Great Basin Seed
450 South 50 East
Ephraim, UT 84627
This page is written for those victims in the devastating Washington Okanogan Complex and surrounding areas. Our greatest hope is that we can offer Okanogan fire help on your journey to recovering your land and belongings after the fire. Great Basin Seeds can offer you the highest quality ready made seed mixes to protect your property from the unavoidable erosions and aftermath of fires. The guidelines below are specific for the Okanogan Complex, however they can be applicable to many fire situations in the western United States.
After a major wildfire erosion control should be your number one priority. Planting at the right time is crucial to establishing the land again. “Wildlands” or “range” seedings are usually most effective when sown in the fall or winter. Consider the natural life cycle of a plant: it blossoms in the spring or early summer, produces fruit (seed) late summer and drops the seed in the fall. The seed lays dormant in the ground until spring when it germinates and grows into a new plant. The process repeats itself. Fall plantings most closely replicate that cycle. Fall plantings usually start in late september and run through october, but successful plantings can be sown as late as November and December.
While fall plantings are generally preferred, spring plantings work well also – don’t be discouraged or feel you can’t plant just because fall has passed. Try to get the seed on the ground as soon as possible so that it takes advantage of early spring moisture. Spring plantings are considered a good second choice.
Okanogan Seed Recommendations
Below are tables of recommended grasses, forbs (flowers) and shrubs for the Okanogan Complex area. These plants are likely already established or growing in your area as native or introduced species or are commonly used in fire rehabilitation and erosion control in the western United States.
For the purposes of this Okanogan fire help page, “irrigated” is any species that requires 16″ or more annual precipitation. If your area does not have at least 16″ then you should plan to irrigate or plant dryland or drought tolerant species. Many of Great Basin Seeds plant species are hand picked for their drought tolerance.
Skip to the chase…buy ready made mixes! If you are not at all familiar with plants and seed, don’t worry. We can help you! We have formulated recommended seed mixes from the recommendations of the agencies in your area. They are species proven to work in your area. You can simply skip past all of the technical “stuff” and move straight to buying the prescribed mix in the online store.
|Grass Species||H2O Needs||General Comments|
|Snake River Wheatgrass||Dryland||Great dryland species (introduced)|
|Intermediate Wheatgrass||Dryland||Establishes well, good for pasture|
|Hycrest Crested Wheatgrass||Dryland||Great dryland species (introduced)|
|Bluebunch Wheatgrass||Dryland||Great dryland species (native)|
|Siberian Wheatgrass||Dryland||Great dryland species (introduced)|
|Indian Ricegrass||Dryland||Establishes and persists in sandy, dry soil|
|Thickspike Wheatgrass||Dryland||Excellent sodformer for erosion control|
|Western Wheatgrass||Dryland||Great dryland species (native)|
|Russian Wildrye||Dryland||Great dryland species (introduced)|
|Basin Wildrye||Dryland||Great dryland species (native)|
|Sheep Fescue||Dryland||Excellent for disturbed sites (introduced)|
|Sand Dropseed||Dryland||Good for soil stabilization (native)|
|Smooth Brome||Dryland||Excellent for erosion control but can be weedy|
|Idaho Fescue||Dryland||Deep root system for erosion control (native)|
|Bottlebrush Squirreltail||Dryland||Excellent dryland choice (native)|
|Slender Wheatgrass||Dryland||Great high elevation species|
|Tall Fescue||Dryland||Establishes easy, needs water (introduced)|
|Needle and Thread Grass||Dryland||Excellent erosion control but pesky needles!|
|Sandberg Bluegrass||Irrigated||Establishes well, needs regular water (native)|
|Hard Fescue||Dryland||Requires more water than Sheep Fescue|
|Prairie Junegrass||Dryland||An excellent choice but cost prohibitive|
|Orchardgrass||Irrigated||Except for “Paiute” variety it needs irrigation|
|Perennial Ryegrass||Irrigated||Needs irrigation to thrive|
|Tall Wheatgrass||Dryland||Establishes in saline areas, not good forage|
|Annual Ryegrass||Irrigated||Fast establishing, short lived annual|
|Forbs & Legumes||H2O Needs||Notes|
|Yellow Sweetclover||Dryland or Irrigated||Fast establishing bi-annual, good erosion control|
|Lewis Blue Flax||Dryland||Showy perennial, good erosion control|
|Sainfoin||Dryland or Irrigated|
|Small Burnet||Dryland or Irrigated|
|Small Flower Globemallow||Dryland|
|Lander Alfalfa||Dryland or Irrigated|
|Palmer’s Penstemon||Dryland||Thrives in disturbed soils, persistent after fire|
|California Poppy||Dryland or Irrigated|
|Strawberry Clover||Dryland or Irrigated||Tolerates saline soils|
|Alsike Clover||Dryland or Irrigated|
|Red Clover||Dryland or Irrigated|
|White Dutch Clover||Dryland or Irrigated|
|Ladino Clover||Dryland or Irrigated|
|Rocky Mountain Beeplant||Dryland or Irrigated|
|White Yarrow||Dryland or Irrigated|
|Blue Elderberry||Dryland or Irrigated|
|Curl Leaf Mahogany||Dryland|
|Woods Rose||Dryland or Irrigated|
|Basin Big Sagebrush||Irrigated|
|Mountain Big Sagebrush||Dryland|
|Wyoming Big Sagebrush||Dryland|
|Western Wheatgrass||Dryland or Irrigated|
|Skunkbush Sumac||Dryland or Irrigated|
Recovering the vegetation on your land is the quickest and most effective long term solution for erosion control. The links below contain valuable documents and information on a variety of ways to establish a successful seeding prevent erosion:
The Okanogan Conservation District has put together an excellent page of helps and resources here.
An excellent website is the Washington Fire Recovery website.
A very good resource is the Colorado State University website. They have put together an excellent “action plan” for post-fire vegetative work and erosion prevention.
Incident Information: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/4534/
Methow Valley News: http://methowvalleynews.com
Wiki Page on Wahington State Wildfires: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_Washington_state_wildfires
Soil Erosion Control after Wildfire: http://www.ext.colostate.edu/pubs/natres/06308.html or Download PDF