Page:Husbandman and Housewife 1820.djvu/82

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IT has been well remarked that "manure is the great sinew of agriculture, as money is of war, and the making the best of every advantage or opportunity for increasing the quantity of it, is one of the most prominent traits in the character of a good farmer " The following extracts from that very valuable work by Sir Humphrey Davy, entitled "Elements of Agricultural Chemistry" highly deserve the attention of every farmer

As different manures contain different proportions of the elements necessary for vegetation, so they require a different treatment to enable them to produce their full effects in agriculture.

All green succulent plants contain saccharine or mucilaginous matter, with woody fibre, and readily ferment. They cannot therefore, if intended for manure, be used too soon after their death.

When green crops are to be employed for enriching a soil, they should be ploughed in, if possible, when in flower, or at the time the flower is beginning to appear: for it is at this period that they contain the largest quantity of easily soluble matter, and that their leaves are most active in forming nutritive matter. Green crops, pond weeds, the paring of hedges or ditches, or any kind of fresh vegetable matter, re quire no preparation to fit them for manure. The decomposition slowly proceeds beneath the soil; the soluble matters are gradually dissolved, and the slight fermentation that goes on checked by the want of a free communication of air, tends to render the woody fibre soluble without occasioning the rapid dissipation of elastic matters.