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IROYAL AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY…

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ROYAL AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY OF ENGLAND. The Monthly Connn! was held in Hanover-Square, London, on Wednesday week, Henry Handley, Esq., President, in the chair Marquis of Downsliire Earl Spencer Hon. H. W. Wilson, and a host of gentle- men. BOKHARA CLOVER. I William Taylor, Esq., F.L.S. presented to the So- ciety a bundle of Bokhara Clover, and the following account of its cultivation. "A small packet of the Seed of the Clover in ques- I tion, which appears to be a variety of Melilotus Ar- borea, was given me by Mr. London in the spring of 1839. It vegetated freely, and grew most luxuriantly up to the latter part of September, when it was four feet high it was then mown, and the stalks were ma- nufactured into strong and durable hemp. Horses eat the plant with great avidity in its young state and to judge from its extraordinary growth the first year, it may be fed off three times, namely, the middle of June, July, and August. It stood the winter of 1839-40 well, proving itself to be a hardy plant. On the 28th April, I 1810, a small portion of it was cut, which was then fifteen inches high; on the 28th of May again, height sixteen inches; and subsequently on the 28th of June, height seventeen inches in August fifteen inches, and in September twelve inches the first flowers appeared in June, and by the middle of July it was covered with its highly fragrant white blossom. A large portion had been left for seed, and towards the end of Septem- her the crop was harvested, each plant producing from ten to twenty thousand seeds, the stalks being from twelve to thirteen feet in height. From the experi- ments I have made with Bokhara Clover, I should calculate that an acre would produce from twenty to thirty tons cf green herbage. The first year it may be cut in June, July, and August, each cutting averaging three to five tons of green herbage. The second year, in April, May. June, July, August, and September, each month producing three to five tons of herbage. If intended to be saved for seed, it must not be cut more than three timesâin April, May, and June. The roots form a sort of manure; and from two to three tons of hemp. Great advantage must be derived from its cultivation, as it forms a valuable screen food for all sorts of cattle at an early period of the season; and if cut when fifteen or twenty inches high, an abundant crop would he produced, yielding hay superior in quality and quantity to the common herbage plants. To judge from what has hitherto been seen of the Bokhara Clover, it appears to be a valuable biennial plant, well adapted for growth in this country nor is it unlikely that it may be found to thrive on such soils as, by agriculturists, are termed clover-sick whereby its value would be greatly en- hanced. Should it, as may reasonably be expected, in ordinary seasons, on good soils, be ready for cutting in the early part of April, farmers who have no grass, and but a short supply of hay, carrots, or turnips, would derive essential benefit from it. The Bokhara Clover being a tall, deep-rooted plant, with a strong stem well clothed with foliage and blossom, it keeps the ground in a more perfect state than most other plants of the artificial grass kind, and consequently will be more influential in ameliorating and preparing soils for the reception of wheat crops. It is a plant capable of being cultivatell with success and advantage on almost all heavy and dry descriptions of land if in a tolerable state of fertility; and it maybe, sown from March till June. The proportion of seed that is neces- sary must val y according to the quality of the land and the state of preparation to which it has been brought; on the richer descriptions of soil that are free from WI:eds, 8 to lOlbs. may be sufficient for an acre; whereas 14 to 151 bs. will not be too much for those that ore of stiff quality, or which possess a less degree of fertility. As already indicated, the crop may either be mown for hay, cut every month as green herbage for diffeiVnt sorts of live stock, or serve for the grazing of cattle and sheep. The separation of the seed from the cap- sule does not require so much labour and expense as the common Clovers. It is thrashed in the same man- neras trefoil, and sent to the mill to free the seed from the husk. The Bokhara Clover is likely to answer well, and may, in a great measure, render this coun- try independent of foreign Clover-seed. On account of its elegant appearance, and the fragrance of its blos- som, it likewise deserves a place in every flower-gar- den." Mr. Gibb stated to the Council, that the plant now know n as the Bokhara Clover" was identical with the Trifolium Melilotus alba or (as it had been formerly called) the Melilotus officinalis alba, a plant which had been partially cultivated in this country for the last twenty-five years, and the seed regularly imported by Messrs. Thomas Gibbs and Co., who had been in the habit of recommending the growth of a small breadth of this clover, for the purpose of mixing it with hay that might have been damaged by wet wea- ther, the fragrance of the leaf imparting to the whole the smell of new hay; also for cutting and placing in layers with oat straw, for the purpose of cutting into chaft, stacks being formed of alternate layer3 of the straw and clover. Mr. Gibbs stated that this clover grew to a gigantic height, but should be cut at any early stage, as otherwise it would be ligneous or woody in stalk, the soil most favourable to its cultiva- tion being a deep rich mould.

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