Q. Our family owns an unimproved lot at about 8500 feet in southern Utah. A combination of heavy snowfall, strong winds and disease resulted in blow down of dead and live trees. We are planning to clear the area to reduce the potential of fire and then seed native plants and wildflowers seeds. I cannot find any appropriate seed available to do this.
A. There are seed packets available locally and online labeled as wildflowers. But these are generic wildflowers and not all native to our area. You are right to be looking for seed appropriate to your area. Generic types of wildflower seeds should not be used for seeding near semi-primitive or primitive areas.
Introducing plants that are not native will result in future problems. Some non-native plants can invade undeveloped areas and “choke out” native plants. This results in multiple, successive future problems for other plants and animals relying on native plants.
Check out this document online from the Utah Native Plant Society regarding sources for native seeds. http://www.unps.org/index.html?PAGES/cohortlist.html. Also download the document from the University of Nevada titled “Living with Fire” which aims at reducing the fire potential for homes located. In the Lake Tahoe area of Northern Nevada but has information appropriate to your situation. https://www.unce.unr.edu/publications/files/nr/2006/SP0611.pdf
Talk with your local Forest Ranger and decide which of these seed choices would be appropriate for your location. If you have trouble downloading these documents, contact me and I can help you.
When you are ready to seed, seed right into the snow as it is disappearing in the spring. The water and warming soils will help the seeds to germinate.S