how to read a bag of grass seed
Photo: Don Penny/Time Inc. Digital Studio
« »

Getting Started & Maintenance Musts

Reading a Seed Bag Label

Q: Can you help me decipher all the information on my bag of grass seed?

A: Here's what each of the important label elements (shown left) mean:

A_Pure Seed: Look for a blend of two or more varieties. A single variety is more susceptible to being wiped out by disease.

B_Variety: Every common grass, such as tall fescue, should have a variety name. If no variety name is listed, it's a lower quality seed.

C_Other Crop Seed: These are annual grasses, such as winter wheat or rye. Be wary if there's more than 2.5 percent.

D_Inert Matter: This is the stuff that won't grow, such as dirt and broken seeds. More than 3 percent is a red flag, unless it's a seed coating meant to enhance germination.

E_Weed Seed: No bag is completely weed-free, but avoid ones with more than 0.2 percent of these seeds.

F_Noxious Weeds: The best bags will have none of these invasive plants.

G_Tested: Similar to an expiration date. Walk away from bags with a test date more than one year old.
Ask TOH users about Yard & Garden

Contribute to This Story Below