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But the utmost skill in the performance of these mechanical processes will not ensure a good return, unless the master's management be also good. As the husbandman needs food and rest, so does the soil, where the kind of produce called a crop is expected. The food of land is MANURE ; its rest is laying it down either for feeding, or a Fallow.
Manure consists of various animal, vegetable, and mineral substances, selected according to the soil and the intended crop. With respect to animals, there is no part of them which does not, by dissolution, become a most useful ingredient for the restoration of an exhausted soil. Besides therefore, the commonest kind of manure, any refuse of the butcher and the fishmonger, the soap-maker and the sugar-boiler, is acceptable to the farmer ;- who, of course, has in this respect an
advantage, if at no great distance from places where these are to be procured.
Lime, salt, burnt earth, sand, shells, soapashes, and I know not how many other things, with decayed vegetable matter, are applied to the earth, as a sort of repayment, for which, however, she always accounts with high interest. Meadows
well for the best manure, but will be mended much, even by mere earth sprinkled on the sward.
There are many other things essential to good tillage, which the experienced and intelligent farmer attends to as he sees occasion; I shall mention only weeding, or cleaning the land, and land-ditching. The best opportunity of getting the field clear of weeds, roots, and other such matters, is afforded by the fallow. The ground is then at liberty to admit of continued ploughings; of thistle
and dock-irons, to eradicate the troublesome intruders, for which they are intended; and, if necessary, of the shovel and mattock, to remove suckers and roots of trees. Weeding, however, goes on to a great extent with the hoe and other instruments, when the crops
Land-ditching, or draining, is almost as necessary on certain humid soils as any other act of husbandry; indeed, without this, in many cases, all other tillage would be labour in vain. Where water hangs in the land, on or near the surface, very long together, it checks the vegetation of farming crops, so as to compel the husbandman to adopt a remedy. For this purpose, he proceeds, with a long tapering spade, made for the work,—to dig gutters, or thoroughs, from eighteen to twentyfour inches in depth, in such directions across
the land as shall best suit the discharge of the water to the ditches at the borders of the field. Having done this, he thrusts in bushes, ready at hand, and on them places a close covering of straw. On this the earth may be securely laid. A hollow, sufficient for the water-passage, is thereby obtained, and no indications of the work are visible above, except the superior fertility of the spot, which, indeed, is sometimes distinctly to be traced in lines corresponding with the drains beneath.
Meadows and pasture-land do not of course require or admit of the labour of arable fields. Nevertheless, they need attention ; and, if the land be at all good, they fully repay it. Grass lands, like others, will, in a short time, be overrun with weeds and suckers from trees, if neglected. Instruments are invented, therefore, as we have seen, to delve these out; and the more diligently they are used the better; for even the grass is rendered more vigorous by the movement of the soil thus occasioned. The herbage also needs renewal sometimes, by having fresh hay-seeds, and those of trefoil, &c. scattered over it.
I have said that meadows want good manuring : this is usually done in frosty weather, when the heavy cart does not cut the sward. After this supply has been spread by the fork, children are employed, if necessary, to pick up stones, shells, and other rubbish, which may have been brought on. Soon afterwards, the field should be bush-harrowed, with a machine formed of bundles of thorny shrubs, attached to a heavy wooden frame, which, being drawn up and down by a horse, combs and scratches the manure and loose earth about. Then comes the roller — a huge cylinder of