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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



Prejudice Against Timothy








Timothy, among the grasses, is especially
in disrepute as a soil-builder, and yet its value is great. The belief
that timothy is hard on land is based upon observation of bad treatment
of this grass. There is a common custom of seeding land down to timothy
when it ceases to have sufficient available plant-food for a profitable
tilled crop, and usually this is the third year after a sod has been
broken. The seeding is made with a grain crop that needs all the
commercial fertilizer that may chance to be used. Clover may be seeded
also, and on a majority of farms it fails to thrive when sown. If
clover does grow, the succeeding crop of timothy may be heavy. If
clover does not grow, the timothy is not so heavy. The seeding to grass
is made partly because a tilled crop would not pay, and partly because
a hay crop is needed. It comes in where other crops cannot come with
profit, and it produces fairly well, or very well, the first year it
occupies the ground by itself. With little or no aid from manure or
commercial fertilizer, it adds much to the supply of organic matter in
the soil, and it produces a hay crop that may be made into manure or
converted into cash.

If the sod were broken the following spring, giving to the soil all the
after-math and the mass of roots, its reputation with us would be far
better than it is. This would be true even if it had received little
fertilizer when seeded or during its existence as a sod, not taking
into account any manure spread upon it during the winter previous to
its breaking for corn. But the rule is not to break a grass sod when it
is fairly heavy. The years of mowing are arranged in the crop-rotation
to provide for as many harvests as promise immediate profit. On some
land this is two years, and not infrequently it is three. Where farms
are difficult of tillage, it is a common practice to let timothy stand
until the sod is so thin that the yield of hay is hardly worth the cost
of harvesting. Then the thin remnant of sod is broken for corn or other
grain, and the poor physical condition of the soil and the low state of
available fertility lead to the assertion that timothy is hard on the
soil. This is a fair statement of the treatment of this plant on most
farms.





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