Raising LivestockFrost Seeding An Inexpensive Way To Improve Forage

Frost Seeding An Inexpensive Way To Improve Forage

Frost seeding an inexpensive way to improve forage. If you have hay or pasture for your animals you can improve the area by frost seeding without needing to till the ground. The seeds are broadcast in early spring as soon as the snow is gone but while the ground is still frozen. Then as the ground freezes and thaws it allows the seeds to fall into the tiny cracks and begin to germinate. This is done where you already have pasture established for foraging and helps to improve you hay or pasture area.

Frost Seeding An Inexpensive Way To Improve Forage
Photo credit: Jon Zirkle

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In this article from Extension you will see what kind of seeds to broadcast, mainly they will be cool weather crops like legumes and clovers which both establish well in cold temps. There are other seeds like rye and different grasses although some like rye don’t over winter well. It is suggested to either mow or allow grazing in the fall to leave the area with growth about 2 inches tall.

This allows more light to penetrate to the seeds in spring when you broadcast them. This is a very inexpensive and less work intensive way to improve your hay and pasture for foraging. They also suggest you may need to let the cattle tromp on the seeds or run a disker to make better soil to seed contact. By periodically frost seeding you will maintain a high quality forage for your animals.

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Paige Raymond
Paige Raymond
Raised in rural Montana and educated in Mechanical Engineering and Sustainable Development, Paige Raymond combines a practical mindset with a passion for self-reliance and sustainability. With expertise ranging from mechanical solutions and food preservation to emergency preparedness and renewable energy, Paige is a proud author with more than 5000 published articles.

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