Sitka Mountain Gear
Frost seeding question
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
c5ken 29-Feb-20
skookumjt 29-Feb-20
writer 01-Mar-20
c5ken 02-Mar-20
t-roy 02-Mar-20
darralld 02-Mar-20
APauls 02-Mar-20
c5ken 02-Mar-20
EmbryOklahoma 02-Mar-20
writer 02-Mar-20
Ok...Russ 03-Mar-20
darralld 03-Mar-20
EmbryOklahoma 03-Mar-20
darralld 03-Mar-20
RIT 03-Mar-20
RIT 03-Mar-20
c5ken 08-Mar-20
From: c5ken
29-Feb-20
I will receive the results of my soil test soon. I'll fertilize & lime as recommended by the soil test. My 3ac food plot was seeded with ladino clover in 2018. The plot appears to be about 40% weeds. I plan on treating the field with Imox and nitro-surf as soon as the weeds are about 2" tall. I'd like to frost seed ASAP to improve the clover percentage of the plot. However, I'm concerned that due to the high weed growth the seed to ground contact will be poor. I'm thinking about making a fast pass over the plot with a disk, seed and then roll the plot with a lawn roller to get good seed to ground contact. Do you guys think the above is a good idea or am I just wasting time & money?

PS: I live in Michigan & the plot is covered with about 5" of snow at this time.

From: skookumjt
29-Feb-20
Wait until the snow melts but you are still have frost/thaw cycle.

From: writer
01-Mar-20
All we've done is seed over everything that's there, and it works.

In our experience, dragging, discing or rolling after frost-seeding isn't needed. As sko stated, the freeze/thaw cycle takes care of that.

From: c5ken
02-Mar-20
Mr. Writer, Do you have a picture of the ground you frost seed? My concern is - if I seed over the weedy ground I have, the seeds will not be able to make contact with the dirt. That's why I ask if light disking prior to frost seeding would be beneficial...

From: t-roy
02-Mar-20
C5ken....I wouldn’t disc it, if at all possible. Discing will bring up dormant weed seeds and encourage a new flush of weeds at green up. Are the existing weeds flattened from this winter’s snows, or are they relatively upright? Super thick or or a bit more sparse?

From: darralld
02-Mar-20
Disc it & seed it. Then make sure you come back and mow it when it gets to the right height. I think mowing is the most important with clover. The clover should eventually take over the weeds if you do this & keep it healthy.

From: APauls
02-Mar-20
From what I've heard clover is much stronger the 2nd year anyways. So your results might also be well ahead of last year even if you do nothing.

From: c5ken
02-Mar-20
The weeds in my plot are flat & thick. I walked the field today looking for sheds (most of the snow is gone) and it's really weedy & didn't see a lot of clover.

02-Mar-20
When is the optimum time to seed clover? I know it will vary by region, but a ballpark?

From: writer
02-Mar-20
c- We broadcast right over a field that had been Buck Forage Oats. Clover seed is extremely fine and any moisture or movement will take it down to the soil. After that, freezing and thawing works. Photos? Sorry, that was 10 years ago.

Embry, if you're frost-seeding, you want it to be early enough to get a few periods of freezing and thawing. Up here, were normally do February-mid-March.

From: Ok...Russ
03-Mar-20
Embry, you may be too late to frost seed in OK. Looking at a 10 day forecast for SE OK, it doesn't appear that we're going to have any freezes. It's possible we get a cold front later in March. Not sure about timing of spreading seed right before a spring rain instead of a frost but there are some good folks/resources here that can answer.

From: darralld
03-Mar-20
Embry, Do it as soon as you can. I usually do it around this time & have good results. The seed will wait & go to work when the temp allows.

03-Mar-20
Another vote for Frost seeding. I do it every year with excellent results. As stated above second year is better, mowing helps keep weeds/grass in check and keeps the clover more attractive for deer. GL.

03-Mar-20
Think I'll experiment with some clover and maybe rye... Thanks.

From: darralld
03-Mar-20
I wouldn't mix the two together. The rye will probably choke out the clover.

From: RIT
03-Mar-20
In my experience Fall seeding with a nurse crop is substantially a better time to establish a new clover plot. You don’t fight growing weeds in the fall. Mowing will help control broadleaves but does nothing to control grasses. Cutting grass just creates a flush of new growth. Clipping broadleaves before they set seed does help a bit.

I also now overseed in August the same time I add Gypsum to my clover plots. This allows the clover to establish roots in the fall and start out more vigorous in the Spring. The cool rainy fall season also favors clover growing conditions.

From: RIT
03-Mar-20

RIT's embedded Photo
Fall seeded clover the next Spring after using a Winter Rye cover.
RIT's embedded Photo
Fall seeded clover the next Spring after using a Winter Rye cover.

From: c5ken
08-Mar-20
As a test, I frost seeded about 1ac of my 3ac food plot. I should know how it works out in several months..

  • Sitka Gear