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Plants for clay- and sandy-soiled food plots

Back To "Ask The Biologist?"QUESTION: I hunt in Monroe County, Alabama, where a majority of the soil consists of clay and sand. In places, there is decent topsoil, but for the most part, this is what we deal with.

Our food plots are mostly planted with rye, wheat and oats. I was wondering what other varieties of plants would be successful for planting food plots in these type soils. -- Hall

ANSWER: Rye, wheat and oats seem to be the seed-of-choice in your part of Alabama, and all across much of the Deep South. But I believe members of the Brassica genus, such as kale and turnips would do quite well in your region, provided there is sufficient moisture for them to grow. Drought conditions, such as you saw last year might have a negative effect on the success of these particular plants.

Plants for clay- and sandy-soiled food plotsI asked my good friend K.C. Nelson (who manages a piece of ground in that part of the state) to give me his thoughts, and he said, "Most importantly, I'd recommend clovers."

This makes sense because clay should hold sufficient moisture to support good clover growth, and it might work well when the others don't in dry conditions.

The most important thing you can do to ensure good plant production in your food plots is to take a soil sample of each individual field and have them tested.

The next step is to apply lime or sulfur accordingly, depending on the test results from your soil samples.

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