From Across the Field – Fall Preparation

Good Thursday morning, hopefully everyone enjoyed their Labor Day weekend. I certainly did as I was able to venture down to the Morgan County Fair and take in some familiar sights and sounds while getting to catch up with friends and family. My dad and grandmother are both on the fair board back home, making the fair even more of a family event for us. In addition to having some fun it was also a productive weekend, as my brother and I worked to clean out feeder lamb pens (all lambs have been sent to market) and get our small but mighty ram battery harnessed up for the second round of breeding this season. We breed twice a year in order to have some flexibility in marketing next spring and summer.

Now that we are past Labor Day, planting of spring-blooming bulbs can occur until the soil freezes. Daffodils, however, are best planted in September or early October because they require a longer period for root development. In the event that bulbs are obtained at an inconvenient time for planting, store them in a cool, well-ventilated area.

Choose a planting site in full sun, but with protection from the hottest midday spring sun.  Planting under or near large deciduous trees that cast filtered shade works well. Plants in full sun bloom earlier than those in partial shade. A few plants that withstand partial shade include some daffodils, tulips, hardy lilies, crocus and some windflowers.

Recommended planting depths for hyacinths are 6″ deep; tulips, 6″ – 8″ deep; and daffodils, 6″ – 8″ deep. Smaller bulbs in these groups and the minor bulbs are planted shallower. Large bulbs should be spaced 4″ – 6″ apart and small bulbs 1″ – 2″ apart. For greater effect, plant in clumps or irregular masses rather than individually.

For grain producers considering planting cover crops post-harvest, just a quick reminder on the importance of using certified cover crop seed. Certified seed should come with analysis of contents and be free of contamination of weed seed. There are cases where invasive and noxious weeds have been spread via cover crop seed, so don’t let that happen to you.

Speaking of weeds, I have received a few reports of waterhemp in the area. At this stage in the growing season the best treatment is to hand pull those weeds. What do you do with the pulled weeds once they’re pulled? If the seed is green yet viability is low to none, and therefore you have a few more options than if the seed is mature. For pulled weeds with mature seed, burning the plants will destroy the seed, so long as it hasn’t already been distributed across the field.

I’ll end this week with a quote from John Wayne: “Courage is being scared to death…and saddling up anyway“.  Have a great week. Go Bucks!

Sept. 18/20 – Farm Science Review


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