Frost-Seeding: Simple and Effective
Now is the ideal time for some low-cost food plot improvements and frost seeding can be a great technique to get an early start to the spring growing season.
Frost seeding requires the soil to be thawing, freezing and heaving. The seeds get caught in the cracks created by the heaving process, and this, is in essence how the seeds are “planted.” When time-lapse photography of this period is viewed, the ground appears to come “alive” because of all the movement from the soil expanding and contracting over and over again. This movement helps to create excellent seed to soil contact.
You can use anything from a tractor or ATV broadcaster on down to throwing out the seed by hand to distribute the seeds. This method is popular in areas where it is difficult to get a tractor to during the spring months. As long as you can get to the plot by ATV or on foot, this process is still an option. With the help of a little fertilizer and maybe a selective herbicide, you can have perennials like New Zealand Clover Plus and BioLogic’s Non-Typical Clover that last for years with only hand equipment and this creative, but seldom used procedure.
Another benefit of frost seeding is weed suppression, with the lack of soil disturbance you start off the spring with a much cleaner stand. Be sure to soil test, lime, fertilize and use weed control for perennial food plots that will last you for years.