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ing night; because it is then partly safe from rain or dew, and is then also changing from the state of grass to that of hay.
Ricks are of various sizes, according to the number of acres mowed, or bulk of crop. The bottom should be formed of dry straw or rubbish, one foot thick at least. If set out at seven yards in length, by six in breadth, twenty tons of hay may be ricked to a convenient height, upon a bottom of such dimensions, and will suffice for a field of ten acres, if the crop be heavy; that is, two tons to the acre. A ton and a half per acre, however, is an average crop ; and in general one ton per acre is as much as can be certainly calculated upon.
Many farmers endeavour to get all their hay of the same quality into one rick, to save expense in thatching ; but it is better to have two ricks of twenty tons each, than one of forty ; because, raising the latter to the proportionate height, occasions much extra labour. In making the rick, firm treading is necessary, and always keeping the middle well filled, and always higher than the outsides, in order that the whole may sink down level to facilitate the business of binding.
The circumstances of a farm are well balanced, when large crops of hay are raised, and all consumed by the stock at home. The aftermath of the hay grounds is eaten by sheep and cattle, as well as considerable portions of the meadows are depastured, during summer, with fatting stock of the Hereford, Devon, and Scotch breeds of oxen ; and another somewhat inferior part given to a breeding flock of South Down ewes. These meadows and pastures are lightly stocked in winter with a breeding flock of sheep, and store Scots are turned upon the roughest parts during the day, but always taken into a straw yard at night. The pastures are sparingly stocked at the commencement of the season, that the early growth of the grass be not then checked, so that a full bite may be afterwards obtained throughout the season. Unless this plan of stocking be observed, a great part of the summer keep will be expended too soon, without benefiting the fatting stock.
Grass land, whether meadow or upland pasture, requires, as well as arable land, occasional dressings of dung, or some other compounded dress, to keep it in heart and productive. Cattle droppings assist in this way, especially if frequently scattered about, and not suffered to remain in heaps. The nutritive qualities of the various grasses composing a good sward are much more palatable to cattle than herbage produced on poor or exhausted land; and, as there is a more constant growth of
young leaves from luxuriant plants, they are always closer eaten down. The grasses found in good turf are those following, viz., smooth-stalked meadow grass ; round-headed cocksfoot; sweetscented vernal; meadow foxtail; meadow fescue; golden oat grass ; ribwort plantain ; perennial red clover and white clover, besides ray grass and several others.
In laying down permanent pasture or meadow, the land should be thoroughly cleaned and pulverized for the reception of the seeds. When a dressing of lime can be bestowed and harrowed into the surface after the seed furrow is given, it will be highly beneficial to the grasses, particularly if the summer happens to be dry. Grass seeds are commonly sown with, and rise under the protection of, a light crop of barley.
The kinds and quantities of seeds per acre are as follow, viz., 10 lbs. white clover, 3 lbs. trefoil, 2 lbs. rib grass, three quarters of a bushel cocksfoot, one peck perennial rye grass, half a peck meadow foxtail grass, and half a peck rough stalked meadow grass.
The quantity of the last named grass should be increased if the soil be of a deep loamy or clayey nature, as it luxuriates on such a soil, and rises early in the spring. The meadow foxtail is also considered one of the best pasture grasses, and should never be omitted in laying down permanent pasture.
A due proportion of meadow and pasture land on every farm has always been considered indispensible to the successful prosecution of agriculture. In ancient times grass land was so highly valued that its preservation was strictly enjoined on the tenants, and protected by heavy penalties against breaking it up. In those days the formation of a meadow or piece of pasture land was supposed to require such a long period of time, and only to be accomplished by natural causes, that no one ever thought of forming a meadow by art, either by sowing grass seeds or transplanting turf. Now, however, such delusion is no longer entertained, as most farmers know that a good productive piece of pasturage may be created in the short space of two years. It is true that the (that is, such sorts as may be purchased in every agricultural seed shop), will not answer in every situation. This may be owing to the poverty of the soil, or bleakness of situation ; but if the natural grasses found in the near neighbourhood be preferred, a good pasture may soon be formed, either by seeds or by inocalating with pieces of native turf.
ON MANURES—THEIR USE AND COMPOSITION.
BY CUTHBERT WILLIAM JOHNSON, ESQ.
Corresponding Member of the Maryland Horticultural Society, &c. &c.
[Continued from Vol. x. p. 469.]
In the following article, I purpose to confine my attention to those fertilizers which are either decidedly classed as “the earthy manures,” which are chalk, lime, marl land, and clay,or to those whose chief ingredients are earths, although generally known among agriculturists as “the ashes."
The first great class of manures has been long and extensively employed by the English farmer ; wherever the expense of carriage has not laid an embargo upon his exertions to improve the very staple of his land, for which purpose, the earthy manures are highly and permanently valuable; their good effects not being limited, like the vegetable and animal fertilizers, to a few crops; but by their continuing presence, adding increased value to the soil itself.
The general formation of railways, by decreasing the expense of conveying clay, lime, and chalk, will materially, in this respect, promote the farmer's interests. It will enable him to have access to distant strata of earths, and to convey on to his lands those in which his soils are naturally deficient, to a much greater extent than heretofore. *
CHALK, LIMESTONE, &c.
This is one of the most valuable, and most extensively employed of the mineral manures.
* “The best natural soils,” said the illustrious Davy,“ are those of which the materials have been derived from various strata, which have been minutely divided by air and water, and are intimately blended together ; and in improving soils artificially the farmer cannot do better than imitate the processes of nature.
“The labour of improving the texture, or constitution, of the soil, is repaid by a great permanent advantage ; less manure is required and its fertility insured, and
ital laid out in this way, secures for ever the productiveness, and, consequently, the value, of the land.”-Elements of Agri. Chem. p. 204.
I propose to examine, 1, The chemical composition of chalk. 2, The portion of chalk found in vegetables. 3, The mode of applying chalk to the soil, &c.
Common chalk varies slightly in composition; it contains usually some silica (flint), alumina (clay), and some red oxide of iron, and the remainder carbonate of lime.
100 parts of carbonate of lime contain :
100 parts of common limestone are composed, according to M.M. Thenard and Biot, of
Carbonate of lime..
1.63 1.12 1.00 .75
These substances, when burnt, form lime, for the heat drives off the carbonic acid. By exposure to the air the lime absorbs carbonic acid gas, and again becomes converted into carbonate of lime. A knowledge of these facts is of considerable value to the farmer on the score of carriage : for in some cases, the object of the needless weight of water and carbonic acid in chalk is very material; as will be readily seen by the following analysis of the chalk of Kent, which is the variety largely employed in the agricultural parish of Great Totham, in which I reside although it has to be brought by sea nearly 70 miles, and carted nearly three.
I found, by careful experiment, 100 parts of chalk, from Kent, in the state in which it was carted on to the land in December, contained, besides some oxide of iron and silica :
So that, when the farmer carts 41 tons of fresh lime, he con
veys as much real manure to his soil, as if he carried 100 tons of chalk.
This must be assuredly a question of the highest importance 10 those farmers who have to carry the earth a considerable distan especially if they can procure lime at a reasonable rate ; which, in the large quantities required for agricultural purposes, must in most situations be the case.
2. Carbonate of lime is found in almost all vegetables ; it is an essential food of plants. M. Saussure found, in 100 parts of the ashes of
of Lime. Plants of pease (in flower)
6.00 parts Plants of pease (ripe) ..
4.00 wheat, (in flower)
0.25 (seeds ripe).
0.25 Straw of wheat..
1.00 Chaff of barley.
12.05 Wood of young oak, (May 10)..
28.05 Bark of young oak
63.25 Wood of poplar
27.00 Bark of do.
60.00 Wood of hazel
8.00 Bark of do.
54.00 Wood of mulberry
56,00 Bark of do. ..
45.00 Wood of hornbeam
The cultivator will see, by the results of these experiments, that the quantity of carbonate of lime contained in the cultivated grasses is very considerable, and still more so in trees; and that, as might be expected, the proportion increases with the quantity of this substance found in the soil.
To the planter, it conveys unanswerable testimony in favour of the addition of chalk, marl, or limestone, to all poor soils intended for plantations, in the manner long successfully prac.