With the spring-like weather these past few days, now’s the time to consider frost seeding as a cost-effective method to improve forage diversity and quality in your hayland and pastures.
Frost seeding is a low cost seeding strategy that relies on the action of the soil freezing and thawing to achieve the seed-to-soil contact needed for germination. Frost seeding may begin when fields are without snow cover but when the ground is still frozen.
Some keys to successful frost seeding include:
- Removal of extra vegetation before seeding (ideally grazing or mowing in the fall),
- Seeding early in the spring (after the snow is gone but while the ground is still frozen),
- Selecting species that can germinate when cold–Ideal species for frost-seeding include red and white clover seeding at rates between 6 and 8 pounds per acre–and,
- Allowing for new seedlings to establish (avoid over grazing and letting plants grow to 6 to 8 inches before harvesting).
For more information on frost seeding, visit our article, “Frost Seeding: A Cheap Alternative to Improve Hay and Pasture Land.”