Frost seeding

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

I'd like to do some frost seeding in my pasture this year... how does one judge the timing? And any other experience and advice welcome...
Thanks,
Jay

Waddy, KY

Frost seeding in our area is usually done during the middle to end of this month. In fact, DH has been seeding red and white clover this week and last. Your pasture needs to be grazed down pretty close because the most important thing is that the seed be able to make contact with the ground so that the freezing and thawing of the ground works the seed into the dirt. Also with most overseeding the pasture will need to be grazed or perhaps mowed to keep the established vegetation short enough to allow the seedlings to get light to grow.

Some folks sow seed by the moon signs. I have no experience with that so I can't comment on the correct signs for that. We end up doing it when the weather's right and we have the time.

We bought a seed sower to go on the back of our 4 wheeler this year. It allowed us to get on the fields and do less damage than taking the tractor and big seed sower out on the extremely wet ground.

Janet

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

Thanks... what are conditions like in your area right now? So I can match them with my area....
Moon signs would be great if they coordinated with my schedule, but they don't... I just do things when I can get to them (and the weather's right) LOL
Jay

Waddy, KY

Wet, wet, WET. Did I say wet? Oh yes! Wet!

Right now our weather changes from one day to the next. Early this week we were in the 60's. Today we may not break 35 and there's a possibility of snow. I think it's going to be back in the 50's for next week. But it's the freeze/thaw action that gets the seed in the ground so if that's the case this is the time of year for us.

My understanding is that clover and legumes can take cold weather after sprouting. It just can't take a freeze if it's "in the crook." Which for those that don't know is when the seed is sprouting and the leaves have not yet stood up and are often crooked down. If it freezes before the plant stands up straight it's usually a major kill.

Janet

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

Well, I mowed the two acres I want to seed today, and found that here it's
dry, dry, DRY! The top four inches of soil is just a dusty powder (pitoo, pfffft). No frost heaving to seed into due to no moisture. We need something wet here, snow would be best, 'cause much rain will run off when the soils this dry. Ugh.

I was thinking of oats with some clover... it's more than a bit pretentious of me to call my weed patch a pasture. This is just the first round of knocking the weeds back. Mow it down later this summer and broadcast some perenial rye in.

Thanks for the info on the clover and legumes... very useful. =0) I was glad to hear the clover will handle a bit of frost... now if we can only get some wet! Though it will probably be more of a dust seeding than a frost seeding in any case. LOL
Jay

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

Jay, on the point of it being pretentious to call your weed patch a pasture, we had a pasture walk here the year after Stan set up the permanent paddocks behind the barn. A couple of neighbors who had no intention to set up an intensive grazing system came up for the pure unblemished purpose of snooping around. At the end of the day, one of them was cleaning up the cookie tray and talking to Stan and he said, "You know, when you first came here, if the rabbits were planning on crossing this farm, they had to pack a lunch. You've brought it up considerably."

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

LOL!
I was just amazed by the amount of essentially bare dirt out there. Yup, the bunnies have to pack a lunch for sure! =0) I stomped my feet before I came in the house... clouds of dust rose from my pants! {cough, cough} SO looked like she had tobacco stains on her teeth from the dust. Eeew.

It's nice to know I can't make it any worse. LOL
Jay

Panama, NY(Zone 5a)

We have the opposite problem, well, we will have when the temps rise a bit - mud. Most of the snow has melted down over the last week, so there's lots of bare ground out there, but it's frozen solid. When it thaws out, there's the wet from about 12 feet of snow to contend with. Ain't life grand?

Sapello, NM(Zone 5b)

Feast or famine...
=0)

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