Frost Seeding Pasture

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JeffK-MN

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Does it work to frost seed part of pasture.
I have had the cows graze it down good and cut the brush and weeds.
I can't get a tractor in. But I can use a ATV.
Thanks for any help Jeff
 

Lucky_P

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Yes - but mainly for small/round seeds - like clovers/lespedeza/vetch, timothy, etc.
IMO, Annual ryegrass is probably the best performer of the grasses.

Other grasses, like fescue/orchardgrass will work to some degree, but germination/survival rates will be really low. You'll get some... but a very significant %of the seed you put out won't make soil contact, &/or won't be able to root in well, and won't survive to persist. I sure wouldn't put out high-$$ seed, like Max-Q or top quality OGs like Persist, and expect to 'get my money's worth' by counting on frost-seeding.
 

Stocker Steve

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Need a weak "open sward" so seed can get to the ground and survive.
My frost seeding success rate used to be zero. Sod grasses were too strong.
Have to pound it with cattle before to open it up.
Should pound it with cattle after to incorporate seed and increase the catch.
 
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JeffK-MN

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Thanks for the info
It has been realy wet this fall and some spots the cattle have made mud. We locked them off and I want to pull a drag over the muddy spots.
If I seeded it now would the seed rot?
Thanks Jeff
 

Stocker Steve

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Some.
This is called dormant seeding -- since the soil is too cold for germination to occur.
This is not commonly done because some seed will be spoiled, eaten, washed away, ect... before early spring.
 

dun

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You have to remember that the point of "frost seeding" is to get the seed down so that with repeated freezing and thawing the ground will open enough for the seed to be worked into the soil
 

ClinchValley

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It worked well for us. We lightly ran a disk through a hayfield in Feb. Then used a spreader on the atv. Worked great, really really great. Stand the right way, and you can see straight lines of fescue and OG. Field was in terrible shape. I just couldn't justify renting a no-till.

Definitely spray for weeds if you disk. That's one place i messed up. But it still worked out.
 

Lucky_P

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In general - or, at least to MY understanding - 'frost-seeding' is as dun described - and typically done in late winter (late Feb/March here on the KY/TN line). I'd be concerned that if I were throwing out grass seed right now (16 Nov), that it would rot before spring... or germinate immediately and be killed by the oncoming winter freezes before it has a chance to get well-established.
 
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JeffK-MN

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Thanks for all the info
I'm going to wait tell March/april to seed.
The ground has froze now but I'm glad I drug out the mud. Jeff
 

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