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Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Forestry > Forestry BMP's > Forest Roads > Closing Forest Roads > Guidelines for Seeding Disturbed Areas Guidelines for Seeding Disturbed Areas

Site Preparation: It may be necessary to loosen compacted sites prior to seeding. This may include scarifying of the site with a disc, rake, subsoiler, etc. to a depth of at least 3 inches. Steep slopes should be avoided since loosened soil can easily be washed off site.

Lime and Fertilizer: Caution - Fertilizing may encourage the growth of exotic weed species and should be avoided where adequate nutrients naturally occur. A soil test is recommended to determine lime and fertilization needs. When a soil test is not practical, but poor soil fertility is anticipated, the following minimums can be used: 2 tons of agricultural lime and 1000 pounds of 6-12-12 fertilizer per treated acre. (See Table 5 to calculate Road Surface Acreage).

Seeding: Several seed mixtures can do the job. Choose a mixture which is least or non-invasive, yet provides the desired soil stabilization and other benefits. Seeding with an annual plant can often provide adequate cover for the critical first year and allow natural vegetation to further stabilize the site. Additionally, some sites will require perennial seed mixtures for long term protection, while others may require no seed at all and rely only on natural revegetation. Refer to the seeding chart for recommended seed mixtures.

Mulching: Mulch material may be needed to prevent surface compaction; hold seed, lime and fertilizer in place; reduce runoff and soil erosion; and prevent drying of seeds and seedlings. Spread mulch uniformly to cover 80-90% of the treated area. (Small grain straw and hay can be used as mulch at a rate of 1 to 1 1/5 bales per 1,000 square feet, or 50-65 bales per treated acre. Wood or bark mulch at a rate of 1,500 pounds per acre may also be used). In some cases mulch alone may be sufficient to allow natural revegetation and stabilization. (See Table 5 to calculate Road Surface Acreage).

General Guidelines:

Table 1: Temporary Species for One Year Coverage Choose one and use alone or with a perennial seed mix

 Species Seeding Rates
(lbs/acre)
(Without Mulch)
Seeding Dates
Late Season
 winter wheat 120 (2 bu.) Sept. 15-Oct. 30
cereal rye (Aroostook) 112 (2 bu.) Sept. 15-Oct. 15
annual ryegrass 15 Aug. 1-Sept. 15
Early Season
 spring oats 96 (3 bu.) Mar.1-May 1
forage sorghum 20 May 1-June 15
foxtail millet 12 May 1-June 15
Japanese millet 15 May 1-June 15
cowpeas 40 May 1-July 1
pearl millet 10 May 1-June 15
browntop millet 15 May 1-June 15

Table 2: Seeding Mixtures for Wildlife Habitat and Soil Protection

 Species or Mixture Seeding Rates (lbs/ac) Seeding Dates (without mulch)
A.
wheat or spring oats
with:
switchgrass
indiangrass
birdsfoot trefoil
big bluestem

25

5
8
8
6
 Mar.1-May 30
B.
orchardgrass
Kobe, Korean, or Appalow lespedeza

10

10
 Mar. 1-June 1
C.
orchardgrass
birdsfoot trefoil

10
8
 Mar. 1-Sept. 15
D.
orchardgrass
timothy
ladino-clover
red clover

8
4
2
6
 Mar. 1-Sept. 15

 Table 3: Mixture for Wet or Poorly Drained Areas

 Species Mixture Seeding Rates (lbs/ac) Seeding Dates (without mulch)
Japanese millet
redtop
alsike clover
10
2
4
Mar.1-June 1

Table 4: Mixtures for Bare/Highly Erodible Areas

 Species or Mixture Seeding Rates (lbs/ac) Seeding Dates (without mulch)
General mix
white clover
Perennial rye grass
Annual rye grass
Creeping red fescue
8
5
8
10
Aug. 1-Sept. 1

Aug. 15-Sept. 15
Mar.1-May 1
 Sun and Partial Shade Mix
Kentucky 31 fescue and one of the following:
spring oats, buckwheat
creeping red fescue

Appalow sericea lespedeza:
red top
birdsfoot trefoil
flatpea
cereal rye, wheat, barley


20
30
20


10
2
10
30
30

Mar.1-May 1 and Aug.1-Oct. 1
Mar. 1-May 1
Mar. 1-May 1


Mar. 1-June 1
Mar. 1-Sept. 15
Mar. 1-Sept.15
Aug. 1-Sept. 15
Sept. 15-Oct.1
 Full and Partial Shade Mix
creeping red fescue & white clover 20
2
Mar. 1-May 1
Aug. 1-Sept. 1

Table 5: Calculating Road Surface Acreage

 Road Length Road Width - Feet
 Feet 8 10 12 14 18
 50 .01 .01 .01 .02 .02
100 .02 .02 .03 .03 .04
250 .05 .06 .07 .08 .10
500 .09 .12 .14 .16 .21
1000 .18 .24 .28 .32 .41
2000 .36 .48 .56 .64 .83
5280 .97 1.21 1.45 1.70 2.18