University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Link to University of Wisconsin Digital Collections
Ecology and Natural Resources Collection

Page View

Leahy, R. B. (ed.) / The progressive bee-keeper
Vol. XI [XIII], No. 11 (Nov., 1903)

[Articles and opinions pertaining to beekeeping],   pp. [293]-299


Page 294

2i~~~~        Iiil i h~lt;I i ~t  " ,iWIEII
ing the problems which loom up before
him as a menace to his means of liveli-
hood.'
'Tihis journal contains notices of
wNorld's fair doings of general interest,
whicih occupy almost two whole pages,
Hope we will see lots of eastern friends
there. In the samee number .1. 1.
Johnson of Williamsfield, Ill., presents
an unusually interesting article on "in-
oculating the soil," from which it is
difficult tocull the choicest paragraphs.
However. I give in full what he says of
sweet clover and eatnip:
Of all the hacteria that inhabit the
soil ind cause the clover to live from
nitrogen of the air, sweet clover is pro-
bably the most powerful of all, which
shows plainly for itself. as it will thrive
and produce both seed and honey in
abundance on soil so ptor that the worst
weeds will not grow at all, and even on
alfalfa land that is poison to nearly all
other veget ation.
\Vhy is thi .-;imply that sweet clo-
ver when aided by its own bacteria
lives almost entirely from the nitrogen
of the air. Mof course, getting a small
amount of phosphLates,etc., from the
soil). Not only so but thse nitrogen
gathering bacteria are constantly and
silently gathering' nitrogen  the most
priolous elenent to plant life-and
plaeing it inl te Soil.
One sweet clover plant will furnish
a horme iln its tuberlle  for t thousand
million bacteria. or even inore. Now
in the far East are old farm.s which
have become so defllent in nitrogen
that they are considered worn out or
worthless and have been abandoned.
notiithstandiig t hese farms contain
the other elements in abundance or
could be so with sl ighIt cost, as the
other elemllents are cheap it) priceo.
If sweet clover were known on these
same faris they could be made valu-
able and rich almost without cost. In-
fected soil would probably have to be
also sown to get quick results, but
when once set thickly to sweet clover
with their nitrogen gathering bacteria
the acres of the same would gather
nitrogen from the air and fix it in the
soil when plowed under faster than one
man could haul it in a wagon f'om the
nearest city in the form of barnyard
manure. That despised sweet clover
will some day be found to be the only
hope of reclaimin 2 many barren farms.
CATNIP.
I haveexperimented agood deal with
eatnip. Besides sowing in waste places
I sowed one acre last fall. I find that
it does best in every rich soil, in fact in
poor soil it did nothing  Where there
is waste land containing leaf mold. old
brush piles or any decaying logs or
wood I believe catnip ahead of anything
as a honey plant. but for poor or only
medium rich soil I think sweet clover
is far ahead of anything I have tried.
From the foregoing 'tis plain sailling
for sweet clover and no "trick" to keep
ill the lead.
This matter of preparation of soil has
long been recognized by the practical
farmers. When turning the sod on,
prairie lands he neverexpects it first-
class crop but knows the second year
will be better and a third year an i-
provement on the second. The same
oni the sandy br land, on made lands
of our river bottomls, several successive
crops are necessary befor a paying crop
is realized. In the mean time all for-
age from the first, crops is left oil the
ground and turned und'r to prepair soil
for after crops.
In sizing up the (Cuban situation Mf.
F. Heeve after remindinlg us that the
land is rotten with foul breed says:Llt
looks  as if many years will elapse, if
ever. before Yankee apiarists will
locate in liinlmer" in Cuba if they are
to be exposed to the ravagos of this
disease through the careless, antiquat-
ed methods of the natives. This is but
another gentle hint to let "good enogih
2 11


Go up to Top of Page