Value As A Fertilizer





The high value of this plant as a fertilizer

and soil improver cannot be questioned. But whether it should ever be

sown for such a use will depend on the capacity of the soil to produce

other crops valuable for fertilizing and also more valuable for

producing forage or fodder. Where other clovers more useful can be

grown, also cow peas, soy beans and other legumes valuable for food

uses, it would seem unwise to sow sweet clover. This would restrict its

use, therefore, as a soil renovator; first, to soils too poor to grow

those useful legumes; second, to areas where the climate conditions will

not admit of the growth of these; and third, to areas from which the

surface soil has been removed, and which it is desirable to so

ameliorate and improve the soil thus laid bare that it could later be

covered with some more valuable cover crop. Under present conditions

this would restrict its growth for the purpose named to sandy and

gravelly soils, to certain areas in the semi-arid region east of the

Rocky Mountains, and to such small areas as the surface soil had been

removed from.



In the semi-arid region where crops of grain and also some varieties of

field corn can be grown successfully, but where the clovers are not

successful; it would seem practicable to sow a few pounds of sweet

clover seed per acre at the same time as the grains, and to plow under

the plants produced some time in the month of May the next season. The

clover thus buried could be at once followed by corn or potatoes, or,

indeed, by any kind of a cleaning crop. The high price of seed at

present practically forbids growing clover thus.



Whether sweet clover grown for renovating uses should be turned under

the season in which it has been sown will depend largely on the growth

that has been made. In many instances, the growth made is so rank as to

justify plowing it under the following autumn. In other instances,

better results will follow plowing it under the next season. It

frequently happens that the growth made is so rank that a strong plow

and also a strong team are necessary to do the work properly.





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