Food Plot Strategy: Frost Seeding

Spring has sprung, well almost….

March is here.  In Michigan that means spring turkey season is right around the corner and everyone has the itch to get back into the woods to hunt and get their food plot growing.  One way to get an early jump on a food plot is frost seeding.

What is Frost Seeding?

Until about a year ago I had never heard of planting anything before the warm days of April and May here in SW Michigan.  Then my dad handed me a bag of clover seed that he acquired from farming neighbor.  He said “scatter this out in late February or March on your power line and it should get some clover growing for you.”  I thought he was crazy, but turns out this is a pretty common method of seeding pastures.

The high level idea behind frost seeding is simple, use the freeze and thaw cycle that occurs during early spring to achieve soil and seed contact.  Basically as the ground freezes and thaws the seeds that have been broadcast over it work their way into the soil and prepare for germination.

My potential target area for frost seeding
My potential target area for frost seeding
Prep work and planting

Now this food plot isn’t  just something you can do without preparation.  There is still some work to be done before frost seeding.  As with most plots, the area cannot be covered in forest debris and vegetation.  If possible remove as much of this as possible.  This can be difficult this time of year with the chance on snow cover or wet vegetation.

As with any other food plot the condition of the soil is important.  If this is an existing field, or plot, then the work here is limited.  Big thing to remember is PH levels in the soil.  Also, is the vegetation you are trying to grow is suited for  your type of soil?  If you can get a soil sample, test it, if not you will have to trust your instincts on its capability to turn into a food plot.

A simple hand spreader may be the only tool you need!
A simple hand spreader may be the only tool you need!

Once you have chosen your seed, clover seems to be the most common, it’s time to broadcast it.  A simple hand spreader will do the trick and is a good choice if there is snow on the ground.  Any equipment you have access to will make this easier, or a good walk behind lawn spreader.

Good luck on your new food plot adventure.  Feel free to share your experiences here on Draggin’ Deer Outdoors.  We look forward to seeing your pictures and success stories.

References for frost seeding your food plot

I’m no expert on this process and will be trying it for the first time this year.  Here are a couple of articles that have helped me learn more about frost seeding.  These will be very helpful when planning your next food plot.

Frost seeding article from QDMA

Frost seeding article from Woods’n’Waters