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quently turning over the ground, though abso- it succeeds turnips consumed on the ground, or lutely necessary while the fallow process is going clover cut for hay or soiling, it is commonly on, can never eradicate couch-grass or other sown after one ploughing ; but upon heavier root-weeds. In all clay soils, the ground turns soils, or after grass of two or more years, the land up in lumps or clods, which the severest drought is ploughed twice or three times.' will not penetrate so sufficiently as to kill the Setting of wheat, or dibbling, is a method included roots. When the land is again plough- which is reckoned one of the greatest improveed, these lumps are simply turned over and no ments in husbandry that was made during the more, and the action of the plough serves in no last century. It seems to have been first sugdegree to reduce them, or at least very imper- gested by planting grains in a garden from cuceptibly. It may be added that these lumps riosity, by persons who had no opportunity of likewise enclose innumerable seeds of weeds, extending it to a lucrative purpose. Nor was which cannot vegetate unless brought under the it attempted on a larger scale, till a farmer influence of the sun and air near the surface. near Norwich began it upon less than an acre of The diligent use, therefore, of the harrow and land. For two or three years only a few followed roller, followed by careful hand-picking, is indis- his example; and these were generally the butt pensably necessary to the perfection of the fallow of their neighbours. They had, however, consiprocess.'
derably better corn and larger crops, which, to: When employed to reduce a strong obdurate gether with the saving of seed, engaged more to soil, not more than two of the common sort of follow them. Experiment established the pracharrows should be yoked together, because they tice, and was the means of introducing it geneare apt to ride and tumble upon each other, and rally among the intelligent farmers of a very thus impede the work. It may also be remarked large district. that on rough soils harrows ought to be driven The lands on which this method was found as fast as the horses can walk; because their particularly prosperous were either after a clover effect is in direct proportion to the degree of stubble, or on which trefoil and grass-seed were velocity with which they are driven : and the sown the preceding year. These grounds, after harrow-man's attention should be constantly the usual manuring, were once turned over by directed to prevent these implements from riding the plough in an extended flag or turf, at ten upon each other, and to keep them clear of every inches wide; along which a man, called a impediment, from stones, lumps of earth, clods, dibbler, with two setting-irons somewhat bigger and grass roots. In ordinary cases, and in every than ram-rods, but considerably bigger at the case where harrowing is meant for covering the lower end, and pointed at the extremity, walked seed, and the common implement in use, three backwards along the turf and made the holes harrows are the best yoke, because they fill up about four inches asunder every way, and one the ground more effectually than when a smaller deep. Into these holes the droppers (women, number is employed; some of the improved boys and girls) dropped two grains, which is forms, calculated to cover the breadth of two quite sufficient. After this a gate, bushed with or more of the old harrows by one frame, are thorns, was drawn by one horse over the land, only fit for flat ridges; or for working dry lands and closed the boles. By this mode, three pecks in which ridging is not requisite.
of grain are sufficient for an acre; and, being im6. Of the usual crops. The preceding part mediately buried, it is equally removed from of this treatise is all preparatory to the capital vermin or the power of frost. The regularity of object of a farm, that of raising plants for the its rising gives the best opportunity of keeping nourishment of man and other animals. These it clear from weeds, by weeding or hand-hoeing. (see AGRICULTURE, par. 84) are of two kinds; Sir Thomas Beevor of Hethel-Hall, in Norfolk, culmiferous and leguminous ; differing widely soon found the produce to be two bushels per from each other. Wheat, rye, barley, oats, acre more than from the wheat which is sown; rye-grass, are of the first kind; of the other kind and, having much less small corn intermixed with are peas, beans, clover, cabbage, and many it, the sample was better, and always fetched a others. The propagation of plants is naturally higher price. This method, too, saves to the divided into three subdivisions :-1st. Plants farmer and to the public many pecks of seedcultivated for fruit; 2d. Plants cultivated for wheat. roots; 3d. Plants cultivated for leaves.
In light lands a very dry time prevents
dibbling, as the holes made with the instruments Sect. I.-PLANTS CULTIVATED FOR FRUIT.
will be filled up again with the mould as fast as 1. Wheat takes the lead among plants cul- the instrument' is withdrawn. So, again, in a tivated for fruit. A sandy soil is thought too very wet season, on strong and stiff clays, the loose; the only chance for a crop is after red seeds in the holes cannot be properly covered by clover, say some writers, the roots of which bind the bushes drawn over them. But these extremes the soil. Rye is a crop much fitter for sandy of dry and wet do not often happen, nor do they soil than wheat; and like wheat is generally affect lands of a moderately consistent texture, sown after a summer-fallow. Sow wheat as or both light and heavy soils at the same time, soon as the ground is ready. When sown too so that the general practice is in fact never greatearly, however, it is too forward in spring, and ly impeded by them. apt to be hurt by frost; when sown a month too In the Philosophical Transactions for 1768 late, it has not time to root before frost comes we meet with an extraordinary experiment for on, and frost spews it out of the ground. The propagating wheat, of which the following is an greater part of the wheat crop throughout Britain abstract:-On the 2d of June, 1766, Mr. C. is probably sown upon fallowed land. When Miller (son of the celebrated gardener of this, name) sowed some grains of the common red to divide roots so small and tenacious as those wheat; and on the 8th of August, a single plant of grain; and, whenever such roots stand in the was taken up and separated into eighteen parts, line any tooth makes, they will, if small, be only and each part planted separately. These plants turned on one side by the earth yielding to their having pushed out several side-shoots, about the lateral pressure, or, if large, the whole root will middle of September, some of them were taken be drawn out of the ground. The principal up and divided, and the rest between that time uses, therefore, derived from harrowing and and the middle of October. This second division rolling these crops are, opening the soil produced sixty-seven plants. These plants re- between the plants, earthing them up, breakmained through the winter, and another division ing the clods, and closing the earth about their of them, made between the middle of March and roots. "I have conversed,' says Mr. Bogle, the 12th of April, produced 500 plants. They 'much with many practical, farmers, who all were then divided no further, but permitted to admit that my plan has the appearance not only remain. The plants were in general stronger of being practical, but advantageous, I have than any of the wheat in the fields. Some of also seen in the ninth number of Mr. Young's them produced upwards of 100 ears from a single Annals of Agriculture the account of an experoot. . Many of the ears measured seven inches riment which strongly corroborates my theory. in length, and contained between sixty and se- It was made by the Rev. Mr. Pike of Edmontoa. venty grains. The whole number of ears which, From this, and other experiments which have by the process abovementioned, were produced been made under my own eye, I foresee clearly from one grain of wheat, was 21,109, which that the system is practicable, and will certainly yielded three pecks and three quarters of clear be productive of great benefit, should it become corn, the weight of which was forty-seven pounds general. Besides the saving of nine-tenths of seven ounces; and, from a calculation made by seed in the land sown broad-cast, other very counting the number of grains in an ounce, the important advantages will attend the setting out whole number of grains was about 576,840. of wheat from a seed-bed, such as an early crop; There was only one general division of the the certainty of good crops ; rendering a summer plants made in the spring. Had a second been fallow unnecessary; saving dung; and having made, Mr. Miller thinks, the number of plants your wheat perfectly free from weeds without would have amounted to 2000. The ground either hand or horse-hoeing : 500 plants in April was a light blackish soil, upon a gravelly bottom; produced almost a bushel of grain. My gardener and consequently a bad soil for wheat. One says, he can set 1000 plants in a day, which is half of the ground was well dunged, the other confirmed by the opinion of two other garhalf had no manure. There was, however, no deners.' difference discoverable in the vigor or growth of Excellent wheat according to Brown (Tracts the plants. It is evident that the expense and on Rural Affairs) may be grown on light soils, labor of setting in the above manner by the with the exception of soft sands. Such soils, hand, will render it impracticable upon a large however, are not constitutionally disposed to the scale.
growth of that grain; nor will they, under any A correspondent of the Bath Society, there- management, bear such a frequent repetition of fore (Robert Bogle, esq.), to extend the practice, it as those already mentioned Summer fallow proposed the use of the harrow and roller until on them may safely be dispensed with ; because some better implements be invented. This a crop of turnips, which admits every branch of method occurred to him from attending to the the cleaning process to be more perfectly exepractice usual with farmers, of harrowing their cuted than even a naked or bare fallow does, fields after the grain is sprung up. Upon inves- may be profitably substituted. Wheat here tigating the principles upon which these practices comes in with propriety after turnips, though, are founded, they said, that after very heavy in general cases, it must be sown in the spring rains, and then excessive dry weather, the surface months, unless the turnips are stored ; in which of their lands was apt to be caked, the tender case it may be sown in November; or it may be fibres of the young roots were thereby prevented sown after clover, for the fourth crop after the from pushing, and of course the vegetation was rotation; or in the sixth year, as a way-going greatly obstructed ; in such instances they found crop, after drilled peas and beans, if the rotavery great benefit from harrowing and rolling.' tion is extended to that length. But, take it This reasoning he owns to be well founded, but any way, it is scarcely possible to raise wheat so contends that the benefit arising from harrowing extensively upon light soils, even where they are and rolling is not derived from pulverising en- of the richest quality, as is practicable upon tirely, but from subdividing and enabling the clays; nor will a crop of equal bulk upon the plants to tiller, as it is termed. The harrow,' he one return so much produce in grain as may be observes, certainly breaks the incrustation, and got from the other. To enlarge upon this point the roller crumbles the clods; but the harrow would only serve to prove what few husbandremoves many of the plants from their original men will dispute, though, it may be added, that, stations; and, if the corn has begun to tiller at the on thin sands, wheat ought not to be ventured, time it is used, the roots will be in many instances unless they are either completely clayed or subdivided, and then the application of my marled, as it is only with the help of these auxsystem of divisibility comes into play. The iliaries that such a soil can gain stamina caroller then serves to plant the roots which have pable of producing wheat with any degree of been torn up the harrow. On this the society success. observe, that the teeth of a harrow are too large 'On soils really calculated for wheat, though
in different degrees, summer fallow is the first · It is certain according to Sir H. Davy, Chaptal, and leading step to gain a good crop or crops of &c., that wheat will not thrive on any soil that does that grain. The first furrow should be given not contain lime. Professor Thaer says it abbefore winter, or as early as other operations sorbs more nourishment from the soil than any upon the farm will admit; and every attention of the corn tribe; and he calculates (hypotheshould be used to go as deep as possible ; for it tically, as he allows) that for every 100 parts of rarely happens that any of the succeeding fur- nutriment in a soil sown with this grain, forty rows exceed the first one in that respect. The will be carried off by the crop. (Principes number of after-ploughings must be regulated Raisonneés, tom. iv, art. Froment). At the by the condition of the ground and the state of same time too much manure on land in good the weather; but, in general, it may be ob- tilth is very apt to cause the crop to lodge; served that ploughing in length and across, al- and hence some people think it improperto ternately, is the way by which the ground will dung rich clays or loams when fallowed, and be most completely cut, and the intention of choose rather to reserve that restorative till the fallowing accomplished. It has been argued succeeding season, when they are prepared for a that harrowing clay soils, when summer fallowed, crop of drilled beans. Delaying the manuring is prejudicial to the wheat crop; but, without process for a year is attended with many advan discussing this point (such a discussion being tages; because good land, fully wrought, conunnecessary), it may merely be stated that in a tains such a principle of action within itself, as dry season it is almost impracticable to reduce often causes the first wheat crop to be lodged real clays, or to work them too small; and that before it is filled ; under which circumstance, even in a wet one, supposing they are made the produce is diminished both in quantity and surface-smooth, they will, when ploughed up quality. This delay in manuring is, however, again, consolidate into clods or big lumps after attended with disadvantages; because, when forty-eight hours' drought, and become nearly as dung is kept back till the end of autumn or obdurate as ever. It is only on thin soils, which beginning of winter, to be laid on the stubbles, have a mixture of peat earth, and are incumbent the weather is often so wet that it cannot be on a bottom impervious to water, that damage carted on without subjecting the land to injury is at any time sustained by over harrowing from poaching, whilst the labor in laying it on is Such are generally of a weak texture, and may also increased. On thin clays, or even upon be broken down with facility by the roller and soils of the other description not in high coodi. harrow. If caught by much rain, before the tion, there can be no doubt but that the end of pores are in some measure closed, the moisture summer, and upon summer fallow, is the most is greedily absorbed ; and, being prevented from proper time for manuring them, though it will going downwards by the hardness of the sub- be found that an improvident expenditure of soil, the whole surface becomes a kind of mor- dung, on such occasions, ought always to be tar or paste, unless previously well ridged up; steadily avoided. Where manure is abundant, which, to a certain extent, prevents the conse wheat alternating with a green crop, or indeed quences from being dangerous. These evils, any corn crop and a green crop may be grown however, must be submitted to by the posses- alternately for any length of time. (Farm. Mag. sors of such soils, if they want to have them vol. xxiii. p. 298). sufficiently fallowed and prepared in a proper Wheat is sown as far north as Petersburgh manner; for, without reducing them, couch- and in Sweden, and will endure a great deal of grass, and especially moss, with which they are cold during winter, if sown in a dry or well commonly stored, cannot be eradicated. If they drained soil. Moderately moist weather before are reduced in the early part of the season, the the flowering season, and after the grain is set or danger is small; but to break them down in the formed, is favorable; but continued heavy rains latter part ought always to be avoided, unless after the flowering season produces the smut. called for by imperious necessity. When wheat The dry frosty winds of February and March, is sown after beans it rarely happens, in this and even April in some districts, are more injunorthern climate, that more than one ploughing rious to the wheats of Britain than any other can be successfully bestowed. Before this is weather. Hoar frosts, when the plant is in the given it is advantageous to cross-harrow the ear, produce blights; and mildews often result land, which levels the drills, and permits the from or follow sultry winds and fogs. Cold, in ploughing process to be executed with precision. the blossoming and ripening season in July, Almost in every case the ridges should be ga- even unaccompanied by wind or rain, produces thered up, so that the furrows may be well an inferior grain, greatly deficient in gluten; and cleared out, and the plants preserved from in- heat the contrary. The most valuable wheat of jury during the inclement winter season. Clover Europe, according to Sir H. Davy, is that of land should be neatly ploughed, and well laid Sicily; which he found to contain much more over, so that the roots of the grasses may be gluten than any other. buried and destroyed; for it frequently happens The season of sowing wheat on clays, accordthat crops of wheat, after clover and rye-grass, ing to the able writer in the Ency. Brit. Suppleare greatly injured by inattention to the plough- ment, is generally the latter end of autumn; but ing process. In short, sowing wheat after clover on early turnip soils it is sown after clover or may be considered as the most bazardous way in turnips, at almost every period from the beginwhich that grain can be cultivated.'
ping of September till the middle of March ; The manures best calculated for wheat, are now but the far greater part is sown in September and generally allowed to be animal matters and lime. October. For summer wheat, in the southern
districts, May is sufficiently early, but in the seeds of weeds, than can be done by the winnorth the last fortnight of April is thought a nowing machine. When thoroughly washed and more eligible seed-time. In the cultivation of skimmed, let it drain a little; then empty it on a spring-sown winter wheat, it is of importance to clear floor or in the cart that is to take it to the use the produce of spring-sown grain as seed, as field, and sift quick-lime upon it, turning it over the crop of such grain ripens about a fortnight and mixing it with a shovel, till it be sufficiently earlier than when the produce of the same wheat dry for sowing.' (Supplement, Ency. Brit. art. winter-sown is employed as spring seed. Ac- Agriculture).. cording to Brown, this process is indispensably The modes of sowing wheat are either broadnecessary on every soil; otherwise smut, to a cast, drilling, ribbing, or dibbling. The first greater or less extent, will, in nine cases out of mode is the most general, and the seed is for the ien, assuredly follow. Though almost all prac- most part covered by harrowing; but no more tical farmers are agreed as to the necessity of harrowing, Brown observes, should be given to pickling, yet they are not so unanimous as to fields that have been fallowed, than what is nethe modus operandi of the process, and the ar- cessary to cover the seed, and level the surface. ticle which is best calculated to answer the in- Ground which is to lie in a broken down state tended purpose. Stale urine may be considered through the winter suffers severely when an exas a safe and sure pickle; and, where it can be cessive harrowing is given. It is a general pracobtained in a sufficient quantity, is commonly tice in most of the southern counties, and even resorted to. The mode of using it does not, on opposite soils, when wheat is sown broad. however, seem to be agreed upon; one party cast, to plough it in with a shallow furrow. contends that the grain ought to be steeped in This is done even after beans-and on clover leys. the urine, another considers it as sufficient to Drilling is also practised, and is becoming sprinkle the urine upon it. Some, again, are more general on lands infested with annual advocates for a pickle made of salt and water, weeds. A machine which sows at three different sufficiently strong to buoy up an egg, in which intervals, according to the judgment of the farthe grain is to be thoroughly steeped. But what- mer, of twelve, ten and a half, or nine inches, ever difference of opinion there may be as to the is much approved of in the northern distrcts. kind of pickle that ought to be used, and the It deposits six, seven, or eight rows at once, acmode of using it, all admit the utility of mixing cording as it is adjusted to one or other of these the wetted seed with hot lime, fresh slaked; and intervals, and the work is done with ease and this, in one point of view, is absolutely neces- accuracy when the ridges are previously laid out sary, so that the seed may be equally distri- of such a breadth, twelve and a half feet, as to buted. It may be remarked that experience be sown by one bout: the machine going along justifies the utility of all these modes, provided one side of such a ridge, and returning on the they are attentively carried into execution. other, and its direction being guided by one of There is some danger from the first; for, if the its wheels, which thus always runs in the open seed steeped in urine is not immediately sown, furrow between the ridges. If the ten and a it will infallibly lose its vegetative power. The half inch interval be adopted, and it is the most second, viz. sprinkling the urine on the seed, common one in that country, the machine sovs seems to be the safest, if performed by an atten- seven rows at once, or fourteen rows on a ridge tive hand; whilst the last may do equally well, of twelve feet and a half. But the space beif such a quantity of salt be incorporated with tween the rows varies in some parts still more the water as to render it of sufficient strength. than this machine admits of; it ought not, how. It may also be remarked that this last mode is ever, to be so narrow as to prevent hand hoeing, oftener accompanied with smut, owing no doubt even after the crop has made considerable proto a deficiency of strength in the pickle; whereas gress in growth; and it cannot advantageously a single head with smut is rarely discovered be so wide as to admit the use of any effective when urine has been used. A mode of pre- horse-hoe. paring wheat for sowing, recently adopted in the Ribbing is a mode of sowing in some places, south of Scotland, is thus described :- Take by which a drill machine is dispensed with. The four vessels, two of them smaller than the other seed is scattered with the hand in the usual two, the former with wire bottoms, and of a size broad-cast manner, but, as it necessarily falls for to contain about a bushel of wheat, the latter the most part in the furrows between the ribs, large enough to hold the smaller within them. the crop rises in straight parallel rows, as if it Fill one of the large tubs with water, and, put. had been sown by a drill machine : after sowing ting the wheat in the small one, immerse it in the ribs are levelled by harrowing across. This the water and stir and skim off the grains that plan has nearly all the advantages of drilling in float above, and renew the water as often as is so far as regards exposure to the rays of the sun, necessary, till it comes off almost quite clean. and the circulation of air among the plants ; but, Then raise the small vessel in which the wheat as some plants must always rise between the is contained, and repeat the process with it in rows, it is not quite so proper when horse-hoeing the other large tub, which is to be filled with is required. stale urine; and in the mean time wash more of dibbling Mr. Loudon says, notwithstandwheat in the water tub. When abundance of ing the advantages of saving seed, as well as water is at hand, this operation is by no means some others which are generally reckoned undetedious; and the wheat is much more effectually niable, it is asserted by some very judicious cleansed from all impurities, and freed more farmers that dibbling of wheat on the whole is completely from wcak and unhealthy grains and not really a profitable practice. It is particularly said to be productive of weeds unless of birds' dung brought into a powdery state, dibbled very thick: which indeed may probably bone-dust, soot, peat-ashes, and saline matters; be the case, as the weeds are thus allowed a the latter are principally the drainings of dunggreater space to vegetate in. Marshal is of opi- hills, &c. The former should be thinly and nion that the dibbling of wheat appears to be evenly sown over the crop, as early in the spring peculiarly adapted to deep rich soils, on which as horses can be admitted on the land ; and a three or four pecks dibbled early may spread roller may then be passed over the crop, Where sufficiently for a full crop; whereas light, weak, the latter substances are made use of, care should shallow soils, which have lain two or three years, always be taken that the plants be not injured and have become grassy, require an additional by having too large a quantity applied. The quantity of seed, and consequently an addition season for performing this business is the beginof labor, otherwise the plants are not able to ning of February. When wheat appears too reach each other, and the grasses of course find forward, it is sometimes eat down in April, with their way up between them, by which means the sheep or even with horses, but this requires crop is injured and the soil rendered foul. If a great judgment. single grain of good size and sound could be The best farmers agree that wheat ought to be dropt in each hole, and no more, there might be cut before it become dead ripe. In ascertaining an advantage in dibbling where it could be ac- the proper state, Brown observes, it is necessary complished at a moderate rate; but where two to discriminate betwixt the ripeness of the or three grains are put in each hole, and often straw, and the ripeness of the grain; for in six or eight, the source of profit is diminished some seasons the straw dries upwards ; under or destroyed by twofold means; first, by using which circumstance, a field to the eye may aptoo much seed; and, secondly, because three or pear to be completely fit for the sickle, when in four grains springing out of one hole will not reality the grain is imperfectly consolidated ; make such a strong plant or stool as one sound and perhaps not much removed from a milky grain. The only way in which we can conceive state. Though it is obvious that, under such dibbling likely to answer is by the use of a ma- circumstances, no further benefit can be conveyed chine such as that invented by Plunkett, but from the root, and that nourishment is withheld which never came into use. To attempt dib- the moment that the roots die; yet it does not bling either wheat or beans by hand, on a large follow that grain so circumstanced should be scale, we consider as quite unsuitable for the immediately cut; because, after that operation present improved state of agriculture.'
is performed, it is in a great measure necessarily When wheat is sown broad-cast, the subse- deprived of every benefit from the sun and air, quent culture is confined to harrowing, rolling, both of which have greater influence in bringing and hand-hoeing : and, as grass seeds are fre- it to maturity, so long as it remains on foot, quently sown in spring on winter-sown wheat, than when cut down, whether laid on the ground, the harrows and roller are employed to loosen or bound up in sheaves. The state of the the soil, and cover the seeds, operations to a weather at the time also deserves notice; for, in certain extent found beneficial to the wheat crop moist or even variable weather, every kind of itself, and sometimes performed when grass seeds grain, when cut prematurely, is more exposed to are not to be sown. One or two courses of har- damage than when completely ripened. All rowing penetrate the crust which is formed on these things will be studied by the skilful hustenacious soils, and operate like hand-hoeing in bandman, who will also take into consideration raising a fresh mould to the stems of the young the dangers which may follow, were he to permit plants. Rolling in spring ought never to be his wheat crop to remain uncut till completely omitted on dry porous soils.
ripened. The danger from wind will not be When drilling, ribbing, or dibbling has been lost sight of, especially if the season of the adopted, the intervals are hoed or stirred either equinox approaches; even the quantity dropped by hand hoes, common or pronged, by horse in the field, and in the stack-yard, when wheat hoes, or drill harrows. In general the drill is over ripe, is an object of consideration. The used at sowing will be the best to use for hoe- mode of reaping is almost universally by the ing or stirring. Or, if a single drill should have sickle. In a few days of good weather the crop been used, the expanding horse hoe, or Blakie's is ready for the barn or stack-yard, where it is invented horse-hoe, may be successfully adopted. built either in oblong or circular stacks, someThe operation of hoeing or stirring should gene- times on frames supported with pillars to prerally be performed in March. Weeding the rows vent the access of vermin, and to secure the should not be delayed later than the end of May. bottom from dampness; as soon afterwards as · Where wheats rise uneven, or too thin in possible the stacks should he neatly thatched. some places and too thick in others, the practice When the harvest weather is so wet as to render of transplanting has been practised in Essex and it difficult to prevent the stacks from heating, it Norfolk, at the end of March. Blanks are has been the practice to make funnels through sometimes filled up by sowing summer wheat, them, a large central one, and small lateral ones dibbling beans, &c., but these are obviously bad to communicate. Corn keeps better in a wellmodes; a better is either to stir the soil well, built stack than in any barn. and encourage the tillering of the plants, or to Wheat is now the cleanest threshed grain ; stir the soil and then transplant.
because the length of the straw allows it to be Substances both solid and fluid have been properly beaten out before it passes the machine, made use of for top dressing wheat where the which sometimes is not the case with short oats .and or growth is poor; the first consist chiefly and barley. If horses are used as the impelling