A soil analysis test is very important to your deer plots success and survival. For the best plant growth and health the soil should be in a neutral range. Most forage plants will have stunted growth, or low survival rates if the soil is too acidic.
The ph scale is from 0 to 14
, with 0 being very acidic and 14 being too alkaline. Most deer plot seeds prefer a neutral ph level of 6.5 to 7.0 range, clovers especially will not grow in acidic soils. A soil test will help determine how much lime is needed to neutralize the acid and create the proper ph level for best growth and developement of all plants. If for some reason you cannot test the soil, add lime as a precaution. A heavy application of lime will neutralize the soils acid for a few years.
There are many types of soil testing kits, a home test kit will give you an idea of your soil's acid levels, these kits are inexpensive and easy to use. Some soil test meters work well, these meters have a wide price range.
The best soil test kit is one you mail away to a lab where they do an in-depth, full soil analysis and mail a report back to you. Many local conservation offices offer laboratory soil testing for a fee that usually ranges for 10 to 15.00 per soil sample. If planting a large area it is best to have several samples tested.