Will clover germinate well if broadcast into CRP fields?

By Grant Woods,

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Hi Grant,

Really appreciate the show, very informative on a lot of interesting and applicable topics. I am considering throwing down some clover seed in the next couple of weeks (mid-MO) but it’s on mowed strips in CRP fields. I’m wondering if I’m wasting my resources just throwing it on top and letting snow and/or thawing take the seed in? Or would I get better germination if I mow the grass low and spread on top? I work a normal schedule so limited weekends are all I have available to get things perfect as far as seed bed goes, so if all else fails, I’ll prepare for a fall seed blend over the summer and hope for the best.



I use a similar technique (called Frost Seeding) each year. I simply broadcast cover about this time of year (in southern Missouri) and hope it frost to snows a few times.  The freezing and thawing temperatures causes the soil to form small cracks that open and close.  This serves to cover the seed about 1/8th inch deep which is perfect for clover!

I suspect the rate of germination and growth of the clover you plant will depend on how thick the duff or grass is where the seed is broadcast.  If the grass and/or duff is inches thick I doubt all the seed will reach the soil. If the seed doesn’t reach the soil it won’t grow.  If the seed does reach the soil and germinates, the success will then largely depend on if the grass is also growing and out competes the young clover for sun, moisture, and/or soil nutrients.

Enjoy creation,


February 24, 2016