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Converting grassland to plot min Equip
I'd like to plant a few acres and it is currently mature grassland. I have the means to spray and keep weeds down. Thus it can all be just dead grass for planing in a month. My question is whether to burn or not to burn to get rid of a pile of the grass. Do you think it would be best to burn and get rid of it, or just keep spraying and toss seeds into the dead grass? I have had good luck with burning before as I think that kind of ash turns into a paste that with rain allows for good germination. I have a heavy harrow that I plan on dragging over regardless, and then a cultipacker for once seeds are down. The burn (with fire) is where I am interested on opinions. Burning has it's own challenges and I don't mind avoiding it. I also don't mind burning if need be. I have done controlled burns a few times, although usually only about half acre portions. This would be larger but no different.
If it’s not prone to wash and erode burn it off. Otherwise spray and plant.
You will have to get rid of all the seeds in the soil. Sometimes that is done by spraying, tilling, and spraying again after the flush. Can be done mechanically too. Just something else to consider.
Bare soil and adding Ammonium and Nitrates from burning is just begging for a weed problem.
I would much rather have all the dead grass provide weed protection and provide protein in the amino acid form by becoming a slow release fertilizer for the new crop.
I'm a fan of spraying grass pasture with gly, broadcasting seed, then mowing. I've had some great plots doing it this way.
What are you planning on planting, Adam?
Dr. Craig Harper would say to just spray the grass with Glyphosate in the fall after a couple of hard freezes and forget about it. He claims everything the deer need is already there. Kill the grass and it will grow on it's own.
I'm sceptical about this but I did spray some grass last fall, so I'll let you know how it works later this year.
I also lightly disced some of what I sprayed and broadcast some seed a few weeks ago. I want to see which works best.
Avoid burning that precious mulch if you can. Utilize the carbon instead releasing it to the air. Burning also kills the superficial beneficial microbes and worms in the soil.
Thank you gentlemen. I didn’t burn it, but have concerns about the existing grass mat being so thick it simply squashes new growth or doesn’t allow seeds through. Many areas are so thick that it seems even the grasses aren’t regenerating. I tried pulling my harrows over for the first time yesterday and in about 7 yards it was so full the harrows were basically floating. There’s no way I could harrow 3 acres at that rate. I’ll include some photos here
I was going to split it half and half some sort of brassicas and winter rye.
For interests sake I broadcast winter rye in the standing grasses last fall before a rain and none of it took. I assume the seeds never made it to pay dirt