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SEEDING TO FODDER AND PASTURE PLANTS.   2I

the seed, is a satisfactory implement for most grass and clover seeds and is quite generally used. When seeding with mixtures, however, it has the same disadvantage as scattering the seed by hand; the heavier clover seeds are thrown so much farther than the finer grasses that the distribution may be unequal.

 

Thick seeding, especially for meadows of short duration, is commonly recommended by seedsmen and experienced farmers. For hay the advantage, as a rule, is not in an increased yield, but rather in the finer quality of the crop. If soil and weather are favourable, a satisfactory stand of Timothy, Alsike and Red Clover, for instance, may be had by sowing four, three and six pounds respectively per acre. By sowing six pounds of Timothy, four of Alsike and ten of Red Clover, the chance will be better for securing a good stand of plants, suppressing the weeds, and obtaining a large yield of hay of good quality. The cost of the additional seed should be considered as inexpensive insurance of satisfactory results. Thick seeding is not recommended for a seed crop. Both yield and quality of the seed are inferior when the stand is too thick.

 

Quality of seed is an important factor in making a meadow. The rental value of the land plus the cost of preparing it are many times greater than the cost of the seed; but if only a small percentage of the seed is capable of germination and that which is vital is not true to name, or if it is infested with noxious weed seeds, the total outlay may result in a loss, or, worse still, in a positive injury.

 

The origin of growth of grass and clover seeds is often equivalent to varietal differences, usually in point of hardiness. Grass plants grown from seeds produced in a warm climate are more easily winter killed, and those from a moist temperate climate are more susceptible to drought than are thoroughly acclimated plants. Experiments with Alfalfa at Guelph show that northern grown seed, particularly that from long-established fields in the district, is more hardy than seed obtained from dryer or warmer climates. Red Clover from southern Europe or from Chili, although of satisfactory type, will not stand the Canadian winter as well as plants from home-grown seed. Competent seedsmen should know the origin of the grass and clover seeds they sell, and purchasers should demand seed of northern and, if procurable, of local production.

 

Varieties: Few Canadian farmers differentiate between varieties of the common grasses and clovers. In fact, varieties of Timothy,


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