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An Illustrated Sixteen-Page (11 by 15 inches) Monthly, Representing the Interests of Farmers, Patrons of Husbandry, the Direct
Trade Union, the State Agricultural Society, Department of Agriculture, Horticulturists, Seedsmen, Nurserymen,
Stock Raisers, Dairymen, Fanciers, Apiarists, Home Resources, etc.
For the Rural Southerner.
Ah the culture of this most valuable of all
forage plants is now attracting considerable at
tention among our people, perhaps it will inter
est your many readers to become still more ac.
quainted with the nature, culture, habits and
history of the plant.
Lucern-Alfalfa (Medicago Sativa) is a legu
minous plant of the genus Medicago, and has
been known and cultivated from lime immemo
rial. We are told it was brought from Medica
to Greece, in the time of Darius, about five hun
dred years before Christ, and its cultivation
afterwards extended among the Romans, and
through them to the south of' France, where it
has ever since continued to he a favorite forage
plant—hence it is often called French clover.
Lucern does not endure as severe a climate as
Red clover; it requires greater heat and sun
light. It is, therefore, suited to-the climate of
the South. It is superior to Red clover in some
respects : being a very hardy perennial, it con
tinues long in the soil. If all our young hoy
farmers, at their first opportunity, say next Sep
tember, would plant a Lucern patch, or field,
and should live to be a hundred years old. it
would then be luxuriant, affording an abundant
and nutritious forage crop. Its yield of green
fodder continues later in the season than clover,
and is equally relished by cattle both green and
<iry. At least one square in every garden should
l»e devoted to its culture, ami from one to fifty
acres should he planted by every farmer in the
land. It does not impoverish the soil. It sends
down its lap roots in mellow soils to enormous
depths having been found in sandy soils thir
teen feet in depth.
Its cultivation is more difficult than that of
clover for the first year, as it requires a soil
thoroughly mellowed and prepared by clean and
careful tillage; and the want of pro|>er atten
tion on this point accounts for the partial fail
ures by some who have attempted its culture.
If the same amount of labor that is bestowed
upon the tillage of one acre in cotton was to be
given to an acre in Lucern. the latter would pay
tenfold greater profit.
It will not succeed well in thin soils (neither
will any other valuable plant), but in a permea
ble subsoil consisting of loam, or sand, or gravel,
it wi 1 prove a grand success Good crops can
be obtained from it for ten or twelve vears at
r ■ W \
HON. JOHN H. JAME2L
least. It should l>e cut ae soon as it begins to
flower when wanted for feel ; but if a see*! crop
is the object, let it stand until the seed begin to
harden. It would be profitable to save the seed,
as they now retail in this market at about f>s
cents per pound, or S3O to S4O per bushel. It
would astonish the natives to know how many
cattle could be kept on one acre of this crop.
As fivu as cut down it sprouts up again rapidly
" hen in the midst of drouths, when every blade of
grass wilts for moisture, Lucern holds up its
stem tresh and green. Who would not plant it
The best months for planting it are Septeml»er,
October, February and March. Select your
land, plow it up as deep as possible with a one-
ATLANTA, GEORGIA, MA\, 1875.
horse turn-plow, followed in same furrow with a
one or two-horse subsoil, breaking eighteen
inches deep if possible, level over and harrow
smoothly, lay off rows eighteen inches apart
with full tongue, running in bottom with subsoil,
apply in drill 2t)o or BDO pounds ammoniated
superphosphate per acre, cover this over by
running furrow each side, then levtd the l>ed
down, then open with very narrow scooter or
garden plow, and drill ten to twelve pounds of
seed per acre, and cover as turnips, cultivate
well, keeping out all grass and weeds, and you
will l>e pleased. M. W. Johnson.
I’. S. Lucern an I Alfalfa are one and the same.
Atlanta, (ia., At rd, 1875.
Terms, SI.OO a Year.
A Plea for Agricultural Journals.
W. G. McAdoo, the accomplished literary
editor of the Milledgeville Union and Recorder
thus truthfully and forcibly expresses himself
as to the value of agricultural journals:
Well-conducted agricultural journals are of
high importance to the planter. Agriculture is
by far the most important of all the branches of
productive industry; and its field is so wide
that ample scope exists for continued and indef
inite improvements. Science and ingenuity are
developing new successes continually in practical
agriculture; and the planter now-a-days, to
succeed best, must exert practical skill, and keep
pace also with all new discoveries in agriculture
all over the world. He must take a good agri
cultural journal and test theory in the crucible
of practice, at times.
This is preceded by a well-drawn pen sketch,
in which he places before the “mind’s eye ” the
broad plantation with its thousands of acres of
vigorous maize and corn ; the elegant white
cottage with roses and hollyhocks in front, and
with the proprietor in his ample piazza (his eyes
shaded by the ample brim of a Panama hat, and
his mouth bearing the inevitable tobacco-pipe),
reading the latest ami best agricultural journal,
which, on inspection, proves to be the Rural
Southerner and Plantation, on which our
writer bestows the distinguished honor of placing
it in the hands of this lordly Southern planter
This is well enough ; for we think that the
planter could not have made a better choice in
seeking information on agriculture.
But «hould he continue to draw his knowledge
from this source, he will find that the time for
thousand-acre plantations has forever passel
away, and that “the inevitable tobacco-pipe’
adds nothing to his dignity or his health. From
the Rural Southerner he will learn that smal
farms and high culture are the only things that
will pay under the present order of things.
A Premium Clover Crop.
Mr. John R. Winters, to whom was awarded
the premium of the Georgia Agricultural Society
for the best crop ofclover, tells how it was grown
as follows : The land upon which it was grown
(a small fraction over an acre) was prepared by
very deep fall ploughing, and sowing wheat in
November. Clover seed sown when there was
snow on the ground in February, with a dressing
of bone dust and ashes at the same time. About
the first of April gave a dressing of mixed ferti
lizer. Harvested in June nineteen bushels of
wheat to the acre. Cut in July following a light
crop of hay, and pastured until frost, which I
think a bad plan. The next season (in June) I
cut six thousand five hundred and seventy-five
pounds, actually weighed after being thoroughly
dried ; and the above statement in regard to the
manner of cultvation, etc., is correct to the best
of my knowledge. Rural Carolinian.