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It’s Time for Frost Seeding Legumes

By   /  February 22, 2016  /  3 Comments

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If you have any frost-seeding of legumes to do, now is the prime time to get it done. It is importan
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About the author

For more than 25 years, Victor Shelton, Indiana agronomist and grazing specialist with the Natural Resources Conservation Service, has provided advice about grazing’s best practices. He travels across the state conducting pasture walks, working one on one with farmers and participating in grazing talks. He also writes a newsletter called "Grazing Bites" as a way to talk about current and seasonal grazing issues and what farmers need to be prepared for.


  1. Randi Calderwood says:

    I am located in NE VT with grass land at 1200-1800 feet. The ground is bare now but we have a solid 6 wks of winter and nights in the single digits.

    Is it too early to frost seed?

    How long will the seed last on top of the ground?

    • Victor Shelton says:

      There is always a chance of some seed laying for a long time being consumed by birds, rodents, etc., but most clovers being such a small smooth seed, normally thrive quite well being seeded during the dormant season awaiting the right conditions to germinate assuming everything else is adequate.

    • Bruce Howlett says:

      It is not too early (you could start in late fall), and frozen ground means that you can drive around with minimal soil damage. However, consider the question of why you might want to frost-seed. If you don’t have any clovers because low soil pH and/or low K levels (both are common in our area) are killing off the legumes, spreading more seed won’t have much effect. If you don’t have recent soil test results, you might want to hold off until you can take some to find out whether any soil amendments are warranted.
      (NRCS-VT Berlin Field Office)

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