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Food Plot Questions
Got a few questions on food plots. When creating a new plot in the woods should I rake out most of the leaves before tilling or does that matter much? Should I put ag lime down before I till or after? and last the soil testers you see like on gamekeepers for about $25, do they work or should you send in for analysis?
Since you mentioned "in the woods", first thing is to make sure that area receives at least four, but preferably six or more hours of direct sunlight once the foliage is on. Less than six hours is questionable, but less than four hours is a waste of time and money IMO.
Personally, if I was tilling in the fall for a spring plant, I would till the leaves in the ground for compost. If I'm tilling in the spring for a spring plant, the leaves come off. You want to provide as much seed to soil contact as possible.
As for the ag lime, it needs to get into the soil. Tilling the majority of it in makes sense. I also like to broadcast a bit on top after tilling.
Never had much luck with the DIY soil PH testers. You will receive alot more...and better information by sending the soil samples off for analysis.
Thanks Paul. I figured I would wait til fall to plant to give the lime some time. In my past experience with soil tests it always called for several tons per acre and I haven't messed with these in years so I'm sure it will be similar.
I have used my local CO-OP for soil analysis. Some don't charge and some do. They will provide you with a sample bag. If you go this route take small samples 4-6 inches deep over the entire food plot area combine them in a clean container mix together then fill sample bag. Usually takes about a week to get back results. AG lime takes 1 year +- to breakdown enough to benefit plants. Pelleted lime dissolves when rained on and has immediate effects but only last that season so on new food plots I use AG lime for the long term and pelleted for the short.