Sowing Alone Or In Combinations





Whether clover seed should be sown

alone or in combination with the seeds of other grasses will depend upon

the object sought in sowing it. When sown to produce seed, it is usually

sown without admixture, but not in every instance; when sown to produce

hay, it is nearly always sown in mixtures, but to this there are some

exceptions; when sown to produce pasture, it is almost invariably sown

with something else; and when sown to enrich the land, it is, in all,

or nearly all, instances, sown without admixture.



When sown primarily to produce seed, there are no good reasons why

timothy and probably some other grasses may not be sown with medium red

and mammoth clover, when pasture is wanted from the land in the season

or seasons immediately following the production of seed.



The presence of these grasses may not seriously retard the growth of the

clover plants until after they have produced seed, and subsequently they

will grow more assertively and produce pasture as the clover fails.

Moreover, should they mature any seed at the same time that the clover

seeds mature, they may usually be separated in the winnowing process,

owing to a difference in the size of the seeds. But timothy should not

be sown with alsike clover that is being grown for seed, since the seeds

of these are so nearly alike in size that they cannot be separated.



When hay is wanted, the practice is very common of sowing timothy along

with the medium red, mammoth and alsike varieties of clover. Timothy

grows well with each of these; supports them to some extent when likely

to lodge; matures at the same time as the mammoth and alsike clovers;

comes on more assertively as the clovers begin to fail, thus prolonging

the period of cropping or pasturing; and feeds upon the roots of the

clovers in their decay.



Next to timothy, redtop is probably the most useful grass to sow with

these clovers, and may in some instances be added to timothy in the

mixtures. Some other grasses may also be added under certain conditions,

or substituted for timothy or redtop. In certain instances, it has also

been found profitable to mix certain of the clovers in addition to

adding grass seeds when hay is wanted. The more important of these

mixtures will be referred to when treating of growing the different

varieties in subsequent chapters. When growing them, the aim should be

to sow those varieties together which mature about the same time. The

advantages from growing them together for hay include larger yields, a

finer quality of hay, and a more palatable fodder.



In the past it has been the almost uniform practice to sow alfalfa

alone, but this practice is becoming modified to some extent, and is

likely to become more so in the future, especially when grown for

pasture.



When sown to produce pasture, unless for one or two seasons, clover seed

is sown in various mixtures of grasses in all or nearly all instances.

The grasses add to the permanency of the pastures, while the clovers

usually furnish abundant grazing more quickly than the grasses. Several

of them, however, are more short-lived than grasses usually are, hence

the latter are relied upon to furnish grazing after the clovers have

begun to fail. In laying down permanent pastures, the seed of several

varieties is usually sown, but in moderate quantities. The larger the

number of the varieties sown that are adapted to the conditions, the

more varied, the more prolonged and the more ample is the grazing

likely to be.



When clovers, except the crimson variety, are sown for the exclusive

purpose of adding to the fertility of the land, they are usually sown

along with some other crop that is to be harvested, the clover being

plowed under the following autumn or the next spring. These are usually

sown without being mixed with other varieties, and the two kinds most

frequently sown primarily to enrich the land are the medium red and

crimson varieties. The former grows more quickly than other varieties,

and the latter, usually sown alone, comes after some crop already

harvested, and is buried in time to sow some other crop on the same land

the following spring.





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