Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Good weather for frost-seeding pastures


This is good weather for frost seeding in paddocks that you want to upgrade and your animals have removed most of the vegetation.

The temperature cycling between freezing and thawing lets the seeds work their way beneath the soil.

Too much vegetation means that the seeds will not be resting on mineral-soil. Furthermore, the thatch of vegetation will insulate the top of the soil and it will not experience the temperature swings needed to freeze/thaw. Finally, too much standing vegetation or dead thatch supports a large population of rodents which will cheerfully eat your expensive seeds.

What about strawberries?

Glad you asked.

The same freeze/thaw cycle that works to your advantage for seeding can "heave" strawberry plants out of the ground, especially on clay. It is not too late to mulch OVER the tops of your strawberry plants. Freezing is OK. Cycling is not.

1 comment:

  1. When I was still maintaining my pastures when frost seeding in heavy thatch after seeding I would disk it setting the discs very shallow to cut up the thatch and give the seed a bit of cover. Seemed to work well as I would always skip a swath or two to watch for effect. ---ken


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