A ph of 7 is considered neutral lower is acidic and higher is alkaline. There is a range of ph that any given plant will grow in that varies by species. However fertilizer utilization decreases dramaticly as you move away from nuteral in either direction. So will some plants grow in less than ideal conditions, yes will they thrive, probably not. As a rule slightly acidic (6.0 to 6.8) will yield good results with most food plot crops. It would be best to do a soil test and try to maximize your efforts. Why spend on fertilizer if it isn't going to be utilized.
I'm going to spend the money on lime this year. My two 1/4 acre plots I planted in WW and turnips grew drastically different. One plot was limed a few years ago and one wasn't. The plot that had been limed grew a much better plot than the other. Deer were seen on both plots so I guess it worked good enough for them, but right now the plot that didn't get limed is pretty much gone and the other still has quite a bit of forage.
Delar Small Burnet does well in poorer soil. Also very drought resistant and stays green in the winter. It's a forb, easy to establish and gets to about 18" tall with large seeds that wildlife love. Deer will eat the leaves.
If I had a choice between fert. or lime without the aid of a soil test I'd go with lime prolly every time at the rate of two tons per acre. Down here in our neck of the woods thats a pretty standard rate.
I believe I have about as poor of soil as there is here in central MO. My food plots are holding deer through the end of ML season. Its been a work in progress for 3 years but its working and did so even the first year. Lime, fertalizer, winter wheat to get a start, with clover& chicory is what I have been doing. If your soil is poor like mine is I'd plant perennials for sure so you don't loose what you worked to get started. Then frost seed baren spots along with more lime and fertalizer in the winter and lime AMAP! If you have areas in late summer the second year that are bare work them up again including the winter wheat.
Here is a pic of my largest plot. Maybe 3 1/2 acres. Taken in late November this year. They are still useing it!:2thumbsup:
Missouri Whitetails - Your Missouri Hunting Resource
A forum community dedicated to Missouri Hunting enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about safety, gear, tackle, tips, tricks, optics, hunting, gunsmithing, reviews, reports, accessories, classifieds, and more!