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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last weekend I frost-seeded 1.25 acres of foodplots for the first time. My property is located about 15 miles south of Alpena, and at the time of seeding, there was between 0-3 inches of crusty snow on the ground.

I used a Clover (mainly Ladino), and Rape mixture, and 250 lbs of 12-12-12. Was I a little premature in my seeding?

Has anyone else tried this method?
 

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i frost seeded last weekend too - although I'm in shiawassee almost directly between flint and lansing. no snow on the ground, we're getting good freeze and thaws during the night/day. did about the same area as you.. i think we're fine on the clover - i used 4 lbs of rape/acre - might be a little early on the rape. i've read since that success with rape might be limited before april 1st, not always, but....

i'm waiting until april to fertilize, only because i think you could get more run-off with rain, snow right now.. but this is my first year as well, so we'll see..

good luck.
 

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I've frost seeded in clover and chicory with pretty good results.

I usually try to plant clover and brassicas in late summer. The brassicas gets absolutely hammered all fall long but the clover seeded with it gets stomped into the clay soil. The following spring leaves me with mostly exposed soil so I frost seed in more clover plus this is the only time I add in chicory. The chicory gives me a gage on if frost seeding is working.

This leaves me with very few bare spots and fields that could be an advestisement for Imperial Whitetail Clover or Biologic Premium Perennial.

I don't fertilize at the time I frost seed. I usually wait until the plots are starting to green up and the plots dry up a little. My clay soil holds so much water I would rut them up if I tried any earlier in the year. I also don't want to take a chance of having a heavy late snow fall or heavy rain washing the fertilizer into my rivers.

Be advised that you don't get as high of a germination rate with frost seeding as you would with drilling or cultipacking in small seed. You will get growth as soon as the soil begins to warm up and if you're like me, timing is everything, since I only farm on weekends or when I miss time from work.

Good luck and may you get rain when you need it.
 

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Frost-seeding does require a bit of a leap of faith. As you broadcast your seed, you may wonder, will this work?

My first attempt at frost-seeding clover was last year. Spread it, along with 6-24-24, in mid-March. There was snow on the ground at the time. Result: could not have been better. Plot was literally carpeted, from end to end, corner to corner, with thriving clover, all in the first year. Used 1/3 each generic Alsike, certified Kenland Medium Red, and certified Regal Ladino clovers, inoculated on the day of planting by yours truly. I never mowed the plot last year, just fertilized it again around Labor Day. There was some invading forbs in the plot (Queen Anne's Lace, Winter Cress), and some cool-season grasses, but the clover generally dominated. This year, I'll spray some Poast to zap those nasty grasses, mow and fertilize twice. Now, I know to go a little heavier on the Nitrogen on the second fertilization.

FWIW, on all of the clover plots I've planted, Alsike Clover really seems to thrive in year 1. The Ladino comes on a little later, hugging closer to the ground. And the medium red clover is around here and there, though I'm never sure how much of it is from my seeding or simply remnant red clover which has been re-seeding itself in my old fields for decades. On the trails which I mow through my old fields, which I have never seeded, red clover is abundant.

I'm betting you frost-seeders will be very happy with the way your plots turn out.:cool:
 

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Fencereaux -
thanks for the encouragement! hope to have a good food source for this fall- not sure if that's too much to expect for the first year, or not..
 

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am also a little unsure about frost seeding. I planed to do it for the first time last weekend, but ran into a conflict and couldnt get to my place. I have rescheduled for 3/20, but am worried that that may be too late.

I have been watching the weather for that area, the days are in the mid 30's and the overnight is in the high to mid 20's. The problem is that Im not sure of the ground is actually freezing or how much longer the below freezing overnight temperatures will last.

Does anyone know how many overnight freezes are necessary to get the seed into the soil??
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I'm encouraged that there are others who had the same idea as I last weekend. Sounds to me that if frost-seeding is YOUR best option, then you had better get out there this weekend at the lastest, for I see a significant warm-up early next week.

Thumb- I honestly haven't got a clue.

Can't wait to see what the spring brings!
 

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I frost seeded my house viewing plot in the back yard today. While the weather was nice last few days I raked the leaves off the plot so the seed would hit the ground. Now my seed will work faster with less waste. Last night and this morning it snowed. This should work fine.
 
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