Preparing new ground for sweet corn

Sat Mar 22, 2008 7:15 am

Hello all,
I have an area that I have been planning on making a sweet corn garden out of. I plan on planting this spring. Area was full of floribunda(wild rose) that I tore out about 4 years ago, and a few small 4-6 inch diameter trees that I cut back same time. The floribunda is beginning to return, a little so I will be digging that out, also plan on digging out small trees with backhoe. Last fall the area had goldenrod in it, and I did not have the time to plow it last fall, now I'm regretting that I didn't get it done to let it sit. What would be your game plan, it is now March 22, I will need to plant in mid - late May. If you can let me know, step by step, I would really appreciate it. When I was a kid, my dad kept us fed through the corn and potatoe field, he passed away about 6 years sago, so I have lost my greatest resource when it comes to preparing a seed bed. I want to pass along, what I did learn from him to my children. Spring is here... :D
Thanks for your help.
Gary

corn

Sat Mar 22, 2008 7:32 am

Not to worry. Go talk to your local Co-Op and county extension folks. There are herbicides available that should fix the problem. You have 2 months before planting so it may not be too late to control unwanted stuff. Every day it is closer so do it ASAP. Good Luck.

Sat Mar 22, 2008 8:17 am

Hi Gary

You can plow and plant it. And if you have cultivators you can kill the weeds with out using weed killers until the corn is high enough that weeds are not a problem.

Billy

Sat Mar 22, 2008 9:59 am

Not to sure abuout the extension up here in the northeast...
Our government loves to spend money, but not on the important matters.
I thought I could brush hog it, rake up the mess and then try to get the plow to turn over what is there??? I need to get a disc in order to break up the area. Would roundup work for new emergence weeds, etc.
Would you cultivate with a cub?

Thanks,
Gary

Sat Mar 22, 2008 10:59 am

Gary I have found if you mow it before plowing the grass will wrap around the plow beam and make a mess. Unless you get it cut up really small like lawn clippings. Just plowing and disking will kill a lot of the grass. If you cultivate as the weeds come up. The cultivators pull the weeds up out of the ground and let the roots dry out killing the weeds.

Billy

Sat Mar 22, 2008 12:06 pm

Gary,

Here's your resource.

http://www.extension.uconn.edu/

Sat Mar 22, 2008 1:21 pm

I got my new field cut down last fall[new house].I did get it plowed before the weather got bad,a long with discing it twice.It will probally get plowed again, then disced twice before I plant.I would use a cub to cultivate and fertilize.I have a feeling we are going to have a wet spring.I plant the 1st or 2nd week in May also.Kevin check with the local guys also.

Sat Mar 22, 2008 2:14 pm

KETCHAM wrote:I got my new field cut down last fall[new house].I did get it plowed before the weather got bad,a long with discing it twice.It will probally get plowed again, then disced twice before I plant.I would use a cub to cultivate and fertilize.I have a feeling we are going to have a wet spring.I plant the 1st or 2nd week in May also.Kevin check with the local guys also.


Kevin,

Be carefull with your predictions... nature has a way of averaging things out. Most cold spells are followed by unusually hot ones and wet spells are followed by dry ones. Annual statistics don't vary much from year to year. By that theory your planting should be done as soon as possible... maybe mid-June before the hot, dry spell begins. 8)

Sat Mar 22, 2008 3:38 pm

That is what we do around here. Plant as early as the weather wil permit, keeping frost in mind. That way the plants will be up and going good before the dry, hot weather gets here. And it will get here.

Billy

Sat Mar 22, 2008 7:58 pm

The worst thing with spring plowing, is that the ground will dry out as deep as you plow, and given the amount of "stuff" you need to turn under I would mow over it more than once,---plow about 8" deep to turn it over good and get some fresh dirt on top to work with for a seedbed and disk it up as much as you can!---(I have a half acre that I have to do myself and will be doing it this way.--it has worked in the past, not as good as fall plow but acceptable)!
Make sure it's dry on top (not sticky mud) when you get out there on the field or you will have nothing but clods!! ---after plowing , disk it in a day or two then let it dry a little. you can tell from this how much more disking that you will need to make a decent seedbed! (corn is a little more forgiving on the "fine soil" requirements, I have planted in some pretty rough dirt and got a decent crop!) thanks; sonny

Sat Mar 22, 2008 9:19 pm

Don McCombs wrote:Gary,

Here's your resource.

http://www.extension.uconn.edu/


Don,

As I've said before, you would have made a great county extension agent!!!!

Bill

Tue Mar 25, 2008 1:30 pm

Thanks for the information and encouragement. Hoping to try to get
it done asap. I believe I am going to mow it first, and then plow and
then disc like you all said.
:)
Gary

Wed Mar 26, 2008 8:38 am

Got some seat time yesterday, cold and windy, but I used my
Case 430 with 5 foot bush hog and mowed the area. Hope to get the
backhoe going in the next couple of days and can start digging out the
smaller trees. Then, onto cleaning up the mess.

discing first?

Sun Mar 30, 2008 3:43 pm

outback,

you might minimize the tendency of the plow to get hung-up with a lot of grass if you mow, then disc, then plow. this pre-plow-discing will help to keep the sod from resisting the plow turning it over. of course, you'd disc afterwards, too, but with fallow soil, the roots will have gone deep, and the thatch will be thick.

good luck!
dave

Sun Mar 30, 2008 7:11 pm

Thanks for the tip...
I was reading on another forum to take the coulter off the plow and plow
without it on new ground. I'm not sure I agree with that, they
stated that the coulter will only cause garbage to get hung up on the plow.

I've been out brush hogging all different areas of my property and am gonna be planting lots of items this spring. looking to put in winter squash, and potatoes also.

Just got the gasoline bill for last month, wow, it's getting ridiculous... we'll all be planting victory gardens just to have money for other things besides gasoline.. sorry to complain.