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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