WeHuntSC.com Blog | Liming the Food Plot

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Liming the Food Plot
  WeHuntSC.com - Tecomate Seed Food Plot Journey - 4-wheeler loaded with lime image
  We loaded the 4-wheeler down with lime and the camera man was getting some footage

As you can see, this past weekend was a full weekend for me.  By the time Sunday got here I was dragging pretty good.  Though, we still had some work to do.  We returned back out to the remote food plot to put down some lime. 

To recap a little in case you are unaware of what?s going on? We are about mid-way through our Tecomate Seed online ?Food Plot Journey?.  Tecomate Seed and GroundHog MAX are sponsoring this online documentary.  The blog series consists of a yearlong blog where we take someone who is totally clueless about food plots (me) and document an installation of a food plot.  To this point we have collected our soil samples, had the readouts returned, cleared the land, and disked it up with the GroundHog MAX.  It is now ready to be limed.

 As a web developer, I started out totally uninformed about this whole process, but I have been learning a little.  It turns out that the soil preparation step of the food plot creation process is a critical step in the journey.  For a remote food plot, installation and soil preparation can be labor intensive.  We took soil samples back in January and sent them off to the Clemson Agricultural extension.  One of our locations came back with a pH of 7.0 because it had been prepped last year.  So with that one area, we are right on track.  Though, with other areas we are not as on target.  The pH in this specific location for this blog entry ended up being 5.2.  This is not a terrible pH, but the closer we can get the pH to 7.0, the more fertile the environment will be for our food plot products.

This is where lime comes in.  Lime helps reduce the acidity in the soil.  So if you have a low pH, then you?ll need to add some lime to raise the pH level.  How much lime should you add?  The result returned to you by the agricultural extension has the recommendations of lime and other minerals you may need.  Keep in mind that lime needs some time to go to work in the soil.  It?s not like you just put out lime and overnight the pH in the soil is adjusted.  Successfully changing the pH in the soil is comparable to making a u-turn in the Titanic?it?s not going to be quickly done.  It may even take us putting the lime out a few times over a few seasons to get the pH to reach our goal of 7.0.  In our specific case with this location, we are actually somewhat late in putting the lime out.  Many factors contribute to our lateness such as me being slack, a long cold and snowy winter, wedding planning, etc.  So because of our timing, we have kind of put ourselves in a tight spot with regards to giving the lime time to go to work. 

Lime is fairly cheap.  We got our lime from Lowes and it was pelletized lime.  Initially in my mind I had pictured lime being a grayish powder.  I?m not really sure why, but I had this image in my mind.  The pelletized lime we got was actually darker in color and it had a unique smell to it.  It didn?t smell bad, but it was unlike anything I?ve smelled before.  I think you can actually get the powder looking kind, or pelletized like we got, or even liquid lime.  I believe I?m accurate in that?if not, just respond to this blog and let me know.

Actually dispersing this lime was a quick and easy task in comparison to clearing out the land and running the GroundHog MAX over the dirt.  We had a spreader attachment that we hooked up to the 4-wheeler and all we had to do was drive.  The spreader had a gap in the bottom of it where the operator can control the rate at which the seed was dispersed.  Essentially, if you left a big gap in the bottom, then more seed would come out and if you adjust the gap to be narrower, then less seed would hit the spinning metal piece below and get spread in the area. 

WeHuntSC.com - Tecomate Seed Food Plot Journey - Deer Track in the Food Plot   
This was a track in the mud near the food plot  

This whole process only took about 20 minutes to do.  I think it took us just as long to unload and get everything out there as it did to actually spread the lime.  I will also add that when we got out to the remote food plot area, we saw a lot of deer tracks in the mud where we had previously cleared the land.  It had to be recent due to all the rain that we?ve been having.  Either way, I believe the deer are a little curious as to what is going on out in the middle of the woods.  Hopefully they?ll walk back through there next deer season and stop in order to eat some Tecomate Seed food plot product!  Though, we have to get something to grow in there first!  While riding the 4-wheeler, I stopped and took a picture of one of the freshest deer tracks.   I wish I would have put a quarter down beside the track in order to give you some perception of how big it was in comparison to the relative size of the quarter.  I?ll just tell you that it was a good sized track. 

So now that the lime is down, the next step will be to actually spread the seed.  The goal is to spread the seed after the last frost of the winter.  This is usually around the end of April to early May.  So in a month or so, we will return to spread the seed.  We will also take another soil sample in the fall to see where our pH levels are and to get lime and fertilizer recommendations for our fall food plots.

Regards,

Clint

 




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