Took soil sample. What do I need?
Food Plots
Messages posted to thread:
jboutdoorguy 11-May-17
drycreek 12-May-17
sagittarius 12-May-17
The Famous Grouse 12-May-17
Fuzzy 12-May-17
Jethro 12-May-17
Fuzzy 12-May-17
Jethro 13-May-17
drycreek 14-May-17
MK111 14-May-17
Scooby-doo 14-May-17
Fuzzy 15-May-17
happygolucky 17-May-17
Bowsage 17-May-17


I took a soil sample of my food plot with one of those little do it yourself kits. Here is what I found. PH 6.8-7 Nitrogen 0/depleted Phosphorus 0/depleted Potash 2.5 Now that I know this I don't know what I need for fertilizer. Plot is 1 acre. I am thinking of doing a clover/blend. I am concerned with the soil being well drained. Will it be too dry for clover? Also do I need to worry bout putting out too much fertilizer? Can I plant and fertilize at the same time?


Looks like your ph is good and you need some fertilizer high in N and P. Ask your local supplier what's available in your area. Yes, you can plant and fertilize together. I do every time. Good luck !


What is "Nitrogen 0/depleted Phosphorus 0/depleted Potash 2.5"? Parts per million, pounds per acre? It would help to know your organic matter content, and soil exchange rate. Take another sample before you alter the soil, send it to a lab so you know what your soil is, and what any forage might need.


Well, first off all this advice assumes your DIY test is accurate. And these things are notorious for having a lot of variation, so that's a big assumption.

Depending on what clover you're planning on planting, I'd say your PH is a bit on the high side. The general recommendation is 6.0 to 6.5 for most clovers as far as I know.

IMO you should add lime. No reason to go crazy here, I'd so put .75 to 1 ton on and see how it goes with a test next spring.

As far as fertilizer, I can't tell anything from the results of your test. Did the test come with some kind of conversion chart or website that could be referenced to turn the test results into a plant-specific recommendation?


By: Fuzzy

Famous Grouse you are saying pH is high (which I don't agree with, most clover is happy in pH up to neutral, the low 6's are about minimum) and then you say add lime ... lime raises pH. (although it will add some phosphate and potash) ...my take on it is that he needs to add some balanced low N fertilizer, maybe a 5-10-10 or 5-15-5 ...(clover has low N requirements) and as far as an amount it's hard to say without more info. A 1/2 ton/acre won't hurt for starters.

By: Jethro

Fuzzy you are right about the lime raising the ph, but lime will not add P or K to the soil.

By: Fuzzy

Jethro, that depends on the parent rock used. In my area (Southwestern VA) some (dolomitic) limestone has a reasonably high phosphate analysis, and some of the softer limestones have significant potassium. If you ask your quarry they should supply the analysis. I'm not certain what type carbonate rocks you have in your area but they may be low in P and K ... my reply as stated to "Grouse " was that limestone "will" (I should rather have said "may" add "some" rather than "will add") ....my speculation was why to add lime.... when it won't create positive benefit other than some possible small addition of P and K ....and my recommendation after that was a low N high P/K fertilizer.

By: Jethro

Point taken Fuzzy. I have never done a food plot. My experiences are with turf(golf course). Lime I get here, NE PA, has no P,K. Although blended products are available. Use alot of gypsum too, when cal and mag are needed but don't want a ph change. Again, that is on grass and I kill the clover, not trying to grow it.


I hate to sound like a shill for WINA, but get a test kit from them ($15), and they will tell you EXACTLY how much and what kind of fertilizer you need to the acre or square foot. Lime recommendations too. Then you will be able to quit guessing and know what you need ! You are welcome.

By: MK111

A professional soil evaluation is the only way to go. Tell them what you are planting and they will spell out what is needed. IMHO anything less than this is short sighted. Save a dollar and waste 100's of dollars and time.


Here in NY we can take ours to the local cooperative extension for Farmers and pay a very small fee. It was only a few bucks several years ago. They do a complete test for ya! Shawn

By: Fuzzy

no prob Jethro, when I saw you were from PA I kinda figured you would have different take on limestome. A lot of what is quarried in Va for ag lime has clay seams, gypsum seams, cave inclusions, and even some bentonite. Adds some mineral content. You can't count on it to add much as a supplement though, fertilizer is indispensable.


I too am boggled over what The Famous Grouse has stated. I think the PH level is perfect but adding lime will increase the PH.

Clovers fixate N so the fertilizer can be low N maybe even a 10-19-19.

I also concur that the best thing to do is get a "real" soil sample which will also measure nutrients and OM and give specifics on what is needed.


MK111 X10

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