Knowing the characteristics of the soil not only helps determine the most productive species to plant but gives land managers the information needed to properly amend the soil ensuring a successful, nutritious food plot. Since soil acidity levels are so important in establishing and creating a successful food plot, Mossy Oak BioLogic has created an easy-to-use way to test the pH and nutrient status of your soil. By following a few simple steps you can take the guess work out of knowing what your soil needs.
Remove Organic Matter
Before taking your sample you will need to remove the top layer of organic matter (roots, grass, sticks, rocks). This will typically be the first 1” – 2” of dirt.
Taking The Soil Sample
After removing any trash from the top inch or so of soil, you can pull a good double handful size sample from the 2-6 inch deep range. This is your primary root zone layer and will give the most accurate reading.
Use Multiple Locations
If you have a larger food plot (2 acres or more) you may want to take a sample from several locations to see if there are areas of the field that need more amendments than others. Some will also take several small samples across the plot and mix them together, this will give you an average reading from the entire plot. After collecting your samples, take a good sandwich-size Ziploc type bag and fill it ¾ up. Remember to label each sample with a field name or number on the bag with a Sharpie.
After you gather your samples, go to plantbiologic.com. Form here you can simply download, print, and fill out the form and send it along with a sample of the soil and a check/credit card for $7.50 to: BioLogic Labs, 2790 Whitten Rd, Memphis, TN 38133. Once BioLogic Labs receive the soil, within 36 hours they will analyze it and provide detailed information via email, fax, or regular mail about your soil along with a recommendation of how much lime to apply.
For more tips on food plots, read “Maintaining Your Food Plot Equipment.” The more intricate an implement, the greater possibility for more tribulations…that is, unless you perform proper periodic maintenance. Keeping your equipment in tip-top shape means it works better and lasts longer.