Press enter after choosing selection

The Farm

The Farm image
Parent Issue
Public Domain
OCR Text

lUure's uiethod of fertilizing land is by top dressing. Foresta are enriched by the falling leaves, twigs and branches, upon tlie ground, where they remain and decay. ïheir presence on the surface koei3 the ground moist, and promote3 the growth of the trees. The decay of the leaves and twigs proceeds more rapidly, and become8 more complete than it would if they were mingled with the soil, for exposure to the air is one of the necessary conditions for the rapid progresa of decay. The more rapid and the more complete tbe decay of organic mattere, the sooner they are iit for plant lood. Nowhere can the process go ou more rapidly, or be more completely effected, than on the surface of the round. Il' the remains of plants becorne covered with earth or with water, the air, to a considerable exteut, is excluded and the process of decay proceeds very slowly. ïhis partial arrest of the procesa resulta in the formation of beds of muck or peat. In order to render Biich collcctions available for plant food, the process of decay inu3t again be brought into activity, and thorough diali'tegration accomplished. K vture's method of fertilizing land shouM afford man a useful hint in regard to the best means for increasing the fertility of liia fields. Man seems indisposed to adopt Nature's system of top dressing, fearing that part of the soluble element of bain manures might be !sfcby thus applying them. The applical ion of f ermenting barn manure, by top dressing, would be attended with some loss of ammonia, yet the loss would be much less than many imagine. The ammonia is evolved by the process of fermentation, but this process is soon checked by spreading the inanure, and a process or aecay or slow oxidation takes its place. Even what ammonia is liberated at the time of spreading tlie manure, is, to a considerable ex tent, absorbed by the surfacc soil, wliich lias a decided allinity for it, so that the actual loss is very Binall. Manure, however, may be so prepared as to be attended by no loss, when applied to the surface of the land. If the bain manares are composted with an equal bulk of dry muck or loain, all the ammonia which is disengaged is at once absorbed by the niuck or loam, and no loss of ammonia wil! be sustained by spreadiug the compost broadcast. In using ïuaiiiue for top dressing, it is important that it sliould be applied at the proper timp. Sonie who h:tvB made a trial of top dressing, havo applied the manure late in the fall, after the ground had be;oinsalurated with water, or frozen for the winter. In such cases the resulta have not been favorable, especially if the land was on a hill-side, as the melting of the snow, in the spring, would cause mucli waste, by washing, the ground being incapable of absorbing all the water. Others have applied top dressing early in the spring, when the ground was saturated with water. Heavy rain followiiig, would occasion considerable lose, unless the land was level. The proper time for top dressing is when the land is dry, so that, hovvever copious the subsequent rain is, it will nearly all be absorbed, or at least the water of the fust showers, which will contain the principal strength of the manure. It is ïound, in practice, that soon after the grass erop is cut is generally ft favorable time for top dressing. If it can be applifd just before a rain, all the better. The ground is usually dry during the hay season, and after the removal of the grass erop, the application of a liberal dressing of bain raanure affords a much needed protection to the delicate grass roots, which had been protected during the summer by the grateful shade of the thickly growing grass. Every shower will dissolve some of the fertilizing elements of the manurt, and evenly distribute it through the surface soi), stimulating the grasa to renewed growth, and decidedly increase the second erop, as well as strengthen the roots for a luxuriant growth the following season. Any time after haying, before the ground becomes saturated with rains, will be found to be favorable for top dressing.


Old News
Ann Arbor Democrat