Seed Tags: A Deep Dive on What You Should be Looking for When Shopping This Season


July has come and gone, leaving its mark on home lawns across the United States. August will surely come on strong with increased disease pressure and extreme temperatures further impacting the ascetics and quality of the turf on your property.

Below are some helpful tips from Central for your upcoming seed purchase this fall.

What species to choose…

Choosing the right type of grass seed is always the key to a lawn’s success. If you are in the transition zone in full sunlight Central’s All Tall Turf Type Tall Fescue blend is a great choice for long term sustainable results.  This blend incorporates the newest genetics on the market with great heat and drought tolerance along with increased disease resistance over older genetics available today.

For shaded areas and an all-around good mixture utilizing Tall Fescue, Kentucky Bluegrass, and Fine Fescue Central’s All Star Mixture is the product for genetic diversity in a lawn providing a fine leaf texture with good shade tolerance.

Northern tier climates and high-end properties that desire excellent color, fine leaf texture, and great wear tolerance should go with Central’s Liberty Mixture of Kentucky Bluegrasses.

There are endless options to choose from for optimal results and we have the team to provide you with solutions for every environment.

You have the perfect plan now what’s in the bag?

After pouring over mountains of information found online, and consulting the team at Central, it is now time for you to dive into what a seed tag is and how to determine if what’s in the bag fits the solution you have in mind.

A seed tag is an analysis on the components that have been placed in a bag of grass seed.  This tag has information pertaining to a lot number, percentage values and name of each variety placed into the bag, the weed content, inert values, and other crop present within the package.

This is the holy grail of information pertaining to your purchase and should be greatly considered when making a purchase.

A quick breakdown…

  • Lot number: Provides an overall record provided from the manufacturer of where the item was blended along with trackability of what specific components were used when blending the product
  • Variety Name and Percentage Values: How much and what variety went into the blend
  • Weed:  Overall percentage of weeds found in the bag. This number is usually very low to zero when using high quality seed
  • Inert Value: Remnants of stems or chaff that could not be removed from the cleaning process or the percentage value of how much of the seed is Coated
  • Other Crop: Seeds found in the blend that are not named on the tag as a variety.  This is also typically low to zero.

As of late, grass seed pricing levels are at an all-time high with inventory in short supply. Some grass seed dealers have gone the route of using coated grass seed to lower the costs for the end users.  This is a great idea, however there are a few drawbacks to this method.

  1. The main drawback is the actual grass seed in the bag. A 10 lb bag of coated grass seed at 50% yields only 5 lbs of actual product in the bag.
  2. Grass seed dealers incorporate value added fungicides, and fertilizers on this coated material that do yield positive results at a lower cost, however these products can inhibit germination time as the coating must be broken down to get water into the seed to get the process started.
  3. These products do hold value and have a place in the market, however a great starter fertilizer like Hudson Valley Naturals 15-5-5 starter fertilizer yields better and longer lasting results to ensure the turf gets the proper nutrients for optimal germination and viability.

Here are few examples of seed tags found in your local Central Turf and Irrigation location.

Finally, if you are still lost in the shuffle of what to do rely on the experts at Central to help guide you in the right direction with any of your turfgrass questions. We stay at the leading-edge of the industry. We have experts on staff at all our local branches and they’re ready to help you grow your business!