Seasons For Sowing





Clovers are more commonly sown in the springtime

in the Northern States and Canada than at any other season and they are

usually sown early in the spring, rather than late. On land producing a

winter crop, as rye or wheat, they can be sown in a majority of

instances as soon as the snow has melted. That condition of soil known

as honeycombed furnishes a peculiarly opportune time for sowing these

seeds, as it provides a covering for them while the land is moist, and

thus puts them in a position to germinate as soon as growth begins. Such

a condition, caused by alternate freezing and thawing, does not occur on

sandy soils. Where it does not so occur, sowing ought to be deferred

until the surface of the ground has become dry enough to admit of

covering with a harrow. As in sowing the seeds of certain grasses good

results usually follow sowing just after a light fall of snow, which, as

it melts, carries the seed down into the little openings in the soil.

But there are areas, especially in the American and Canadian northwest,

where in some seasons the young clover plants would be injured from

sowing the seed quite early. This, however, does not occur very

frequently. When sown on spring crops, as spring wheat, barley and oats,

the seed cannot, of course, be sown until these crops are sown. The

earlier that these crops are sown the more likely are the clovers sown

to make a stand, as they have more time to become rooted before the dry

weather of summer begins. In a moist season the seed could be safely

sown any time from spring until mid-summer, but since the weather cannot

be forecast, it is considered more or less hazardous to sow clovers in

these northern areas at any other season than that of early spring. If

sown later, the seed will more certainly make a stand without a nurse

crop, since it will get more moisture. If sown later than August, the

young plants are much more liable to perish in the winter.



In the States which lie between parallels 40 deg. and 35 deg. north, and between

the Atlantic and the 100th meridian west, clover seeds may be sown in

one form or another from early spring until the early autumn without

incurring much hazard from winter killing in the young plants, but here

also early spring sowing will prove the most satisfactory. The hazard

from sowing in the summer comes chiefly from want of sufficient moisture

to germinate the seed.



In the Southern States the seed is sown in the early spring or in the

autumn. If sown late, the heat of summer is much against the plants.

Seeds sown in the early autumn as soon as the rains come will make a

good stand before the winter, but there are some soils in the South in

which alternate freezing and thawing in winter, much more frequent than

in the North, would injure and in some instances destroy the plants.



In the Western valleys where irrigation is practiced, clover seeds may

be sown at any time that may be desired, from the early spring until the

early autumn. The ability to apply water when it is needed insures

proper germination in the seed and vigor in the young plants.





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