The Garden Guide

Book: Gardening Science - Soils, Manure and the Environment
Chapter: Chapter 1: Earths and Soils

Objections fo burning

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1231. The great objection made by speculative chemists to paring and burning is, that they destroy the vegetable and animal manure which may exist in the soil: but in cases in which the texture of its earthy ingredients is permanently improved, there is more than a compensation for this temporary disadvantage; and in some soils where there is an excess of inert vegetable matter, the destruction of it must be beneficial, as the carbonaceous matter remaining in the ashes must be more useful to the crop than the vegetable fibre from which it was produced. Burning also improves all soils containing clay, by increasing their power of absorbing and condensing from the air ammonia, carbonic acid, and other gases necessary to the growth of plants.