While this only works to a point and must be done safely, the truth is when it come to spring clean up and labour, fire can be a very useful tool.
Update (got a note from one of my awesome readers) yes please check if you are allowed to have open air fires, if you need to burn in a pit or if you can burn on the ground or if you need a fire permit from your local county.
In our case, we are allowed a 1 meter fire year around (so three feet by three feet) and we can use a burn pit or barrel. In regards to the photos shown, you must rake, roll and disconnect the plant material from the ground and take it to the fire in smaller limited amounts that keeps it within that approx. 1 meter fire. That is why it took us x hours to rake and x hours to burn. You can get a much bigger burn permit when needed for a very reasonable fee in our area.
What you can NEVER get is permission to burn fields, ditches or lawns.
Most of the time we have the time an energy to collect, haul,, build a compost pile or hugelbed the tree offering, the bio mass from last year. its wanted and its very useful indeed.
Fire is used every year at certain points, you always want to burn sick plants or wood trimming, never adding them to your compost piles or as below burning extra burdock seed heads that I do not want going to seed.
However this year, I am using it as a helpful labour tool, I am have smaller very carefully created and watched in place fires where I am raking and burning that dried, winter kill bio mass in both front, side yard an yesterday in the main garden.
It still took three hours on our first round of raking-cleaning and five plus burning but it saved many more to do it this way. The Strawberry Bed needs some more work but I love seeing the new growth on the wee plants
The ground is still frozen under a few inches in a number of places yet and the rest is still to wet to work when I started, so that needs a few more drying and warming days yet before I can work those ones up.
Today I will spread the cold ashes in a thin layer in the old potato beds from last year and mix it into the soil itself for later spring planting for root veggies, clean ash is very good in small amount for your soil, I use a quarter inch or so of clean burned wood ash every second year in the gardens. remember to keep your stored ash dry before putting it on and mixing it in.