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How to Manage Pests

The UC Guide to Healthy Lawns

Seed package labels

Illustrated instructions to roll over parts of label


Evaluating seed

It is not possible to evaluate seed quality by looking at it. Read the seed label carefully. When considering seed lots of similar quality, compare the amount of PURE LIVE SEED (PLS) in the package. You want to pay only for seed that will grow.

Also, make sure that the date of purchase is before the "sell by" date on the label.

Determining the percentage of pure live seed

  • Multiply the % Germination by total % Purity.
    • % Germination = 0.85
    • % Purity = 0.49 + 0.245 + 0.245 = 0.98
    • % PLS = 0.85 x 0.98 = 0.833
  • Multiple result by 100.
    • 0.833 x 100 = 83.3%

To obtain the actual cost per pound PLS, divide the price per pound (0.45 kg) of the packaged seed by PLS.

Sample label


Kind % Purity % Germination
Monarch tall fescue 49.00 85
Emperor tall fescue 24.50 85
Wrangler tall fescue 24.50 85
% Crop seed 0.80  
% Inert matter 1.10  
% Weed seed 0.10 No noxious weeds
Origin: or tested 6/01, sell by 6/02
John Doe Seed Company
Los Angeles, CA 90021
Limited warranty

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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