Following the eradication of invasive phreatophytes on floodplain areas in the Southwest, plant establishment by direct seeding is problematic on many sites because of deep water tables, fine-textured saline soils, aridity, and no flooding potential. Techniques to maximize success with direct seeding on these sites include appropriate species and ecotype selections, seeding depth control, and mulch application. An overview of seedbed ecology is presented to elucidate the factors that control germination and establishment in arid regions.