Failing Food Plots? / You Need Soil Samples
You can grow a beautiful garden behind the house. Deep green peppers, giant red tomatoes, and a full ground coverage of zucchini and squash. However you try and grow a simple ½ acre clover plot, and three weeks later the ground is still barren. Has your green thumb lost its touch? Not likely, just think what the difference was between your lush garden and that food plot. Your thought outcome will result to the time spent and care difference between the garden and the plot. Happy Soil = Happy Plants…you need soil samples.
You spend hours and around 100 dollars to make your garden right, so you can’t expect good results when you just throw seed at a field. Just like a garden a good lush food plot starts with the soil. Planting without soil care or even testing your soil is throwing money away. Even with this food plotters will not test their soil, so what will convince you? Perhaps the difference between success and failure, seeing deer and getting skunked, antlers and unfilled tags? Food plot growth, nutrition, and big buck attraction all start in the soil. It’s best to do all you can to make that plot outstanding, just like that garden your neighbors are all jealous over.
Testing your plot is as easy as digging a few places up in a plot, mixing the soil in the bucket, putting some in a bag, and sending it off to be tested. If you have a certain desired species you are wishing to plant, write it in so that recommendations can be made easier. You’ll get your results back within a week or two, and with it the reason your plots aren’t growing. The results will identify exactly what’s missing, to low, to high, or just right in the soil.
Acidic soils (pH<6.5-7), or missing/low elements such as phosphorous, and potassium all might be to blame. A simple addition of pot ash, lime, or fertilizers will fix your problem. A quick call and order of the materials and you’re on your way for a lush food plot, a memorable hunt, and antlers in hand. Without committing to a soil test, food plotters and hunters plant blind, literally not even knowing if the soil is fertile enough to grow a simple clover. The results are often that barren ground, or a few scraggly weeds.
This spring and summer make sure you take the time to test your soil. In most areas whitetail hunters call home your soil will be around the 5 range. A pH of 6.5-7 is ideal so it’s best to see the amount needed to get your soil there. With all of the missing elements filled in your plots are sure to take off, and with it your season! Don’t let the simple, cheap soil test be the reason for a season of failure.