periods. It is difficult to prepare low-lying wet soils for cereals in the early spring, and river flats are apt to be badly washed and furrowed by floods unless retained by sods. The annual deposit of sediment from spring freshets usually maintains the fertility of river flats left in permanent meadow, and if the most suitable grasses are well-established large yields of good hay may be obtained for many years.
Fertilizing meadows of long duration is common in Europe, less frequent in the eastern provinces of Canada, and not at all general inland. A dressing of well-rotted farmyard manure applied in the early spring every two or three years is highly beneficial, and is the best way to maintain an upland meadow in good condition. The decaying manure spread over the surface forms a mulch that helps to retain the moisture. Clovers are often benefited by potash and gypsum or other form of lime, but are little affected by nitrogenous manures. Old meadows respond quickly to an application, at the commencement of the growing season, of nitrate of soda at the rate of about one hundred pounds per acre. On low-lying, naturally moist soil, good yields may be had by sowing every two or three years three or four hundred pounds per acre of mixed fertilizer or bone meal that is rich in nitrogen.
Permanent pastures yield a small revenue when compared with thorough cultivation and alternate cropping. If used for soiling, ten acres of good Alfalfa will give as much nutritive fodder as forty acres in permanent pasture. The waste due to tramping is much greater in temporary pastures, such as Clover and Timothy, than in permanent pastures composed of grass mixtures, but the yield is usually much larger and the forage is more easily available to cattle. Permanent pastures are of greatest value for sheep. On land that is easily tillable and productive under alternate cropping, they are not recommended for cattle, unless it is impossible to procure labour to cultivate the land.
Reseeding and renovating are seldom necessary when proper care is taken of a meadow and natural winter protection is provided. On some soils it will be found, however, that where several kinds of grasses and clovers are sown, one or two sorts will predominate, to the practical exclusion of the others. If a meadow of long duration or a permanent pasture is required, it may be necessary to supplement the kinds that have established themselves by re-seeding with other grasses. These must be selected with care and for a definite purpose; Red Top, for instance, might be chosen for bottom grass on moist lands where all other kinds except Timothy have been killed