The difference between failure and success.
Cheatgrass on left, or solid local natives with no weeds on right.
Successful Native Grassland restoration relies a few basic concepts:
1. Set up test plot areas, using local genetic material. Never use seed mixes, cultivars or non-local seed.
2. Use small test plot sizes and try many different local species and varied treatments.
3. Keep planting, until you achieve successful test plots for each species.
4. Determine what the soil nutrient needs are for the native species you want to grow, in the place of the weeds. Each species has its own soil nutrient threshold levels that their seedlings need to survive into reproductive adulthood.
5. Check for what the mnimum level of surface soil organic matter (in the top 2 inches) is required for the native seedling survival for each species you want to plant.
6. Check for the granivore-desires for every native seeds you want to plant, both ants and rodents, and invent methods to stop robbing and caching the seeds.
7. Expand successes over larger areas, ONLY after you have produced successful techniques in your test plots.
8. Add to your budget for the larger area, to be able to have the ecotype seeds collected locally by professional collectors, and to be able tp contract for commercial reproduction of those locally collected seeds.
for local Great Basin native grasses,
when your planting techniques
are based on successful test plot outcomes, within two years from
sowing should produce the following plant diameters:
Blue bunch wheatgrass = 3 inches
Great Basin wild rye = 5 inches
Indian Ricegrass = 3-5 inches
Poa = 2 inches
Sitanion = 6 inches
Thurber's Stipa = 4 inches.
Also, within two years or less, a good performance standard for cover is you should have 98% or better native cover. If not, start your test plots over.
Photos below, a successfully restored
five years after sowing.
25 YEARS LATER, in August 2917, the
original test plot experiment site has been preserved as a Native
Plant Study area, in Lassen County along US 395 PM 100.00, off
Ram Horn Sprs. Road. Photo below is a portion of the restored
The Reveg Edge, Box 361, Redwood City, CA 94064 (650) 325-7333
Updated September 7, 2017. Back to Craig Dremann's main Contents page.