There are three things legendary outdoorsman Joe Thomas can usually be found doing: big-game hunting, filming a Reel in the Outdoors episode, or tending to his southern Ohio farm. In this Backyard Life video, the Super Slam award recipient’s doing the latter—specifically, showing viewers how he frost seeds his clover food plots in mid-January. It’s a technique that helps produce a cover crop staple Thomas has relied on to draw trophy bucks onto his home turf for as long as he can remember.
Before demonstrating how to frost seed, Thomas points out the important role food plots play in enhancing rural properties and farms, namely their ability to help increase wildlife populations. And, that his hands-down favorite variety to plant is white clover—a perennial foodsource whitetail deer absolutely love. To ensure it remains healthy, Thomas applies fertilizer intermittently, and cuts it with his Exmark zero-turn three to four times a year.
Thomas explains that frost seeding—also known as snow seeding—is a technique best suited to late winter when the ground freezes and thaws rapidly, tightening then loosening when days of cold temperatures are followed by warm snaps. He notes the best time to frost seed, regardless of where you live, is late December – March. Typically, 45 days prior to seeing seed or grass growth is best, Thomas continues.
Frost Seeding Supplies
- Simple, inexpensive hand-operated rotary seed spreader
- One bag of clover blend (mix of white and red clover)
- One bag of clay-based cat litter* (mix 1:1 with clover blend)
*Note: Cat litter doesn’t germinate, but is simply used to help visually assess how the small clover seeds are being spread.
Steps to Apply The Seeds
- Adjusting the spreader to a very small opening
- Slowly walk/spread the perimeter of the food plot, then work your way back and forth across its inner dimensions.
- Wait for the seeds to germinate—and whitetail to begin feeding on them!