Tips for frost seeding red clover

Editor’s note: This article is from the archives of the MSU Crop Advisory Team Alerts. Check the label of any pesticide referenced to ensure your use is included.

March is a good time to frost-seed red clover into wheat or spelt. Seeding red clover will help you control weeds and provide your field with nitrogen for next year’s crop. Farmers use several seeding rates when frost seeding. Our research at MSU indicates 10 to 12 pounds per acre consistently works best in Michigan.

Farmers frost seed in many different ways, including using spinners with ATVs, trucks and tractors. Time is running out this year; so you’ll need to move quickly.

There is an excellent bulletin on frost seeding by Jim Stute and Kevin Shelley from the University of Wisconsin. You can view it at:


  • Select high quality seed.
  • Decide your clover seeding rate.
  • Calibrate your seeding equipment.
  • The ideal time to seed is when the ground is frozen in the morning and warms up in the afternoon.
  • Most years, frost seeding is done during the first week of March, but you can successfully seed throughout the month.
  • If you do not seed in March, you can drill red clover into wheat in April (the earlier the better).

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