With all of the rain we have had, hay fields, and pastures may need re-seeded in areas that have been torn up. There is a method called “frost seeding” where you apply seed to the ground and the freezing and thawing of the soil in February and early March will provide seed to soil contact allowing germination of the seed. There is a little more risk of the seed not germinating than a traditional seeding, but the cost and time is a lot less.
Pasture and hay fields that have thin stands and exposed soil, especially fields that have been damaged from the wet weather are good candidates for frost seeding. The seed that works best is clover. Medium red clover is the cheapest seed and works well. Other clovers will also work, and even some grass seeds.
Simply apply 3-10#/acre of seed and let Mother Nature take her course. Some steps to improve germination include mixing fertilizer with the seed as the fertilizer will scratch the seed coat and improve germination. Keep in mind that when you apply this mixture with a “spinning seeder”, fertilizer will travel twice as far as the seed. Finally, frost seeding clover is a good option for alfalfa fields that are starting to thin out. Frost seeding grass seed can work but generally not as effective as clover seed.