Plant & Seed Quality

Native Plants Seed Quality

Native Plants Seed Pre-treatment

Native Plants Seed Testing

Cardno uses quality assurance and quality control measures for our native wetland and prairie seed production and native plant growing.

To ensure that our clients receive the highest quality seed for native restoration and landscape projects, we have independent laboratories conduct a Pure Live Seed (PLS) test on our seed. The result of these tests is the PLS ratio, which measures the purity and viability of a given seed lot.

Specific Indiana seed lots are certified through the Indiana Crop Improvement Association’s “Yellow Tag” seed program, which verifies that these lots originate from Indiana, detailed down to the county and township level.

Seed pretreatments help many seed species germinate better and more quickly. There are many forms of these pretreatments—for example, scarification physically breaks through the coating on seeds, and stratification overcomes the chemical dormancy, typically by having the seed go through prolonged exposure to cold and wet conditions. For a small fee Cardno can perform these and other pretreatments to help accelerate the germination process.

Custom seed collection and cleaning removes inert material and contaminants, producing a purer seed lot and more productive seed. Cardno collects local genotype seed and cleans it for your use.  

Plant and seed amplification helps restoration projects obtain more plants or seed than available on a site. Cardno collects plants or seed, grows more plants from the parent stock, and then provides a client with more product than initially on the site. Amplification is particularly useful for helping to conserve rare plant species.

Enhanced root systems help to further increase the performance of native plants. Cardno uses a mycorrhizal fungi mix that promotes the development of a vigorous root system. The symbiotic relationship between the fungi mix and the roots increases the plants’ resistance to disease, drought, and insect damage, and it enhances the roots’ ability to capture nutrients.

Production and capacity improvements to our greenhouse technology and facility have increased our ability to meet the demand for our plants and ultimately produce a better product. Since its beginning, Cardno has provided millions of plants for projects throughout the Midwest.