The Garden Guide

Book: Gardening Science - Soils, Manure and the Environment
Chapter: Chapter 2: Manure

The ashes of saintfoin, clover, and rye-grass

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1317. The ashes of saintfoin, clover, and rye-grass, afford considerable quantities of gypsum; and that substance probably forms a necessary part of their woody fibre. This may be the reason why it operates upon grass land in such small quantities; for the whole of a clover crop, or saintfoin crop, on an acre, according to estimation, would afford by incineration only three or four bushels of gypsum. The reason why gypsum is not always efficacious, is probably because most cultivated soils contain it in sufficient quantities for the use of the grasses. In the common course of cultivation, gypsum is furnished in the manure; for it is contained in stable dung, and in the dung of all cattle fed on grass: and it is not taken up in corn crops, or crops of peas and beans, and in very small quantities in turnip crops; but where lands are exclusively devoted to pasturage and hay, it will be continually consumed.