How to Frost Seed Switchgrass
Although the hard seed coating deters germination it aids in the ease of which switchgrass is planted. The smooth hard seed coat makes the seed flow able compared to other types of bearded NWSG. Since it is a smooth surfaced seed, it flows rapidly through most types of planters from small handheld broadcast spreaders to large conventional seed drills. There are many methods and theories associated with planting SG seed. Planting times and techniques vary and range from frost seeding in late winter to no-till drilling during the early summer months. Most switchgrass is planted in mid-April to late May. Although this is the most common planting time, there are other successful planting options.
Frost seeding or dormant seeding are other options. Since SG seed has such a high dormancy rate, frost seeding during the late winter months allows for the dormant seed to be naturally stratified by the cool, moist conditions. Frost seeding, usually done in February to mid-March, is considered the easiest and one of the most successful methods of establishment. Dormant seeding is similar to frost seeding but usually performed during late fall. Of course, the obvious drawback to planting in late fall is simply HUNTING SEASON. Also, the longer the seeds remain on the topsoil, the greater chance they have of being consumed by hungry critters. Dormant seeding in late fall has no benefit over frost seeding in late winter/ early spring on frozen soil.