Tom's Blog

Monday, March 19, 2012

Post-burn early reed canary spraying

One advantage of getting burns done this early is that one can get ahead of the bad guys and improve chances for early spraying. The photo shows a small patch of reed canary grass we found 5 days after our wetland burn. I sprayed it with 4% glyphosate.

This patch had already started growing before the burn, but was mixed in with a lot of heavy dead thatch, making it difficult to spray. After the burn, with all the thatch gone, it was easy to find and easy to spray.

This time of year I prefer to spray with glyphosate, as it is a general, nonspecific herbicide that will kill anything. Also, it is inactivated by soil particles so there is no residual activity.

According to the co-op, the ideal time to spray with glyphosate is when the leaves are 4 inches long, which is just about where that reed canary patch was when I sprayed it.

There are lots of other species that are coming up now and can be sprayed when ready. On my list are day lilies, smooth brome, motherwort, and perhaps garlic mustard. This time of year, almost anything green is bad. The rule with glyphosate is if it is green you will kill it.

It is unusual to be able to burn this early in the season, but an alternative is a late fall burn. We did just that in the Crane Prairie, and will be in there soon looking for bad guys.

I'll be back in a week or so checking on that sprayed reed canary patch. Almost certainly I missed some leaves, and new shoots might be coming up from underground rhizomes outside the growth circle.


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