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Winter Seeding with the Wheatons

The morning was cool and sunny on February 25 when the Wheaton family partnered with the Scott SWCD and the US Fish and Wildlife Service to seed 12 acres of land into native grasses and flowers.

David and Brodie Wheaton approached the Scott SWCD in January of 2019 wanting to add some color and wildlife to their property in Jordan, MN. Working with Ag Program Specialist, Diann Korbel, the family decided to convert a small portion of their cropland into native flowers and grasses. In their case, winter seeding their natives was the best option. Winter seeding mimics the way native plants spread their seeds naturally. Seeds fall off plants during the winter, stick to the snow, and eventually work their way into the ground via Minnesota's freezing and thawing weather patterns.

Once the land starts to thaw and spring starts to bloom, the distributed seeds will work their way into the ground and begin to germinate. In two to three years, the family will have 12 acres of beautiful vibrant prairie spanning right outside their window. The land will support vital pollinators and wildlife, and bring beauty to all onlookers who see it.

They seeded with a Vicon broadcast seeder mounted on a tractor. Supplemental pollinator-friendly seeds were donated by the USFWS, and the seeding was done by Mike Malling and Matt McClanahan from the USFWS. Funding for this project came from the Clean Water Legacy Fund of Minnesota.

If you are interested in adding native plants to your property, contact our office today at



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