We monitored emergence of morning-glory, pigweed, and prickly sida from seeded populations in no-till plots with no debris (reference plots) or with crimson clover, subterranean clover, rye, or wheat debris. Cover crops were either desiccated by glyphosate or mowed and tilled into the soil. Debris levels, soil temperature, moisture, pH, nitrate, total phenolic acid and compaction were monitored during May to August in both 1992 and 1993. Seedling emergence for all three weed species ranged from <1 to 16% of seeds sown. Surface debris treatments delayed weed seedling emergence compared with the reference plots. Rye and wheat debris consistently suppressed weed emergence; in contrast, the effects of clover debris on weed emergence ranged from suppression to stimulation. Gfyphosate application resulted in a longer delay and greater suppression of seedling emergence in May than in April. In 1993, plots in which living biomass was tilled into the soil were also included and monitored. Weed seedling emergence was stimulated when living biomass was incorporated into the soil. Covariate, correlation and principle component analyses did not identify significant relationships between weed seedling emergence and soil physical and chemical characteristics (e.g., total phenolic acid, nitrate, moisture, temperature). We hypothesize that the observed initial delay of the weed seedling emergence for all three species was likely due to low initial soil moisture. The subsequent rapid recovery of seedling emergence of morning-glory and pigweed but notprickfy sida in the clover compared with the small grain debris plots was likely due to variation in soil allelopathic agents or nitrate-N levels. The stimulation of weed seedling emergence when living biomass was incorporated into the soil was likely caused by an increase in “safe” germination sites coupled with the absence of a zone of inhibition resulting from tillage.