Native grasses in the Payette National Forest

Asked October 18, 2015, 6:54 PM EDT

We need to seed some ground stirred up by logging? What are the native grass seeds that we should use? We are near the Payette National Forest, near New Meadows.
Bob

Adams County Idaho rangelands native grasses

1 Response

Seeding grass after logging is an excellent plan, both to stabilize soil and to establish desirable vegetation to compete with the annual weedy forbs and grasses that often take advantage of exposed and disturbed soil. A good reference on seeding for this location is the publication, "Grass Seeding Forest Roads, Skid Trails, and Landings in the Pacific Northwest", by University of Idaho, Oregon State University, and Washington State University forestry specialists. You can find it here: www.cals.uidaho.edu/edComm/pdf/PNW/PNW628.pdf
The table on page 2 provides recommended species for regions receiving at least 25 inches of annual precipitation. It is usually a good idea to select no more than 4-5 species for a seed mix. Given the topography in the Payette NF and the diversity of soils and moisture regimes presented by different slopes and aspects, I would recommend these species:

  1. Pubescent wheatgrass
  2. Mountain brome
  3. Hard fescue
  4. Bluebunch wheatgrass
The publication provides a thorough list of species, including native status, and relative strengths of each.