Frost seeding with Frosty Berseem clover

March 7, 2017
Don Baune
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Frost seeding is an easy way to get legumes started in your pasture, grain field, or even in a declining stand of alfalfa. 

Frost seeding is a relatively easy and economical way to apply seed by broadcasting the seed on frozen ground. Legumes, clovers especially, are successfully applied this way because the seed is round, dense and most importantly, germinates at lower temperatures and will begin growing early in the spring.

Thanks to a recent breakthrough in cold tolerance, you can now add Frosty Berseem Clover to the list of products that can be frost seeded. While other berseem clovers are frost sensitive, Frosty Berseem clover can withstand waterlogged soils and has been documented across many locations surviving cold temperatures as low as 5 degrees Fahrenheit! Cold tolerance isn’t the only thing that makes Frosty Berseem special. Unlike red clover, there haven’t been any cases of bloat documented. Also, unlike red clover, Frosty Berseem does not cause photosensitivity and does not have estrogen related issues. When it comes to grazing animals, Frosty Berseem clover is the safe choice!

Frosty Berseem clover’s physical appearance, forage quality, and dry down time is similar to that alfalfa. Making Frosty the number one choice for filling in thin stands of alfalfa. Frosty is tolerant of wetter soils than alfalfa so if you have areas in your hay field that drowned out, Frosty Berseem can fill the void.

If you’ve never tried frost seeding, you may be wondering how to start…

Frost Seeding isn’t a complicated process. You simply broadcast seeds across the frozen ground and let the natural freezing and thawing of the soil work the seed into the soil. Like any broadcast seeding, good seed to soil contact is a must so don’t seed into deep snow, and remember to increase your seeding rate slightly. Then, let nature do the heavy lifting. In the Spring, when soil temperatures warm up, Frosty will pop out of the ground and produce a bountiful forage crop.

When harvesting that bountiful Frosty crop, make sure to leave enough plant material, or top-growth with leaves so that it can re-grow. About 4 inches will do the trick. Unlike alfalfa, Frosty’s energy factory – which produces re-growth, is in the plant material above ground.

So get on out there, it’s cold, but a little effort now will save you a lot later!

For a printable, PDF version of this blog, click below.

Frostseeding with Frosty Berseem.PDF