CULTIVATION OF WASTE LAND 387
areas we can distinguish again between the low-lying moors bordering the lower courses of the great rivers; for example, in England near the mouth of the Trent, and the upland peat-bogs of which Ireland furnishes so many examples. They have these features in common — an excess of water, a deficiency of mineral salts, and, particularly in the upland bogs, a strongly acid reaction; but they possess great potential wealth in their richness in nitrogenous organic matter. It is in Germany and Holland that the methods of bringing into cultivation these moors have been most completely worked out; in Germany, for example, it is esti- mated that there are about five million acres of moorland of which about 10 per cent, are now under cultivation. The reclamation process must begin by drainage, which may be carried out by open ditches, but is most satisfactorily effected by pipes, despite the greater cost. The water-table must be kept some 3 feet below the surface. In districts which afford a market for peat, as, for example, on the Teufelsmoor near Bremen, the reclamation often begins by cutting out the peat, the lower layer of firm peat being won, dried, and sold for fuel. The upper spongy peat can be used for litter, but some part at least must be thrown back. Where the burning peat is thus extracted the excavation is in places pushed further until the underlying sand is reached, and enough of this is dug to spread over the reclaimed area to a depth of 4 or 5 inches and mixed by cultivation with the spongy peat. Even when the peat is not removed, pits are often made in order to sand the land, so great an improvement does it effect in the character of the crops. However, sanding is not possible everywhere, and there are great areas under culti- vation where the reclamation begins with drainage, followed by the cultivation of the immediate surface without either sanding or the removal of the burning peat, which indeed are impossible over large areas, but are carried out by the owners of small farms little by little. Special tools are required: certain forms of disc-ploughs and harrows give the best results ; heavy tools for large scale cultivation by steam or electricity are furnished with broad roller-like wheels; even the horses must wear broad wooden shoes.
The next stage is the manuring, and it has only been the develop- ment of the artificial fertilizer industry during the last half-century that has rendered the cultivation of this type of land possible. On the alluvial moors where the ground water has always been alkaline, the peat is rich in calcium and no treatment with lime and marl is necessary (the English fens afford an example of this type of soil), but on the true peat-bogs (Hochmoor of Germany) the manuring must begin with a good dressing of burnt lime, or, better, of marl or ground chalk. For meadows and pastures two tons per acre of lime, or twice as much of carbonate of lime, should be applied ; the amounts may be halved for arable land. This must be followed by about 5 to 8 cwt. per acre