Compost in food plots


Active Member
I've got a few small (less than 1/4 acre) food plots tucked away here & there in my woods that I planted in clover & some brassicas last weekend. I should have asked this before planting, but would it help to top-dress each of them w/ 4 yds. (~5,200 lbs) of compost? Prob. can't do that now but I've got 2 more plots to do next week/end & could top-dress those before seeding then rake the seed in if you think it's really beneficial? I own a tree & landscaping company so it won't cost me much to do this :)

2nd question, if beneficial, can I top-dress the 2 plots I've already planted in 4-8 weeks when the clover & brassicas have come up or will I ruin them?
A lot of it depends on the soil test and the analysis of the compost. If the compost has what your plot needs it will help. Depending on the quality of the compost, it's a way to introduce weeds, but sounds like you probably know that. Also, the clover won't need much nitrogen.
Compost is great for starting clover seed, just like lawn seed, but you've got to sprinkle it on the newly seeded ground thin enough that you still see dirt poking through. Adding compost before seeding is ok too, but should be worked in the top several inches of the soil. Composting after the crop is sprouted is iffy, it'll choke it out unless dribbled very thinly over the plants.
Thanks guys. May try one of other 2 remaining plots next week. I'll top-dress w/ compost it 1st, then rake it in good a few times w/ my tractor landscape rake, then seed & apply starter fertilizer and see what happens. If nothing else, I can compare it to the other plots & see how it does... My plots are small so I'm not out a lot of time or $ if one doesn't work out as good as the others.