Seed

Arizona Revegetation and Monitoring Co. sells native grass seed, wild flower seed, and seed mixes.

 

Because many seed varieties are hand collected or available only seasonally we do not  maintain a current  price and availability list.

 

We do have a nine species native mix which includes Side Oat Grama, Blue Grama, Rothrock Grama, Green Sprangletop, Sand Dropseed, Plantago, Little Bluestem, Plains Bristle Grass and Native Fescue which has worked well in a variety of situations in Southeast Arizona. This mix has been used in many conservation and fire recovery projects in the Southwest.  If you are looking for  more diversity, a custom mixes are available. 

 

If you have specific requests or questions about seed contact us and we will get back to you as soon as we can. 

 

 

A Practical Guide to Native Grass Seeding

Good Seed + Proper Ground Temperature + Adequate Moisture = Seed Germination

How do I know the seed is good? In Arizona, all seed must be tested for germination and viability. A tag should be included on the seed bag.

What is proper ground temperature? Almost all our native grass species are considered “warm season grasses.” They will only germinate when ground temperature are around 80 degrees or higher. A week with night temperatures that stay at 50 degrees or above will usually give you 80 degrees ground temperatures.

How much moisture is “adequate moisture”? The seed needs to stay constantly moist for a period of 7 -10 days. Native grass seed actually contains chemical inhibitors to prevent it from germinating unless there is sufficient moisture. If the seed is wet for a couple of days, then dries out, you will start the 7 – 10 day cycle all over again. Lack of sufficient moisture is by far the single biggest obstacle to successful seeding in the Southwest.

Is the seed still good if it gets wet for a couple of days then dries out? Yes. The good news is that the seed will lie there dormant, sometimes for several years, until the proper conditions occur for it to start. It is fairly common for a project to have minimal results the first year and then come on strong the second or third season.


Here are some other questions we get asked a lot:

  • What is the best type of seed to put down? It is always best to use a mix of seeds. All sites vary in soil type, exposure, and elevation. Using a mix is the best way to make sure that something will be happy in your specific conditions. The 9 Species SE Arizona Mix has been developed to meet a wide range of conditions in the 3000 – 6000 foot levels in Arizona and New Mexico.
  • When is the best time to seed? If you are hand seeding , the closer to summer rains the better. If you are hydroseeding or mechanically broadcasting, you can seed year round.
  • Is ground preparation necessary? It isn't mandatory, but can sure do a lot to tip the odds in favor of a successful project. Anything you can do to make the water slow down is good. If compacted, the ground should be ripped to a depth of 3” – 4” perpendicular to the flow of the water. The rougher and looser the ground is, the more likely it is to hold water and keep the seed moist enough to get started. Rocks also help hold moisture and provide cover for the seed. The hardest slope to get something started on is a steep, compacted south or west facing slope.
  • Can I use a hand held seeder to put the seed down? No. Native grass seed is too light and fluffy to go down evenly through one of those. The best way for you to put the seed down is technically called “feeding the chickens.” Get a 5 - gallon bucket, put the seed in it, and fling it by hand. Be careful not to put too much seed down in an area. Some of the native seed varieties are very small with millions of seeds per pound. Because the seed is so small, a little goes a very long way.
  • Won't the birds eat all the seed? No. Birds, ants, wind, etc. will claim some of the seed, but if you use the recommended seeding rate of 1 lb. per 1 -2 thousand sq. ft. the losses are taken into consideration. A heavy population of ants can still be a problem at times though.
  • How long does it take to look “natural”? That completely depends on the growing conditions. Usually an unirrigated situation takes a few years to really fill in. It can happen sooner. Remember that it took hundreds of thousands of years for the land and vegetation to take its current shape, then it got scraped clean in a couple of hours. It is going to take more than a couple of weeks to come back.
  • Does watering help? Proper watering takes the guesswork out of a project. However, given our high temperatures, low humidity, and wind , it takes a lot of work to keep something consistently moist in late spring and summer. Watering is something you want to make a serious commitment to or not do at all.
  • Once the seed comes up , can I stop watering? No. This is the most critical part of the growing process. Once the seed has germinated, it dies if it dries out. However, when the grass gets several inches tall , you can begin to taper off on the frequency of watering.
  • How deep should I cover the seed? Never get native grass seed deeper than ¼ inch. After you have sown it, turn your rake over and very lightly drag it over the seeded area. Another good method is to water the area one time. You aren't trying to get the seed started, just settle it in and get the ground to crust over and hold it.
  • If I don't use all the seed will it still be good next year? Seed stored in a dry area should be good for several years.
  • Is the 9 Species Mix OK for Livestock? Yes, all grass species in the mix are palatable for livestock.
  • Can native grasses be mowed? They can, but don't have to be. However, especially the first year, wait until the grass has gone dormant in the fall to cut it. That way it will have had a chance to go to seed before it is mowed. Native grasses are healthier if they get mowed, grazed, or burned every few years.
  • What about Wildflowers? There are cool season wildflowers (poppies, lupine, Arizona Bluebells), warm season flowers (coreopsis, cosmos, dyssodia), and some that can bloom almost year round (verbena, Desert Marigold). A good mix should contain some of each. Ground preparation and planting for wildflowers is the same as grasses . Wildflower germination varies depending on the combination of soil temperature and moisture. Because of this, it is very likely that you can see different varieties blooming from year to year.

 

Places You Can Find Arizona Revegetation Seed Mixes*

Benson Ace , located on the corner of 4th Street and Ocotillo
591 W. 4th St. - Benson, AZ 85602
520-586-7345 - Email:   info@svace.com

Bisbee Ace, located on Naco Highway, 1/2 Mile south of Highway 92
1220 S. Naco Highway-Bisbee, AZ 85603
520-432-4975 - Email:   info@svace.com

Diamond JK Nursery , Highway 83
Sonoita, Az., 85637
520-455-9262

Sierra Vista Ace, located on the corner of Highway 92 and Fry Blvd.
3756 East Fry Boulevard - Sierra Vista, AZ 85635
520-458-3650 - Email:   info@svace.com

Red Mountain Foods
McKeown Ave – Patagonia, Az., 85624
520-394-2781

San Pedro Feed & Hardware
9971 E Highway 92 Hereford, Az. 85615
520-366-5506

* Please contact us if you are interested in carrying our seed in your store.