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· Injurious moisture in land arises often from The application of this principle to the pursprings in the bowels of the earth. The per- poses of improved husbandry may be conson who first published the method of drain- sidered at present as in its infancy. It may ing Jayd in these circumstances, was Doctor be presumed that, in future periods, it may John Anderson, of Aberdeen, while Mr. El. be carried to an extent of incalculable utikington was actually practising upon the same lity, and be connected with the supply of principle, in various parts of England, with navigable canals, and the movement of macomplete success; and, at length obtained chinery adapted to various objects of art from the British parliament a thousand and commerce. The mauner in which the pounds, as the discoverer of so valuable an various strata are intermingled with each improvement. In Italy and in Germany, other, must, it is obvious, as nearly as however, it is stated upon respectable an- possible, be ascertained before this practhority, that the art has been long known tice can be applied with certainty of suc. and practised. Some of the strata of which cess; and the surest way of discovering the earth is composed, will admit the free their direction consists in examining the passage of water through them, while others beds of the nearest rivers, and the appeareffectually resist it. Gravel is obviously ance of their steep and broken banks. The characterised by the former quality, and examination of pits, wells, and quarries, clay by the latter. The upper part of in the vicinity, will also contribute informountains is frequently composed of gravel, mation on the subject. Rushes and other which extends far into their depth, and con- plants, which grow only in moisture injuveys with it the water received upon their rious to other vegetables, will likewise often surface from the clouds. Meeting with indicate where a collection of water is im. layers of clay or rock, however, the water peded in its course below, and consequently is unable to permeate them, and flows presses upward, to the destruction of useupon the upper part of them obliquely, ful vegetation. In draining a large bog it according to that general direction of the will be generally proper to dig a trench layers or laminæ, which form the earth to- from one end of it to the other, with cross wards the plain or valley. After descending trenches at considerable distances, to allow for some way, the layer of gravel along the water a free discharge, by frequently which the water had passed, and from which piercing the bottom, at which the springs it could not penetrate the clay, flowing only are to be found, with an auger. A single on its surface, often passes, in consequence perforation will frequently, indeed, comof the obliquity just mentioned, under new plete the object. Instances have occurred strata of materials, consisting of clay, or
in which water thus raised has been made to some substance equally difficult to be pene- ascend, by erecting round the perforation trated by moisture. The water is thus con
a building of brick, lined on both sides with fined between impervious beds. If the clay, above the level of the bog, applicable layer of gravel suddenly stops, in such cir to a variety of purposes, and conveyed by cumstances, as it often does, the water pipes, or otherwise, to a considerable diswhich it had conveyed between these two
tance. Detailed regulations for the applibeds deriving fresh accumulation per- cation of this important principle, so propetually from its original source, will at
ductive a source of improved cultivation, length permeate the superior layer, ascend are precluded by the assigned limits of this ing through its weaker parts, and arriving
article. at last at the surface, will there stagnate.
ON FENCES. The art of draining lands in this situation, Without firm and close fences, the hus(the principle of which, in whatever research baudman might as well cultivate open fields or casualty its discovery originated, is of as inclosures, which in these circumstances, such happy application) consists merely of indeed, are only nominally such. He is digging or boring with an anger into the under perpetual and well-founded appreearth, so as to reach the layer of gravel; hensions lest cattle of his own or his neighthe water in which, finding an easy and ra bours should break into his corn or haypid access upwards by this vent, no longer fields. To prevent these painful apprehenpresses in its former diffused manner, to sions and irreparable mischiefs, every atthe injury of the superior clay, which will tention must be bestowed on the fences of consequently cease to nourish moss and a farm. Large and rich pastures may most weeds, through redundant moisture, and be easily be divided into fields of ten acres fitted for the purposes of useful cultivation. each, by which the land is less liable to be
injured through the restlessness and wild about the mimber of six in a yard. The
nse. It is a practice by which, in mild meadows which lie next below any village seasons, grass is produced in extreme abun or town, are uniformly most rapid and plendance, even so early as in March; grass, too, tiful in their growth. So well known is this particularly nutritious as well as plentiful, truth, that disputes are perpetually arising on which cattle which have wintered hardly concerning the first application of water to thrive with great rapidity, and on which lands; and when mud is supposed to be young lambs feed with surprizing advan collected at the bottom of a river, or in tage. Between March and May, the feed ditches, many persons will employ labourof meadows, in consequence of this prac ers with rakes, for several days together, to tice, is estimated at worth one guinea per disturb it, that it may be carried down by acre; after which an acre will yield two the water, and spread upon the meadows. tons of hay in June, while the after-math The more turbid and feculent the water, may be valued at twenty shillings. In con the more beneficially it acts. Hasty and sequence of this management, moreover, violent rains, producing floods, dissolve the the land is continually improving in quality, salts of the circumjacent lands, and wash its herbage advancing in fineness, the soil from them considerable portions of the mabecoming more firm and sound, and the nure which naturally or factitiously had been depth of its mould being augmented. It deposited on them. Water from a spring may be estimated, that in each county of depends in no small degree for the quantity England and Wales two thousand acres may
of nutriment it affords to vegetables on the be increased in value one pound per acre,
nature of the strata over which it passes. by means of irrigation; a national advan- If these be metallic, or consisting of earth tage of serious moment, and drawing after partaking of the sulphuric acid, it may be it the great improvement of other lands, and really injurious. But that which passes the employment of many honest and in over fossil chalks, or any thing of a calca
The principles on which reous nature, will highly promote the prothe practice depends have no portion of cess of vegetation. That which has run difficulty and complexity whatever. Water a long way, is almost always preferable to will always rise to the level of the recepta- what flows over land immediately from the cle from which it is derived. All streams spring. descending in a greater or less degree, In mid winter great attention should be which is indicated by their smooth and slow, applied to keeping watered land sheltered or their agitated and noisy progress, it is by the water from the rigour of night frosts : obvious that a main or trench may be taken but during the whole winter it should be from a river, which will convey water over withdrawn once in every twelve days, to the land by the side of that river to a con prevent its rotting and destroying the roots siderable distance below the head of the of the grass. Every meadow should also main, where the river from which it is taken be attentively inspected, to preserve the flows greatly below it. As water, however, equal distribution of the water over it, and if left to stagnate upon land, does it very to remove obstacles arising from the influx considerable injury, instead of benefiting it, of weeds and sticks, and other singilar by cherishing flags, rushes, and other weeds, causes. In the month of February particuit is requisite to ascertain, before it be in- lar caution is requisite. If the water be troduced upon any spot, that it can be suffered to remain many days together opon easily and effectually drained off.
the land, a white scum, extremely perniThe muddiness of the water applied is cious, is the consequence; and if the land stated by some to be of little consequence, be exposed, without drying during the and several writers have even laid it down course of the day, to one severe night frost, as a maxim, that the purer or clearer the the herbage will often be completely cut water is, the more beneficial are its effects. off. Both these causes of injury must be These opinions, however, appear to be di- carefully avoided. About the middle of rectly contradicted by experience; and it February half the quantity of water premay be affirmed, that the mud of water, viously used will be better than more, all particularly in some situations, is nearly of that is requisite now being to keep the as much consequence in winter watering, ground moist and warm, and to hasten the as dung is in the improvement of a poor progress of vegetation ; and in proportion upland field. Every meadow will be found as the weather becomes warmer, the quanproductive, proportionally to the quantity tity introduced should proportionally be of mud collected from the water. Those diminished. An important praxim in the
application of water is to bring it on as mense; and meritorious as many undertak-
the husbandman, none so rarely disappoints
its object as that which he employs in maSo great is the importance of irrigation, nures. The use of lime in this connection that governments would be fully justified in has been long decidedly established. It giving facility to undertakings for conduct reduces to mould all the dead roots of veing it on an extensive plan. The fertility, getables, with which the soil abounds. Its or, in other words, the national wealth useful operation depends upon its intimate capable of being derived from the applica: mixture with the land ; and the proper time tion of cold water, which is at present al therefore to apply it is, when both are in lowed to flow uselessly away, to the pur- that pulverized state in which this union poses of agriculture, is well worthy the at can be best completed. If left to be slaked tention of the enlightened and benevolent by humid air, or casual rain, it is seldom statesman. In the neighbourhood of the perfectly reduced to powder. The proper cities of Milan and Lodi, Mr. Young ob- method is to place it in heaps on the ground serves, that the exertions in irrigation are on which it is intended to be spread, to truly great, and even astonishing. “ Canals slake it there with a due quantity of water, are not only numerous and uninterrupted, and afterwards to cover it with sod, to but conducted with great skill and expense. preserve it from the rain. If long slaked, Along the public roads, almost every where, however, before it is spread, it runs into there is one canal on the side of the road, clots, and becomes less operative for its and sometimes there are two. Cross ones purpose ; besides which, it loses in such are thrown over these on arches, and pass circumstances its caustic quality, on which in trunks of brick or stone, under the road. account it should be brought home as short A very considerable one, after passing for a time as possible before its intended apseveral miles by the side of the highway, plication. Lime should not be permitted sinks under it, and also under two other to lie all winter on the surface of the ground canals, carried in stone troughs a foot wide. after being spread, for a similar reason, as The variety of directions in which the wa also because it is washed down into the ter is carried, the ease with which it is made furrows ; and on the sides of hills the whole to flow in opposite directions, and the ob- is apt to be carried off by the winter turstacles which are overcome, are objects of rents. It should be spread, and mixed with admiration. The expense thus employed in the soil immediately before sowing. The the twenty miles from Milan to Lodi is im- quantity to be laid on depends upon the
nature of the lands, which, if strong, will the purposes of vegetation, and to discover easily bear a hundred bolls per acre, while that composition of the different earths thin and gravelly ones will require only which is best adapted to detain the due prothirty or forty, and upon meadow ones portion of moisture. With respect to the forfifty or sixty will be found sufficient. mer, the fermentation of dung appears to be
Marl is valuable as a manure in propor- the best method hitherto discovered; and as tion to the quantity of calcareous earth to the different kinds of earths to be applied which it contains, which in some instances for the improvement of particular soils, the amounts to one half. When of this qua- experiments of Mr. Kirwan, to whom the lity it may be regarded as the most sub. world is indebted for much elaborate and stantial of all manures, converting the ingenious analysis on the subject, have led weakest ground nearly into the most pro- him to several conclusions, which will be ductive. It is the best of manure for clay briefly noticed. Clay soils being defective soils, in which all agricultural writers are in constitution and texture, want the calcaperfectly agreed. Before its application, reous ingredient, and coarse sand. The forthe land should be cleared of weeds, and mer is supplied by calcareons marl, and smoothed, that it may be evenly spread; both are furnished by limestone gravel. after which it should remain all winter on Marl and dung are still more beneficial, as the surface. Its usefulness depends on its dung supplies the carbonaceous principle. pulverization and close union with tlie soil Sand, chalk, or powdered limestone will to which it is applied. Frost, and a fre. either of them answer this purpose, though quent alternation of dryness and humidity, less advantageously. Coal asles, chips of contribute greatly to reduce it to powder, wood, burnt clay, brick-dust, and even pebon which account it should, as much and bles, may be applied with this view. For as long as possible, be exposed to their in- clayey loam, if deficient in the calcareous fluence. The proper season for marling ingredient, chalk is an excellent manure; if land is summer. The best grain for the in the sandy ingredient, sand is the obvions first crop after marl is oats. But, whatever and easy remedy: a deficiency in both will be the crop, the furrow should be always be best supplied by siliceous marl, limestone ebbed, as otherwise the marl, wbich is a gravel, or effete time with sand. The most heavy body, sinks to the bottom of it.
effectual application for the chalky soils, Gypsum, or plaister of Paris, is commonly which want both the argillaceous and the used in Switzerland and North America as a sandy ingredients, is clayey or sandy loams. manure, and has been tried in this country For chalky loam, the best manure is clay, with stated results of a very different des because this soil is chiefly defective in the cription. Experiments, however, respecting argillaceous ingredient. Calcareous marl is its efficacy and advantages do not appear the best manure for sandy soils. For sandy yet to bave been made with sufficient accu loams, chalk should be followed by clay; and racy to justify a final opinion respecting it. for vitriolic soils, lime, or limestone gravel, or In Cornwall, and other counties, sea sand is calcareous clay, is peculiarly applicable. laid npon the land in considerable quantities, Not only sea-sand, but sea-weeds also and found extremely useful in softening stiff may be employed to considerable advantage clays, and rendering them pervious to the as manure. For lands on the coast it may be roots of plants. Chalk,or powdered limestone, procured, not only in any quantities, but at will also answer this important end; and sand, a trifling expense. The weeds of rivers are together with lime perfectly extinguished, also extremely useful for the same purpose. will more effectually than anything else The refuse of slaughter-houses and oil cakes open its texture, and prepare it for what. are well adapted to fertilize the soil, but in ever is intended to be sown on it.
most situations not easily to be obtained at The true nourishment of vegetables con a reasonable rate. sists of water, coal, salts, and different kinds In almost all circumstances the industry of earths, which are ascertained to be the and ingenuity of the occupier must be deonly substances common to vegetables, and pended upon for raising on the spot an adethe soils in which they grow. In favour. quate quantity of dung for its manure, and able weather, grasses and corn absorb and for this purpose it is expedient that, in such perspire nearly half their weight of water circumstances, as little as possible of the every day. The great problem with respect' hay and straw raised upon the premises to manuring or fertilizing a soil, appears to should be sold from them. This tenaci. be, how to render coal soluble in water for ousness on the part of the farmer will