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Weeds image
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jiifliipn ftrgis. Much has beon written on the subject of extirpating weeds, but the public mimi seeius not yet awakened to the great need of serious attention to the matter and earnest effort toward at least partial aocomplishnient of so desirable a The cbeapness of farm lands in this country ia a great hindranco to excellence in farming. Men till great broadths to obtain a dosired aggregate of production, because the land is easily procured and thero is a certain grand dignity in ownorship. If thero were more prido in excellent farming than in having titlo to so many acres, it would be a great good to the country. Taken as a body there is 110 doubt that proper management of all the worn lands of the States on tho sea board would insure an increase of production fully equal to all that is now gathered undor tho looso ways which can not be called a system. The first stop towards iraprovement is to free it froin useless and injurious growth. Theforests are cleared away, not only because they obstruct tillage, but that the resouroes of the soil may be given to the valuable crops which wo cultívate for the sustenance of mankind and for the animáis which oontribute to our maintenanoe. The soil beneath the branches of an oak may be fertile, moisture may abound, air and sunlight may enter, but corn planted there sonds up a sickly shoot which never bears a golden ear. Tho reason is that the more vigorous oak appropriates all the elementa of growth. Remove the tree and the corn will bring full fruition. It is in recognition of this fact that the energies of the soil must be given to the de8ired erop, that we plow, cultivate, and hoe our corn flelds, knowing that any growth of other plants is detrimental to the erop which we cultívate precisely to that extent to which it abstracts trom the situation nutriment to make its substance. There are many of our comraon varieties of weeds which pound for pound cost as much of fertility as do the valuable cereals. Thus a ton of these weeds is produoed at the same expense of nutriment as a ton of the gross erop of wheat or of corn. We suppose this proposition will not be disputed by intelligent farmers. The fault is that not enough thought is given to the importance of the subject. But admitting the fearful cost of weeds, the inquiry arises, How shall it be saved ? And thia involves the question, Can it be done without its equivalent in labor ? Unfortunately the latter problem is too seldom pressed to a practical solution. It seems to offer a field for labor in whicfe the results are all negative, and therefore discouraging to farmers accustomed to spend labor only for positive rewards. There are even farmers of fair intelligence who tamely submit to the encroachments of weeds, alleging that they cannot be destroyed. The excellent practices of nurserymen and market gardeners ought to enlighten such men. But much may be done towards the destruction of weeds without incurring the great expense which these skilled cultivators boldly hazard for that object. The flrst thing to do is to promote growtb, and the next, to destroy that growth, the best time for which is while it is feeble. If now in the last of August every stubble field were plowed as shallow as the work could be done, the weeds in growth would be arrested, and by the changed condition many of thern would die, and the seeds in the plowed soil would germinate and in their turn be fitted for destruction. Frequent cultivation during the remainder of the growing Beason would affect alraost the entire destruction of all the weeds and seeds in the soil to the depth cultivated. This method is so simple, easy, and effective, and withal so cheap, that it should be tried in all fields badly infested with weeds. So much good would be discovered that we might theieafter hope for systematic effort for the extirpation of weeds.


Old News
Michigan Argus