Sod quality: When cheap comes at a cost

This article was originally featured in our 2016 Price List.

When you buy a top quality product, you should expect top quality results.With sod, the expression “you get what you pay for” rings true, season after season. True “sod quality” seed

The amount of seed used for a sod-quality test can be up to 2.5 times greater than that used for a standard test.

The amount of seed used for a sod-quality test can be up to 2.5 times greater than that used for a standard test.

will result in a beautiful, robust stand that allows you to focus your attention and budget elsewhere as your seed grows. Poor quality seed might save money in the short term, but will cost much more in maintenance and input. Problems created by poor sod seed can take years to correct.

“Sod quality” seed is defined not only by its certified genetics, but also by the care taken to verify the purity of the mix. Sod-quality labeled seed should have very little to no weed or other crop seed contaminants. In sod-quality seed, for example, the presence of unwanted grass species can create some of the worst and most difficult management problems. Sod integrity comes from dedication to purity and cleanliness through all production phases.

Over three decades, Pawnee Buttes Seed has developed strong relationships with reputable seed growers across the U.S. These growers are held to strict quality standards that go beyond industry guidelines. Any detection of other crop or weed seed in our sod-quality lots results in rejection.

This means our sod-quality seed is not always the cheapest on the market, but it is always reliable. The end result for sod growers, athletic fields, golf courses and other consumers is a purer stand that results in fewer headaches, lower chemical inputs and less time spent spot spraying throughout the season.

To start, we use a larger test sample to verify sod-quality seed. The amount of seed tested for sod-quality lots can be up to 2.5 times greater than the quantity used for certified seed.

Variety Minimum test Sod-quality test
Kentucky Blue 10 grams 25 grams
Tall Fescue 25 grams 50 grams


The best-performing sod is ideally a blend of several varieties, selected for durability, green-up, root depth and strength, temperature and moisture tolerance, color and texture.  We regularly stock an extensive variety of true sod-quality cultivars to provide the best blend for your needs.