I often get asked what is the ideal soil for food plot plants. Even though most of us don’t have access to ideal soil, it is an important question. If you know the ideal, and you have your plot area soil tested, then you can figure out what you need to do to improve it, or if you should even bother.
5 Key Elements in Ideal Soil
1. pH close to 6.5 (6-7 ok for most food plots plants)
2. P levels between 20-40ppm (the upper measurement is more ideal)
3. K levels between 150-200ppm (again upper level is better)
4. Mg 150-200 ppm
5. Loam type soil.
If you have loam you can still get pretty good response at a pH of 6.0 but if you have clay or sandy soil you are better off treating soil to try to get the pH closer to the ideal.
These 5 Key Soil Elements are Macro Nutrients. Other micro nutrients in soil that may affect your production are calcium, manganese, iron, and sulfur. See the picture below to see how you can detect some of these problems in your deer food plot plants by inspecting the plants themselves.
These micro nutrients are not often on routine soil tests but if you want to test for them, contact a local ag office near you.