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CANADIAN BLUE GRASS.   63

Climate: It is rather insusceptible to climatic conditions. Severe drought that would be disastrous to most other forage plants makes it die down, but with the advent of rain it starts again, apparently unharmed, developing new stems and leaves from its root-stock. It is resistant to frost and stands freezing and thawing without injury. This explains the frequent occurrence of Blue Grass patches in low-lying parts of poorly drained Alfalfa fields in the Blue Grass sections of southern Ontario.

Habits of growth: In its manner of propagating itself and bearing unfavourable conditions without injury, Canadian Blue Grass closely resembles certain weeds, especially Couch Grass. In rich soil where forage plants such as Alfalfa can be successfully grown, Canadian Blue Grass is really nothing but a weed, hard to get rid of, and many farmers look upon it as a pest.

Agricultural value: In yielding power and general feeding value it cannot compete with Kentucky Blue Grass, and on rich limestone soil the latter is superior beyond comparison. On poor clays, however, Canadian Blue Grass is apt to succeed much better than Kentucky Blue Grass.

Fodder: On account of the rather low yield, it is not much used for hay though it is claimed to be wholesome and highly nutritious for horses.

Pasture: Its chief value is as a permanent pasture grass. It should not be allowed to get too old as it becomes less palatable. There is no danger in pasturing it close; close grazing encourages the growth and makes it more attractive to stock. As a pasture grass it is rich and nourishing, especially for the production of beef or mutton; it can also be used to advantage for milk production. It is recommended as a lawn grass for stiff clay soils deficient in lime, and it is commonly used as an ingredient in commercial lawn mixtures. Twenty to thirty pounds of seed are sufficient for an acre.

Seed growing: When grown for seed the heaviest yield is generally obtained from new fields or from volunteer crops after wheat or other grain. It should be cut when the panicles are deep yellow. Curing and threshing are easy and can be done in the same way as for Timothy. The grain thresher or clover huller may be used, the latter being preferred as a rule.


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