Seeding After Fire

Soil stabilization is a primary goal in vegetation management following either wild or prescribed fire. Hot fires which kill perennial herbaceous cover create significant risk for soil erosion and invasion of annual grasses. However, perennial bunchgrasses often survive wildfire and must be encouraged to produce seed in the first two years after a fire. In plant communities where invasive annual grasses were present before fire and perennial grass species are a minor portion of species composition, artificial regeneration through seeding is recommended. Site selection is important: shallow, rocky soils may exhibit very low success rates. Site preparation is also critical for seeding success; this usually includes broadleaf weed control and may include chemical treatment for invasive annual grasses and broadleaf weeds. Finally, seeded species should be chosen carefully: species should match the capacity of the soil and overall management goals for the land.