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Wildlife Food Plot Planting Tips



Take a Soil Sample:

It is very important to have your soil professionally tested. This service is available through the County Agriculture Agent in most areas of the United States.

1. You will need a different sample for each food plot area. A separate test should be performed when soil changes color or consistency.
2. Each sample should be a made up of three or more samplings from the same food plot area.
3. Dig just below the mulch layer and take a clump of soil that does not contain mulch. Repeat several times in each area; mix the samples together to get a good representation of the soil in the food plot area.
4. Have both pH and fertilizer test done so that you can target your problems. Clearly note that you are planting a Food Plot for Wildlife or list the ingredients in the mix selected (Brassicas, Clovers & Chicory).


Soil pH and Fertilizer:

In order to grow strong and healthy... plants need food! The main method of providing food to your plants is achieved by adding fertilizer to the soil. Soil pH regulates how much of the food the plants can eat by locking up the food in a strong chemical bond when the pH is low (below 6) or when the pH is high (above 8). Soil pH is extremely important since the pH of the soil helps determine if the plants can metabolize the fertilizer in the soil and therefore determines if the plants can grow.

Many people continue to fertilize a poorly performing food plot by simply adding more fertilizer! Actually what is needed is to release the food by solving the pH problem. Over time, low pH problems can be resolved by adding 2,000 lbs of lime per acre, which will raise the pH one point. Unfortunately lime does not immediately fix low pH problems. It often takes up to 6 months to achieve its full effect. High pH problems are not very common but can be corrected by adding Sulfates to the soil. It is important to read the planting instructions for each seed mixture to find the fertilizer recommendations and the recommended pH levels for each Harvest seed mix.


For a quicker way to raise the ph of your soil you can use Gain Soil Neutralizer This product is used either before or after you plant your wildlife food plot. It will last one application and it is dispersed using an ATV Sprayer mixed with water. This is a very lost cost alternative to liming a food plot.


Knowing How Deep To Plant Your Seeds:

Many times seeds do not get the opportunity to grow because they are planted too deep. It is very important to read the planting instructions on the back of all Harvest packages or in each product section in the catalog to determine the proper planting depth for your seed mixture. It is easy to plant too deep unintentionally, since small seeds tend to work their way deep into loose soil. Once small seeds fall deep into the soil, they cannot germinate. This can be prevented by lightly packing your soil before planting using a culti-packer or by running over the plot with an ATV. Always pack the seed bed after disking and before planting. Poorly disked seed beds with large clumps of dirt should still be packed and smoothed before planting. This will reduce the natural tendency of the small seeds to move deeper into the soil.


Preparation of the soil or seed bed is crucial to the success of your food plot. The objective for every food plot should be to achieve a seed bed that is…

1. Free from weeds
2. Disked 4” to 6” deep
3. Has all large soil clumps broken down

Click Here For Food Plot Seed