Whether you are a novice or expert at food plots for deer, whether you plan to plant 2 plots or 10 on your land this year, the first and most critical step to success is to do a soil test and determine the pH of the dirt you’ll be working.
Some soils are heavier than others…other dirt is lighter. Some soils hold moisture longer…some dirt dries fast… You get the idea–not all dirt is created equal. By testing the soil where you’ll be planting to determine its exact pH, you’ll know how much lime and/or fertilizer you’ll need for the planting process and optimal forage growth.
This test kit from Whitetail Institute gives you everything you need and makes it a breeze. Dig a dirt sample, put in a Ziplock and mail in to their lab. Easy-to-read results are emailed to you within the week, and often in a day or two. Best part: professional consultation from the pros at the Institute is included, and you can follow up with a call to their 800 number for further recommendations and to answer specific questions.
If you want to grow better food plots, this will be the best $15 you ever spent on Amazon Prime.
Good luck and have fun playing in the dirt!
you can also get a test done for FREE from every county ag dept. in the USA takes about 2 weeks. “IF ” you skip the test a good rule of thumb is 4 tons of pulverized or 2 tons of pelletized lime per acre and a fertilizer of 10/10/10 at 300# per acre, that will get most crops used for food plots out of the ground. Legumes such as clover, peas make their own nitrogen and are a good first plot ’cause they will grow most anywhere in spring or fall add nitrogen back into the soil. I plant a mixture of 40% clover 30% oats 30% dakion radish (or purple top turnip). The radish and turnip grow easily provide a late season forage make their own nitrogen and will loosen tight soils.
The NO-TILL seeds and mixtures are a waste of good money they are mostly ryegrass that once planted deer will rarely eat and it is very hard to get rid of… and yes you still need a soil test and lime and fert. to get them to grow.