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GRASS SODS

Crops That May Precede
Deep Covering
Good Soil Conditions
Object Of Sods
Prejudice Against Timothy
Preparation
Seeding In Late Summer
Seeding In Rye
Seeding With Small Grain
Sowing The Seed
Subsequent Treatment
Summer Grasses
The Weed Seed
Value Of Sods

More from GRASS SODS

Crops And Methods For Soil Improvement


A Bit Of Arithmetic
A Clean Seed-bed
A Few Combinations Are Safest
A Practical Test
A Southern Legume
A Three Years' Rotation
Acid Phosphate
Acquaintance With Terms
Adaptation To Eastern Needs
Affecting Physical Condition
All The Nitrogen From Clover
Alsike Clover
Amount Of Application
Amount Of Manure



Good Soil Conditions








When the grasses and clovers desired for a sod
are sown with small grain, there is competition between them and the
grain crop for fertility, moisture, and light. The grain crop is the
one that will produce the income the following summer, and naturally is
given right of way. The amount of seed is used that experience teaches
is best for a maximum yield of grain. Usually this gives a thicker
stand of plants than is best for the tiny grass and clover plants that
often are struggling for existence down under the taller grain. If the
farmer could see his way clear to cut down the quantity of seed wheat
or oats used on a fertile soil, the catch of grass would be better, but
the small-grain crop is not very profitable at the best, and the owner
does not like deliberately to limit it.

A greater amount of failure is due to an inadequate supply of
fertility. The grass does not suffer so much from over-shading as it
does from starvation, both during the growth of the grain and after
harvest. The stronger grain plants appropriate the scanty stock of
available fertility, and leave the grass and clover nearly helpless.
This condition is especially noticeable in dry seasons when there is
less opportunity to obtain food in solution. Plants which are expected
in another season to fill the ground with vegetable matter are starved
in the beginning and die. Plant-food is needed, and should be mixed
with the soil when the seeding is made. The fertilizer needs are
discussed in another chapter.

When manure is available, it should be spread on the plowed ground and
mixed with the surface soil. If a soil is thin, or heavy, or light, the
use of a ton of manure in this way can bring greater returns than under
any other circumstances in general farming. It supplies some fertility,
and it puts the surface soil into good physical condition for young
plants. Land deficient in humus forms a crust after a rain, and a tiny
plant suffers. A light dressing of manure, well mixed with the soil,
tends to prevent this hardening of the surface and loss of water. There
is no other form of fertility that can fully replace manure, for either
compact or leachy land.

The probable need of lime has been discussed in other chapters. Clovers
and the grasses want an alkaline soil, and there is waste of money and
time in seeding acid land. The lime and the manure must not be mixed
together in the air, but both can be used when fitting land for
seeding, and both should be used if the need exists. One should be
applied early and be well disked into the soil, and then the other
application may be made and covered with the harrow. The soil is an
absorbent, and the contact of manure and lime within the soil only
leads to immediate availability, which is desirable in giving the grass
a start.





Next: Seeding In Late Summer

Previous: Seeding In Rye



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