Although it takes some time, you can improve the soil of a sandy food plot.
QUESTION: I’m currently part of a lease with a good group of guys, and we’re trying to do things right. We want to shoot mature deer, and we’re planting food plots for nutrition and to keep them in the area. We have one big problem, though: the soil on our ground is like play sand. Is there a good food plot plant for soil like that?
ANSWER: You might want to think a little outside the box on this one. Rather than simply looking for a plant that grows well in sandy soil, a better option would be looking for ways to improve the soil so you have more choices on what to plant.
You want to improve the soil’s ability to hold moisture, which is best done by increasing its organic content. Start with a late-season planting of something relatively inexpensive that will tolerate dryer soils, like rye or wheat. Turn it into the soil the following spring then switch to something like buckwehat, which you may be able to do two plantings of, depending on where you live.
As soil improves you could try soybeans, which will do okay in sandy soils if properly fertilized. And if you hunt turkeys you might want to set aside part of your plots for chufa, which does very well in loose sandy soils and is a turkey magnet. — Recent Ask the Biologist Question:
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