Frost seeding is one of the best ways to improve the whitetail herd on your hunting property next fall.
Whitetail season here in the Midwest has certainly come and gone. For some that might mean moving on to turkey season, but for those of you who are serious about whitetails, you understand next year's successes get their start right now. A healthy whitetail herd depends upon great nutrition year around and given the barren nature of the food supply in February and March it is up to you to provide what the animals need most. This is where frost seeding comes into play.
There are a variety of frost seeding mixtures on the market, all designed to provide food during this cold, wet time of year.
"The perfect time of year to frost seed is when the snow is melting and the weather offers a freeze, thaw, freeze, thaw pattern...generally February or March," says Mike Lindahl of Antler King. "This allows the small clover and chicory seeds to work their way down and receive the seed to soil contact they need."
Frost seeding isn't just an "every now and again thing." The key for success is consistently offering a food source for your whitetails.
"Frost seeding helps me keep clover plots for an extremely long time. I have kept some for eight years," said Jason Cleveland, Broker/Owner of Trophy Properties and Auction. "I have a select handful of food plots I keep food in 365 days a year and that is where frost seeding really helps make the transition from winter to spring."
During the winter months, every hunter knows if you can find the food you will find the whitetails. The same is true for the spring. If you are frost seeding on your property you can draw deer in from other areas with less food density. And not only will you hold deer, but you will increase your yield year over year.
"One of the greatest advantages of frost seeding clovers is that once you establish a clover plot, you may never have to till that plot up to reseed with a clover mix again," says Todd Stittleburg of Antler King.
"If you test the soil in your plot and raise the pH to a 7.0, you could frost seed in the same clover mixes as these plots age and have plants die off due to any number of reasons (age, winter kill, drought, etc.). Just frost seed in the spring to "fill in" the bare spots on your plot and never have to till up the plot and reseed."
At the end of the day, frost seeding will pay huge dividends in the fall when you count on whitetails to be healthy and on your property. Good luck and happy hunting.