Previous Fodder and Pasture Plants (1913) Next

 

I28   FODDER AND PASTURE PLANTS.

cutting the plants should have time to produce a reasonable growth for winter protection.

 

Pasture: Sainfoin starts very early in the season and can therefore be pastured at least as soon as Alfalfa. It makes an excellent pasture, especially liked by sheep. It does not cause bloating and is therefore preferable to Alfalfa for cows and sheep. When grown for hay or pasture, three to five bushels of seed should be sown to the acre.

 

Seed growing: Old fields which give a comparatively small yield of hay give the best crop of seed. It is ready to cut when the pods are bright brown. Late cutting causes considerable loss as the old pods easily fall off, even with the most careful handling.

 

Quality of seed: Commercial seed is almost always unshelled; that is, the seeds are enclosed in the pods. The pods are almost semi-circular and somewhat flattened, about an eighth of an inch long and a little less in width. Their surface is covered with a mesh-like netting, which stands out in bold relief and is frequently armed with scattered spines. The outer edge of the semi-circle is flattened into a well-defined rim with strong, sharp teeth. Well-ripened pods are reddish-brown and have a characteristic metallic lustre, especially when not too old. The unshelled seed weighs about twenty-six pounds per bushel. The real seeds, of which there is only one in each pod, are kidney-shaped and olive-brown to chestnut.

COMMON VETCH (Vicia saliva L.) Plate 24; Seed, Plate 27, Fig. 38. Other English names: Tare, Spring Vetch.

Botanical description: Common Vetch is an annual plant closely related to peas. The stems, which generally branch from near the base, are on an average from two to three feet high, angular and more or less hairy. The leaves are numerous and compound, consisting of a number of separate leaflets arranged in pairs along the midrib; in the upper part only the midribs of the leaflets are developed. They are transformed into sensitive threads called tendrils, which wind themselves round any object they come in contact with and thus help to support the weak stems of the plant. The leaflets are oblong, square at the end, with a minute narrow point. The


Previous Fodder and Pasture Plants (1913) Next