Burning my flower gardens in the fall
In the fall, after the leaves have fallen, we burn our flower gardens that wrap around our pond. I was wondering what does this do to the gardens and soil? Does it fertilize the plants, cause an increase in weeds, wreck the plants roots? My plants do come back. We use kerosene to burn the leaves.
Livingston County Michigan
Thanks for the question. Burning can be a helpful tool in maintaining a planting. This is frequently done in wildflower plantings; however, it is usual done in the spring. Burning eliminates the plant debris that can harbor insects and diseases. It promotes early warming of soil and adds carbon and potassium to the soil. An earlier cooler burn in the spring should limit root damage (hot air and gases will rise). For better weed control, a mid spring burn works better. Be sure you follow state and local governmental regulations and safe prescribed burn practices. Check out the following links: