Late Fall Dormant Seeding

Discussion in 'Food Plots for Wildlife' started by HuronMtn, Sep 22, 2020.

  1. HuronMtn

    HuronMtn New Member

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    Location:
    U.P. of Michigan
    Hardiness Zone:
    4A
    Do you have experience seeding food plots just before ground-freeze or first snows of winter, as a alternative to seeding their plot in the spring time? If so, please share how well it worked for you. I did my first late fall dormant seeding last year for some pollinator plots I put in for the NRCS. It worked well, so this year I thought I would give it a try with a few of my deer food plots in late October. What did you plant? How did it turn out?

    One might ask why I want to do this as I should be hunting my plot at this time instead of planting it. Well, unfortunately, my tractor was out of commission for 80 days and I missed most of this year's growing season. I have 11 food plots and a few of them didn't have any perennials in them and the annuals that were in there are long since gone. So I thought I would get a head start on next year by trying to fall dormant seed them now that I have my tractor back in service.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2020
  2. DocHolladay

    DocHolladay Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Murfreesboro, Tennessee
    Hardiness Zone:
    7a
    You can frost seed some seeds right before it starts to warm up for spring. Some even do it in the snow. This allows the ground to expand and contract, drawing the seed in to make seed to soil contact. A lot of your summer forages have to be planted when the soil reaches a certain temp or you risk them getting frost killed or not growing at all because of the temperature. Others on here can elaborate more and more may have more experience with this than I do.


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  3. Jeff H

    Jeff H Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Springfield, Mo Land in Ozark Mo
    Frost seeding clover as DocHolladay suggests works reasonably well but you'd likely need to follow through with some method of grass control in late Spring. Fall is the best time to plant clover due to a lack of competition but you may be past your time in the U.P.
     
  4. HuronMtn

    HuronMtn New Member

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    Location:
    U.P. of Michigan
    Hardiness Zone:
    4A
    Good points on the option to Spring frost seed and on less competition in the Fall.

    Spring frost seeding is a bit of a challenge where I am at because of the deep snows we get, the unevenness of the Spring snow melt, and the fact that my road into my property isn't drivable until May 1. So getting a jump start in the Fall seems like a real attractive idea -- assuming it will work ok.

    I am fortunate that I don't have much for grass on my property. My problem plant is bracken fern. Glyphosate takes out the majority of them when you take the time to 3X treat a new plot area before planting first seed, but there are stubborn ones that seem to survive repeated treatments so I have to hand pull some "stragglers" every year. Labor of love.
     
  5. jsasker007

    jsasker007 Active Member

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    Seeding now probably won't work nearly as good as fall planting or frost seeding in spring. Plants need to get some roots established before being frozen for several months.
     
  6. HuronMtn

    HuronMtn New Member

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    Location:
    U.P. of Michigan
    Hardiness Zone:
    4A
    I won't be seeding unit October 25ish. It typically snows at my property by Halloween, so the 25th should be a pretty good time.
     
  7. THE LLC

    THE LLC Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Just think of how nature does it. Plants seed out in late-summer, early fall and drop their seeds. The seeds set dormant through the cold, freezing and thawing of ground, and heavy snow. Then lo and behold, when conditions are right next spring, here they come. Perhaps you should do just like nature does?
     
    Chainsaw and Jeff H like this.

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