Frost Seeding?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by moonwolf, Dec 19, 2004.

  1. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    I'm not exactly familiar with what's involved with the techique of 'Frost Seeding'.
    Can someone give their experience and knowledge about this, and what seeds are best used for this in pastures. Clover? grasses?
    thanks.
     
  2. unclejae

    unclejae Well-Known Member

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    We have used this for several years to over seed the pastures and established hay fields. We usually do this when the ground thaws during the day time and re-freezes at night. We will seed the fields in the early morning with a hand seeder. Our fields are only about an acre each. In our neck of the woods, in eastern Iowa, we do this in late February or early March. The thawing and freezing action draws the seed into the ground far enough to get covered. In the spring, when the ground gets warm enough, the seeds germinate. We have never done this on bare ground, but it work relatively well in the fields. We have used this with grass, alfalfa, and clover seed all with good results.
     

  3. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    unclejae, Thanks for that. It's exaclty the sort of information I was wanting to know. excellent. I'm glad that it's worked out for you. I would also use this method on fields and not bare ground, though some areas need removal of will brush. One field has a lot of daisy and golden rod. I'm wondering if anything can outcompete those plants?
     
  4. HoosierDeb

    HoosierDeb Well-Known Member

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    Can this be done to seed new pasture over soybean stubble? The beans were taken off this fall but I don't have the equipment to till it for a seed bed. Would like to get some pasture seeded early this spring but my land is low and doesn't dry out soon enough to get in there very early.
     
  5. HilltopDaisy

    HilltopDaisy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've been reading up on this. I understand that it works best on pastures that have been grazed quite close, apparently it has to do with the seeds getting "hung up" in the growth that is already there. I read that clover and birdsfoot trefoil are excellent seeds to sow, but grasses such as timothy don't work as well. There really is quite a bit of info online.
     
  6. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Frost seeding doesn't require any ground prereration in the spring. Legumes that are frost seeded would not be big enough to graze before wheat harvest time. Some grasses will not tolerate wet areas where water might puddle even for a short while. That includes most legumes and orchard grass. I've put fescue and pernneial rye grass in wet spots with good results. In our area frost seeding was done most often on fall seeded small grain such as rye and wheat. Oats sown in the spring usually with a grain drill with a grass seed attachment got the lugumes and grasses put on right with the oats. If timothy is sown in the fall with the wheat it will be as tall as the wheat at combine time. Makes a good companion with wheat when cutting the wheat early for hay. I've seen farmers in the Soo area of Ontario drill oats, red clover, and timothy as late as mid June. This was used for hay for several years until the clover died out.
    What was the question???
     
  7. HoosierDeb

    HoosierDeb Well-Known Member

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    How tolerant is timothy of wet ground? Sounds like I might have to wait for the land to be able to be worked in spring. I don't want fescue as I'll have broodmares on the pasture and even though there are "endophyte free" fescues, I'm still leary of it.Probably silly but that's me. Guess I'll have to see if I can get ahold of the county agent or someone who knows what might work for pasture for a mixed population of critters in this area.
     
  8. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Here in northern Indiana, blue grass is a very dependable pasture grass. It stands the low ph common here and doesn't dwindle out like some of the more fast growing grasses. The problem with it is the slow start. If other pasture grasses are sown with some blue grass mixed with it, the blue grass will last forever even though the other grasses may or may not. It continues to get thicker if the tall weeds are mowed once or twice a year. Legumes don't do well on soil with a low ph. Especially alfalfa.
     
  9. kate

    kate Well-Known Member

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    yes, i have frost seeding for years in missouri. start with a field that is grazed down close. you can use any hard seed or seed that has a little weight. i have used timothy and it worked fine. but the drout and heat in missouri was very hard on it. clover, red works like a charm, not great for horses , tho. see if you can get a bunch of timothy and then mix another grass in it, like uncle will says, maybe the blue grass. it is always better to have a mix of grasses, what one doesn't like, the other will, and then survive.
    just plant about twice as much as the seeding application. as all seeds will not have enough ground contact.
    i used a herd seeder on a four wheeler , which worked beautifully. if you want it to really work. pull a short cattle panel behind 4 wheeler, to make sure of soil contact..........................
     
  10. edjewcollins

    edjewcollins Well-Known Member

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    Anbody use this method for deer feed plots? If so could you share the experience?

    Ed
     
  11. edjewcollins

    edjewcollins Well-Known Member

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    Anbody use this method for deer feed plots? If so could you share the experience?

    Ed
     
  12. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    These are excellent responses, folks.

    Just another thought. I have burned fields of some of the pastures before, in early spring. This is usually before all the frost is out of the ground. I'm thinkiing after a burn off might be a good time to 'frost seed'. Anybody try doing this?

    Ed, the highway dept. or the natural resourses people around here will seed clover along the ditches after excavation. It grows like crazy and spreads is nearly permanent in most placies I've seen it growing., and attracts a lot of deer. I would say that they might do a lot of this in summer or early fall, so it proabably doesn't help about the idea of 'frost seeding'.