The Importance Of Soil MoistureSeptember 5th, 2014 by Adam Keith
It never fails; when the calendar reaches August I have those buddies that call me saying they’re headed to the farm to plant their fall food plots. I usually do my best to talk them into turning around and going back home to sit in the air conditioning. Yes, a huge amount of fall food plots are planted in August, but there are several variables that determine the day(s) you can plant.
Before I discuss the variables that we use to help us determine when to plant, let’s first understand that a seed is a living thing. It’s not a dead organism that somehow magically comes to life when mixed with water and soil. If it’s too hot and dry for you outside, it’s probably too hot for the seed as well.
The most important factor with determining when to plant is soil moisture. If the soil is powder and dust you should wait for rain and not stress your freshly planted seeds. The first couple weeks the seed/plant is in the ground are the most important. They’re establishing root systems that will help them survive longer into the fall and even winter; if they’re stressed they won’t produce the healthiest root system they can, which means lower survival rate.
The second most important factor in determining when to plant is future rain forecasts. I’ve made the mistake in the past of having soil moisture and planting my plots only to watch them receive no rain and dry up and die. Watching your extended forecast and seeing rain predicted is a great sign to plant those crops. If the rain chances are high day after day you can plant your crops in dusty conditions knowing that moisture is soon to come.
Planting fall plots on the same day year after year is an error. Planting these crops all depends on soil moisture and future rainfall. This means you could be planting in the middle of August or September. This fall don’t make the mistake that so many of us have done. Understand both your soil moisture and future rainfall and plant the best fall plots you can.
Daydreaming of whitetails,