The quick and successful establishment of healthy, use/type appropriate vegetation is the ultimate goal for any revegetation project. It is the most effective way to minimize weed invasion and establishment on your site in the long term.
It is important to note that any form of weed control initiates a disturbance and if there is not good coverage of desirable vegetation, revegetation may be necessary. Revegetation is especially important on sites where noxious weeds like leafy spurge have been established for multiple years because the seed bank of the desirable vegetation has been suppressed and depleted. Once weeds are controlled on these sites, other exotic weeds like cheatgrass establish rapidly.
Before starting any type of vegetation management or revegetation project, it is important to ask yourself two questions:
- "What do you want to grow?"
- "What will you be using the site for?
The answers to these questions will help guide your choice of grass and forb species that will be able to thrive under the conditions present at the site. There are many revegetation mixes so it is important to educate yourself on mixes that are appropriate for your specific use and area. Be very careful using "wildflower mixes" since the term wildflower does not always mean native, and they can often include noxious weed seeds.
Finally, it is important to record the conditions of your site and your planned uses and goals for your property in a vegetation management plan. This allows you to keep a clear record of the plant community you have and the plant community you are working toward. Below is an example of a vegetation management plan and a template for you to fill out for your property.
For more information on specific revegetation recommendations:
A Source Guide to Revegetation and Weed Control Options in Missoula County
Revegetation Guidelines for Western Montana
Dryland Pastures Publication