanding blend of three of the newest dwarf fescues available. These varieties represent the latest in turfgrass breeding technology with improved insect and disease resistance, darker color, finer texture and dwarf growing habit for less maintenance. “New Millennia” is comprised of the highest rated varieties of tall fescue according to USDA tests of tall fescue cultivars. This seed blend has shown in standard tests to be free of crop and weed seeds and is suitable for sod production.
- Medium-fine texture
- Deep root system ( 1 1/2 – 3 ft.)
- Heat tolerant
- Shade tolerant
- Grows in wide range of soils
- Reduced vertical growth rate
- Greater turf density
- Improved disease resistance to stem & crown rust
- Newest varieties
- 100% WEED FREE
- Attractive, uniform appearance
- Improved drought tolerance
- Better summer performance than ryegrass
- Only one grass needed for entire landscape
- Reduces soil preparation costs
- Reduced maintenance costs
- Withstands heavy use
- Lower maintenance costs and improved turf
- Genetic improvement over older varieties
- Produces a professional quality turf
Traffic areas where appearance and low maintenance are important:
Lawns, Playgrounds, Parks, Cemeteries, Commercial developments, Sportsturf.
“Triple Crown Dwarf” is an excellent choice in hot inland valleys where it will maintain its deep green color year round.
New turf: 10-12 pounds per 1000 square feet or 400-500 pounds per acre.
Overseeding: 6-8 pounds per 1000 square feet or 250-350 pounds per acre.
Emergence: 10-14 days with proper irrigation
First mowing: Approximately 25 days.
First limited use: Approximately 40 days.
Adaptability & Care
Climatic Conditions: All (except high altitude)
Soils: All types
pH range: 5.5 to 6.5 preferred, 4.7 to 8.5 tolerated
Fertilization: 2 to 4 pounds of actual nitrogen per year in a balanced fertilizer
Mowing height: 2-3 inches in warm seasons, 1 1/2- 2 inches in cool seasons.
“New Millennia” is a registered trademark of Stover Seed Company and is available only from Stover Seed or an authorized dealer. The ingredients used in “New Millennia” are exclusively distributed by Stover Seed and represent the latest improvements in turfgrass breeding and development. Accept no substitutions.
Ingredients & Specifications
2nd Millennium Tall Fescue
Focus Tall Fescue
Avenger Tall Fescue
98% Minimum purity
90% Minimum germination
0% Crop Seed
0% Weed Seed
National Tall Fescue Test
Quality Ratings 1-9; 9=ideal turf
- Justice (#1 rank) 6.4
- Avenger* 6.3
- 2nd Millennium* 6.1
- Focus* 6.0
- Regiment II 5.8
- Jaguar 3 5.7
- Falcon II 5.6
- Matador 5.4
- KY-31 3.4
National Tall Fescue Test
Brown Patch (warm temperature)
Ratings 1-9; 9=No Disease
- Magellan (#1 rank) 6.3
- Focus* 5.9
- Jaguar 3span >5.9
- Avenger* 5.8
- 2nd Millennium* 5.6
- Falcon II 5.1
- Barlexas 5.1
- Olympic Gold 5.0
- Lancer 3.1
To determine whether a cultivar’s performance is truly different from another, subtract one entry’s mean from another entry’s mean. If this value is larger than the LSD value, the observed difference in cultivar performance is significant and did not happen by chance. Complete tables available upon request or contact www.ntep,org.
* Denotes varieties used in New Millennia.
Recent Planting Sites
City of Rancho Cucamonga
Ft Rosecrans National Cemetery, San Diego