Frost seeding is coming and Shed Hunting season is in progress. Where feeding is allowed it’s good to have the Stockpile blocks and some Bad Habit Attractant out make sure to check all regulations in the area you are in.
What: When frost seeding you need to be careful on “WHAT” you are planting and our recommendation is to only frost seed cold season perennials like Clover and Chicory, a good Domain mix for frost seeding are Comeback Kid and Hot Chic. The specific varieties of White and Red Clover, Chicory and Alfalfa have been chosen for their hardiness, longevity, soil tolerance, protein levels and attractiveness to deer and will provide a foundational food source on your property for many years to come.
WHEN: The best time to frost seed your cold season perennials is late Winter or Early Spring when the weather pattern calls for a period of freeze-thaw-freeze-thaw temperatures. Where it freezes at night and thaws during the day. This will cause the ground to expand and contract and help naturally “pull” the seeds into the soil, where they will wait for favorable air and soil temperatures to germinate.
WHY: Frost seeding offers a great way to establish an early Spring stand of high protein perennials that will green up before Mother Nature provides any other vegetation without disturbing the soil through disking or tilling. Since no tilling is being done to unearth weed seeds, it also helps the slower growing perennials to establish with little competition from weeds. Lastly, it is a great way to plant tiny perennial clover seeds without the risk of burying.
WHERE: First, you will need an area that is “ready for seed”. This can be a pre-existing clover or chicory plot you are looking to thicken up, an area that was prepped last fall and is void of weeds, competition or debris or last year’s brassica plot that has been over grazed by deer, exposing the soil for good seed to soil contact. You cannot just broadcast seed into an overgrown area of your property and expect it to be successful, so be careful when selecting your location to make sure it fits the desired application.
HOW: This is the easiest part, as you simply broadcast the seed on the frozen soil or last remaining remnants of snow on the plot. Typically, when frost seeding, I will use 1.5 to 2 times the seed rate to ensure enough seeds achieve appropriate soil contact, as there is the likelihood during the frost seeding process some seeds will be deterred by dead plants or debris, never having the chance to germinate. Once the entire plot has been seeded, it’s time to let Mother Nature do her thing!
Frost Seeding can be an excellent and inexpensive way to establish year-round food on your property without using heavy equipment to do so, just make sure the area is ready for seed and the appropriate type of seeds are selected. Once you have the perfect spot and food plot mix picked out, just wait for the Spring thaw to begin, and give it a try!
Happy Planting this spring!!!