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Making Waste Places Glad

Making Waste Places Glad image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

lnere was a time in the Wost when and was so cheup, crops were so abunant and prices were so low, that it eemod to make little differonce wbether all the soil wa8 oocupied by valublo jlants or not. ïbere were thousands of unenclosed acres whcre stock couW oam at will and from w!iich bay could' e secured for keeping them over thö' winter. What mattered it in those old laya if there wore patches here and there oo wet to be plowed or to produce weet and nutritious gra?s V The corn' oribs and grannries were filled if tbere were gravely knolls whicb produoed nothing, aud whoss earth was never dia turbed except by ground squirrelflt ïhere migbt be gullics wearing away ïill sides, and hazel busbes cncroacbiqg on the plow lanc1, but as nearly every. man had more acres than ho could till, and most farmers raised more grain tbac thay could sell ; why not let the water run as it pleased and the bushes extend their roots as they liked ? There Wao a plenty of everything except money, if only the best boiI was plowed and only the thickest of the grain was gathered. But a few years have changcd all thi The West is fast becoming a densely populated región of country. If taxes re true indications, land is becoming ?a!uable We do not have to ride on iorseback tbroe or four miles to hunt up tbo catile tiiat are pastured on thV open { rail ie ; we no longer cut our hay 9n goveninient laud or on uncnclesed sections bílonging to speoulatore. Inleed, in the dairy región farmers are" talkiog of soiliug cattle instead of pasturing them, and are raiging the question whether it is not best to winter oows1 cm cultivatad orops instead of hay. In apite of ruilroad charges and wárehouso frauda, grain brings a fair price, and there is a rnarket at our doors for all ihat can be raised. All theso things teil üs tbat thera ehould be co wasteplaces on the farm ; that evöry bog hole' sbould be drained ; every brush patch urubbcd out; every barren spot be made prodnctive. Even on our best farm there are in the aggregate many unproductive acres, or acres that only prodnce half what thoy might if slight paius were taken to improve their condition. An old maxim says '!an idle brain is the devii's workshop," and with equal truth it may be eaid a negleoted spot of laad is the bane of good farraing. Enough wecds will grow in asingle fence corner to sced a forty acre lot. There is bare soil enough in nearly eveíy pasture, where five cowa are kopt, to raise sufficient grass to keep one more. ' This state of thinga may be reiíidied if'a littlo attentiou is given to the matter. The month of Maren is perhaps the best time to look after these waste places fn the pasture. On every spot where the sod has been broken by the tread of anïmals the paesago of wheels or by other causes, "grass seed should be sown as soon as the melting snow renders the bare place visible. Advantage Fhould be taken of the peculiarity of each portiün of pasture land, to sow on it th seed most likely to flourieh thero. Red top should be scattered on the lovrer portions, and white clover on thoee that aro high. Mosses and sorrel may be in & meaeuro eradicated by going over ths ground with a harrow as Boon as the frost is out, and then scattering grass seed. In many field and meadows there are places nearly barren becauso the boü is almost exclusively composed of sand or stiff clay. If these eubstances can be mixed, a productivo and friable soil will be the resu't. In manv cases it is paratively easy to do this. A scraper may bo often used to advantage. to bring sand from a hill or knoll on to a piece of Btiff clay. Even if a cart has to be ealled into requisition it will ofton be found ecenomical to use it, sioce a load of olay can be brought back to the place from which tho saud was taken. The reward for this labor may not be gained the first eeason, as t would be ia the case of oarting manurje, b'ut the benefit would be a laêting cae as compared with the adïantage of applying barn-yard'manure. And ik''may be remarked that thia is the ouly way in whioh such soils can be permaneDtlj benefitted. The amount of labor may look large, but the good resulta may be seen for a life time, and no farmer wishes to hayo unproductire acres on bis estáte for the fuil lcngth of time he is to oocupy it. On many farms thero rre unsightly aal uuproductive strips of land between tha cultivated fields and fences, ; tbat at the end where the team comer, out is often irregular in its width. These portions ot lan'1 yield noiliing valuible to the farmer, but are ordiuarily nursfiries of weeds whose sceds nró scaftfred over the aiijoiüing tii'lds As a means of preventing this as well ns of raaking these s'.rip? of lond productive,' it would be woll to turn a head furrow at a tuöteient distfincc from tho fenre to afford room For the team to turn, and to atlovf Lwo or


Old News
Michigan Argus