Burn Down

Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:01 am

I'm thinking of doing a burn down after the cover is disc in. Had a lot of weeds last year. Any advise?

Re: Burn Down

Sun Jan 10, 2010 7:30 am


If you are going to disk most of the cover in before doing the burn down, you will have most of the weeds seeds in the soil. A burn down will help more in the control of perennial plants and not much, if any, with annuals. The residue you plan to burn is better in the soil, work it in to help improve the soil organic matter. As for the weed problem, identify the weeds as they emerge and then apply an herbicide to control the weeds or a hoe.


Re: Burn Down

Sun Jan 10, 2010 8:54 pm

There are several good field chems. to use on the perennials.---if you dont have a lot of them, I would go with good pre - emerge herbicide to get the in ground weed seeds before they come up! ---This will be your front line of defense.---then later you can use some post applied chems if it became necessary.---a lot of cultivating and hoe work will help too!--I till in between the rows even if no sprouts are showing, and if you look close, the soil will be full of tiny weed sprouts just starting to germinate!---when tiller mixes these up and sun hits them, they are done for in seconds because they are VERY tender at this stage!

All the chems that I use are organic based and also used by certified ORGANIC commercial growers!---They use some really hot stuff that I wouldnt even put on field crops!! thanks; sonny

Re: Burn Down

Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:39 pm

Dan- I'm seeing a little confusion here on terminology. So I'll give you a few definitions -1)Burndown= herbicide applied to growing weeds before crop is planted..2)pre-emergence=controls only weeds not growing yet..3)post-emergence=controls weeds growing with the crop. So if you disc the clover in, you will have no vegetation growing for "burndown" And please don't set your garden on fire to get rid of weeds.. The value of the organic matter is very high for the new crop.
Sonny is correct when he said to till what looks like a weed free area. I usually wait till I see a little green(1/4"tall) and cultivate very shallow. Most weed seeds can only send a shoot up about 1". If the weed seeds are deeper, they will wait until something brings them to the surface. If you cultivate or rototill 3" you are bring up a new crop of weed seeds to battle.
If you want to apply a pre-emergence to help keep your worked garden clean, remember that what is used on sweet corn may kill your green beans. Please clarify what you want to accomplish a little better.. :) Greg

Re: Burn Down

Tue Jan 12, 2010 7:00 am

Sorry I should have explain my question better. My plan was to disc in the cover crop as soon as it warms and dries out. Then come back 2-4 weeks later and put down Gly-4 to get rid of any weeds that have come up. One more shallow discing and plant about a week later.

Re: Burn Down

Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:20 pm

Dan!! the Glyphos. application should be made over the top before you disk, then wait a week or two then disk and plant!---If you dont do any other tillage you will have new weeds in a matter of days, and cultivation will be hard to do with all that surface trash in the way!---then you will need a good post apply herbicide to help control the new weeds!

What do you have as cover crop? rye?,wheat?---both are very hard to kill in the field when they come up volunteer, so I would think in the garden they would be even harder!

I dont use anything like that on my gardens!---Got too many weeds the way it is!--LOL!!

Re: Burn Down

Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:56 pm

Dan- A few points to ponder. Your location will naturally warm up much faster than Sonny's or my area(SE Ind.) So you will be doing tillage and planting much earlier than we will. But certain facts will remain. Do not let your cover crop get over 4'' tall..It will become very difficult to disc in with more growth than that. It will also start taking a lot of soil moisture and might dry your ground too much. Make sure you incorporate it completely. A plants still exposed to the sun will regrow. Next step- clean ground- If you wait 2 weeks for next tillage- weeds will be 2"- 4 weeks- 8". If you spray gly-4 you will kill only the weeds germinated. After 2 weeks(with decent weather) 80% of the weeds that can grow will be up. KIll em with spray- you gain another 2 weeks of clean garden. Then do your light tillage and plant.. Remember.. some weeds are immune to gly-4. It varies from region. Here it is maretail. Not found real often in tillage tho. Mainly no-till. The nice thing about gly-4 is there is no residual. So if you over apply, no harm, except you broke the law!!! Have you ever sprayed a "field" before? What kind of equipment will you use? I've sprayed commercially for 30 years, if I can help you set up to spray, just ask...Greg

Re: Burn Down

Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:59 am

After reading Sonny and DirtDocs posts several times and talking to the County Extension Agent here is what I came up with. The gly will only be used between rows if necessary and the corn is too tall for regular cultivation. If possible the field will be mowed prior to discing. That will depend on the mud situation. Then a shallow disc whenever new growth appears. Again the weather situation. The more discing the better before planting. Finally I am going to get a class 1 tiller if I can afford one. In other words, go back to the way I have been doing it for years plus the gly if necessary. Hopefully we will have a dry enough spring that the extra seat time will will eliminate the use of the gly all together. BTW these ideas only come to me when I'm bored with winter. Thanks to all.

Re: Burn Down

Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:49 pm

No problem, Dan!---We are here to share and kick around ideas in a friendly manner!! thanks; sonny

Re: Burn Down

Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:51 pm

Those county agents are very knowledgeable fellows. The great thing is if they personally don't know the answer, they have access to others who do. I learned much from them. Good luck on the garden- don't get any gly-4 on your corn leaves..they won't like it! Greg