The next cultural operation is to add the "pre-plant" fertilizer amendments. Based on tests, the soil pH can be adjusted to the ideal range of 5.5 to 6.5 by adding dolomite to raise the pH, or sulfur to lower it. Phosphorus fertilizer is often incorporated into the soil at this time, rather than as a top dressing during the growing season because phosphorus is not mobile in the soil. Often, these amendments are applied immediately before the soil is formed into the typical raised seedbeds. Seedbeds are approximately 4 ft. wide, a standard dimension that corresponds to all mechanized equipment that is used in forest nurseries.
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