Fertilizing and Liming
Providing proper nutrients for your food plot is vital if you are to be successful.
Plain and simple, you need to properly feed the crops you planted for your deer. If your food plot seeds do not have the proper nutrients, they will not grow to their potential and you will not be able to provide your deer herd with nutrition they need to reach their full potential.
The first step to proper fertilization of your food plot is a soil test. The results obtained from the Soil Test Report will tell you the pH (level of soil acidity), organic matter content, phosphorus and potassium levels of your plot. This valuable information will help you decide what to apply for lime and fertilizer based on the food plot seed to be planted. Soil testing will also help you decide what crops to plant in various fields as some food plot seeds are more pH sensitive than others.
Note: Most soils in forested areas where food plots are created will be somewhat acidic with a lower pH reading.
After sending your soil sample to a testing lab, you will receive a Soil Test Report in return. This report will give a laboratory analysis of the soil in your food plot as well as a lime and fertilizer recommendation based on the food plot seed to be grown. Your local soil service or fertilizer dealer can then supply you with the lime and fertilizer that will meet your needs.
Taking the time to properly test your soil every 3-4 years provides valuable information about the soil in your wildlife food plots. You can then make decisions regarding what food plot seeds to grow, whether lime is needed and how much of what fertilizer blends to apply. With fertilizer priced where it is today, knowing what is needed rather than guessing is essential. You put a lot of effort and expense into striving for the best food plots possible; don’t overlook the first and most important step.