Search America's historic newspapers pages from - or use the U.S. Newspaper Directory to find information about American newspapers published between 1690-present. Chronicling America is sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities external link and the Library of Congress. Learn more
title: 'The ranch. (Seattle, Wash.) 1902-1914, August 15, 1912, Image 1',
meta: 'News about Chronicling America - RSS Feed',
Image provided by: Washington State Library; Olympia, WA
All ways to connect
Inspector General |
External Link Disclaimer |
VOL. XXXII. No. 4.
Alfalfa Culture in Western Washington
By L. J. Chapin, Agronomist, West
ern Washington Experiment Station,
A number of farmers in western
Washington are this year trying to
establish fields of alfalfa. Many have
tried in past years but nearly all
have failed. These failures were
mostly due to a failure on the part
of the growers to render the condi
tions suitable for alfalfa; in a few
cases, perhaps to natural conditions
over which the grower has no coutrol.
Let us consider briefly what these
Tt is probably best to seed in the
FRUIT TREES IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST READY FOR THE HARVEST.
late spring or early summer west of
the Cascade Mountains on ground
that has been fall plowed. It should
follow some clean-tilled crop to which
a liberal supply of manure has been
Deep fail plowing is better than
spring plowing 89 the ground will be
firmer, thus furnishing a seedbed
that will hold moisture better.
The ground should be cultivated
frequently during the spring to con
serve the moisture and to kill the
weeds. The disc harrow, the spring
tooth harrow or the spiketooth harrow
may be used for this purpose. Tne
plow may also be used to advantage
in some oases where the disc is not
available, provided that the ground
is not plowed more than 3f/ 2 or 4 in
ches deep and is harrowed down well
as soon as plowed. It should be
borne in mind that the purpose of this
tillage is to induce the rapid geimina
tion of weed seed and to subsequently
destroy them; to put the soil in
proper tilth and to store up sufficient
moisture to insure quick germination
and rapid subsequent growth. Extra
care in the prepaiation of tbe seed
KENT and SEATTLE WASH., AUGUST 15, 1912.
bed will be amply rewarded.
The seeding should not be done be
fore the tlrst of May except in light
dry soils; from the middle of May to
the 10th of June is usually better.
This affords time to rid the soil of
many weeds and to get the seed bed in
good firm condition. The ground at
this seaon will be much warmer and
quick grermination and growth is in
sured. Lightly rolling the ground
immediately after seed ings will also
hasten gjiminatiou by warming the
soil and bringing the seed into c.losei
contact with the soil particles.
While the cause of many failures in
treating alfalfa may be traced to a
poorly prepared seed bed or to weeds,
there are a number of other caus9s.
Alfalfa will not thrive in an acid
soil, nor a soil having an impervious
hard pau or the water table within a
foot or two of the surface, not in a
soil destitute of the proper haute ii.
Since nearly all the soil of wtstern
Washington is more or less acnl, it is
well to apply crushed lime sti.ne or
water slacked lime beore attempting
to grow alfalfa. From three to five
tons of the former and from oue to
three tons of the latter should bt
applied early in the spring and disced
or harrowed into the suiface soil.
Alfalfa is a tap rooted pla» t and will
send its roots down many ftet if the
subsoil is porous and well drained.
It must have at lest four or the fte.
into which it can send its loots or it
will not thrive after two nr ttire
years. Subsoiling and draining must
therefore be resorted lo on shallow
soils before alfalfa can be grown.
Alfalfa, like other legumes, must
have a certain kind of bacteria which
form nodules on its roots. If these
are not already pieeent in the soil,
FIELD OF CABBAGES IN WESTERN WASHINGTON.
bey must be supplied,—the soil must
be innoculaled. This is best done by
barrow ing into the soil lrom 200 to
400 pound-i per acie of soil taken fiom
an old alfalfa Held wbere these bac
teria are abundant.
The after care or cultivation of
alfalfa may determine whether suc
cess or failure shall reward all pre
ir wet ds come up with the young
alfalfa, as is almi st certain to be the
case, or if the youns* plants are weak
and spindling or the leaves begin to
turn ytllow, or leaf spot appears, it
should be clipped. Unless the growth
of vegetation is very heavy, it may
be left lying on the ground to retard
the further growth of weeds and to
serve as a mulch. This clipping
should be done the tlrst time just be
fore the alfalfa blooms, or just as Ih^
HARVESTING THE FRUIT CROP IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST.
soc Per Year; 5c the Copy
first blossoms appear, leaving about a
1 inch stubble. If the alfalfa is
vigorous aud free from weeds, it may
be cut for hay when about one fifth
to oue-fourth iv bloom.
The condition of the buds near the
ground, however, affords a safer guide
as to the time to cut alfalfa than do
the blossoms. Tue rule is to cut just
as these buds are bursting into leaf.
Vonrhees «ives the following direc
tions, which are borne out in the
main by Thos. F. Hunt, P. D. Uoburn,
Byron Hunter and many other accept
ed authorities. He says:
"Before clipping, however examine
the little alfalfa plauts to see whether
buds have started near the ground.
If these buds are just bursting into
leaf clip the alfalfa at once. Do not
(Continued on page 13.)