Frequently Asked Questions
What is PLS?
PLS stands for Pure Live Seed. Many factors can influence the purity and germination of seed lots. The percentage purity indicates how much of the lot is seed and what remainder is other matter. A seed lot with a 96% purity would have 96% seed and 4% other material. The germination percentage is the number of seed that germinate in a given period of time. It usually represents the minimum potential germination of the seed lot under desirable conditions for germination. To compare seed lots with different purity and germination percentages, another value is used. PLS is the percentage of pure, viable seed within the lot. To calculate PLS, multiply the percentage purity by the germination percentage.
EXAMPLE: A seed lot has a purity of 93% and a germination of
96%. The PLS value would be: 93% x 96% = 89% PLS
The numbers are rounded to the nearest whole number to simplify calculations. The 89% PLS value indicates that within one pound of the seed lot, 89% should be viable seed. By using the PLS value for determining seeding rates, the maximum potential stand can be attained when environmental conditions are right. PLS values also insure that the possible viable seed is consistent between lots, despite differences in purity and germination.
When do I plant native grasses?
Knowing when to plant native grasses can be complicated. Soil temperatures need to be 55-60°F for warm season grasses to germinate. For central eastern New Mexico, this is mid to late May. You can plant native grasses all through the summer until the middle of August and expect soil temperatures to be warm enough for germination.
Another common practice is to dormant seed native grasses. This means that you will plant in the winter while everything is dormant allowing the snow to settle the seed into the soil. Warm season grass seed will not germinate until soil temperatures have increased to 55-60°F therefore increasing the chance that wind will shift the seed or birds will eat the seed through the spring.
How do I control weeds in my newly seeded grass?
Before you plant a native grass pasture, it is important to know what to expect. Different species of grass will germinate and grow faster than others. Mother nature can allow some stands of grass to get estabished within three weeks and other times it may take three years.
If you are not planting any broadleaf plants, one option is to put down a broadleaf pre-emergent. This will help keep weeds like kochia and many others from having as much pressure on your new stand of grass. If there are plants in the area in which you are planting, you can also spray with glyphosate to terminate existing vegetation.
PLEASE CONTACT YOUR CHEMICAL REPRESENTATIVE WITH ALL QUESTIONS BEFORE APPLYING ANY CHEMICALS!!!
Once you have planted seed, it is best to keep the area shredded at 4-6" tall. This will allow the young plants a cover to protect from blowing sand and yet short enough to get the sunlight that is necessary to grow.
What are the different classes of seed?
Three classes of Certified seed are recognized. They are Foundation seed, Registered seed, and Certified seed. A description of the seed classes follows:
FOUNDATION - That seed produced by state experiment stations or private companies from breeder seed.
REGISTERED - The direct progeny of Foundation seed. Registered seed is recommended to Certified seed growers for the production of Certified seed.
CERTIFIED - Certified seed is the progeny of Foundation or registered seed (or Certified seed if Foundation or Registered seed of a particular variety is not being produced). Certified seed is that class of seed which is recommended for farmers who want to plant the best possible seed for commercial crop production.