One dedicated blender is used for sod quality Kentucky bluegrass to avoid contamination from other turfgrass species. Extra care is taken to avoid bluegrass varieties contamination between blends, we have a rigid regimented cleaning process between blends. Traces of lighter green vegetative varieties in a dark green dwarf variety blend will reduce turf uniformity.

We have discussed in the pass Kentucky bluegrass has huge genetic diversity. With Kentucky bluegrass as a whole the very best varieties are the lowest seed yielders. And conversely the very high yielding varieties generally produce the poorest turf results. As you can imagine there is everything in between.

Is it a wise chose in order to “reduce expenses” to cost average your blend by using a lower price variety with higher price varieties? Our blend evaluations at our Turfgrass Center have shown that just one poorly selected variety in a blend can completely change the blend for the worst. Even as low as 15% a lighter green variety will dominate the look of the blend. Perhaps the best way to say it, if you are mixing clean water with muddy water what do you end up with?

Consider reducing expenses by reducing your seeding rates. The mean seeding rate for mineral soils is about 70 lbs per acre, depending on the blend, that equals 16 seeds per square inch. How many plants per inch do we need to make sod? Some think only one or two would be enough. However; seeding techniques are always more important than seeding rate. Perhaps this is the year to consider moderating your seeding rate, focus on seeding techniques and depend on a thing called a rhizome.

The industry Certified Sod Quality standard for testing Kentucky Bluegrass seed is fairly limited. Certification departments examines 10 grams of seed for Blue Tag standards, and if it passes, the lab will look at another 15 grams for a total of 25 grams. First of all, there are 454 grams per 1 pound….or about 28 grams per 1 ounce of seed. My point is 25 grams just is not very much seed.

Now, the real kicker comes in that Certification DOES NOT look for Poa Annua when they look at the next 15 grams of seed. Therefore, on a standard Certified Sod Quality test will only have examined 10 grams of seed to determine if the seed lot is Poa Annua free.

Furthermore, Washington and Idaho lot size that these 10 grams was pulled from has no limitations. It could be 40 – 80 or even 120,000 lbs lot size. Oregon does have a 45,000 lbs lot size limitation.

Even furthermore; there is no guide line that has been established as to how the samples are pulled. As with soil sampling, we have found how the samples are pulled can have as much to do with the results as the number of grams that are examined and by the lab used.

Summit Seed, Inc. Sod Quality Testing Procedure
1. We start with a seed lot that has passed Certified Sod Quality Standards and meets our standards.

2. The seed lot is then sampled and that sample is retested by Agri-Seed Testing in Salem, Oregon. Agri-Seed Testing specializes in the testing of Kentucky Bluegrass seed. Per Summit Seed request, most of our seed is certified in lot sizes that do not exceed 22,500 lbs. However, if the certified lot was larger 22,500 lbs, ALL of our retesting lot size will not exceed 22,500 lbs. a. If it passes Certification and the retesting by Agri-Seed Testing, the seed is shipped to our Summit Seed location.

3. Prior to blending, we retest the seed lot again to help insure mechanical. We have shipped back multiple loads over the years that have not met our standards after retesting. a. We pull four samples from every fourth bag using a long seed probe that reaches the length of the bag. b. The samples are collected in stainless steel buckets to avoid the static electricity found in plastic buckets. Our concern is the small Poa Annua seed could stick to the side of the plastic bucket.

4. The Kentucky Bluegrass is blended in a blender that is only used for blending Kentucky Bluegrass seed. The blender is cleaned on a routine basis when blending different Kentucky Bluegrass types to avoid genetic contamination.

5. Seed samples from each Sod Blend are kept at Summit Seed, Inc. for at least two years after blending.

Based on the recommendations of Agri-Seed Testing, we have them examine 25 grams per sample that is sent to their lab. Therefore, prior to blending any Sod Blend we will have had 10 grams Blue Tag test + 15 grams Sod Test done by State and then two 25 gram tests conducted by Agri-Seed Testing for a total of minimum of 75 grams.

 Self Feeding Lawn Brochure Now Available

The new Self Feeding Lawn Brochure is available for download in Adobe PDF format. Learn about all of the great benefits of a Self Feeding Lawn....

 Spring Plot Visit

Give us a call to schedule a time to come by and view the plots, the spring time is a great time to see varieties coming out of dormancy....