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20   FODDER AND PASTURE PLANTS.

the-meadow is of more importance than the nurse crop, it is advisable in a dry season to dispense with the latter; or, if planted, to cut it for fodder before the seedlings perish from thirst.

The depth of seeding depends on the kind of seed, the character and condition of the soil, and the moisture. It is said that no seed should be planted deeper than four times its diameter. When growing wild, fodder and pasture plants drop their ripe seeds, which germinate very near or on the surface of the soil. But nature is more wasteful than the farmer can afford to be; he should provide the best possible conditions for the development of a perfect seedling.

Method of seeding: When the soil is quite firm, as for spring seeding on fall wheat land, harrowing after broadcast seeding, if the land is reasonably dry, makes a good tilth and covering for the grass and clover seeds and is beneficial to the wheat plants. When seeding after deep spring cultivation, the fodder crop seeds may be sown by the seeder in front of the grain drills and then rolled and given a stroke with a weeder; if the subsurface soil is firm and the surface in fine tilth the grain drill may be followed by a weeder alone to level the soil and redistribute the seeds that have been thrown together between the drills. If the weather is favourable, it is sometimes satisfactory, although bad practice, to broadcast the seed after the nurse crop has been sown and depend on rains to cover and protect it during germination. Any method that will insure its even distribution and a covering of half an inch is prefer-able to surface seeding without covering. Heavy rains are apt to wash the seed lying on the surface into the furrows and ditches. Then, too, many kinds of grass seeds that require two or more weeks to germinate may be destroyed if exposed on the surface. Sowing from one to one and a half inches deep is sometimes recommended for Alfalfa and other fodder crops on prairie soils. In semi-arid districts Alfalfa for seed crop may be thinly sown in drills from twenty to thirty inches apart. If the soil is very dry the growth will be dwarfed, but their deep roots enable the plants to get moisture enough to produce a fair yield of good seed.

Implements are specially designed for sowing grass and clover seeds. Most grain seeders are fitted with an attachment, sometimes in front and sometimes behind the drill tubes, for sowing fodder plant seeds. If the surface is in fine tilth, and the grain drill is followed by a weeder or light harrow, to level the soil, the fine seeds are not apt to be cove' Ld too deeply, which sometimes happens in lumpy clay. The hand broadcast seeder, with a revolving disc to scatter


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