Skip to main content

Conduct a Soil Test Before Planting Your Food Plot

Failing to conduct an inexpensive soil sample before planting is the most common — and costly — mistake food plotters can make

Successful food plots require time, labor and money. If you’re willing to invest those things, you should also be willing to do a soil test prior to planting. Too often good-intentioned food plotters take on a planting project without first analyzing the soil quality of the projected site. Unfortunately, failure to test the soil can result in poor plot production due to unbalanced soil PH levels.

Inexpensive soil tests can usually be completed by local Cooperative Extension Offices, and they’ll render accurate instructions for soil amendments based on the crop you intend to plant. Most often, soil corrections can be made by applying either lime (to neutralize/raise soil PH) or fertilizer (to adjust Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium levels). In the long run, a soil test may even save you money by preventing the use of unnecessary fertilizers. After all, fertilizer will serve little to no purpose if your soil cannot properly absorb it.

The decision to improve wildlife habitat is a noble one, and I encourage all outdoor enthusiasts to do their part to actively manage their hunting properties. But in order to make the most of your efforts, take time before you plant to ensure your soil is ready. Your patience will pay off tenfold when you’re blessed with a lush and nutritious crop that’s highly sought after by wildlife.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

Recent Videos

North American Whitetail Magazine Covers Print and Tablet Versions

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!


Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services


Buy Digital Single Issues

Magazine App Logo

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the North American Whitetail App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top North American Whitetail stories delivered right to your inbox.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All North American Whitetail subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Enjoying What You're Reading?

Get a Full Year
of Guns & Ammo
& Digital Access.

Offer only for new subscribers.

Subscribe Now