- Beth Tharp
Seeding with the Frost
Greetings from the farm!
The days are getting longer and the temperature is rising ever so slightly. Here on the farm we have started preparing our pastures for this year's grazing season. Prior to this weekends' precipitation and freezing temperatures we took the time to frost seed our pastures and hay fields.
The idea behind frost seeding is that alternating freezing and thawing, along with spring rains, will help to incorporate the broadcast seed into the soil surface. Frost seeding is an economical way to improve forage stands and introduce new species to a pasture or hay field. By doing this we do not have to disturb the ground and can use minimal labor and machinery to do it.
Using a broadcast seeder mounted on the back of an ATV, we covered all of our pastures with the legume red clover, and touched up poor grass stand areas with orchard grass. It is our hope we hit the weather pattern right, and these seeds will make good soil contact with decent weather to germinate in.
Through managed rotational grazing later this spring, summer and fall we will work to maximize our pastures while providing high quality forages for our animals. The hay stack is getting smaller, and I am sure our animals are eager to get the taste of fresh grass.