Many times fall food plots are planted in a mad dash to get seed in the ground before a rain. This sometimes means that fertilizer gets left out and was not added at or before planting time, not to worry. Fertilizer can be applied after planting with no problem. If you are like me, you can’t stand to drive over your plot after its been planted. But the benefits of the fertilizer will far outweigh the few plants you drive over and they generally pop right back up.
I also like to do a split application where some is applied at planting and the rest of the recommended amount is applied 30-45 days after germination. This is especially beneficial with cool season annuals that like nitrogen such as brassicas and cereal grains. After the plants are up and growing, the root systems are much more developed and are able to uptake the initial or additional fertilizer that is applied.
Different areas of the country have problems with nitrogen loss when it is applied ahead of planting time. High humidity and heat can lead to nitrogen loss through volitization and as well as nitrogen leaching past the root zone when too much rainfall is received.