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Frost seeding directions
I live in NW CT. Early last fall I plowed under a 6 year clover plot full of crab grass and week\ds. Sprayed it first waited 2 weekends sprayed again and 2 weeks more. Dissed and iltipacked. Planted a clover blend, and had slightly below average return. It was a hot and very dry fall. So I think I want to frost seed.
BUT WHEN? I assume I had to- 1-previous fall blow off the fall leaves 2-wait for solid frozen ground mid December or so in ct. 3-snow arrives usually in December (don't cast seed on snow right?) 4-December thru march-snow melts, snow comes, snow melts.. ground freezes, thaws a little, freezes some. I think it's ok I have not planted yet. Or should I have? 5. I wait until late march, no snow, still frozen ground, not as solid as it was in December though. Do I broadcast with no snow in march? 6. Why if we get a let Mech or early April snow is the seed going to rot.
Anyone have step by step approach, I know I must be overthinking this one. Thanks
I would do it in early March snow or no snow. Don't worry if it snows later.
1. That helps. The less litter/debris on the ground, the better. 2. I would wait until late in the winter, like early-mid March. 3. If you have crusted snow, definitely don’t seed. If fluffy snow, then you will be ok. 4. You will most likely get several freeze-thaw cycles in March and, possibly into April. 5. Even if you have no snow, you will still get some ground movement during the f/t cycle. 6. Your seed will be fine. It’s not going to rot. 7. I always go a little heavier than the recommended frost seeding rate with clover. 8. Depending on the shape of your plot, IMO, I get a more even seeding if I divide my total amount of seed in halves and broadcast 1/2 of it going N-S and then broadcast the other half going E-W. Sometime when frost seeding, guys will only hit the areas that were thin, which is fine. I like to broadcast at least some new seed into the entire plot.
t-roy speaks the truth X2!
Ok good info. Good thought on e/w and n/s approach. Thanks
Ditto t-roy with a few comments for clarity:
Maximize your seed to soil contact. If seed hits soil, it will grow.
Great to spread clover BEFORE a good snow so the freeze/melt carries into the soil.
Clover seed won't rot, but other seeds will so just FYI on that comments being specific to clover.
Definitely go heavier than instructed. The more of those little seeds you get to germinate the more it will choke out other weeds so it will require fewer cleth/24db sprayings in summer.
If you miss the f/t cycle, you can grow clover anytime of the year just getting seed to soil contact on bare ground and rain on top of it. It is incredibly easy to grow, but frost seeding is so attractive because you don't have the weed competition this time of year. Perfect world for frost seeding is to gly the crap out of the area the fall before, which it sounds like you did.
Good luck. Frost seeding clover is my favorite.
Thanks all-So I frost seeded today with a mix of ladino, red, and alsike clover. I did 4# for 1/2 acre. Been lots of frost/thaw conditions here in Ct. Looks like a snow storm coming this week to bury the seed too. I feel it should work, best of all I did it when I had the time. Spring gets busy right out of the gate, and usually by the time I look up weeds have got me beat. I will update.
How much snow on the ground is too much to FS? Mine is melting fast but still 8-10” in open fields. Won’t be able to get back there for 2-3 weeks if I wait.
As long as it’s not crusted, you should be ok, bb. Is it flat ground? One potential problem you might run into is, if there is some slope to the plot, and the snow melts quickly, a significant portion of your seed might get carried away with the runoff, especially if the ground underneath is still frozen. If it melts slowly, you should be fine.
Pretty flat. I’ll avoid sloped areas for now. Thanks.
Will small Burnet frost seed well? I was hoping to mix it with Ladino on a sparse chicory plot.
I would think it would do just as well as the Ladino.
Bullbuster.......I did a bit of research, and from what I’ve read, they don’t recommend frost seeding berseem clover, other than a variety called “frosty” berseem. Not sure where you get it.