Broadcasting Seed Or Why I Like Rain During AugustAugust 21st, 2015 by Grant Woods
I really like it when it rains during August! Let me explain. The average first frost date at The Proving Grounds is around October 10th. Most cool season crops do best when they are planted 45-60 days before the first frost. That means I need to plant during mid August at my place.
I often use the broadcasting technique to plant cool season blends such as Broadside. I frequently broadcast this blend into standing soybeans that have been heavily browsed. This technique works best if the seed makes seed to soil contact and has ample soil moisture to germinate and grow.
If the seed is spread while it’s raining, the droplets will literally splash a fine layer of dirt over the seeds. There’s obviously ample soil moisture for the seeds to germinate. Spreading seed while it’s raining almost always results in a high germination rate!
There are some exceptions. Extremely hard rains may result in the seed being washed away if there’s runoff occurring. If the seed is planted in an area where weeds or other “duff” prevent the seed from contacting the soil it’s unlikely the young seedling will survive. This is because germinated seeds are like new babies. Once a baby or a seed’s roots come out both are hungry.
Seeds feed primarily by getting their itty bitty roots in the ground and absorbing nutrients. Rain can make this process much easier for young seedlings!
I really like it when it rains during August!