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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Next: Sowing With Or Without A Nurse Crop

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