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30   FODDER AND PASTURE PLANTS.

out. The seeding should be done in the early spring, and, if the land is dry enough, a sharp harrow, followed by a heavy roller, may be used to cover the seed and secure a smooth surface.

Hillsides and exposed places in newly-seeded as well as long-standing meadows and pastures often need renovating and re-seeding after a severe winter. A liberal re-seeding followed by the harrow or roller, or both, usually gives satisfactory results. If the soil on the re-seeded patches is apt to become hard and baked, a light dressing of well-rotted stable manure is necessary to insure a good catch.

Both new and old meadows are benefited by spring rolling, especially if they have been repeatedly frozen and thawed during the early spring.

CORN (Zea Mays L.) Other English names: Indian Corn, Maize.

 

Botanical description: Corn is one of the tallest and most vigorous of the annual grasses. The stems, which vary in height in different types and varieties, are solid, whereas in most other grasses they are hollow. The leaves are long and broad, wavy and gradually tapering towards the apex. The top of the stem bears a large panicle with spreading branches, each of which forms a spike with numerous flowers. These flowers contain only the stamens or male organs and are normally unable to form seeds. The seeds are developed in the ear, a kind of fleshy spike, the flowers of which are arranged in distinct rows and contain only the pistils or female organs. When young the ears are enclosed within a husk of broad leaves and nothing can be seen of the flowers. At flowering time a cluster of long, slender, yellowish-green or reddish threads protrude from the top of the ear. These threads, called the silk, are the top ends of the female flowers and catch the dust-like pollen developed in the male flowers and transported by the wind. The development of the ear starts, as in all other inflorescences of grasses, at the base and proceeds upwards. Thus the first visible silk threads belong to the lower flowers, which consequently, under normal conditions, are fertilized earlier than the upper ones. Should the weather during the latter part of the flowering period be unfavourable, the pollen will not be freely transported and deposited on the silk and the upper part of the ear may be partly or wholly barren, as the seeds are unable to develop properly without fertilization.


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