Lawn Soil Testing with the Lawn Care Nut

by / June 1, 2017 turf talk No Comments

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Allyn Hane, “The Lawn Care Nut,” draws on his 15+ years of professional lawn care experience to provide practical lawn care advice to homeowners and DIYers. Here, he shows you the importance of soil testing and what you can learn from it!

“Growing grass from seed, I know, it seems like magic. But how do you know if the grass seed that you’re getting is even any good? Cue that Yard Hack music, will ya?

So every bag of grass seed should have a label or tag. And just like most things we put into our lawns, the label is most often the key to your success, and with grass seed, this definitely holds true. Typical grass seed labels will give you information about the following items:

Cultivars: I like to see proper names here. Look for the specific cultivar like Princess Seventy-Seven or Midnight instead of just Bermuda or Kentucky Bluegrass.

Germination: The percentage of pure seed that germinates under ideal conditions. You want this number to be high, for sure. Anything below seventy percent, probably should avoid.

Crop: Crop is the seed of any other commercially-grown grass crop. Crop could include grasses such as orchardgrass or, often times, clover. I’d strive to find a seed with zero percent crop seed, but most professionals will accept up to one percent.

Weed Content: The percent by weight of weed seed. This is any seed that is not pure or crop seed. Again, here I’d highly recommend a zero percent weed seed analysis. You should be able to find that.

Inert Matter:  The percent by weight of stuff that’s in the bag, other than seed. It could be soil, sand, or anything else picked up along the way. I like this one to definitely be under fiver percent.

Noxious Weeds: Noxious means the weed could be a harm to the environment or animals as declared by a state agency. This one has to be zero by lawn in most localities, so you should be fine here.

Date Tested: This is the date the seed was tested. Typically, I’d like this to be under twelve months, previous to your purchase.

The last tip I’ll give you is in regards to storage. Whether it’s at the store you buy it from or at your home, you just don’t want your seed to be exposed to any extremes. For example, you wouldn’t wanna leave it outside on a rainy day, like today. Or on the flip side, you also wouldn’t wanna leave it out in a lot of heat and direct sunlight. when you’re looking at the store, if the bags themselves look tattered, or maybe they have water stains on them, maybe something to avoid.

And with that, I hope this tip has been helpful to you. I’m Allyn Hane, The Lawn Care Nut. Thanks for watching, and I’ll see you in the lawn.”