Soil testing is the most critical part of any food plot. Before planting, it’s of the utmost importance to analyze your soil. You want to make sure that the soil composition is perfect for growing the seed you’re about to sew.
Most soils have a low pH. Correspondingly they are acidic in nature and most seed will not do well. Ideally you want your soil’s pH to be in the 6 to 7 range with 7 being ideal. Do not fret because the solution is simple. Just add some pulverized lime to sweeten the soil and make it less acidic.
With soils less than a pH of 6, seeds will germinate and a bunch of green shoots will start to grow. You’ll feel real good about your food plot but plants will begin to struggle in a month or so. The forages will be unable to extract the minerals and nutrients from the soil. Not to mention from any fertilizer you may have added. Unfortunately, your will run out of grow-power and be overtaken by weeds or grasses. All when they should be thriving!
Soil Testing is Simple
Take a few samples of soil from your food plot location a week or two before planting. First, mix all of the samples in a plastic pail. Second, put some of the mix in a plastic baggie. Finally head to your local ag store or USDA office to order a soil test. You can also mail it to the Whitetail Institute of America for analysis.
The results take only a few days. Not to mention if you tell them what you are planting your report will specify how much lime to add and what fertilizer mixture to use. In addition, how much to spread. Bottom line, for optimum planting results you want your soil’s pH to test somewhere around 6.5 to 7. Any lower than that means your soil needs help.
Soil testing is simple and very affordable. By and large saving you hours of hard work and hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars in the long run.
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