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Old March 5, 2012, 03:11 PM   #27
Senior Member
Join Date: December 17, 2007
Posts: 5,950
A different kind of hunting

A little tip for 'mushroom' hunters.

Some of the most prosperous mushroom finds are in some areas the year or two after a burn.

Bout eight years ago, I decided I was going to make some kind of use of a 5acre field up on a ridge-top in the middle of the woods. Field was full of nothing but Sumac and poverty grass. Needless to say, extremely poor soil content with an acidic level that was incredibly high.

My intention were two-fold. I wanted to plant forage for wildlife while building the soil. I wanted to do this naturally without the use of sprays/weedkillers. That left burning.

Called our local Agricultural Extension officer. He came out and advised me that due to the makeup of the soil and where land was located(on an unprotected ridgetop), I should not burn. His concern were:

1. there just wasn't enough depth of decent topsoil

2. so much sand in what topsoil that was there

3. the already high acidic ph would only raise after burning due to the ash.

He told me I'd surely have trouble with erosion and said to do a chemical kill.

Wanting to do things my way and not wanting to believe him , I then called Ohio State University's extension officer. He came out and said the same thing.

I started questioning him about why some areas were better to burn and some not. In short, if there's a deep layer of rich topsoil located on fairly level ground. Burn. The deep,rich topsoil will support new,rapid plant growth.
On the other-hand, if the topsoil is shallow , not of decent makeup and on un-level ground, do not burn. With the ash and erosion, your already bad soil will only become worse.

I ended up spraying, plowing the field, raking sumac in piles and burning.
Fertilized field, planted Ladino clover to help build ph and to date have spread about 17tons of lime.

FWIW, for those of you that have never plowed out any sumac, when I got done with this 5 acre field, I thought I had plowed 100 acres.

Last edited by shortwave; March 7, 2012 at 11:36 PM.
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