Seeding Rates: In plots with established clover, I will typically broadcast about 1 - 2 lbs of seed per acre, broadcasting a little heavier in areas where the clover stand is really thin. If I do nothing, the weeds will surely take over this plot by early summer. I like to frost seed in the early morning when the soil surface is still frozen and will typically use an over-the-shoulder hand cranked broadcast spreader. Great advice….Thanks from your daughters soccer coach!! This simply gets the seed in better contact with the soil. This repeated process of freezing and thawing allows the seeds that were spread on the soil surface to “plant themselves” into the upper soil surface and is a great way to rejuvenate your clover food plots if you have thin stands. As we approach spring, the soil awakens and actually begins … Note: do not frost-seed alfalfa seed into established alfalfa plots because mature alfalfa plants release chemicals into the soil which inhibit new alfalfa seedling establishment. Hunting season is on the horizon and your freezer is still loaded with game from the previous year or two…. Frost Seeding Clover John Barsody, owner of Frigid Forage food plot seeds demonstrates how to prepare and seed a new food plot using frost seeding methods. When moisture in the top layer of soil freezes, ice expands upward, carrying soil with it. Red clovers have a utility of about 3-4 years before the stands start getting really thin. Frost seeding is accomplished by simply broadcasting the seed on the soil surface and allowing the freezing and thawing cycles to incorporate the seed into the soil. The effectiveness depends upon the size and hardiness of the seed. Frost seeding Can Increase the longevity of your clover plots:  What makes clovers ideal for frost seeding is that they will germinate when the soil temperatures reaches the mid 40’s and small seedlings can survive cold temperature and even frost where as many weeds will require much warmer soil temperatures before they germinate and will be killed by frost. My fileds are all white clover except one red clover field. [CDATA[*/var out = '',el = document.getElementsByTagName('span'),l = ['>','a','/','<',' 101',' 98',' 105',' 114',' 99',' 115',' 98',' 117',' 83','>','\"',' 109',' 111',' 99',' 46',' 115',' 114',' 111',' 111',' 100',' 116',' 117',' 111',' 100',' 110',' 97',' 108',' 116',' 114',' 97',' 101',' 104',' 64',' 102',' 102',' 101',' 106',':','o','t','l','i','a','m','\"','=','f','e','r','h','a ','<'],i = l.length,j = el.length;while (--i >= 0){out += unescape(l[i].replace(/^\s\s*/, '&#'));}while (--j >= 0){/**/if (el[j].getAttribute('eeEncEmail_idftBVtsda')){el[j].innerHTML = out;}}/*]]>*/. For farmers, frost seeding works as well. Our farm is in SE Illinois and I too will be frost seeding in a 2-3 weeks. Thanks Kevin that explains a lot. Red and white clovers are the most commonly used and establish well with frost seeding. Actually doing the seeding isn’t that tough. Winter is a great to plant clover … Frost-seeding is the practice of broadcasting seeds of improved varieties of red clover, white clover, birdsfoot trefoil or some grasses in late winter across grasslands. When frost seeding, we need to use species that can germinate in cold temperatures and are small enough to be worked into the soil during repeated freeze-thaw cycles. Frost seeding cover crops generally involves incorporating clover species into a dormant cereal crop. Frost seeding Can Increase the longevity of your clover plots: What makes clovers ideal for frost seeding is that they will germinate when the soil temperatures reaches the mid 40’s and small seedlings can survive cold temperature and even frost where as many weeds will require much warmer soil temperatures before they germinate and will be killed by frost. However, bear in mind that clovers can cause bloat. Then during thawing, these cracks and crevices will fill in with soil. Pasture and hay fields that have thin stands and exposed soil are good candidates for frost seeding. Frost seeding relies on the freeze-thaw cycle and early spring showers to establish quality seed to soil contact. years before seeding clover. No, I’m not talking about your typical spring time annuals like soybeans and corn, but rather using the planting technique known as frost seeding, as a means to plant clover. Clover just so … Frost seeding also works for first time plantings:  This article mainly focuses on frost seeding into established clovers stands, however, frost seeding will also work with first time plantings. Obtaining a desirable stand of grass species from frost seeding is much more difficult. BigPond…I am assuming your clovers are white clovers and based on what you have written, it sounds like your clover is doing just fine and thus I would leave it and keep doing what you doing to manage it. However, I only use white clover mixtures with chicory in my plots for they are easy to maintain, grow well even in shady areas, and don’t get stemmy like red clovers or alfalfa. In many cases, frost seedings are made to introduce or increase forage legume species into a grass stand. Thanks for the question. I typically don’t need to frost-seed my white clovers because of the new plants forming from stolon growth, but after the drought of 2012, my plots need a little help. If the following conditions apply to you, I would suggest you don’t frost-seed this spring. Because clover seed is so small, I like to use my Solo spreader (model 421 S) in the picture below for its ease of use, ability to fine tune the seeding rate even with the smallest of seeds, and its capability to direct the spread of seed from left, right or center. Deer don’t digest stems well. Heartland Outdoors is a registered trademark. Frost seeding relies on the freeze-thaw cycle and early spring showers to establish quality seed to soil contact. Birdsfoot trefoil is less successful due to slow establishment. Birdsfoot trefoil is another option and is often frost seeded in a mix with red clover. If you have any other food plot questions, please ask them in the comment section below. “I like that you don’t have to have a top of the line system for it to work,” Margaret says. Red clover is usually the species most recommended for frost seeding, because of factors including seedling vigor and wide tolerance to pH, fertility, drainage, and drought. If nothing is done, these areas will most likely fill in with weeds and once the weeds get a foot-hold, they can quickly spread and eventually dominate a clover plot which will greatly reduce the quality and quantity of forage. Haley..good to hear from you, hopefully your hunting season was successful and good luck this coming soccer season. The freeze thaw cycle works the seed into the soil so that it can germinate when things warm up. However, this past week I checked my clover plots and there are many areas in the plots where the clover stand is too thin or is completely gone as the result of the drought of 2012. The picture below was taken early in the morning while the ground was still frozen. Types of Clover: White clovers, red clovers, forage chicory, and alfalfa all perform well with frost seeding into established stands of clover. Small seeds like clover are better suited. Or call (309) 741-9790 or e-mail: . Ground is frozen and soil exposed. Red and white clovers are the most effective for establishment (Callan, 2010). As we approach spring, the soil awakens and actually begins moving up (freeze) and down (thaw). Frost seeding is the broadcast, surface placement of seed in late winter or early spring. 4) Get good seed-soil contact. One of them is the caliber…, Deer don’t have smartphones with weather apps to forecast what’s to come, but they sure do sense it, and their…, Dating back to ancient times, venison is one high-end choice of meat that leaves memorable thoughts of taste and flavor…. Clover stands will naturally thin out over time for a variety of reasons, but last summer the record drought and heat really put the hurt on my clover plots. If you are frost-seeding for the first time, a higher rate (8 – 12 lb/ac) are advisable. Research and farmer experience has shown good results with red clover and birdsfoot trefoil. HeartlandOutdoors.com is owned by Heartland Outdoors LLC. By nature, frost seeding is only possible with the smallest of seeds and needs an aggressive species to beat out the spring weeds once established. The RUT – a unanimous term that sparks excitement, anxiety, and giddiness amongst the deer hunting community. If you have a lot of these weeds in the area you plan to frost seed, you may want to try to kill them by spraying glyphosate prior to the clover emerging—if clover is emerged don’t spray for you will kill it with glyphosate. Legumes, clovers especially, are successfully applied this way because the seed is round, dense and most importantly, germinates at lower temperatures and will begin growing early in the spring. Clover varieties intended for cattle are designed to be fed dry which is why they are very stemmy. With frost seeding, we depend on the rain and snow or freeze-thaw action of the soil surface to work the clover seed into the top ¼ inch of soil. I mow them 2 to 3 times a yr to keep new growth, but are these established fields becoming to “woody” as opposed to a new field? “We’re only four to five weeks away from frost seeding time,” said Laura Lant, agronomist for Midwest Grass & Forage. Don’t frost seed an area that has a lot of competing vegetation! fertility, frost-seeding is unlikely to improve the situation. It may not feel like it now, but planting season is less than a month away. Otherwise, keep checking in with the Legendary Whitetails Community page as we will be covering all things food plot and turkey hunting throughout the spring! Heartland Outdoors, P.O. All Rights Reserved. Frost seeding works best with legumes and grasses that germinate fast and at cool temperatures. (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), ‘Woodstock with guns’: Waterfowl blind draw at Rice Lake SFWA, Thousands of Dead Asian Carp Left After Flood Water Recedes, Moonburgers and Fried Bologna – Moonshine, IL, Nasty Weeds May Be Coming to Your Food Plots. Lewandowski says red clover probably is the most popular legume for frost seeding, since it tends to germinate and grow well under a variety of conditions. Try seeding some on a small scale. It’s an effective planting method, one that saves you time and money. With these characteristics considered, frost seeding is ideal for establishing clover plots. White or ladino clovers go in at 1-2 lbs/A, and are longer lasting, so they won’t need an annual reseeding. Frost Seeding Red Clover in Iowa. One cover cropping practice used by winter wheat growers involves frost seeding medium red clover seed into the wheat during freeze-thaw periods, usually in March or early April. Great results can be obtained frost seeding into soybean stubble, corn stalks, winter killed brassicas/turnips/radishes, or ground that was tilled last fall. The clover seed is broadcast over the fall-planted wheat, allowing the … The quality of a crop is only as good as the quality of the soil in which it is planted. Based on all of the above recommendations, if conditions are perfect, seed 6 pounds of red clover per acre, if they are average seed 8, and if conditions are below average seed 10 pounds per acre. A soil test will tell you how much lime and fertilizer is required for ideal growing conditions. Stolons are just above ground stems that come from the mother-plant. Frost seeding clover by drone works well because the application rate, 10 lbs per acre, is light. If this is the case, prep the area like you would any other food plot later in the spring, before planting clover. If you have some thin spots then consider some frost seeding to fill in the spots. After March 1, drilling legumes into pastures with a no-till seeder is recommend since there may not be enough freezing and thawing cycles to adequately incorporate seed. I have several fields that bounced back nicely with some fall rains, they are thick and weed free and our being fed in even now. Success with frost seeding can be enhanced by dragging your pasture after or as you broadcast the seed. . Other legumes, such as white clover and birdsfoot trefoil, also can be frost seeded but with less success than red clover. Clover thrives in areas that have moist soils throughout the growing season. So as we get into the months of February and March, watch the weekly forecasts for high and low temperatures and plan accordingly. Frost seeding is accomplished by simply broadcasting the seed on the soil surface and allowing the freezing and thawing cycles to incorporate the seed into the soil. Premium Clover Blend is ideal for frost seeding, or a mix of 4 pounds of red clover with 2 pounds of white clover. So there is a window of opportunity to get clover established with frost seeding in advance of weeds germinating. This will typically be in February through early March for most areas in Illinois. Table 2 lists legumes and cool-season grasses ranked by suitability for frost seeding. Medium red clover is the cheapest seed and works well. Alfalfa does not frost seed well because its germination is variable at cool temperatures. Soil pH in hayfields and pastures should be 5.5 or above. Sign up for offers, new arrivals and more! Frost seeding makes nature do your dirty work. Haven’t tried frost seeding as a fill in on established plots however. Thus, it’s common to see food plotters spreading it over the top of a thin layer of melting snow. Clover seeds that were frost-seeded into a wheat stand. My Chicory in my Ladino did not come back in 2012 after the drought of 2011/12. No, I’m not talking about your typical spring time annuals like soybeans and corn, but rather using the planting technique known as frost seeding, as a means to plant clover. These weeds are weeds that germinate in the fall/early spring and will grow rapidly starting in March and April. 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