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By the above process, if the weather proves favourable, there are only three days occupied in making the hay, until it is put into finished cocks. The hay thus made up may heat moderately, when stacked, but this will rather be advantageous than otherwise.
Tarpaulins for securing the rick, when drawing in the hay, will be found of the greatest advantage ; and no farmer should be without these safeguards. They may be expensive in the first instance, but the loss which one rainy day might occasion in the quality of the hay, would in all probability be greater than the cost of the tarpaulins, the use of which will enable the farmer to keep the rick open until the whole crop is brought in, without risk or inconvenience.
Green crops may be said to comprise all the cultivated vegetables which are not included under the designations of corn and pulse; and it is on the judicious management of this description of crop, that the improvements which have taken place in modern husbandry are mainly founded.
Without the cultivation of green crops, there can be no adequate rotation of crops established, and the land would of necessity become exhausted of the particular kinds of nourishment required for the production of the different species of grain ; and must then, as was of old the practice, be thrown out of cultivation, and left to rest for a longer or shorter period, to recruit its powers. The intervention of a green crop alternately with grain, prevents the necessity for this rest or fallow, and consequently prevents the waste and loss which would thereby be occasioned to the farmer.
Without green crops, it will moreover be impossible to provide support the year round for the number of cattle necessary to furnish the farmer with manure for keeping his land in heart, and in a state of fertility capable of yielding a remunerating return for the labour
expended upon it. Unless there is a due supply of manure, there will be deficient crops-without a sufficient number of cattle, there will not be the proper supply of manure—and without green crops, the farmer cannot keep the requisite number of cattle ; so that, in reality, the whole of our present system of agriculture may be said essentially to rest upon the due cultivation and management of green crops.
It is the same with husbandry on the Continent, more especially in Flanders, where the utmost attention is paid to the cultivation of green crops, in the skilful management and judicious use of which, in stall-feeding their cattle, the Flemish farmers have attained to great excellence; and they are thereby enabled, with very inferior means in other respects, to compete with our best agriculturists in the amount of produce obtained from the land, and in keeping up its condition for a long series of years.
The green crops usually cultivated, consist of turnips, mangel-wurzel, cabbages, carrots, parsnips, potatoes, red clover, American cow-grass, Italian rye-grass, tares, rape, and lucerne; and of each of these we will now proceed to give some account, with brief directions for their cultivation.
The turnip was originally introduced from Germany about the year 1730 by Lord Townsend, who thereby conferred a most important benefit on British agricul. ture. It was first cultivated as a field crop in this country, in the county of Norfolk, where it still continues to be more extensively used than in any other part of England.
Before the introduction of turnips as a field crop, it was difficult to manage light soils to advantage, the land becoming soon exhausted by the repeated growth of corn; and as no regular rotation of green crops was then known, the land, when thus exhausted, was necessarily left fallow, or thrown into pasture to recruit. The soil of Norfolk is naturally very light, and yielded but little under this process; but turnip-husbandry, in regular rotation, has now rendered it highly fertile.
Turnips delight in a loose soil, in which they are raised to the greatest perfection, and with the least hazard. There is however no soil that will not bear them, when well prepared ; and reclaimed moorlands, manured with sand, lime, marl, or the ashes of the burnt surface, will yield good crops. No plant prospers better in cold and wet districts, and no plant contributes more to fertility. By the application of bone manure, good crops of turnips are obtained at an altitude of 700 or 800 feet above the sea, in some of the mountainous districts of Scotland.
There are several kinds of this valuable root, all of which may be classed under the heads of the White, the Yellow, and the Swedish.
The white globe, or Norfolk turnip, is the most commonly cultivated, being suited to the light soils which are generally devoted to the feeding of sheep, and producing the heaviest crops, and coming the most early into use. It grows to a large size, and is very sweet; but it is tender, and should be consumed before Christmas, while its leaves are green, and its bulb large and succulent, as it rarely survives the frost. The Stone turnip is also white, and stands the weather better than the globe; and being equally sweet, and of a finer grain and greater specific gravity, it is very generally grown, in order to secure a succession of feed; but it does not swell to so large a size as the Norfolk globe.
The Aberdeen yellow is an intermediate species between the globe and the Swede, of a hardier nature than the former, and of slower growth; it is therefore sown earlier, and remains longer in the ground, which brings it into use after the earlier sorts have been consumed. It bears large crops, and is fully as nutritious as any of the white kind.
The Swedish turnip is by much the hardiest species known; the weather, however severe, being found to have very little effect upon it. It retains its nutritive properties until late in the spring, and is highly valued as affording support to cattle at that pinching season, between the failure of the common turnip, and the coming in of the young grass. The crops which the Swede yields, are not so large as those produced by the white and the yellow species; but the nourishment obtained from it is so much greater, that a smaller quantity suffices. Cattle fed upon Swedes will improve in condition, whilst if supported solely upon white turnips, they will only hold their own.
There are other varieties branching from these three leading kinds, and possessing qualities intermediate between them; but it is not necessary to describe these in detail. Their fitness for particular localities will be best shown by experience.
Turnips are always regarded as a fallow crop, and are introduced into that part of the rotation which closes one course, and commences another. The land intended for turnips must be ploughed with a deep furrow early in the autumn, after the grain crop is removed. Some farmers give three ploughings, one in the direction of the former furrows, the next across, and the third as the furrows are wished to lie. This must depend upon the nature of the soil, heavy clay lands requiring to be worked more than those of a lighter description. The harrow and the roller are also to be used to pulverize the ground, and the latter especially, care being taken that it is of sufficient weight to break the lumps; and all perennial roots should be carefully picked off.
No crop which is raised, is so well adapted as turnips, for the application of every kind of manure. Ashes, marl, chalk, sand, lime, rape-dust, broken bones, and bone-dust, oil-cake, sea-weed, and indeed every other kind of manure, are all alike calculated to produce good crops of this vegetable : but nothing hastens its growth so much as liquid manure, applied between the rows in an evening, care being taken that it is properly diluted. The Scotch farmers have a maxim, that the turnip is the mother of the dung-heap, and the dung
heap is the mother of everything else.” This is literally true; for if the cultivation of green crops be the foundation of good husbandry, as is undoubtedly the case, the cultivation of turnips must be placed at the head of the system.
The time for sowing the several varieties, is somewhat different: the Swedish should be put in the earliest, and then the yellow, both of them in the month of May; but the globe kinds need not be sown until June. After the middle of July, a full crop can hardly be expected, although crops have been obtained from a sowing in August, but this is not to be relied upon. A liberal allowance of seed is recommended, so much as three pounds for drill, and six pounds for broadcast, to the statute acre. The quality of the seed is of much importance, and should be carefully attended to, as degenerated or wrong sorts are often sold to the farmer, who ought therefore to deal with a respectable seedsman; or else he should save his own seed, taking care to select the best roots for the purpose.
For drill-sowing in ridgelets with farm-yard manure, proceed as follows:- When the ground is ready, commence opening the drills with the plough for receiving the manure, making the drills from 20 to 24 inches apart from centre to centre, according to the strength of the land. Then spread the manure equally in the drills, and cover it in with the plough, by going up the middle, and turning one-half of the earth to each side, so that the manure may lie in the centre of the drill when closed in. The earth, when the drill is closed, should cover the manure to the depth of about three inches.
When the drills are thus completed, sow the seed with a turnip-machine; or if this cannot be procured, and if the quantity of land to be sown is small, a furrow may be made with a hoe or pointed stick along the top of the drill, about an inch or an inch and a half deep; and the sowing may be effected by means of a bottle, having a quill inserted in the cork, with which the seed may be deposited pretty evenly, and with considerable rapidity. The seed is best covered by running a light roller over the top of the drills; or, in a small way, it