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doesn’t have to be exposed to the elements for extended periods. Also, if you snow seed too early, you cannot always be certain about where your seed will wind up. Melting snow has a bothersome way of transporting seed from where it was intended to grow to somewhere downstream. You can seed on top of snow if you happen to catch a spring snow or the final snow of the year. This type of snow typically doesn’t hang around for long. Around here, we call it an onion snow. A note of caution: If you spread seed after the ground has already passed through the freeze/thaw cycle, you might be simply spreading your seed on bare ground. You need the opening and closing of the ground to ensure good seed-to-soil contact. Without it, germination will be limited. You can only frost seed if you have frozen ground at the start. Many parts of the country do not experience the opening and closing conditions typical of spring thawing in Northern climes. Frost seeding is a surefire way to breathe new life into a tired food plot. A good clover plot should be able to produce tons of forage per acre. A tired or worn-out plot might produce only a few hundred pounds. A frost seeding can bring it back to producing tons of fresh clover forage per acre per season. Sometimes, we spread seed over the entire plot. Other times, we just hit the bare spots. It depends on how things looked the previous year. We mark our bare spots the previous year so we will know where the seed is needed next spring when everything looks the same. We use a hand-held spreader for most of the seeding, but we sometimes throw out a few handfuls. We always have a bag of clover handy when we are hunting sheds or celebrating spring with a walk around or ATV trip around the hunting property. We mostly use Imperial Whitetail clover seed, but you can also use

other hard seeds, such as chicory. Frost seeding will not work with soft seeds as they might rot waiting for ideal growing conditions. You can spread seed over an acre in a few minutes. When you look at the cost and time it takes to construct a food plot from scratch, a few pounds of clover seed is pretty cheap. It can take you an entire day to build a new plot from scratch—and a lot more money. A freshened plot can mean the difference between feeding a few deer and feeding a dozen deer all summer. You shouldn’t restrict your thinking to food plots when considering frost seeding. We also use frost seeding in out-of-the-way places such as logging roads, woodland openings and any place we find bare soil on our property We do a lot of frost seeding on log landings. They are common on most hunting properties and shouldn’t be left to turn into mud and weeds. No one can turn a clearing into a pile of mud and ruts like a log crew. A little frost seeding can make it right in a few minutes. Frost seedings don’t germinate as well as planting on seedbeds prepared with traditional cultivation tools and procedures. Nothing beats a well-prepared seedbed for germination and initial stand development. Limitations aside, frost seeding has its place in food plotting. You work too hard on your food plots to be planting new ones every year or two. Some frost seeding and loving care can keep your plots feeding deer for years. ^

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Vol. 26, No. 3 /

WHITETAIL NEWS 19

Profile for Whitetail Institute

Whitetail News Volume 26 Issue 3  

Wtn Vol 26.3

Whitetail News Volume 26 Issue 3  

Wtn Vol 26.3

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