Best Stratagies for turning a hay field into a blueberry/stawberry field?

Asked December 12, 2015, 4:16 PM EST

After spraying the hay field this summer with 2-4d to control weeds I was dismayed that half of the targeted species were still kicking. My reluctance is to spray my way into the berry business. My plan is to till and mulch repeatedly as both the tractor tilling, and fir wood chips (from a mill that closed 10+ years ago), are both in- expensive, but labor intensive options. I would love to say my berries are no spray and
I live on my 3 1/2 acres.

Hood River County Oregon

1 Response

Thanks for using Ask an Expert. The best first step is to determine which types of weeds you have in your hay field. Not all plants are susceptible to herbicides and some are further spread when tilled or mowed. Identify the weeds by using field guides or bring them to your local Extension office. Once you identified the weeds, I recommend coming up with a management plan that includes multiple tactics like cultural, biological and chemical controls. Some examples include tilling, pulling weeds from the ground, mulching with either organic or synthetic materials when berry plants are in the ground, or using chemicals labeled for the particular pest. If chemical controls are used, make sure to follow all label requirements and safety precautions.