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Full text of "The field book of manures; or The American muck book, treating of the nature, properties, sources, history, and operations of all the principal fertilisers and manures in common use, with specific directions for their preparation, preservation, and application to the soil and to crops, as combined with the leading principles of practical and scientific agriculture"

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Illustrated with Engravings 


" Muck is the mother of the meal chest." 

Old Scottish Saying, 


(LATE o. M. BAXTON A co.,) 

Entered according to Act of Cougress, in the year 185S, by 


In the Clerk'* Office of the District Court of the United Stattw for the Southern 
District of New York. 


Boston, JVor. Gtlt, 1851. 

DEAR SIR : 1 have the pleasure of acknowledging the receipt of a copy of th 
u American Muck Hook," recently published by you, and edited by Mr. D. J. Browne 

From im attentive examination of the pages of this book, I have come to the con- 
clusion that it Is one of the best works extant, on the principles of scientific agricul- 
ture, and the best compendium of our most recent knowledge of the nature of ma- 
nures and their adaptation to particular soils and crops. It cannot be expected that 
a eingle volume could possibly contain the whole sum of chemical knowledge, appli- 
cable to the science of agriculture ; but on looking over the closely-printed and com- 
pact tables of analyses, and the abundant formulas, which this publication contains. 
1 could not fail to be surprised at the industry manifested in preparing it. I was 
*lso gratified to find it so well adapted to the American system of husbandry, and so 
practical in its character. Its copious and accurate index adds not a little to its v.ulue. 
I shall certainly recommend it to my agricultu-al friends as a very useful book, and 
ne necessary to every scientific farmer. I am 

Respectfully your ob't. serv't. 

CHARLES T. JACK JON, State Assayer, fc 



In ottering the public a work on Manures, in the face of so many treatises on th 
cubject, one would naturally be led to expect that the author would add something 
new to the common stock of existing agricultural knowledge, much of which lias been 
handed down from generation to generation for many hundred years ; or, at least, that 
he would give some satisfactory reason for thus introducing himself to public notice. 

The design of the AMERICAN MUCK BOOK, then, is not to present uny novel or 
hitherto unheard-of theory or hypothesis in agriculture ; but to collect, arrange, and 
condense what men of experience and sound judgment, both of ancient and modern 
times, have already written upon the subject, embodied in a simplified form, together 
with such facts and observations as have come directly under the notice of the author, 
and such as may safely be recommended for general practice, treated of at the same 
time in such a manner as shall come within the comprehension of the "working 
farmer" who may have formed comparatively but little acquaintance with chemical 

In order that he may not be accused of the reproach of making too free a use of the 
labors of others who have written before him, the author would shelter himself for 
the present, as well as for all past occasions, under the following Horatiau maxim : 

" Publica materies privati juris erit, si 
JVec circa vilcm patalumque moraberis oriem," 

which has been thus paraphrased : " A well-known subject, even though alresd? 
ably handled, becomes as much the property of the author who treats of it anew as if 
he had been the first to wriie about it, provided always it be treated in a novel man* 
ner." According to the foregoing rule, then, it is hoped that so much of novelty 
will be found in this work as shall distinguish it from every other book ever written 
on the subject, stamping it at the same time with an identity of its own, and making 
It interesting and acceptable to the great body for whom it is designed. 

Furthermore, the author has the candor, honesty, and fearlessness to confess that 
he has made, for the public good, a fr>e use of the labors of Theophrastus, Oato, Pliny, 
Columella, Varro, lleresbachius, Gouge, Worlige, Honghton, Ellis, Hale, Dickson, 
Priestly, Meadowbank, Dundon^id, Davy, Chaptal, Berzelius, Vauquelin, Vitalis, Eln- 
hof, Schweitzer, Girardin, Boussingault, Sprengel, Payen, Herapath, Johnston, An- 
derson, Main, Way, Ogston, Rham, Morton, and Johnson, of Europe, and of Jackson, 
Beck. Emmons, Shephard, Norton, Rogers, Booth, Gardner, and Antisell, of the Uni- 
ted States, without giving them in several instances such credit as the over-nice critic 
would fain to demand. He has endeavored not to deviate, however, from established 
custom, except in cases where he deemed it expedient to change the language, in 
part, for the sake of brevity, elucidation, or Americanising the subject, or adapting 
it to our climate, resources, economy, condition of soil, class and rotation of crops, 
&c., &c. Much of the matter is* entirely original, founded on the practice and actual 
experience of the author, and a large share of the work has been re-written or com- 
posed anew. With this candid avowel, no further apology would seem necessary. 

JWio York, September lOtA, 1851. D. J. B. 


AT the solicitation of many eminent and practical agriculturists, who have often 
expressed the desire for a treatise on Manures, giving in a condensed form the sub- 
stance of what is already known on the subject, and embracing in particular what 
has been revealed by modern science, the publisher has boon induced to bring out 
the present work. 

Among the chief reasons for selecting the author for the performance of such an 
Undertaking, and his adaptability for the accomplishment of the task, are the follow- 
ing : Mr. Browne was bred and educated a practical fanner; within the last thirty 
years, his attention has been exclusively directed to Agriculture, Chemistry, Geology, 
and their kindred sciences, and in the mean time he has travelled and resided more 
or less in various parts of North and South America, the West Indies, Europe, and 
Western Africa, which has afforded him opportunities to witness the entire range of 
farming, gardening, and planting, in all the varied aspects of soils, crops, climate*, 
and the different systems practised. Within the last fifteen years, ho has been under 
the tuition, or in concert with several of the most eminent chemists of the age, ant' 
has read or consulted most of the works, both ancient and modern, relating to the 
subject under consideration ; and hence, he will be found equally at home in the 
closet, in the laboratory, and in the field. 

There is one feature in thu present work which would seem to claim particular at- 
tention ; and that is, in reading several of the quotations from old authors, it will be 
seen that many facts and principles attributed to modern discovery, were known long 
before the days of Davy, Liebig, and a Itost of others, who have been looked upon 
by many as prodigies of the age. As instances of this, It will be seen that the use 
of bones as a manure was known to the Welsh in the middle of the first century ; 
horns, hoofs, and guano, in the seventeenth century ; nitrogen, ammonia, gypaum, 
super-phosphate of lime, sulphuric acid, the other alkalies and acids, as well as peat 
and swamp mud, green crops, rain water, snow, hail, &c., in the eighteenth century. 
Hence the farmer may rest assured that all the above-named substances may be safely 
used agreeably to the directions given in this work, as they have stood the test in 
many climates, and in various ages of the 'vorld. 

Another feature which is also deserving of notice, is the frequent use made of the 
labors of Professors Way, Ogston, Johnston, and other European chemists, which 
would seem, at the first view, to be inapplicable to our country, and as out of place 
In coming from a foreign source. But when it is considered that immense sums of 
money have been expended for experiments and analyses by the Royal Agricultural 
Society of England, as well as by other similar associations abroad, and but compara- 
tively a small amount expended either by any of our state or general goveninrents. it 
will be obvious that the author must have made use of these facts, or have issued 
the work in a less complete state. One thing is certain, the information is reliuble in 
coming from so high authorities, and, on general principles, will apply to all countries 
of the globe. 


tfew York, September 16tA, 1851. 



DLAR SIR : Of all the subjects connected with practical agriculture, noi.e is more 
important than that of manures. 

It ia trne there are spa's on the earth's surface mere spots, almost too small to be 
worth naming where nature, or, as I would rather say, the Creator, has sufficiently 
guarded against the exhaustion of the soil. 

The general rule is, that cropping exhausts. However good lands may have been 
originally, they cannot give always without receiving. The essential elements of 
fertility, taken off by continued cropping, must, in some form, be returned. Lands 
originally fertile must be manured to keep them fertile. 

But the greater portion of lands, by far, are not originally good. They are de- 
fectiveare too clayey, or too sandy ; too tenacious of Water, or not sufficiently 
so ; either holding organic matter too long in a state nndigestible by plants, or de- 
composing it too soon, and giving it to the winds. These not only need manuring, 
but amending. Their character is to be changed. 

If the farmer would keep his good lands productive ; if he would make his ordi- 
nary lands better ; if he would reclaim those which are now useless ; it" lie would 
render his whole farm capable of an increasingly profitable cultivation, all 
of which can be done, he must study the subject of manures ; and the " American 
Field Book of Manures " is, in my opinion, just the book he will need. 

When this book first made its appearance, I read it with intense interest ; and I 
pronounced it as, in my opinion, the very best book for practical farmers which I 
had seen. I thought that the editor, D. J. Browne, Esq., and yourself, as the pub- 
lisher, had done a very great service to agriculture, in giving it to the public. Two 
years, in which I have studied the book faithfully, have not altered the judgment I 
then formed. I rejoice that a new edition is called for. In now commending a sec- 
ond edition to the farmers of our country, I have but to say what scores of intelli- 
gent farmers will bear me witness, that I have said uniformly ever since the bo^j 
first appeared, that it is a first-rate book, on a most important subject. 

farmers may follow the counsels erf this book without danger of being misifd. 




Acts Apo-Crersic 335 

Carbonic W, 169 

Crenic 335 

Humic 104, 199 

Hydrochloric 25 

Muriatic 25 

Nitric 349 

Oxalic 206 

Phosphoric 30.J 

" Dilute 351 

Silicic 152 

Sulphuric 245 

Dilute 3.-)! 

Ulmic 104, 199 

Uric 38, 857, 381, 883 

Air of the Atmosphere 5 

Dephlogisticated 27 

Empyreal 27 

Fixed 10 

Marsh 19 

Vital 27 

Alabaster 68 

Albite 64 

Alum, Earth of 3:i 

Alumina 33 

Ammonia 7, 35 

Atnmoniacal Salts 35 

Analysis of Albite , 64 

of American Potash 135 

of Augite 164 

of Basalt r65 

of Bitterns 55 

of Bleacher's Wuste 334 

of Blood 220 

Of Bones 232, 233, 243, -244 

of Brewer's Steep Water. ...35'J 

of Coal 61,62 

of Common Salt 144 

" of Coprolitos 63 

of CotioQ Fibre 180 

of Feldspar 64 

Of Gas Lime 103 

of Green-Sand Marl 124, li~>, 1*27 

of Greenstone Trap 163 

of Guanos, (Table of, i 288 


Analvsb vC Hair 293 

of Morn '-SK 

if llornlilende. 07, 164 

f Infiirisoriul Sand 049 

if Ivory Turnings 299 

if Kelp" 44 

f Magnesian Limestone 112, 113 

f Mica 66 

of New -Jersey Plumphorite. . 13-J 

of New- York Cluys 59 

of Nuw-Vork Marls lv!2 

of Nii;hl Soil 2ii4, --Hi.) 

of Oyster Shells 313 

of Pan Scale 55 

of Pearlash 133 

of Peat 41 

of Pouil Mud 3rtl 

of Salt Spring's ....318 

of Scutch 3K> 

of Sea \\'ator 367 

of Sower Water 3W 

of Shales and Slates i53 

of Shell Sand 315 

of Skins of AuimaU 317 

of Soda Ash 155 

of Soot 160 

of Spring Water 361 

of Urea.. 319 

of Urine of the Cow 32(1 

of of Man 318 

Analysis of Ashes of American 

" lA'ached.... 51 

of Barley.. 47 

of Coal 39,40 

of Cow Duni? 255 

of the Kxcrejnent i , 

of the Cow 

of the Donuwtic / - 7 

Fowl S 

of the Ho;,' 260 

of the Norse 262 

of Man 24 

of the Pigeon 57 

..JUi-.--l.i-], -"i 


Analysis of Ashes of Flax ............ 182 

from Soaper's I r . t 
Waste ....... J J 

of Hemlock i lfi o 

Spruce Bark. J 
of Indian (x>rn ..... . 190 

of Kentucky lilue I inn 
Grass ........ j ' 


of leaves of Iron 
Wood ......... 

of " Dog Wood.. 203 
of " Apple Tree.. '.203 
of Linseed ......... 206 

Of Oats ......... 47, 192 

of Orchard Grass. . . 199 
ofliape ......... 47,399 

of Rape Cuke ...... 218 

of " " Seed..lHO 
of " Oil Cake... 180 
of Red Clover ...... 1H8 

of Rice Straw and I o 00 
Chaff ........ j 3 3 

of Sprats ........... 274 

of Sugar Cane ..... 46 

" Refuse ____ 230 

of Timothy ......... 199 

of Turnip .......... 197 

ofWheat .......... 47 

of Wool .......... 293 

Anamalised Carbon .................. -.'-.) 

Animal Charcoal .................... 229 

Animals, Excrement of ............... 25(1 

Apatite ......................... 109, i:) 

Apo-Crenate of Lime ................ 102 

of Potash ............... l:t7 

of Soda ................ 157 

Apple Murk ......................... 210 

Arg ...................... 

Asphalt um ...... ........... 


Azote .......... 



of Anthracite Coal 

of Bituminous " 

of Peat ........................ 40 

of Seaweed .................... 43 

of Soaper's Waste .............. 53 

of Sugar Cane ................. 45 

of Vegetables, not Woody ...... 40 

of Wood ...................... 48 

Bagasse ............................. 45 

Bark of Trees and Shrubs ............ Ui7 

Barnyard Manure .................... 370 

Barilla ........................... 43, 154 

Barley, Methods of supplying the Re- > ,, 

quisite Ingredients to an Acre of j 
Basalt ............................... 164 

Beryl ............................... 67 

Bi-Carbonate of Soda ............ 145, 158 

of Lime... ............ 86 

Bi-Phosphate of Lime ........... 177,239 

of Soda ................ 158 

Bi-Sulphuret of Iron ................ 78 

Bitterns .................... ....... 55 


Bleaching Powdor 101 

Bone Black . 229 

Earth 109,231 

Bones 231 

Bun, ing of 239 

Decomposing of 240, -217 

Dissolving of 245 

Great Antiquity of Use of as a I i( .,, 

Manure i " 

Grinding of 239 

Steaming of 240 

Bleacher's Waste 334 

Blood 225 

Blubber, Refuse 227 

Brick Dust 56 

Bristles 294 

Building Rubbish 58 

Burnt Clay 56 

Calcium, Prot-oxide of 81 

Chloride of 103 

Carbonate of Ammonia 70 

of Iron 80 

of Lime 87, 88 

of Magnesia 112 

of Potash 134 

of Soda 154 

Carbonic Acid 10, 169 

Cfinent, Water 87, 112 

Chalk 87 



f ) 
s > 

Charcoal Aniuia 1 , .................. 

Per-centage and weight of 
produced by various kind 
of Wood..'. 
Volume of Gases absorbed 

Charred Peat 

Apple Pomace 
Saw D.isi... 
tan Hark ..... 

Chip Du.i ........... 

Chloride ol Caiciimi 
of Limy 
of Magnesium 
of Pot.issium 
of Sodium 



Clmi.r Dump 

Citrate of Potash 

Clay, Burnt 

Coal Dust 
Coul Tur 


Coral and Coral S:md 

Cotton Refuse 
" OilCake 

C:-enate of Lime 
of Potash 
of Soda 




Crops, Rotation of 418 

Crustiicea, etc., 273 

Cubic Nitre 157 

Petre 157 

Cuttings 295 

Dew 361 

Dung of Animals 250 

Long 372 

Short 372 

Electricity, as a Fertiliser 13 

Epsom Salts 118 

Excrement of Animals 250 

of the Ass.../ 253 

of the Camel 253 

of the Cow 254 

of the Deer 256 

of the Dog 256 

of the Domestic Fowl 257 

Of the Duck 238 

of the Goat 258 

of the Goose 258 

of the Guinea Fowl 259 

of the Hog 260 

of the Horse 261 

of Man 264,301 

of the Pigeon 266 

of the Rabbit 268 

of Sea Fowls 268 

of the Sheep 269 

of the Turkey 271 

fallowing 15 

Feathers 272 

Feldspar 64, 110, 140 

Fire Damp 19 

Fish 273 1 

Alewife, or Spring Herring 275 

Clams, Crabs, Lobsters, etc 278 

Cockles 278 

Hard Head.... 270 

Horse-Foot, or King Crab 275 

Menhaden 276 

Mossbunker .276 

Mussels 278 

Offal of 278 

Panhagen 276 

Shad 275 

Skippangs 276 

Flax Shives and Leaves 181 

Flesh, Muscles, &c., of Dead Ani- ) , 

mals } *'" 

Folding, or Yarding 278 

Galvanism, as a Fertiliser 14 

Gas, Azote 20 

Carbonic Acid 10 

Chlorine - 12 

Hydrochloric-Acid '. 25 

Hydrogen 19 

Muriatic-Acid 25 

Nitrogen. 26 

Oxygen 27 

Gas-House Liquor 336 

Gas Lime 102 

Gas Tar 336 

Glauber's Salt 150 j 

Gneiss 65' 


Granite 65, 1)0 

Grape Skins and Seeds -216 

Greaves 293 

Grewi Manure* . Ife3 

Artichoke 184 

liokhiira. Clover 185 

Horace 1H6 

Buckwheat 186 

Cow Pea IU3 

Indian Corn 1<JO 

Outs 192 

Old Grass 190 

Uape 193 

Rod Clover IK7 

Rye 194 

Sorrel 194 

Spnrry 196 

Turnip 197 

Vetch 198 

While Lupin 191 

White Mustard 192 

Yeatman 1'ea 193 

Green Suud 123, 140 

" Marl 110, 123 

Greenstone Trap 136 

Guano.. 20 

Anagamos ift(4 

Bolivian 286 

Chilian 286 

Florida 269, 2M4 

Ichaboe 286 

Modi! of Estimating Value of. . .289 

Patagonian 287 

Peruvian '. . . .284 

Saldiinha-llay 287 

Selecting of 285 

Guerneyism 17 

Gypsum 68 

Hail 3tii 

Hair 294 

Husk of Rice -J5Q 

Hay, Refuse . . . 19 

Heat, Influence of on Vegetatiou 

Herbaceous Plants 224 

Hoofs ...297 

Hornblende 6(5, 110 

Horns and Horn Piths 296 

" Shavings 296 

Huinic Acid 104, 19!) 

Humus 199 

Hydrate of Lime 83 

of Muguesiu 1 13 

of Soda 154 

Hvdrogen .. 19 

Indian Corn, Methods of supplying ) 
the Requisite Ingredients to an V 413 
Acre of j 

Insect Remains 297 

Iron 75 

Irrigation 336 

Ivory Turnings 299 

Kelp 43, 154 

Kitchen Wash 349 

Leaf Mould 203 

Leather Refuse ">JU 




f,ives of Treo.* 202 Manures, Special, Application of 387 

Lichens from R >cks and Trees 204 " Concluding R<H 4 i7 

Light, Influence of on Vegetation 21 marks on J ' 

Lime 80 " Rationale of 387 

Air-Slacked 83, 93 Marble 87 

Apo-Creuate of 102 Marl 119 

Bi-Carbonate of 88 Clayey 120 

Bi-Phosphate of 107, 239 Green-Sand 123, 1 10 

Burning of 91, 02,93,94 ; Shell Ill 

Carbonate of 87, 83 Stony 122 

Caustic , 83 j Matter, Organic, "} 

Chlorideof 101 Amount removed ion, oqo'-icn 1Q4 -m 

Crenateof 102 from an acre by | > 392, 393, 384, 3. 

Crude or (Jnburnt 98 various Crops. J 

Hipo-Sulphite of 103 Mica 6C, 110 

Hot 83 Moss from Rocks and Trws 204 

Humate of 104 Mould, Vegetable 199 

Hydrate of 84 Muck, Swamp 207 

Hydraulic 87, 99, 105, 112 Mud 379 

Mild 84^ Frog-Pond 381 

Modes of Applying 95 Pond 380 

Nitateof 106 River 380 

of Gas Works 102 Salt-Marsh 382 

Oxalateof 107 j Sea 382 

Oxy-Muriate of 102 ! Sink-Hole 381 

Oyster-shell 83 Mulching 17 

Phosphate of 107 Muriate of Ammonia 30 

Quicklime 83 of Soda 142 

Shell 83 Night Soil 204, 301, 305 

Silicate of 110 Nitrate of Ammonia 30 

Slaking of 83,93, 49 I of Lime 106 

Solubility of 83 of Magnesia 11G 

Sulphate of 68, 111 of Potash 137 

Sulphite of 103 of Soda 157 

Super-Phosphate of 109 ] Nitre 137, 150 

Theory of Action of 84 Nitrogen 26 

Water 87,112 Nitrogen, Amount of in Oil Cake I 0() - 

Limestone, Crude or Unburnt 98 ' from Different Countries j ' 

Crushed 98 Oats, Method of supplying the Re- t 499 

Impure 99 quisito Ingredients to an Acre of { 

Sand and Gravel 100, 151 Offal of Slaughterhouses 302 

Liquid Manures, Collecting of 329 >il Cake 204 

Apparatus for A p- I ,~- Oil Cake, Composition of 205 

plying !. < 327 Oil, Train 227 

Carts 331, 330 Orchards, Mulching of 18 

TankB 328 Oxalato of Ammonia 36 

Magnesia Ill of Lime 107 

Carbonate of 1 12 of Potash 138 

Caustic 1 15 Oxalic Acid 206 

Hydrate of ..113 Oxidation 27 

Nitrate of 116 Oxide of Aluminium 33 

Phoephateof 117 of Calcium 81,83 

Silicate of 117 of Iron 76, 77 

Sulphateof 118 of Magnesium Ill 

Magnesium, Chloride of. ..115 of Potassium 132 

Prot-Oxide of HI of Silicum 152 

Malt Dust 203 of Sodium 154 

Manganese 118 Oxygen 27 

Manure, Barnyard ....370 Oxygenation 29 

" Management of 370 Oxy-Muriate of Lime 102 

Long 372 Oyster Shells. 312 

Pigyard 383 Pan Scale 55 

Short 372 Paring and Kurninir 178 

Street 381 " 'without Fire I7fl 

Manure*, Special 3b7 134,135 


Peat ... ""7 

Phosphate of Alumina 34 

of Lime 17 

of Magnesia 117 

of Potash 139 

of Soda I"' 8 

Phosphorite 107, 109, 130 

Pigyard Manure 383 

Pine Straw, (leaves,) 217 

Plants, Constituents of 388, 38! 

Source of Carbon ol 389 , 

" Hydrogen of 389 

" Nitrogen of 390 I 

" Oxygen of 390 

" Phosphorus of 390 

Sulphur of 390 

Amount of Miu-"] 
eral Matter of | 

abstracted } 392, 393, 394, 395 
from an Acre I 

of J 

Plaster of Paris 69 

Pomace 216 

Potash, or Potassa 132 

Apo-Crenate of 336 

Carbonate of 134 

Citrate of 137 

Crenate of 336 

Oxalate of 138 

Phosphate of 139 

Nitrate of 137 

Silicate of 140 

Tartrate of 137 

Potassium, Hydrated Prot-Oxide of. ...132 

Chloride of 136 

Sulphuretof 160 

Potatoes, Modes of supplying the Re- ) ., 5 
quisite Ingredients to an Acre of ) ' 

Poudrette 305 

American 310 

Flemish 305 

Payen's 309 

Madame Vivert Duboul's.. .307 

Urate 308 

Premings 295 

Prot-Oxide of Sodium 154 

of Calcium 83 

of Hydrogen 354 

of Potassium 136 

Prussian Blue, Residuum of 312 

Pyrites 79 

Rags, Woollen 324 

Rape Dust 217 

Recipe No. 1. To Prepare a Top- ) . 
dressing for an Acre of Wheat. . J ** 

No. 2. To Prepare a Top- 1 
dressing for an Acre of > 404 
Wheat i 

No. 3. To Prepare' a Dress- "I 
ing to be plowed or har- I 
rowed into an Acre of J-404 
Grass Sward or a Clo- 
Tor Lev for Wheat. . . . 


Ker.ipe No. 4. To Prepare a Dress- "| 

ing for an Acre of Land 1 405 
not in (Jrass, not much f 
Worn, for Wheat ...... J 

No. 5. To Prepare a Dress- "j 

iug to be plowed into an I 405 
Acre of Laud to be sown 

with Wheat 


No. 6. To Prepare :i Dress- 
ing to be plowed into an 
Acre of Laud to be sown 
with Wheat ........... 

No. 7. To Prepare a Dross- 
ing to be plowed iiitoan 
Acre of Land to bo sown 
with Wheat ........... 

No. 8. To Prepare Wheat ) 
Seed for an Acre a He- V 406 
medy for Smut ......... ) 

No. 9. A Remedy for Slugs / 4, 
on Wheat ............. i 

No. 10. To Prepare a Dress- ~1 
ing for an Acre of Rye 1 ^^ 
to be plowed in with the f 
Seed .................. j 

No. 11. To Prepare a Dress- ] 
ing and a Top-Dressing I 
for an Acre of Rye to be >406 
applied at the Time of I 
Sowing ................ J 

No. 12. To Prepare a Dress- ] 
ing for an Acre of Rye, \,,^ 
to be applied previous to j 
Sowing ................ J 

No. 13. To Prepare Seed Rye > .,, 
for an Acre of Land ... S 

No. 14. To Prepare a Dress- 
ing for an Acre of Oats, 
to be harrowed in with 
the Seed ............... 

No. 15. To Prepare <i Dross- ") 
ing for an Acre of Land I 
previously cultivated I ... 
with Potatoes, Wheat,, 1 
or Indian Corn, for a 
Crop of Barley 

No. 16. To Prepare a Dress- 1 
ing for an Acre of Barley 410 
to be harrowed in with ' ' 
the Seed' 

No. 17. To Prepare a Dress- 1 
ing for an Acre of Bar- 1 .. a 
ley to be plowed in with f 

ey to be plu 
the Seed . . . 



Recipe No. 18. To Prepare Seed Bar- ) 4|0 
le/ for an Acre of Land i 

No. 19. To Prepare a Dress- ) 
ing for an Acre of Indian >413 
Corn .................. ) 

No. 20. To Prepare a Dress 

ing for an Acre of Indi- ! ,.. 
an Corn on Light Sandy f 
Laud .................. J 

No. 21. To Prepare i Dress-") 
ing for an Acre of Indi- ! ,,, 
an Corn to be applied in f 
the Hill with the Seed, j 

No. 22. To Prepare a Steep I .,. 
for an Acre of Seed Corn \ 

No. 23. To Prepare a Soak ) ,,- 
for an Acre of Seed Corn j 

No. 24. To Prepare a 

ing for an Acre of Pota- 
toes, to be applied in the 
Hill at the Time of 
Planting ................ 

No. 25. To Prepare a Dress-" 
ing for an Acre of Pota- 
toes, to be applied in the > 410 
Hill at the Time of 
Planting ............... 

No. 26. To Prepare a Dress-" 
ing for an Acre of Pota- 
toes, to be applied in the < , 
Hill on a newly broken ' 
sod at the Time of Plant- 
ing .................... 

Refuse, Cotton ..................... T. 179 

Bleacher's ................... 334 

Blubber ..................... 227 

Brine ........................ 335 

Gluemaker's ................. 313 

Hay ........................ 198 

Lard and Tallow Trier's ....... 29 J 

Leather ..................... 3(X) 

of Sugar Refineries ........... 5W9 

Prussian Blue ................ 312 

Slaughterhouse .............. 30:2 

Starch ....................... 220 

Wool ........................ 295 

Woollen .................. . . .293 

Rice Straw and Husk ................ 223 

Rotation of Crops ................... 418 

Rye, Methods of supplying the Re- > Am 

quisite Ingredients to an Acre of { 
Sal Ammoniac ....................... 36 

Salt, Common ................... 101, 142 

Glauber's .................. , ... 139 

of Sorrel ...................... 139 

Spirit of ........................ 25 

Springs ................... . .367 


Salt Sprijg Water 368 

Saltpetre 137 

Salt-", Ainmoniucal 35 

Epsom 119 

Sand 130 

Coral 248 

Green 123, 140 

Limestone 1(10, 151 

Sea 151 

Shell 312 

Saw Dust 221 

Schorl 67 

Scutch 315 

Sea Water 367 

Sea Weed 219 

Selenite 68 

Serpentine 165 

Sewerage 386 

Sewer Water 368 

Shade, as a Fertiliser 17 

Shale 153 

Shavings of Wood 221 

Shell Sand 312 

Shells of Oysters, Clams, etc 312 

Shoddy i>95 

Silex 152 

Silica 152 

Silicate of Alumina 34 

of Lime 110 

of Magnesia 117 

of Potash 140 

of Soda 159 

Silicum, Oxide of 152 

Skins of Animals 315 

Slate, Decomposed 153 

Slugs on Wheat, Remedy for 407 

Smut in Wheat, Remedy for 406 

Snow, Melted 347, 361 

Soap Suds 349 

Sodium, Prot-Oxide of 154 

Chloride of - 142, 157 

Sulphuret of 160 

Soda 154 

Apo-Crenate of 33t> 

Ash 154 

Bi-C;irbonate of 145, 156 

Bi-Phosphate of 158 

Carbonate of 154 

Caustic 156 

Crenate of 336 

Hydrate of 154 

Muriate of 142 

Nitate of 157 

Phosphate of 158 

Silicate of I5! 

.Sulphate of I5K 

Soiling 280,377 

Soils, Absorbent Power of 60 

Soot 16C 

Starch Refuse i-JO 

Straw and Chaff of Grain 2-J1 

Straw of R ice 223 

Sugar Refineries, Refuse of 229 

Sulphate of Alumina 35 

of Ammonia 3>, 70 



BuIpliuU of -jime 08,111 Vitriol, Green 79 

of Iron 79 Oil of 352 

of Magnesia 118 \Vash from Kitchen 349 

of Potash 142 Water 333 

of Soda 159 Brewer's Sleep 359 

Sulphur 162 Distiller's Steep 369 

Sulphuret of Iron 78 I)uncr 3ti(l 

of Potassium 160 Fertilising Qualities of 34(5 

of Sodium 160 Flax 360 

Super-Phosphate of Lime 109 Guano 3(10 

Swamp Muck 207 Hail 361 

Syenite 65, 110 Lake 361 

Taffo 256 of Stiirch Manufactories 361 

Tan Hark 221 Potato 361 

Tangue 115 Bain 361,347 

Tartrate of Potash 137 River 347, 361 

Tourmaline 67 Halt Spring 368 

Train Oil 227 Sea 367 

Trap 110, 140, 163 Sewer 368 

Trez 114 Snow 347, 361 

Ulmic Acid 114, 199 Spring 361 

Urateof Ammonia 38 Weeds 224 

Urea 310 Wheat Crop, Methods of supplying ) 

Urate, Manufacture of 308 the Ingredients to the Land for > 399 

Urine 317 the Food of ) 

of Man 318 Woody Fibre 221 

of the Cow 319 Wool ." 295 

of the Horse 322 Woollen Rags 324 

of the Pig 322 Woollen Waste 395 

of the Sheep 322 j Yards, Back, Scrapings ol 378 

Vapor, Watery, of the Atmosphere. . . 30 i Zeolite 66 



npHE air we breathe, and in which plants live and grow, is 
possessed of weight, is susceptible of compression and expan- 
sion, is the medium of heat and cold, and is indispensable to 
the lives of- all terrestrial animals and plants. By a most beau- 
tiful arrangement in the economy of nature, the different pro- 
cesses of animal and vegetable respiration are wisely made 
mutually to assist each other, the particular gases thrown off 
by the respiration of the one, harmoniously contributing to 
the support of the other. 

In investigating the air of our atmosphere, we find it is com- 
posed principally of a mixture of oxygen and nitrogen gases, 
in the proportion very nearly of 21 of the former to 79 of the 
latter. It contains, however, as a constituent necessary to the 
very existence of vegetable life, a small per-centage of car- 
bonic acid. On an average, this carbonic acid amounts to 
about ^/offths part of the bulk of the air. On the shores of the 
sea or of great lakes, this quantity diminishes; and it becomes 
sensibly less as we recede from the land. It is also less by 
day than by night, (as 3 T 3 ff 3 -ths to 4 r 3 / ff ths,) and it is less over a 
moist than over a dry soil. 

The air is also imbued with moisture. Watery vapor is 
everywhere diffused through it, but the quantity varies with 


the season of the ysar, with the climate, with the natare of the 
locality, with its allitude, and with its distance from the equa- 
tor. In temperate climates, it oscillates on the same spot be- 
tween i and H per cent, of the weight of the air; being least 
in mid-winter and greatest in the hot months of summer. 
There are also mingled with the atmosphere, traces of the 
vast variety of substances, which are capable of rising from 
the surface of the earth in the form of vapor ; such, for in- 
stance, as are given off by decaying animal or vegetable mat 
ter, which are the produce of disease in either class of bodies, 
or which are evolved during the operations of nature in the in- 
organic kingdom, or by the artificial processes of man. Among 
these accidental vapors are to be included those miasmata, 
which, in certain parts of the world, render whole districts un- 
healthy, as well as certain compounds of ammonia, which are 
inferred to exist in the atmosphere, because they can be de- 
tected in rain water, or in newly-fallen snow. 

In this constitution of the atmosphere, we can discover many 
beautiful adaptations to the wants and structure of animals 
and plants. The exciting effect of pure oxygen on the animal 
economy is diluted by the large admixture with nitrogen; the 
quantity of carbonic acid present is sufficient to supply food 
to the plant, while it is not so great as to prove injurious to 
the animal ; and the watery vapor suffices to maintain the re- 
quisite moisture and flexibility of the parts of both orders of 
beings, without being, in general, in such a proportion as to 
prove hurtful to either. 

The air, also, by its subtlety, diffuses itself everywhere. 
Into every pore of the soil it makes its way. When there, it 
yields its oxygen or its carbonic acid to the dead vegetable 
matter, or to the living root. A shower of rain expels the half- 
corrupted air, to be succeeded by a purer poition as the watei 
retires. The heat of the sun warms the soil and expands the 
imprisoned gases; these partially escape, and are, as before, 
replaced by other air when the rays of the sun are withdrawn. 

By the action of these and other causes, a constant circulo- 


lion is, to a certain extent, kept up between the atmosphere 
on the surface, which plays among the leaves and stems of 
plants, and the air which mingles with the soil and ministers 
to the roots. 

The operation and precise effects of the atmosphere on 
vegetation will be found in the next and succeeding articles, 
embraced under this division of the subject. 


AMMONIA, ammoniacal gas, spirits of hartshorn, alkaline air, 
or volatile alkali, which names it has at different periods as- 
sumed, is ;x gaseous compound, formed of 1 equivalent of 
nitrogen, 14JL, and 3 of hydrogen, having an atomic weight, or 
combining number, of 17j. When pure, it is an incondensa- 
ble colorless gas, possessing great pungency, acridity, and 
alkaline properties, acting powerfully on the nose and eyes. 
It is incapable of supporting combustion, and is nearly in- 
flammable. Water, at the common temperature and pressure 
of the atmosphere, readily absorbs about 780 times its bulk, 
and in this state forms strong liquid ammonia, which, when 
much more dilute, is popularly known as spirits of hartshorn, or 
water of ammonia of the shops. 

Ammonia, in combination with acids, is frequently found 
ready formed in nature ; but that met with in commerce was 
originally brought from Egypt, where it was obtained by sub- 
limation under the form of sal ammoniac, (muriate or hydro- 
chlorate of ammonia, of modern chemists,) from the soot pro- 
duced by burning camel's dung. It was afterwards procured 
from putrid urine by distillation ; but at the present day, it is 
chiefly prepared from the ammoniacal liquor of gas works, 
and the manufactories of animal charcoal, ivory or bone black, 
or by steeping animal substances in a solution of the muriate 
of magnesia. In a state of nature, it is found in variable 
quantities among the saline products of volcanoes, in sea water, 
in bituminous coal, and in the leaves of some plants. It ex- 


ists in considerable quantity in guano, the dung and urine of 
animals, and is well known to form one of the products of all 
fermenting animal matter; and its smell may readily be de- 
tected in cesspools, dunghills, in or near stables where horses ; 
cattle, &c., are kept, in rain-water cisterns, and near the sur- 
face of cultivated ground just after the commencement of a 
summer shower. 

Ammonia is known to exist in the atmosphere in small and 
variable quantity, as well as in rain water, snow, hail, and 
dew. It has also been found in many clays, and traces of it 
may be discovered in most soils; but it is not known to be a 
natural or essential constituent of any of the solid rocks of 
which the crust of this globe is composed. These clays and 
soils, therefore, are supposed to have derived their ammonia 
from the air. Whence, then, is this ammonia derived, and is 
its quantity sufficient to supply the demands of the entire veg- 
etation of the globe '{ On this subject, Professor Johnston re- 
marks: "When animal substances undergo decay, nearly all 
the nitrogen they contain is ultimately separated from the othei 
constituents in the form of ammonia. During the decay of 
plants, also, a portion of their nitrogen escapes in the state of 
ammonia. Of the ammonia thus formed, much ascends into 
the air, chiefly in combination with carbonic acid, as carbon- 
ate of ammonia, (smelling salts,) and much remains in the 
soil. Were the whole of the nitrogen contained in plants and 
animals to assume the form of ammonia when they decay, and 
remain in the soil or in the air, it would always be within the 
reach cither of the roots or leaves of the living races ; and 
thus the same ammonia might again and again return into the 
circulation of new vegetable tribes, and be always alone suffi- 
cient to supply all the demands of the existing vegetation of 
the globe. 

"But of the ammonia thus forme J, a portion is daily washed 
from the soil by the rains and carried to the sea, and much 
more, probably, is washed from the air by the waters of the 
sea itself, or by the rains which fall directly into the wide 


oceans; and we know of no compensating process by which 
this ammonia can be restored to the air, and again made uso 
ful to vegetation. 

" fact which most clearly illustrates the production of 
ammonia in nature, both on the surface of the earth, in the 
soil, and far in the interior near the seat of volcanic fires, 
is this: That, if a current of moist air be made to pass 
over red-hot charcoal, carbonic acid and ammonia are 
simultaneously formed. This is, in reality, only a repetition 
in another form of what takes place, when vegetable matter 
decays, or iron filings rust in moist air. The carbon and the 
iron decompose the watery vapor in the air, and combine with 
its oxygen, while at the instant of its liberation, the hydrogen 
of the water combines with the nitrogen of the air, and forms 

" The source of the ammonia, evolved in volcanic districts, 
therefore, is no longer obscure. The existence of combustible 
matter in such districts, and at great depths beneath the sur- 
face, can, in few cases, be doubted, and the passage of a mixed 
atmosphere of common air and steam over such combustible 
matter, at a high temperature, appears to be alone necessary 
o the production ot ammonia, it is unnecessary, men, 10 
nave recourse to doubtful speculations in order to account for 
the natural reproduction of ammonia, to a certain extent, in 
the place of that which is constantly undergoing decomposi- 
tion by the agency of j.uscs, such as those above described. 
But is the indefinite quantity of ammonia reproduced by these 
indirect methods sufficient to replace all that is lost? Can it 
be supposed to impart to plants all the nitrogen they require?" 

In the opinion of the author just quoted, ammonia is sup- 
plied to plants chiefly by the natural decay of animal and 
vegetable substances; and nitric acid partly by the natural 
oxidation of dead organic matter, and partly by the direct 
union of oxygen and nitrogen through the agency of atmos- 
pheric electricity. 

For fur'her information on the operation and Application of 


ammonia, the reader is referred to AMMONIAC A'. SALTS under the 
head of "Saline Manures," &c., and GAS-HOUSE LIQUOR, under 
the head of " Liquid Manures." 


THIS compound, which is also known under the names of 
fixed air and choke damp, is widely distributed throughout all 
nature, and is the product, of the combustion of carbon in an 
abundance of oxygen. It is gaseous at all temperatures under 
ordinary pressure is incombustible, and incapable of sup- 
porting combustion and respiration. Like oxygen, hydrogen, 
and nitrogen, it is colorless and transparent, but may readily 
be distinguished from all these by its acid taste and smell, by 
its solubility in water, and by its great density. Water, at 
60 F., under the ordinary pressure of the atmosphere, dissolves 
rather more than its own bulk of this gas (100 measures of 
water dissolve 106 of gas). It is about one half heavier than 
the atmosphere, near the earth, and hence may be poured 
through the air from one vessel into another. Hence, also, 
where it issues from the earth in large quantities, as in many 
volcanic districts, il flows along the surface like water, enter? 
into and fills up the cracks and hollows, and sometimes runs 
to a considerable distance irom its source before u is dissi 
pated among the still air, through which it ascends much 
more slowly than the ot'ier gases of which the atmosphere is 

Burning bodies are extinguished in carbonic acid, and liv- 
ing beings plunged into it instantly cease to breathe. Mixed 
with |th of its bulk of this gas, the atmospheric air is rendered 
unfit for respiration. It is, however, the principal food of 
plants, being absorbed by their leaves and roots in large 
quantity. Hence the presence of carbonic acid in tho atmos- 
phere is necessary to the growth of plants, and they have been 
observed to thrive better when the quantity of this gas in "the 
lir is considerably augmented. Plants will bear about 20 


per cent, of this gas in addition to what is natural to them, hut 
then they must be exposed to the light. Probably from 5 to 
8 per cent, is as much as can be safely used. Common air, as 
has been already stated, does not contain more on an average 
than ^Vtfth of its bulk of carbonic acid ; but M. De Saussure 
found that plants in the sunshine grew better when it was in- 
creased to -jLth of the bulk of the air, but beyond this quantity 
they were injured by its presence, even when exposed to the 
sun. When the carbonic acid amounted to one half, the 
plants died in seven days; when it reached two thirds of the 
bulk of the air, they ceased to grow altogether. In the shade, 
any increase of carbonic acid beyond that which naturally 
exists in the atmosphere of our globe, was found to be injuri- 

In nature, carbonic acid is produced under a great variety 
of circumstances. It is given off from the lungs of all animals 
during respiration. It is formed daring the progress of fer- 
mentation. Fermented liquors owe their sparkling qualities 
to the presence of this gas. During the decay of animal and 
vegetable substances in the air, in compost heaps, or in the 
soil, it is evolved in great abundance. In certain volcanic 
countries, it issues in large quantity from springs and from 
cracks and fissures in the surface of tne earth ; while the vast 
amount of carbon contained in the W( od and coal daily con- 
sumed by burning, is carried up into the atmosphere, chiefly 
in this form. 

Carbonic acid consists of 1 equivalent of carbon and 2 
>f oxygen. It unites with bases, (potash, soda, lime, &c.,) and 
forms compounds known by the name of carbonates. Thus 
pearlash is an impure :arbonate of potash ; the common soda 
of the shops, carbonate "fsoda; ana limestone or chalk, carbon- 
ates of lime. From the^e compounds, it may be readily disen- 
gaged by pouring upon them diluted muriatic or sulphuric 
acids. From limestone, it is also readily expelled by heat, as 
in the common limekilns. During this process, the limestone 
loses nearly 44 per cent of its weight, (43^ when pure and 


tir) ,) a loss which represents the quantity of tarbonic acid 
driven off. Hence by burning limestone on the spot where it 
is quarried, nearly one half the cost of transportation may be 
saved. Johnston. 


CHLORINE, when pure, is a gaseous substance, possessing a 
yellowish-green color, a disagreeable, pungent, suffocating 
odor, and an astringent, acid taste. It is a non-supporter of 
ordinary combustion and respiration, although phosphorous 
gold leaf, metallic potassium and sodium, and several other 
metals take fire in it and burn of their own accord. It is 
nearly 2 times heavier than common air, and therefore may 
be readily poured from one vessel into another. Water absorbs 
twice its own bulk of the gas, acquiring its color, smell, and 
disagreeable astringent taste. If a mixture of common salt 
and black oxide of manganese be put into a flask or bottle of 
colorless glass, and sulphuric acid, (oil of vitriol,) be poured 
upon it, a gas of a greenish-yellow color will be given off, 
and will gradually fill the bottle. Its most rer<trkable prop- 
erties are, its power of destroying almost al] vegetable and 
animal colors, as well as the putrid odor of Discomposing or- 
ganic matter. Hence its value as a bleaching agent, and as 
a disinfectant and fumigant. 

Animals cannot breathe it without suffocation; and when 
unmixed with air, it speedily kills all living vegetables. The 
solution of chlorine in water was found by Davy to promote 
the germination of seeds. 

It does not exist, and is rarely evolved in nature in a free or 
uncombined state, and therefore is not known to exercise any 
direct action upon the general vegetation of the globe. It ex- 
ists largely, however, in common salt, (chloride of sodium,) 
every 100 Ibs. of this substan2e containing upwards of 60 Ibs. 
of chlorine. Indirectly, therefore, it may be supposed to in- 
fluence, in some degree, the growth of plants, where common 


mil exists naturally in the soil, or is artificially applied in any 
form to the land. Tahnslon. 


WITHIN the last half century, much interest has been taken 
in Europe and in this country, but not with much success, in 
the application of this agent, as a stimulant or fertiliser in 
forwarding garden vegetables, and indeed, field crops and 
trees. Yet, from the very nature of electricity, its operations 
arc too little understood for the cultivator to derive much ad- 
vantage from its use. Sir H. Davy, in treating of this subject 
says : " Electrical changes are constantly taking place in na- 
ture on the surface of the earth, and in the atmosphere ; but 
as yet, the effects of this power in vegetation have not been 
correctly estimated. It has been shown by experiments made 
by means of the Voltaic battery, (the instrument in which 
,iectricity is evolved by the mutual action of zinc, copper, and 
vater,; that compound bodies, in general, are capable of being 
decomposed by electrical powers; and it is probable, that the 
various electrical phenomena occurring in our system must 
influence both the germination of seeds and the growth of 
plants. I found that, an acorn sprouted much more rapidly in 
water positively electrified by the Voltaic instrument, than in 
water negatively electrified ; and experiments made upon the 
atmosphere show that clouds are usually negative ; and as 
when a cloud is in one state of electricity, the surface of the 
earth beneath is brought into an opposite state, it is probable 
that, in common cases, the surface of the earth is positive." 

The plans which have more recently been adopted in this 
country, and by some, thought to have been attended with 
success, are the two following, as detailed in Gardner's Farm- 
er's Dictionary: Wires are supported upon a trellis running 
north and south, at a height of four to six feet above the 
ground as denoted in fig. 1 ; at the ends of each trelfis, they 
a u e bent dcwn to the ground and about three inches below it. 


and are conveyed at this depth through the oil, from OIK; to 
the other end, so that the wire forms a parallelogram, thus 


Surface of the earth. 

FIG. 1. 

A number of these, at distances of two to four feet, are 
arranged through the fields, and the grain or plants sown in 
the soil or in drills. It is stated on good authority that rye 
oats, wheat, &c., so treated, are singularly developed and ad- 
vanced in maturity. May it not be worthy of trial ? In this 
case, the atmospheric electricity is supposed to act. 

The second plan is a Galvanic arrangement. Large plates 
of sheet copper and zinc arc used, the size depending upon 
the distance at which they are placed 18 inches deep and 
three feet long may be used at a distance of 50 feet; these are 
sunk into the soil vertically, excepting three inches of the top, 
which is left exposed ; from one to the other, passes a stout cop- 
per wire, which is well soldered to both, and sustained by a 
few sticks or a trellis. 

Wire supported by sticks above the soil. 

.... Surface of the soil. 

Zinc plale. p IG 2 . Copper plato. 

Such an arrangement may be made to inclose four or five 
drills of potatoes, carrots, parsnips, &c. The fluid of the earth, 
acting on the zinc, produces a corrosion, which gives rise to 
the Galvanic or electric curren, that traverses the soil, and is 
said to cause plants to grow very rapidly. An experiment 
after this plan was tried on potatoes by a Mr. Ross, at Ravens- 
wood, Long Island, in 1844, and it is stated, was successful 



RN land is allowed to rest without having (tny seed sown 
upon it, and without being touched by the plov, it is called a 
tea ; but when it is allowed to rest, and at the same time is 
plowed, and exposed to the influence of the atmosphere, for 
the purpose of rendering it more friable, clearing it of herbage 
or weeds, and of absorbing fertilising gases, it was originally 
called a fallow ; but now, different names are given to fallows, 
according to the purposes for which they are intended, and 
the manner and season in which they are made. Thus a 
naked fallow is that in which the ground is plowed at suitable 
intervals for several times in succession, and remaining some 
length of time without being sov/n. A green fallow is thai 
where the land has been rendeied mellow by plowing under 
a crop of oats, rye, buckwheat, clover, ray grass, turnips, 
lucern, chickory, lupines, or other cheap vegetables just in 
flower, by means of which, poor soils are cheaply and rapidly 
improved, especially if a liming be given. In this mode offal- 
lowing, no time is lost by the land lying idle, or in an unpro- 
ductive state. Fallows are also sometimes distinguished by 
the season of the year in which the operation is chiefly or 
wholly performed, as summer and winter fallows. They are 
also named after the crops plowed under, as clover fallow, tur- 
nip fallow, &c. 

Fallowing was so much practised in the ancient Roman 
husbandry, that seldom any seed was sown but on a fallow, 
and the product, in some cases, was nearly double that of the 
present day : but in England and this country, the practice is 
now generally regarded as unprofitable, requiring much time 
and expenditure, which might otherwise be better employed. 
But, on clayey soils, a complete fallow has long been consid- 
ered as the basis of every profitable rotation crop by the most 
judicious farmers of Scotland ; and according to their concur- 
ring experience, on wet, cohesive soils, however good the 


course of tillage, no trials, made upon a la.-ge scale, to post- 
pone a fallow more than eight years, hr^e hitherto been suc- 
cessfu 1 Their land has been uniformly recruited during fal- 
lowing. which is proved by the circumstance, that, in all soils, 
a much less quantity of dung is necessary after a summer fal- 

Different soils require different classes of fallowing, as well 
us a different rotation of crops, which the season of the year 
and local circumstances will naturally suggest themselves to 
the prudent husbandman, so that no absolute rule of one dis- 
trict will apply to another. The principal use of fallowing is 
in altering the mechanical arrangement of the soil, either by 
pulverising it, or making it more compact, both of which 
effects are thereby produced, according to circumstances, and 
in absorbing fertilising gases from the atmosphere as well as 
in destroying roots, seed weeds, and insects. Although a 
winter fallow is an excellent thing in light sandy ground, as a 
preparation for spring crops, a naked summer fallow should 
seldom, if ever, be adopted, as a green fallow, in general, will 
serve the desired end ; but not so with deep, stiff, clayey soils, 
which require a thorough drying and pulverising before they 
can be benefitted by the autumnal and winter rains, that 
would otherwise render the earth more compact and hard.. 
They ought to be plowed* in such a manner as to expose the 
largest and the most uneven surface, in order that the rays of 
'he sun may fall upon it, and that the winds may have easier 
access to impregnate the soil with the nutritious gases 
of the air. For, by exposing the soil in large clods to the 
action of the sun's rays, in spring and summer, it is heated 
to a temperature of 120 F., and often much higher, by 
which its moisture is exhaled, and the clay partakes somewhat 
of the character of that which has been burnt by fire. It then 
becomes more brittle, absorbs nitrogen ajid ammonia from the 
air, and is less liable to cohere with subsequent moisture. 
Clods upon the surface, after wheat is sown, do little or no 
harm, hut rather do good ; they afford shelter to the young 


plants during the winter, and their crumbling down in the 
spring, as they always do after frost, affords a renewed supply 
of nutriment to the crop. 

Again, after all the soluble matter in a soil is exhausted by 
cropping, there still remains much carbonaceous matter, the 
remains of woody fibre, which imbibes a large proportion of 
oxygen when exposed to the air, that would otherwise remain 
inert in the soil unless a new fermentation were excited in it 
by this or some other means. Now, in clayey soils, this car- 
bonaceous matter is effectually excluded from absorbing oxy- 
gen and nitrogen from the air, but is brought into a condition 
to do so by summer fallowing. The effect of this and of its 
imbibing moisture, is its gradual conversion into carbonic acid 
and carbureted hydrogen for the nourishment of plants, and 
thereby answers one of the principal ends proposed. 


EVERY farmer knows, that when a soil has been shaded for 
a considerable time by a dense crop of clover, ray grass, hemp, 
turnips, cabbages, peas, &c., or is covered by buildings, boards, 
stones, shavings, sawdust, tan bark, chaff, straw, coarse hay, 
or other fibrous matter, though naturally hard -and stiff, be- 
comes mellow, soft, and free, and obviously is in a state of 
fermentation. This may be accounted for on the principle 
that putrefaction, or solution of vegetable substances in the 
soil, is more readily promoted by a close or stagnated state of 
the air, than by a constant supply and addition of oxygen 
from a pure atmosphere ; or, in other words, that such a cov- 
ering will prevent the excessive exhalation of moisture, nitre* 
gen, hydrogen and carbonic acid gases, which accumulate 
and thereby promote the putrefaction or decomposition of ve^ 
etable matters, and thus enrich the soil. 

It is upon this principle, that the new and peculiar kind 4 
manuring, called Gurneyism, depends, which is stated to 
been employed with signal success, by Mr. Gurney, a fan 


of East Cornwall, in England, a few years since. The opera- 
tion consists in covering grass land with long straw, coarse 
hay, or other fibrous matter, which is allowed to remain upon 
the ground until the grass springs through it to the desired 
height, and then raking it off and spreading it on another por- 
tion of the field; the operation being repeated as long as the 
straw or hay remains sufficiently entire to be conveniently ap- 
plied. It is upon the same principle, too, that orchards and 
fruit trees are rendered more productive by mulching with 
straw or refuse hay around their trunks and over their roots ; 
and from this, and other causes, the quality of a poor, thin, un- 
productive soil, which has been for some time shaded by 
brush wood or a dense forest, is materially improved. In a 
forest, however, all other vegetation being prevented, the land, 
besides receiving a yearly manuring of vegetable mould from 
the fallen leaves, is caused to be many years in uninterrupted 
fallow; and is sheltered, also, from the beating of rain drops, 
which slowly and gently descend upon it, fraught with prin- 
ciples of fertility, instead of washing out the valuable saline 
matter it may contain. Beneath the overshadowing branches 
of a forest, too, the soil is also protected from the wind, and 
to this protection Sprengel attributes much of that rapid im- 
provement so generally experienced where lands are covered 
with wood. The winds carry along with them earthy matter, 
which they again deposit in the still forest, and thus gradually 
form a soil even in places where it is the most bare. 

Independent of the above considerations, shade is necessary 
for all plants in their infancy, when they are diseased, or 
when they have suffered violence by removal. Seeds germi- 
nate best in obscurity, and young plants thrive better when 
shaded for a few days after they are up. The clouds often 
furnish such shade, but art may use means to give it to them. 
Seeds that are necessary to be sown on tno surface, or with a 
little earth over them, also grow best it shaded for a time, 
Shade, too, is necessary for such plants, as it is desirable tc 
1 sulong their freshness and flowering; and it is equally im- 


portant and almosv indispensable to all plants in cuttings, or 
slips, in order that they may root well. But plants in the 
light purify the air by absorbing carbonic acid and disengag- 
ing their oxygen, and at night, they corrupt the air by suffer- 
ing carbonic acid to escape without being decomposed. 


HYDROGEN, in its pure state, exists only as a gas, and is the 
lightest substance known. It has neither taste nor smell ; is 
colorless, transparent, and highly inflammable; but does not 
support either combustion or respiration; being 16 times 
lighter than oxygen gas, and nearly 14J times lighter than 
atmospheric air. In all its properties, it resembles a metal ; or, 
in other words, it is a gaseous metal, even as mercury is a 
liquid one. Combined with oxygen, it forms icater ; with chlo- 
rine, muriatic acid ; with nitrogen, ammonia; with phosphorus, 
phosphoreted hydrogen; and with sulphur, sulphureled hydrogen. 
It also enters into the composition of all compounds containing 
water, (as the hydrates of lime, magnesia, &c.,) numerous 
acids and salts, and the various proximate organic principles 
both of the animal and vegetable kingdoms. Its compound? 
with carbon, forming coal and oil gases, employed for lighting 
our cities, are of much economical value. 

Plants contain from 6 to 7 per cent, of hydrogen in the dried 
portion without water, in which there is th by weight; fat 
and wax contain from 10 to 13 per cent. 

Light Carbureted Hydrogen. This substance is abundantly 
formed during the decay of vegetable matter in moist places, 
or in stagnant pools, from the mud in the bottoms of which it 
may often be seen rising in bubbles, and may readily be 
caught. It often rises in hot. weather from lofy, stagnant 
marshes, and hence is called marsh air. It is also generated by 
the combustion of bituminous coal, and forms the much- 
. dreaded fire damp, or explosive gas of mines, when mixed with 
air. Animals introduced into it instantly cease o breathe. 


This gas is also given off along with carbcnic acid during 
the fermentation of compost heaps, or of other large collec- 
tions of vegetable matto It is said, also, to be generally 
present in well-manured soils, and is believed to contribute 
in such cases to the nourishment of plants. It is, however, 
very sparingly soluble in water, so that in a state of solution 
it cannot enter largely into the pores of the roots, even though 
it be abundantly present in the soil. 

Sulphureled Hydrogen. This is a gaseous compound of sul- 
phur with hydrogen, and may be readily known by its disa- 
greeable fetid odor of rotten eggs. Water absorbs about 3 
times its volume, and natural solutions are found in sulphur 
springs. It is colorless, inflammable, and highly poisonous 
when respired. An atmosphere containing TB Vffth part of this 
gas killed a large dog, and one of gjhyth P art killed a horse. 
Being considerably denser than common air, it maybe poured 
into cavities, or holes, and by this means has been successfully 
employed in destroying vermin and rats. 

This gas is often produced in marshy and stagnant places 
and in fish ponds, where vegetable matter is undergoing decay 
in the presence of water containing gypsum or other sulphates, 
and it may occasionally be detected by the sense of smell 
imong the roots of the sod, in old pasture land, to which a 
,op-dressing is occasionally given. As in the egg, so also in 
other decaying animal substances, especially when the air is 
in some measure excluded, this gas is formed. In putrefied 
cow's urine, and in night soil, it is present in considerable 

Sulphurated hydrogen is also exceedingly noxious to vege- 
table life, when diffused in any considerable quantity through 
the space by which it is surrounded. The luxuriance 
of the vegetation in the neighborhood of sulphurous springs, 
however, has given us reason to believe that water impregnated 
with this gas, may act in a beneficial manner when it is placed 
Mthin reash of the roots of plants. It seems also to be ascer- 
tba' natural or artificial waters, which have a sulphur. 


ous taste, give birth to a peculiarly luxuriant vegetation, when 
they are employed in the irrigation of meadows. This gas, 
however, as well as those of carbonic, nitrous and muriatic 
acids, is regarded as injurious to vegetation when occurring in 
excess, particularly during the absence of light. 


LIGHT, produced by the rays of the sun, is a most important 
agent in the development of plants, the green color of their 
leaves, fruit, twigs, &c., being produced by its action ; but it 
is not necessary to have the direct solar beam diffuse day- 
light is sufficient, although the action is not, in this case, so 
rapid and energetic, as when aided by the bright rays of the 
sun. Mould, and some kinds of mushrooms, however, grow and 
thrive without light ; but trees and the plants usually cultivated, 
cannot long exist in a healthy state without its presence. 

All green and living plants, exposed to the light, and living 
upon atmospheric air, obtain most of their carbon from its 
carbonic acid, (which they imbibe and decompose,) their hydro- 
gen from its moisture, and their nitrogen partly fromtheammo- 
nical vapor which therein exists. But in the absence of light, 
oxygen is withdrawn from the air, the carbonic acid emitted, 
and plants in the dark deteriorate the air in which they are 
confined ; whereas, when exposed under the open canopy of 
heaven to the alternations of light and darkness, sunshine and 
gloom, exactly the reverse is the case. Hence we have the full- 
est reason to believe that plants are nourished by the carbonic 
acid of the atmosphere, which is absorbed directly by their 
leaves from the surrounding air, and also by their roots, when 
dissolved in rain water; and further, that the rapidity of the 
decomposition bears a direct relation to the intensity of the 

In the tropics, for instance, vegetation is wonderfully active, 
and this is due as much to the brighter sunshine, as to the 
more elevated temperature of these carts. There is no difficulty 


in obtaining in a stove nor in a conservatory, an atmosphere 
as warm, and if necessary, as moist as may be desired, and the 
plants of hot countries may be cultivated with a certain de- 
gree of success in such a situation ; but they never exhibit the 
thriving and beautiful appearance, the deep-green color, char- 
acteristic of health, belonging to them in their natural state. 
We may substitute artificial warmth for that of the sun, but 
we cannot supply the place of its light. Fownes. 

How necessary light is to the health of plants may be infer- 
red from the eagerness with which they appear to long for it. 
How intensely docs the sunflower watch the daily course of 
the sun ! How do the countless blossoms nightly droop, when 
he retires, and the blanched plant strive to reach an open 
chink through which his light may reach it ! Thus a potatr 
has been observed to grow up in quest of light from the bot- 
tom of a well 12 feet deep and in a dark cellar a shoot of 
20 feet in length has been met with, the extremity of which 
had readied and rested at an open window. 

That the warmth of the sun has comparatively little to do 
with this specific action of his rays on the chemical functions 
of the leaf, is illustrated by some interesting experiments of 
Mr. R. Hunt, of England, on the effect of rays of light of differ- 
ent colors on the growing plant. He sowed cress seed, and 
exposed different portions of the soil in which the seeds were 
germinating, to the action of the red, yellow, green, and blue 
rays, which were transmitted by equal thicknesses of solu- 
tions of these several colors. "After ten days, there was un- 
der the blue fluid a crop of cress of as bright a green as any 
which grew in full light, and far more abundant. The crop 
was scanty under the green fluid, and of a pale-yellow, un- 
healthy color. Under the yellow solution, only two or three 
plants appeared, but less pale than those under the green ; 
while beneath he red, a few more plants came up than under 
the yellow, though they were also of an unhealthy color. The 
red and blue bottles being now mutually transferred, the crop 
formerly beneath the biue, in a few days, appeared blighted 


while on the patch previously exposed to the red, some addi- 
tional plants sprung up." From the result of these experi- 
ments, it has been recommended that a cheap blue glass be 
employed for glazing hothouses, conservatories, &c., instead of 
the kind in common use. 

Besides the rays of heat and of light, the sunbeam contains 
what have been called chemical rays, not distinguishable by 
our senses, but capable of being recognised by the chemical 
effects they produce. These rays appear to differ in kind, as 
the rays of different colored light do. It is to the action of 
these chemical rays on the leaf, and especially to those which 
are associated with the blue light in the solar beam, that the 
chemical influence of the sun on the functions of the leaf is 
principally to be ascribed. 

There are, also, some of the relations of soils to heat, which 
have considerable influence upon their power of promoting 
vegetation. These are the rapidity with which they absorb 
heat from the air, the temperature they are capable of attain- 
ing under the direct action of the sun's rays, and the length 
of time during which they are able to retain this heat. 

Power of Absorbing Heat. It is an important fact, in reference 
to the growth of plants, that during sunshine, when the sun's 
rays beat upon it, the earth acquires a much higher tempera- 
ture than the surrounding air. This temperature very often 
amounts to 1 10 F., and sometimes to nearly 150, while the 
air in the shade is between 70 and 80, only. Thus the roots 
of plants are supplied with that amount of warmth which is 
most favorable to their rapid growth. 

Dark-colored soils, such as black and brownish-red, absorb 
the heat of the sun most rapidl>, and therefore, become warm 
the soonest. They also attain a higher temperature, by a few 
degrees only, however, (3 to 8,) than soils of other colors ; 
and thus, under the action of the same sun, will more rapidly 
promote vegetation. 

Every one will understand that the above differences are 
observed among such soils, onLy, as are exposed to the same 


sun under the same circumstances. Where th& exposure, or 
aspect of the soil, is such as to give it the prolonged benefit 
of the sun's rays, or shelter it from cold winds, it will prove 
more propitious to vegetation than many others less favorably 
situated, though darker in color and more free from superflu- 
ous moisture. 

Power of Retaining Heal. Soils differ, however, in their pow- 
er of retaining the heat they have thus absorbed. All hot 
bodies, when exposed to the air, gradually become cool. So 
do all soils ; but a sandy soil will cool more slowly than a 
clay, and the latter than a soil which is rich in vegetable mat- 
ter. The difference, according to Schiibler, is so great, that a 
peaty soil cools as much in one hour as the same bulk of clay 
in two, or of sand in three hours. This may no doubt have 
considerable influence upon growing crops, inasmuch as, after 
the sun goes down, the sandy soil will be three hours in cool- 
ing, while the clays will cool to the same temperature in two, 
and rich vegetable mould, in one hour. But on those soils 
which cool the soonest, dew will first begin to be deposited ; 
and it is doubtful, where the soils are equally drained, whether, 
in summer weather, the greater proportion of dew deposited on 
the clays and vegetable moulds may not more than compen- 
sate to the parched soil, for the less prolonged duration of 
the elevated temperature derived from the action of the sun's 
rays. It is also to be remembered, that vegetable soils, at 
least, absorb the sun's heat, more rapidly than the lighter-col- 
ored, sandy soils, and thus the plants, that grow in the former, 
which is sooner heated, may in reality be exposed to the high- 
est influence of the sun's warmth, for, at least, as long a 
period as those which are planted in the latter. 

The only power we possess over these relations of soils to 
heat, appears to be, that by top-dressing with charcoal, with 
soot, or with dark-colored composts, we may render it more 
capable of rapidly absorbing the sun's heat, and by admixture 
with sand, more capable of retaining the heat which it ha." 
hus obtained. Johnston. 



PURE muriatic acid is a colorless, invisible gas, containing 1 
atom of chlorine and 1 of hydrogen, having a pungent odor 
and an intensely acid taste is incombustible and incapable 
of supporting combustion, but fumes in the air, and cannot be 
respired without exciting violent spasms in the tongue and 
throat. Water, at 40 F., absorbs 480 times its volume, and in 
this state, it forms the muriatic acid of commerce, or spirits of 
sails, which has commonly a straw-yellow color, caused by 
the admixture of nitric and sulphuric acids with oxide of iron. 
It is procured by distilling common salt with sulphuric acid 
in an earthen-ware apparatus, and receiving the vapor in 

Muriatic acid corrodes the skin, and in its undiluted state, 
is poisonous both to animals and plants. It dissolves common 
pearlash, soda, magnesia, and limestone, with effervescence ; 
and readily dissolves, also, and combines with, many earthy 
substances which are contained in the soil. When applied to 
living vegetables in the state of an exceedingly dilute solution 
in water, it has been supposed upon some soils and under some 
circumstances, to be favorable to vegetation. Long experi- 
ence, however, on the banks of the Tyne and elsewhere, in 
the neighborhood of the so-called alkali works, according 
to Professor Johnston, has proved that in the state of vapor 
its repeated application, even when diluted with much air, is 
in many cases fatal to vegetable life. In these works, car- 
bonates and sulphates of soda are manufactured from com- 
mon salt, and in one of the processes, immense quantities of 
muriatic acid are thrown off from the furnace. 

Poured in a liquid state upon fallow land, or land preparing 
for a crop, it may assist the growth of the future grain by 
previously forming, with the ingredients of the soil, some of 
those compounds vhich have been occasionally applied as 




NITROGEN, when pure, is a colorless, odorless, .asteless gas, 
neither combustible nor capable of supporting combustion 
nor respiration. It exists in the atmosphere to the amount ot 
79 per cent, of its bulk. Animals and plants die in this gas, 
and a taper is instantly extinguished when introduced into it ; 
the gas itself undergoing no change. It is lighter than atmos- 
pheric air in the proportion of 97i to 100. It is an essential 
constituent of the air we breathe, serving to temper the ardor 
with which combustion would proceed and animals live in 
undiluted oxygen gas. It forms a part of very many animal, 
and some vegetable substances, but it is not known to enter into 
the composition of any of the grea. mineral masses of which 
the earth's crust is made up. In coal, alone, which is of vege- 
table origin, it has been detected to the amount of 1 or 2 per- 
cent. It is, therefore, much less abundant in nature than any 
of the other so-called organic elements and it exhibits much 
less decided properties than any of them ; yet it performs some 
of the most important functions in reference both to the growth 
of plants and to the nourishment of animals. It is only slight- 
ly absorbed by water, 100 volumes of which dissolve from 1-J- 
to 4 volumes of gas. Spring and rain waters absorb it, as they 
do oxygen, from the atmospheric air, and bear it in solution to 
the roots, by which it is not unlikely that it may be conveyed 
directly into the circulation of plants. 

Hitherto, nitrogen has resisted all attempts at decomposition, 
and must, therefore, be considered as a chemical element. 
The quantity present, in all cultivated plants is very small, 
compared with that of the other elements which enter into 
their composition, rarely amounting to 5 per cent. Its combi- 
nations with oxygen are numerous; of which nitric acid, 
(aqua fortis,) is the most important. With hydrogen, it forms 
ammonia, the importance oi which has already been describ- 
?d on a previous page. 


Nitrogen does not constitute an ingredient of any of the solid 
rocks, if we except mineral coal, nor do we know of any other 
source than the atmosphere from which it can be obtained in 
very large quantity. It exists, as we nave seen, in vegetables, 
and it is more largely present in animal substances; but these 
organised matters must themselves have drawn this element 
from a foreign source, and the atmosphere is the only one 
from which we can fairly assume it to have been originally 

But though the nitrogen, like the carbon of plants, may 
thus be traced to the atmosphere, as its original source, it 
does not follow that this element is either absorbed directly 
from the air, nor in an uncombined and gaseous state. Though 
the leaves of trees and herbs are continually surrounded by 
nitrogen, the constitution of plants may be unfitted for ab- 
sorbing it by their leaves. The nitrogen may not only require 
to be in a state of combination before it can enter into the 
circulation, but it may also be capable of gaining admission 
only by the roots. 


THE simple body known at different periods by the names 
of oxygen, vital air, empyreal air, and de.phlogislicated air, when 
pure, is colorless, odorless, tasteless, and incombustible, but a 
powerful supporter of combustion, and its presence is essen- 
tial to the existence both of animal and vegetable life ; but 
produces death by over-excitement, if long breathed pure. 
Combined with nitrogen, it forms about 21 per cent., by vol- 
ume of the atmosphere, and is heavier than common air, in 
the proportion of about 11 to 10. United with hydrogen, it 
forms water, by which it is capable of being absorbed in the 
ratio of 100 measures of water to 3 to 6 of the gas. In a 
word, i: may be made to combine with every simple substance 
with which we are acquainted; and the act by which the 
union takes place, is called oxydation, and the bodies thus com 


bined, \vhate\er may be their character, arc said to be oxid- 

Oxygen is the most active element in nature, and is very 
extensively diffused throughout the material world, producing 
change in the metals by oxidation, and in organic structures, 
decomposition, or decay. It also exists largely in water, every 
9 Ibs. of this liquid containing 8 Ibs of gas. Rain, spring and 
river waters always contain a large proportion, which they 
have derived from the atmosphere ; and this oxygen, as they 
trickle through the soil, administers to the growth and nourish- 
ment of plants in various ways; but in pure oxygen, plants re- 
fuse to vegetate, and like animals exposed to it, speedily perish. 

But the quantity of this substance which is stored up in 
nature is still more remarkable. Nearly one half of the 
weight of the solid rocks which compose the crust of our 
globe ; of every solid substance we see arouud us ; of the houses 
in which we live; of the stones on which we tread; of the 
soils which we daily cultivate, and much more than one half 
by weight of the bodies of all living animals and plants, con- 
sist of this elementary body oxygen, known to us only in the 
state of a gas. It may not appear surprising that any one 
elementary substance should have been formed by the Creator 
in such abundance as to constitute nearly one half by weight 
of the entire crust of our planet, but it must strike one as 
remarkable, that this should also be the element on the pre- 
sence of which all animal life depends and as nothing less 
than wonderful, that a substance which we know only in the 
state of thin air, should, by some wonderful mechanism, be 
bound up and imprisoned in such vast stores in the solid moun- 
tains of the earth, be destined to pervade and refresh all nature 
in the form of water, and beautify and adorn the earth in the 
solid parts of animals and plants ! But all nature is full of 
similar wonders, and every step we advance in the study of the 
art by which the principal class of mankind toil and live, we 
cannot fail to mark the united skill and bounty of .he same 
Great Caus 



OXYGENATION, which is synonymous with oxidation, is a term 
used by Dundonald, in his "Treatise Showing the Intimate Con- 
nection that Subsists between Agriculture and Chemistry," to 
denote the formation of particular acids with their peculiar 
bases, produced by the combination of pure air with inflammable 
substances. These acids, as they are produced, it is known, 
combine with the alkaline or calcareous matter of the vege- 
tables, or other . similar matter in the soil, and form chemical 
salts, which, for the most part are very soluble in water. 

To this process of oxygenation, the continuance of vegetable 
matter on the surface of the earth is principally to be ascribed ; 
as in the case of peat mosses, morasses, swamps, &c., as well 
as in most soils, but more especially such as have long been 
under cultivation. The indestructible state of vegetable matters 
existing under these circumstances, and their constant increase 
of growth, may be referred to the insoluble compounds, pro- 
duced by the action of pure air on these inflammable sub- 

The process of putrefaction is always accompanied by that 
of oxygenation ; but the latter may be, and is to a great extent 
independent of putrefaction. The insolubility, to a certain 
extent, of the system adopted by nature, is undoubtedly to be 
preferred to one more completely soluble ; for it is evident, that 
if putrefaction or oxygenation had possessed the power of ren- 
dering all the vegetable matter soluble in water by a speedy 
process, two pernicious consequences must have followed, 
namely the rains would have washed down such extracts and 
such soluble matters, as fast as formed, into the rivers and 
sf ings, contaminating their waters, and rendering them unfit 
for the existence of fishes or for the use and sustenance of 
terrestrial animals. The sea, in process of time, would thereby 
receive all the vegetable and animal produce of the dry land, 
and the earth would ultima!' Iv licmme barren. consisting alone 


of the mineral simples without any admixture of vegetable 
matter. Consequently there could be no accumulation of this 
substance on the surf ^e, as is the case at present to an im- 
mense degree. Hence a frequent exposure of fresh surfaces to 
the action of the air by promoting oxygeriation, as in the cases 
of fallowing and frequently stirring the earth in cultivated 
fields will increase the inso ubility of vegetable matters con- 
tained in the soil. 

The oxygenation of peat, and indeed the combination of pure 
air or oxygen with inflammable substances, renders them less 
inflammable, a process analogous to that of combustion. In 
both cases, saline compounds are formed, which will not burn. 
The surface of peat mosses, or the parts most exposed to the 
action of the air, is capable of becoming more and more oxyge- 
nated than the understratum. On this account, the upper por- 
tions of peat mosses are generally thrown aside when the peat 
is dug up for fuel. 


THE last substance to be noticed under this general head is 
the aqueous vapor of the atmosphere, without the ever-present 
existence of which, no ordinary cultivated plant could thrive, 
and few subsist at all. An All-bountiful Providence, therefore, 
has ordained that it should be ever ready to meet the demands 
of vegetable life, and that its quantity should vary with the 
temperature, increase with the warmth when its presence is 
most needed by the plant, and diminish in proportion as the air 
becomes cooler. The quantity of vapor which the air is 
capable of holding in suspension is dependent upon its tempe- 
rature; that is, at high temperatures, in warm climates, or in 
warm weather, it can sustain more at low temperatures less. 

Hence, when a current of comparatively warm air, loaded 
with moisture, ascends to, or comes in contact with, a cold 
mountain top. it is cooled dawn, and rendered incapable of 
holding the whole vapor in suspension, and therefore, leave* 


behind a portion of its watery burden in the form of a mist or 
cloud. In the rills or springs subsequently formed, the aque- 
ous particles which float in the midst, reappear on the plains 
below, bringing nourishment at once, and a grateful relief to 
the thirsty soil. 

It not only rises into the atmosphere from boiling water at 
212F., but it evaporates from water in open vessels, from the 
ocean, rivers, and other waters of the earth, and from the land 
itself, at almost every temperature, with a rapidity proportioned 
to the previous dryness of the air, and to the velocity and tem- 
perature of the winds which pass over it. Even the hardest 
ice is gradualy dissipated in the coldest weather, and it is stated 
on good authority, that, in the intense cold of Siberia, not only 
living bodies, but the very snow smokes and fills the air with 

It thus happens that the atmosphere is constantly impreg- 
nated with watery vapor, which, in this gaseous state, accom- 
panies the air wherever it penetrates, permeates the soil, per- 
vades the leaves and pores of plants, and gains adrm'ssion into 
the lungs and general vascular system of all terrestrial ani- 
mals. But it is chiefly when it assumes the form of 
rain, snow, hail* and dew, that the benefits arising from a 
previous conversion of water into vapor are to be particularly 
appreciated by the husbandman, which will be found under 
their respective heads, under "Liquid Manures." 



,4 LUM is a salt, when good, composed of about 11 per cent, 
of alumina, 10 per cent, of potash, 33 of sulphuric acid, and 
46 of water. It is produced in large quantities by the decom- 
position of aluminous slates, or shales, on exposure to the air, 
or by calcination. It is formed naturally on many parts of the 
earth's surface, and is daily forming by the decomposition of 
alum shales where exposed to the air. It is largely manufactured 
by burning these shales, and afterwards dissolving portions of 
them in water and adding solutions of common muriate or 
sulphate of potash. It frequently contains ammonia, from 
urine or the crude sulphate of the gas works, employed in its 

In or prior to the year 1756, Dr. Francis Home, of Edinburgh, 
the first person on record who made experiments with saline 
bodies in promoting the growth of plants, found no beneficial 
effects to result from the application of alum to garden mould, 
the soil on which his experiments were made. Its composi- 
tion, however, would lead us to expect it to exert a beneficial 
influence on the growth of many plants, especially where the 
less pure varieties, or the refuse of alum works can be applied 
to the land at a comparatively small cost. 

Where alum is found in abundance, the soil is very properly 
called a " sour soil," on which but few vegetables will grow. 

"his sterility is to be corrected by lime, by earthy matter 


containing magnesia, or by alkaline salts. The neutral salts, 
formed by such application, will be the sulphates of lime, 
magnesia, potash, soda, or of ammonia, according to the species 
of alkali applied. Although no beneficial effects were found 
to result from the experiments made by Dr. Home, yet they 
may, with great probability, be expected to arise by the appli- 
cation of alum to soils containing an excess of lime ; especially 
to such as contain, besides calcareous matter, a sufficient pro- 
portion of animal and vegetable remains. In this case, the 
alum will be decomposed by the lime, on the principle of 
superior affinity, whilst its carbonic acid will be disengaged, 
and on being absorbed by the rootlets of the plants will afford 
them food for their growth. 


ALUMINA, known also by chemists under the names of oxide 
of aluminium, (10 parts of aluminium and 8 of oxygen,) argil, 
and argilaceous earth, is the base of alum, just described, and 
is one of the most abundant productons of nature. It forms a 
large proportion of the slaty and shaly rocks, and is the prin- 
cipal ingredient, also, of kaolin and all clays out of which 
bricks, tiles and earthen ware are made, as well as of all 
clayey soils, which increase in tenacity in proportion to the 
quantity of the substance they contain. In a pure and crys- 
talised state, it constitutes the corundum, ruby, and sapphire, 
the two latter of which are among the hardest and most valu- 
able of gems. 

When pure, alumina is a white, tasteless, earthy substance, 
which adheres to the tongue, and is insoluble in water, but 
possesses a great affinity for it, and readily dissolves in caustic 
potash or soda, as well as in most acids, particularly when 
recently thrown down from a solution of alum. When heated 
to redness, however, it becomes dense and hard, as in burnt clay 
or fire bricks, and then, can only be dissolved with great diffi- 
culty, even by the strongest acids. 


Although alumina exists so extensively in the soil, it contri- 
butes only in a feeble degree, if at all, in a direct manner, to 
the nourishment and growth of plants; but on this point chem- 
ists do not agree. 

Phosphate of alumina. Notwithstanding phosphoric acid s 
disseminated in some form or other throughout most clayey 
soils, though very small and variable in quantity, our present 
knowledge on the subject is too vague to be an object of in- 
terest to the agriculturist. For, the greater part of the an- 
alyses of soils hitherto published, phosphoric acid, when com- 
bined with, or found in presence of alumina, has either been 
altogether neglected, rudely guessed at, or simply indicated by 
a rough approximation. Therefore, to what extent this ferti- 
liser exists in different soils, we have no direct proof. 

Silicates nf Alumina. Silica combines with alumina, also, in 
various proportions, forming silicates, which exist abundantly 
in nature in the crystalline rocks, and may also, like the other 
silicates be formed by art. Feldspar, mica, hornblende, and the 
augites, which abound in the trap rocks, all contain much 
alumina in combination with silica, and probably, upwards of 
one half by weight of the trap rocks, in general, as well as of 
the hornblendes, micas, and feldspars, of which so large a part 
of the granitic rocks is composed, consists of silicates of 
alumina. The alumina itself in these several minerals varies 
from 11 to 38 per cent., but generally averages about 20 per 
cent, of their entire weight. 

These silicates, when they occur alone, unmixed or uncom- 
bined with other silicates, decompose very slowly by the action 
of the atmosphere. They disintegrate, however, and fall to 
powder, when the alkaline silicates with which they are asso- 
ciated, in feldspar, &c., are decomposed and removed by atmos- 
pheric causes. In this way, the deposits of porcelain clay, so 
common in Cornwall and in other countries, have been pro- 
duced from the disintegration of the feldspathic rocks, and the 
clayey soils which occur in granite districts iiave not unfre- 
quently had a similar origin. 


When contained in the soil, the silicates of al umina undergo 
a slow decomposition from the action of various acid sub- 
stances to which they are exposed. A portion of their alumina 
is dissolved and separated by plants, or is washed from the soil 
by the rains; or by the waters that arise from beneath. 

Sulphate of Alumina. When alumina is digested in diluted 
sulphuric acid, it readily dissolves, and forms a solution of 
sulphate of alumina. This solution is characterised by a re- 
remarkable and almost peculiar sweetish, astringent taste. 
When evaporated to dryness, it yields a white salt, which dis- 
solves in twice its weight of water, only, and when exposed to 
the air, attracts moisture rapidly and spontaneously runs to 
a liquid. This salt exists in some soils, especially in those of 
wet, marshy and peaty lands. Comparatively but few experi- 
ments have yet been made with the view of determining its 
direct influence upon vegetation. Johnston. 


WE have reason to believe that ammonia, in every state of 
combination with acids, tends in a greater or less degree to 
promote the growth of all cultivated plants. The amount 
taken up by a crop from an acre of land rarely exceeds 30 Ibs. 
except in such crops as turnips, rape, radishes, cabbages, 
mustard, cress, &c., which often carry off upwards of 100 Ibs. 
None of its salts are known to occur in nature, unmixed or 
combined with other matter in sufficient quantities to be applied 
directly to the soil or to plants; and only a few can be pro- 
duced by artificial means at so low a price as to admit of their 
being used with economy. The following, however, can be 
safely recommended or adopted with the hope of success : 

Carbonate of Ammonia. This salt is obtained in an impure 
state by the distillation of horns, hoofs, and even bones. In 
this impure form, it is not generally brought into the market, 
but in some regions it might be afforded at so low a price as to 
place it within the reach of every practical farmer. It is 


supposed by some, that this carbonate is too volatile, or rises too 
readily in a state of vapor, to be economically applied to the 
land. In the form of a weak solution, however, put on by means 
of a water cart, or in moist showery weather, simply as a top- 
dressing, especially to grass lands and on light soils, it may bo 
safely recommended where it can be procured at a sufficiently low- 
price. Johnston. 

Nitrate of Ammonia. If it be correct that those substances act 
most powerfully as manures which are capable of yielding the 
largest quantity of nitrogen to plants, the nitrate of ammonia 
ought to promote vegetation in a greater degree than almost any 
other saline substance we could employ. According to the ex- 
periments of Sir H. Davy, however, this does not appear to be 
the case, though Sprengel has found it more efficacious than the 
nitrates either of potash or of soda, and acts more upon 
grain crops than upon the legumes and clovers, a result that 
is to be explained by the absence of sulphuric acid, which ap- 
pears especially to aid in the development of the latter class of 

Oxalate of Ammonia. According to Dundonald, this salt, as 
well as the oxalates of potash and of soda, highly promotes vege- 
tation, and may be produced in great abundance by the addition 
of alkaline salts or other saline matters to oxygenated peat, and 
also to oxygenated bituminous coal, forming there with a mucila- 
ginous saponaceous compound, soluble in water, the good effects of 
which, on most soils, are well known. 

Sal Ammoniac, or Muriate of Ammonia. This salt, in the pure 
state in which it is sold in the shops, is too high in price to be 
economically employed by the practical farmer. An impure 
article might be prepared, however, from tine liquor of gas 
works, which might be sold at a sufficiently cheap rate to 
admit of an extensive application to the land. This could be 
done by mixing the waste muriatic acid, or the waste chloride 
of lime with the gas liquor, and evaporating the mixture to 


Professor Johnston cites an instance where 20 Ibs. of this salt 
were applied to an acre of wheat on a heavy loam, and to winter 
rye, on a tilly clay, both after potatoes, with the following 
results . 


Rye, undressed, 14 bushels 

Do. dresssed, 19 do. 

Increase, 5 bushels. 

Wheat, undressed, 25 bushels, each 61 Iba 

Do. dressed, 26.8 bushels, each 62 Ibs. 

Increase, 1.8 bushels. 

The increase of the experiments was not very large, but the 
quantity of sal ammoniac employed was probably not great 
enough to produce a decided effect. It is a valuable fact for 
the farmer, however, and not uninteresting in a theoretical 
ioint of view, that a part of the same wheat field, dressed with 
1-J- cwt. of common salt per acre, gave a produce of 40 bushels 
of grain. 

Sal ammoniac is totally volatile, and is soluble in 3 parts 
of water at 60 F., and in its own weight of boiling water. 

Sulphate of Ammonia. An impure sulphate is manufactured 
by adding sulphuric acid to fermented urine, or to the ammo- 
niacal liquor of the gas works, and evaporating to dryness 
When prepared from urine, it contains a mixture of those 
phosphates which exist in urine, and which ought to render it 
more valuble as a manure. The gas liquor yields a sulphate 
which is blackened by coal tar, a substance, though often 
injurious to vegetation, is said to "be noxious to the insects 
that infest our fields. In any of these economical forms, this 
salt has been found to promote vegetation ; but accurate expe- 
riments are yet wanting to show in what way it acts whether 
in promoting the growth of the green parts or in filling the ear 
or in both to what kind of crops it may be applied with the 
greatest advantage and what amount of increase may be 
expected from the application of a giv "i weight of the salt 


It is from the rigorous determination of such points that the 
practical farmer will be able to deduce the soundest practical 
precepts, and at the same time to assist most in the advance- 
The crystallised sulphate of ammonia is soluble in its own 
weight of water. 100 Ibs. contain about 35 Ibs. of ammonia, 
53 Ibs. of acid, and 12 Ibs. of water. It may be applied at the 
rate of from 30 to 60 Ibs. per acre. Johnston. 

Uraie of Ammonia. Uric acid, combined with ammonia, is a 
natural secretion peculiar to the urine of certain animals, and 
the excrement, of serpents and several birds of prey. The 
fasces of the Boa constrictor consist of little else than urate 
of ammonia. Peruvian guano, which is so largely imported 
for manure, is also composed in considerable proportion of the 
same salt. Hence, the immense powers of urate of ammonia, 
as a fertiliser, in the growth of a large number of our culti- 
vated plants. 


ASHES, or ash, as they are sometimes called, consist of the 
earthy and saline matters of soils, vegetable and animal sub- 
stances after they are burnt, the use of which, as a fertiliser, 
may be traced back to a very early age. The Romans were 
well acquainted with paring and burning, and burnt their 
stubbles, a practice also among the ancient Jews. Cato recom- 
mends the burning of twigs and branches of trees, and spread- 
ing the ash on the land. The ancient Britons, according to Pliny, 
used to burn their wheat straw and stubble, and spread the 
ashes over the soil. And Conradus Heresbachius, a German 
counsellor, in his " Treatise on Husbandry," published in 1570, 
and afterwards translated by Barnabe Googe, Esquire, tells us 
that, "in Lombardy, they like so well the use of ashes, as they 
esteem it farre aboue any doung, think'ng doung not meete to 
be used for the unholsomnesse thereof." 


Ashes of Anthracite Coal. The composition cf the ash of an- 
thracite will vary, of course, like that of the coal itself. The 
following analyses by Professor John P. Norton, of Yale College, 
were made from several pecks of ashes, obtained from a grate 
in which the coal had been burned the usual way, due precau- 
tion being observed not to intermingle the ash with any veg- 
etable remains from the fuel employed in building the fires. 
The constituents of 100 parts of the ashes of white and red-ash 
coal yielded of 

White ash. Red nth. 

Matter insoluble in acids, 88.68 85.65 

Soluble silica, 0.09 1.24 

Alumina, 3.36 454 

Iron, 4.03 5.83 

Lime, 2.11 0.16 

Magnesia, 0.19 2.01 

Soda, 0.22 0.16 

Potash, O.IC 0.11 

Phosphoric acid, 0.20 057 

Sulphuric acid, 0.86 0.43 

Chlorine, 0.09 0.01 

99.99 99.11 

"These close and interesting analyses," says Professor Nor- 
ton, "afforded us much light upon the constitution of coal ash, 
and enable the chemist who has studied these subjects, to say 
at once, and with confidence, that this ash is of some value 
as a manure, and should by all means be so applied in cases 
where it can be obtained cheaply. 

"Of the white-ash, Sy^ths Ibs. in 100, were soluble in water, 
and in the red-ash, 3 T 3 / ff ths Ibs. Besides this, there was a fur- 
ther and larger portion soluble in acids, amounting in the white- 
ash to 7 T s ff 8 7 ths Ibs. in 100, and in the red-ash to 8 Ibs. 

"In looking at the nature of these results, we may draw the 
general conclusion, that in the ash of anthracite coal, calling 
these fair specimens, we have in every 100 Ibs. from 4 to 8 Ibs. 
of valuable inorganic material, of a nature suitable for adding 
to any soil requiring manures." 


Ashes of Bdumiiwus Coal. These, like those of anthracite, 
are variable in their composition, according to the mine or 
locality from which the coal is obtained. In general, however, 
they consist of sulphate of lime, (gypsum,) silica, and alumina, 
mixed more or less with porous cinders, or half-burnt coal, 
We have but one reliable analysis of the ash of bituminous 
coal, and that byBerthier, of a sample taken from the mines at 
St. Etienne, in France, which, after all the carbonaceous 
matter had been burned away, consisted of the following ingre- 
dients : 

Per cent. 

Alumina, insoluble in acids, 62 

Alumina, soluble, 5 

Lime, 6 

Magnesia, 8 

Oxide of manganese, 3 

Oxide and sulphurct of iron, 16 


Such a mixture as this, no doubt, would benefit many soils 
oy the alumina, as well as by the lime and magnesia they con- 
tain; and judging from the composition of several other 
samples, the analyses of which are given under the head of 
BITUMINOUS COAL, we have reason to believe that they are sus- 
ceptible of similar applications. If well burned, their ash, in 
many mses, can be applied at the rate of 100 to 150 bushels to 
the uciv. with good effects, as a top-dressing on grass lands 
which are overgrown with moss; or it may be applied a pint 
in a hill, in planting Indian corn in connection with barnyard 
or other animal manure; while the admixture of cinders in the 
ash of the ' less-perfectly burned coal produces not only a 
fertilising effect upon the plants, but a favorable physical 
change in strong clayey soils. 

Ashes of Peat. These are extensively employed in Holland 
as a manure, where they are carefully preserved by house- 
keepers, who burn peat, or turf, and are sold to the farmers by 
the bushel. The peat, from which these ashes are made, has 
remained a long time neneath the sea, and contains a large 



proportion of saline and calcareous elements. The following 
table exhibits the composition of some varieties of ashes fronr 
the peat of Holland and from the heath of Luneburg, examined 
by Sprengel : 

Dutch Ashes 


Lunebiirg Ashes 


. ^ 

- >> 


Producing little 

a> '& 

-K "5 

3 "3 

6 7 


CO 5 

fe- 3 


S o* 

^ a- 



55.9 70.4 









Oxide of iron, 






Do. of manganese, 





























Sulpuric acid, 





Phosphate of lime 

Phosphoric acid, 





Common salt 


1.2 3.0 




Carbonic acid, 






Charred turf. 


JOO.O 100.0 ! 100.0 

100.0 100.0 

In the most useful varieties of these ashes, it appears, from 
the above analyses, that lime abounds, partly in combination 
with sulphuric and phosphoric acids, forming a gypsum and 
phosphate of lime, and partly with carbonic acid, forming 
carbonate. These compounds of lime, therefore, may be re- 
garded as the active ingredients of peat ashes. 

Yet the small quantity of saline matter they contain is not to 
be considered as wholly without effect. For the Dutch ashes 
are often applied to the land to the extent of two tons to an 
acre, a quantity which, even when the proportion of alkali does 
not exceed one per cent, will contain 45 Ibs. of potash or soda, 
equal to twice thiit weight of sulphates or of common salt. To 
the minute quantity of saline matters present in them, there- 
fore, peat ashes may owe a portion of their beneficial influence, 


and to the almost total absence of such compounds from the 
less valuable sorts, their inferior estimation may have in part 

In Holland, when applied to the ,rain crops, they are either 
plowed in, drilled in with the seed, or applied as a top-dressing 
to the young shoots in autumn or spring. Lucern, clover, and 
meadow grass are dressed with it in spring at the rate of 1,500 
to 1,800 Ibs. per acre, and the latter a second time with an equal 
quantity after the first cutting. In Belgium, the Dutch ashes 
are applied to clover, rape, potatoes, flax, and peas; but never 
to barley. In Luneburg, the turf ash, which abounds in oxide 
of iron, is applied at the rate of 3 or 4 tons per acre, and by 
this means, the physical character of the clayey soils, as well 
as their chemical constitution, is altered and improved. If 
these ashes are used in manuring fields, they are harrowed in 
with the seed or plowed in shallow. Clover and lucern fields 
are strewed over with them in the spring. 

Very often, peat ashes are mixed with burnt lime previous 
to being used, the effects of which have always been benefi- 
cial. With 1,000 Ibs. of ashes, an equal quantity of lirne is 
mixed and applied to an acre of land. In this case, there is 
no doubt but the lime, in lying in a wet state with the ashes in 
the heap, decomposes the phosphate of iron, and thereby 
essentially improves the ashes. It might, therefore, be possible 
that those possessing much phosphate as well as of sulphate 
of iron would be improved by the addition of lime; still the 
phosphate of iron should be used cautiously as an excess 
readily injures the plants. 

Those who have an abundance of peat on their farms, may 
burn it for the sake of the ashes, in high cylindrical ovens built 
on purpose and furnished with a grate. This has the advan- 
tage that the fresh-dug peat can be thrown on wet with that 
already burning, it may also be burned in large heaps, in 
which case it. must be quite dry. Care must be observed, how- 
ever, that the heat be not too great, lest the ashes should lose 
much of their value ; otherwise, silicates will be formed, which 


are less useful to the plants. But the burning of peat for ijie 
purpose of procuring its ashes, must undt btedly appear a 
very wasteful and dissipating process, when it is considered 
that there is seldom -^th of its weight in ash obtained by the 
combustion. This process throws into the air, then, ^ths of 
the peat, which might, by other modes of preparation, be made 
to contribute, in a superior degree, to the purposes of vegeta- 
tion. Hence, the consuming of peat by fire, for the ashes only, 
is always to bo considered as the least productive and most 

Ashes of Seaweed, Kelp, or Barilla. Analysis of the water of 
the ocean shows us, that in it are contained all the inorganic 
ingredients which our crops take away from the soil that it is, 
in fact, a "liquid soil," from which myriads of marine vege- 
tables receive the materials for their perfect development. All 
of these plants which grow upon the rocks within reach of the 
sea are good manures. Those that are always covered with 
water are regarded as the richest, and are frequently cast on 
'the shore by the action of the tide and waves. These and 
other species of marine plants are collected and burnt, the resi- 
duum of which is the crude soda of commerce, and is usually 
called barrilla, or kelp. It is chiefly obtained from those plants 
classified under the genera sahola and salicornia, on the southern 
coasts of France, Spain, Portugal, and of the Western and 
Canary Isles, as well as from the fuci in Holland and the nor- 
thern coasts of France. At the Canary Islands, this substance is 
made from the Salsola soda, which, I have observed, thrives best 
on the cliffs near the ocean, and seems to be possessed with the 
property of decomposing the salt water, that is conveyed to it 
in the form of vapor, or spray, in separating the muriatic acid 
from the soda, the latter of which, it absorbs. The seed is 
sown in winter, and the period for gathering it, usually begins 
about the end of July or early in August. The weeds are first 
torn up by the roots and thrown into large pits dug in the 
earth; and after being suffered partially to dry, they are set on 
fire, and the alkali, contained in them, flowj in a liquid state 


from the bottom of the pit. This liquid, on oooling, haidens 
into large stone-like masses, the form in w ich the barrilla 
usually comes to us. 

As kelp, or the ash of seaweed, is a substance remarkably 
complex in its composition, and contains a number of ingre- 
dients with which the farmer may not be familiar, and their 
enumeration would serve to perplex him, it may be regarded 
as sufficient to state the proportions of such as possess only an 
agricultural value. The sample from which the following is 
an analysis, was taken from the coast of Ireland, as given by 
the Chemico-Agricultural Society of Ulster, in 1846. 100 Ibs. 
of kelp contained of 

Potash, 852, or 184 Ibs. per ton. 

Soda 25.82, 578 

Lime, 5.17 

Magnesia, 8.47 

Sulphuric acid, 20.17 

Phosphoric acid. 5.43 

Chlorine, 11.70 

Silicic acid, 2.71 

Other matters,.^*. Ii31 


The above analysis shows that in kelp, there is a rich supply 
of the inorganic ingredients required by most cultivated crops, 
while the large amount of salts of potash and of soda, which 
enters into their composition, indicates that it is peculiarly 
adapted for the nourishment of the turnip and potato. Be- 
sides the above-named constituents in kelp, the soluble por- 
tion contains in variable quantity, iodide of potash or soda. 

In localities accessible to the ocean, where seaweed is abun- 
dant, kelp may be applied to the land in nearly the same cir- 
cumstances as wood ashes, but for this purpose it would pro- 
bably be better to burn the seaweed at a lower temperature 
than is usually employed. By this means, being prevented 
from melting, it would be obtained at once in the state of a fine 


powder, and would be richer in potash and soda. It rr ght 
lead to important results of a practical nature, were a series 
of precise experiments made with this finely-divided kelp as a 
manure, especially in inland situations; for though the varia- 
ble proportion of its constituents will always cause a degree of 
uncertainty in regard to the action of the ash of marine plants. 
Kelp would really be a cheap form in which the farmer can 
apply potash to his land. 

Ashes of Sugar Cane Bagasse. In sugar-growing countries, 
pn advantage may be derived from the restoration of the cane 
ash to the fields in which the canes have grown. After these 
have been crushed in the mill, the woody or vegetable fibre 
left, is called " trash." or " bagasse," which is usually employed 
as fuel for boiling down the syrup. The ash of this trash, 
which is not unfrequently more or less melted, if applied as a 
top-dressing to the young canes, or if put into the cane holes 
at the time of planting, would tend to keep up the fertility of 
the soil, or at least, would check the exhaustion that would 
naturally more slowly take place. If the ash happen to be 
melted, and occurs in large masses, like barilla, it may be 
crushed and mixed in equal parts with wood ashes, and applied 
to the cane fields as above. 

The inorganic or earthy portions of bagasse are essential 
constituents to be returned to the soil, as will be seen from the 
subjoined analysis of the ash of cane. 

According to Herapath's analysis, 1,000 grains of the cane, 
when burned, left 7-J- grains of ash, which was made up nearly 
of the following ingredients: 


Silica, \A 

Phosphate of lime, 3.4 

Oxide of iron and clay, 0.2 

Carbonate of potash, 1.5 

Sulphate of potash, 0.15 

Carbonate of magnesia, 0.4 

Sulphate of lime, 0.1 



Analysis of the ashes of sugar cane, as given by Sten- 




6 40.4(i 46.48 50.00 45.1:1 


26.38 .'12.20 48.73 

3.76; 7.991 8.23 8.16 6.56 4.88 7.371 6.20 13,04 2.90 
0.66 10.94 4.65! 7.52 6.40; 7.74 7.97 6.08 3.31 5.35 


Phosphoric no .1, . 
Sulphuric acid,. . 

Lime, 9.16 13.20 8.91 1 5.78 5.09 4.49 ; 2.341 5.87 1 10.64! 11.62 

Magnesia, 3.1)6 9.88! 4.50 15.61 13.01 1 11.90 3.93| 5.48| 5.63. 5.61 

Potassa, 25.50 12.01' 10.63 11.93 Ul.69 16.97:32.93 31.21 10.09 7.46 

Soda, i 1.39' ! 0.57 1.33 1.64 -! 0.80 

Ohio' potass'm,.. ! 3.27' ! 7.41 - 10.70 11.14! 16.06 

Ohio' sodium,..,. I 2.02 1.69, 9.21 3.95 3.92 7.25,17.12 7.C4J 4.29 2.27 

No. 1,2, 3 were very fine full-grown canes, from Trinidad, 
consisting of stalks and leaves, but without the roots ; No. 
4, 5, and G were similar canes from Berbice ; No. 7, from Dema- 
rara ; No. 8, full-grown canes, but with leaves, from the 
island of Granada; No. 9, from Jamaica, consisting of trans- 
parent canes in full bloom, grown about six miles from the 
sea, and manured with cattle dung; No. 10, of transparent 
canes, also from Jamaica, grown about two hundred yards 
from the sea, being old ratoons, and manured with the same 
kind of dung. 

It would be better economy, however, if the cane trash were 
kept in heaps a due time, and afterwards mixed with alkaline 
salts, and then returned to the land as manure, instead of being 
dissipated or thrown into the air by combustion. 

Ashes of Vegetables not Woody. The conversion into ashes 
by combustion of vegetable refuse, such as husks, straw, weeds, 
&c., otherwise easily reducible into manure by fermentation, 
may sometimes increase their fertilising power in one or other 
of the following ways: By augmenting the tendency in the 
manure to produce carbonic acid, under the combined action 
of charcoal, moisture, and air; by the effect of the alkalies in 
relation to some other manure, or texture in the soil ; or by 
some ingredients which would be pernicious in combination, 
that w<ruld be expelled in burning. 



Th6 ashes obtained oy burning the straw of oats, barley, 
wheat, and rye contain a natural mixture of saline substances, 
which is exceedingly valuable as a manure to almost every 
crop. The proportion of the several constituents of this mix- 
ture, however, is different, according as the one or the other 
kind of straw is burned. Thus, 100 parts of each variety of 
ash, in the samples analysed by Sprengel consisted of 












1 Soda, 


























> 2.6 










1 4 
















The most striking differences in the above table are the com- 
paratively large quantity of potash in the oat straw ; of lime 
in that of barley ; of phosphoric acid in that of wheat ; of sul- 
phuric acid in that of rye; and of all the saline substances in 
rape straw. These differences are not to be considered as con- 
stant, nor will the numbers in any of the above columns repre- 
sent correctly the composition of the ash of any variety of 
straw we may happen to burn, but they may be safely de- 
pended upon as showing the general composition of such 
ashes, as well as the general differences which may be ex- 
pected to prevail among them. 

That such ashes should prove useful to vegetation might be 
inferred not only from their containing many saline substances, 
which are known to act beneficially when applied to the land, 
but from the fact that they have actually been obtained from 
vegetable substances. If inorganic matter be necessary to the 
growth of wheat, then surel)- the mixture of such matters coiv 



tained in the ash of wheat straw is more hkely than any other 
we can apply to promote the growth of the young wheat plant. 
In the middle and western states, where the straw of wheat 
is often burned, in order to get rid of it, the cost of applying 
the ash to the soil from which the crop is reaped, would be 
comparatively trifling, and doubtless, it would enlarge the 
future product; or, in reaping the wheat, the stubble might be 
left of considerable length, and then set fire to on a dry, windy 
day, leaving the ashes equal)" distributed over the field. Be- 
sides, all the weeds and then .seed, as well as a large number 
of insects and their larva?, would be destroyed, the advantages 
of which are too obvious to be overlooked. 


American 1 





o i; 


- : 



Potash, ... . 









| 14.53 






7.34 4.93 
12.93 14.39 

0.10 0.12 
2.611 19-25 
24.06 6.75 
31.14 21.G7 
8.00 2.24 
1.40 1.61 
16.40 12.70 
0.60 2.44 
3.20 3.60 

1.60 5.80 






Chloride of sodium, 

Carbonic acid, 



Phosphate of oxide of iron, 

Phosphate of magnesia,. . . 


L _ _ 


99.GH 98.46 100.33 109.68 100.60 


Ashes of Wood. These always consist of a mixture in varia- 
ble proportions of carbonates, silicates, sulphates, and phos- 
phates of potash, soda, lime, and magnesia, with certain other 
substances present in smaller quantity, yet more or less neces- 
sary, it may be presumed, to vegetable growth. Thus, accord- 
ing to Professor Emmons, the ash of the outside wood of the 
forest trees above named consisted of the ingredients as indi- 
cated in the table. 


Wood ashes render clayey soils mellow and give consistency 
to those that are light; they rather suit moist than dry soils, 
but it is necessary that the former should be well drained. 

The dose should increase with the humidity of the soil. 
They require to be spread, when dry, n* weather that is not 
rainy, and upon land that is not wet. They are used with ad- 
vantage to almost every class of crops, but especially as a 
dressing for grass, grain, millet, and Indian corn; but they are 
the most perceptible upon leguminous plants, such as lucern, 
clover, peas, beans, &c. As a top-dressing to grass lands, they 
root out the moss and promote the growth of white clover. 
Upon red clover, their effects will be more certain if previ- 
ously mixed with one fourth of their weight of gypsum. In 
small doses of 4 to 6 bushels to an acre, they may be applied 
even to poor and thin soils, but in large and repeated doses, 
their effects will be too exhausting, unless the soil be either 
naturally rich in vegetable matter, or mixed from year to year, 
with a sufficient quantity of animal or vegetable manure. 

In so far as the immediate benefit of wood ashes is dependent 
upon the soluble saline matter they contain, their effect may 
be imitated by a mixture of crude potash with carbonate and 
sulphate of soda, and a little common salt. If the ash con- 
tain only about r 5 th of its weight of soluble matter, the fol- 
lowing quantity of such a mixture would be nearly equal in 
efficacy to the saline matter of a ton of wood ashes: 

Crude carbonate of potash, 60 Iba. 

Crystallised carbonate of soda, 60 " 

Sulphate of soda, 20 " 

Common salt, 20 " 


The composition of the different kinds of ash is very dis- 
similar; that of the hemlock spruce, (A" ies canadensis,) for in- 
stance, contains more potash and phosphate of magnesia than 
that of the black birch (Betula lenla) ; while the sugar maple, 
(Acer sacchirinum,) is richer in carbonic acid ard lime. The 



several effects of different kinds of wood ash, when applied to 
land, will therefore, vary. The different parts of the same tree 
also vary in their composition, as will be seen in the following 
analysis of the American white oak (Quercus alba,} made by 
the same authority last referred to : 



M r 

. ; &: i 
1| |g |l 




e o 



9.68 9.74 0.25 
5.03 6.89 2.57 



0.39 0.16 0.08 



0.47 0.25 0.12 



0.20 0.08 0.03 


Phosphate of peroxide of iron, 

> 32.25 

13.30 23. GO 10.10 

14.15 - 


19.29 17.55 29.80 



43.21 34.10 54.89 



0.25 0.50 0.20 




88 55 0.25 



0.30 0.60 0.25 



7.10 5.90 1.16 



100.00 99.99 100.05 


It has been confirmed by experience, that, as wood ashes at- 
tract acids with greater violence and sooner lose their virtue, 
their operation will be more violent and sooner over. Hence, the 
first crop after the land is manured with ashes is commonly very 
luxuriant, and the second one after exhausts almost the whole 
of their active properties. Therefore, they should be applied 
in moderate quantities, say 15 to 20 bushels to an acre, as a 
dressing for an annual crop of grain, barley, Indian corn, &c., 
and as they operate in a similar manner as lime, they should 
not be applied to land that has been exhausted by lime nor 
marl ; neither should they be applied to the same land, year 
after year, nor should they immediately follow lime or marl. 
On clayey soils, ashes generally produce more rapid effects 
than on the lighter kinds. The action of all ashes, then, is 
twofold, partly due to the soluble portions, and partly to the 
insoluble. The chloride of sodium, or common salt, the car 



bonate and sulphate of potash, are soluble, and produce im- 
mediate effects on the crop ; but the phosphates and ilicates, 
as well as carbonate of lime, require considerable time to dis- 
solve. Hence, it has been observed that some lands are per- 
manently improved by ashes, 1 and some crops immediately 
benen'tted, as the leguminous plants. In those soils which 
already contain much alkali, as the detritus of primitive ana 
transition countries, sea shores, lands near salt springs. &c., the 
soluble parts of ashes will be of little moment ; and the leached 
remains may be altogether superior ; for few soils contain so 
much phosphoric acid as not to be improved by an addition 
as manure. 

Ashes of Wood, Lixiviated, Leached, or Washed. Where wood 
ashes are washed for the manufacture of the pot and pearl ashes 
of commerce, this insoluble portion collects in large quantities. 
It is also present in the refuse of the soapmakers, where wood 
ashes are employed for the manufacture of soft soap. The com- 
position of this insoluble matter varies very much, not only 
with the kind of wood from which the ash is made, but also 
with the temperature it is allowed to attain in burning. The 
former fact is illustrated by the following analysis, made by 
Berthier, of the insoluble matter left by the ash of five differ, 
ent species of wood carefully burned by himself: 



i 'is 










3.8 ! 2.0 




Lime, 54.8 51.8 52.2 




2.2 3.0 8.7 



Oxide of iron, 


0.5 22.3 



Oxide of manefiinese, 

0.6 3.5 5.5 



Phosphoric acid, . . . . 1 0.8 ! 2.8 . 4.3 
Carbonic acid, 39.6 39.8, 31.0 





99.6 100.3 100.0 lOO.o! 99.7 100.0 


The numbers in these several columns differ very much from 
each other; but the ccnstitution of the insoluble part of the 


ash he obtained, probably differed in every case from thai 
which would have been left by the ash of the same Wcod 
burned on the large scale, and in the open air. This is to be 
inferred from the total absence of and soda in the 
leached ashes, while it is well known that common lixiviated 
wood ash contains a notable quantity of both. This arises 
from the high temperature at which wood is commonly burned, 
causing a greater or less portion of the potash and soda to 
combine with the silica, and form insoluble silicates, which 
remain behind along with the lime and other earthy matter 
when the ash is washed with water. It is to these silicates, as 
well as to the large quantity of lime, magnesia, and phosphoric 
acid it contains, that common wood ash owes the more perma- 
nent effects upon the land, which it is known to have produced. 
When the rains have washed out, or the crops carried off, the 
more soluble part of the soil, these insoluble compounds still 
remain to exercise a more slow and enduring influence upon 
the after-produce. 

Still, from the absence of much or all this soluble portion, 
the action of leached ashes is not so apparent and energetic, 
and they may therefore be applied to the land in much larger 
quantity, say, at the rate of 50 to 80 bushels to the acre. Ap- 
plied in this quantity, their effects have been observed to con- 
tinue for fifteen years. Leached wood ashes are regarded as 
the most beneficial to clayey soils, and it is stated that they es- 
pecially promote the growth of oats. On Long Island, how- 
ever, where the soil is light and sandy, they are employed in 
the cultivation of Indian corn, spread around each hill at the 
first hoeing, at the rate of 56 bushels to the acre, where about 
14 cubic yards of horse dung has been applied in the hill at 
the time of planting, and where one mossbunkcr, (a fish,) is 
buried midway between each hill, in June or July. By this 
course of manuring, an acre will yield from 60 to 80 bushels 
of shelled corn, and the next season will be in tolerable condi- 
tion for a crop of rye, buckwheat, or oats, without other 


Ashes of Wood from Soaper's Waste. Formerly, in this coun- 
try, all waste of soapboilers consisted of lixiviated wood ashes 
and lime, the latter either caustic or combined with carbonic 
acid. Therefore, they formed a superior manure, as they im- 
proved vegetation by the phosphate of lime, magnesia, and 
gypsum, as well as by the lime with which they were mixed. 
Since, however, many soapmakers have used soda, barilla, or 
common salt, instead of wood ashes, and the waste contains a 
large proportion of caustic lime or its carbonate, which have 
not so much value as mere burnt lime. 

It is the opinion of many, that the ashes of soapboilers es- 
pecially act by the potash they contain ; but this is an error; 
for, in subjecting them to chemical analysis, they were found 
by Sprengel to consist of the following ingredients in 100,000 
parts : 

Silica, 35,000 

Lime, mostly in a caustic state, 35,010 

Manganese, 2,330 

Alumina? 1,500 

Oxide of iron, 1,700 

Oxide of manganese, 1,840 

Potash, combined with silica into a silicate, 500 

Soda, do. do. do. do 180 

Sulphuric acid, combined with lime into gypsum, 190 

Phosphoric acid, combined with lime, 3,500 

Common salt, 90 

Carbonic acid, combined with lime and magnesia,. . .18,160 


Of soapboiler's ashes, in a dry state, from 2,000 to 3,000 Ibs., 
(40 to 60 bushels,) may ordinarily be used on an acre of land. 
From 3,000 Ibs., the soil would obtain about 920 Ibs. of lime; 
70 Ibs. of magnesia ; 15 Ibs. of potash ; 5 Ibs. of soda ; 12 Ibs. 
of gypsum; 230 Ibs. of phosphate of lime; and 3 Ibs. of com- 
mon salt, by which it will be seen that they owe their fertil- 
ising properties mostly to the caustic and carbonate of lime, 
and the magnesia and phosphate of lime as their 15 Ibs. of 
potash, 12 Ibs. of gypsum, &c., may produce a very inconsid- 


enable effect, particularly us the potash is also combined with 
the silica into a substance not soluble in water. 

After manuring with soaper's ashes, plants of the clover 
tribe will grow besi. ; but all other crops will be benefitted ; 
and the fresher the ashes are, the more effective they will be. 
as they then contain much caustic lirne, by which, especially 
the carbonic humus, or the organic malter in the* soil, is effected 
and changed into humic acid. Soils which contain very little 
lime will always be best improved by them; and in this case, 
they will be very useful, whether employed as a top-dressing 
on meadows, or applied to hoed ciopsor grain. The effect will 
be visible for six to nine years, according to the quantity used; 
which, however, will only be the case when the soil is defi- 
cient in vegetable or organic matter, and such other substances 
of which the ashes contain but a small quantity. 

Soaper's ashes may be strewn either over the crops already 
growing, such as clovers, lucern, grasses, &c., or they may be 
harrowed in with the seed of winter or summer crops, on which 
they act partly as leached ashes, and partly as caustic lime; 
they can also be used with some advantage on boggy lands 
newly cleared, or on any moist land abounding in vegetable 


ASPHALTUM is a smooth, hard, brittle, black or brown bitu- 
minous substance which easily melts when heated, and if pure, 
burns without residuum. Il is both in a soft and liquid state, 
on the surface of Lake Asphaltites, or the Dead Sea, and hence 
is sometimes called " bitumen of Judea." It occurs, also, as a 
mineral production in other parts of Asia, in Europe, Cuba, 
and the island of Trinidad, and some other parts of America 
By chemical analysis, it contains about 32 per cent, of bitu- 
minous oil; 30 of carbon, and 7 per cent, of silicates; the re- 
mainder, consisting of alumina, lime, oxides of iron, and man- 


gancse, with a large per-ccntagc of water slightly impregnated 
with ammonia 

The Egyptians used asphaltum in embalming, under the 
name of mumia. It was used by the Babylonians instead of 
mortar, for cementing bricks. At present, it is employed with 
lime, shells, or gravel, in making pavements and walks; mixed 
with hair, it forms an impervious covering for roofs. 

From the chemical ingredients as given above, we have rea- 
son to suppose that asphaltum would prove to be a valuable 
manure. The council of the Royal Agricultural Society of 
England were lately favored with a statement of the satisfac- 
tory result tried in the government gardens at Bermuda, ob- 
tained by Vice Admiral, the Earl of Dundonald, on the 
West-Indian Station, from manure prepared from the asphal- 
tum of the great Pitch Lake, in the island of Trinidad. A 
sample was placed in the hands of Professor Way, the chem- 
ist of the society, with a request that he would make a chem- 
ical examination of this new manure, in order that he might 
determine its agricultural value. 


THE term bitterns is used by salt manufacturers, at the sa- 
lines at Onondaga, and other places, to designate the highly 
deliquescent chlorides of magnesia and lime. From their very 
soluble nature, they are thrown down immediately after the 
commencement of the boiling of the brine, and are scooped out 
in considerable quantities, by ladles, and thrown away. That 
portion which adheres to the bottom and sides of the kettles, 
forming a solid crust, is usually known under the name of 
pan scale, the chemical ingredients of which, according to Pro- 
fessor Emmons, are as follows: 

Chloride of sodium, 73.92 

Chloride of lime, 7.47 

Chloride of magnesia, 1,68 

Sulphate of lime, 12.37 

Silica, 0.20. 

Organic matter, 1.50 



From the above analysis, it is obvious that the waste of our 
salt works is a valuable fertiliser for jertain soils, and ought 
to be saved. 

Of this material, hundreds of thousands of bushels are heap- 
ed up in the vicinity of the salt works in the state of New 
York, and even in the city of Syracuse, it is used for grading 
the lots and streets. As a fertiliser, it has been used with ad- 
vantage in the form of a top-dressing on fields of grass and 
grain. On sandy soils, where gypsum and common salt are 
needed, the application of this refuse would doubtless be at- 
tended with beneficial results. 


BRICK DUST, whether obtained from the rubbish of new build- 
ings or old, or from the kilns or yards where bricks are manu- 
factured or stored, or made by pounding up soft bricks, may 
be used with advantage to strong clayey land, and thereby ren- 
der it more open and less tenacious ; in which case, the benefit 
arising from thd mechanical arrangement of the soil, alone, 
would probably more than compensate for the trouble of 
spreading it on the ground, and afterwards plowing or har- 
rowing it in. Besides this, brick dust, long exposed to the 
atmosphere, particularly that from old buildings, absorbs con- 
siderable quantities of nitrogen or ammonia, in consequence 
of which, it is possessed of additional fertilising properties, 
and may be applied as a top-dressing to grass lands, at the 
rate of 60 or 70 bushels to the acre. Brick dust has also been 
used with great success in propagating the more tender green- 
house plants, as Daphnes, Cape jasmines, heaths, &c. ; and it 
has been remarked how much more certain and quickly cut- 
tings of all sorts take root in it, than in sand, or in loamy soil, 
treated in the usual way. For plants that root more easily, i* 
may be mixed half and half with sandy loam. 

The effect of burnt clay, as an amendment to soils, has been 
higly extolled, and not without some reason, in certain local- 
ities. By- burning, clay is altered in its nature, in which state 
it becomes insoluble in water, loses its attraction for it, am 1 
resembles silicious sand. 


Buint clay has long been used as a manure on heavy lands 
in some parts of England, and with considerable advantage. 
It serves to lighten and mellow the soil for six or seven yeais 
afterwards. The work of burning usually begins in May, and 
continues through the summer, in heaps of from 50 to 100 cubic 
yards each. Brush wood and faggots are mostly used for 
fuel, and sometimes coal, where it is cheap. The quantity 
required of either, however, is not great, if the work is properly 
done. In forming a kiln for burning clay, let the sods be cut 
of a convenient size to handle, say a foot wide and 18 inches 
in length ; with these, form a parallelogram, or oblong square ; 
let the walls be 2 feet thick, and trampled or beaten firmly 
together, and raised at least 3 feet high. The kiln should be 
so situated that the wind may blow against one of its sides ; 
it may be from 4 to 6 yards long, by 3 yards wide, with aper- 
tures within one yard of each end, and others at a distance of 
about 5 feet from these should be left in the side walls, when 
building, for the purpose of forming drain-like openings across 
the kiln ; let one of these drain-like openings be made from 
end to end, lengthwise the kiln. These funnels are to be 
built, also, with sods; some dry turf, or peat, such as is some- 
time used for fuel, is to be put into these funnels, and over it, 
and between the funnels, well-dried sods, or any other combus- 
tible materials are to be laid on at the depth of 2 feet over 
these suds, partially dried, to the level of the walls of the kiln. 
In setting these materials on fire, a powerful heat will be pro- 
duced, quite capable of burning clay, without previously dry- 
ing it ; care, however, will be necessary to avoid throwing it 
on in too great a quantity at once, before the fire is well up, 
when a large parcel may be thrown on. If piled up too loosely 
the draught will be strong, and the burning too rapid ; if to* 
closely, there will not be draught sufficient. The sod walls are 
to be raised as the heat rises ; and as soon as it is perceived by 
the strength of the smoke, and the glow of the heat, that the 
mass is ignited in all its parts, the apertures may be closed, 
and the kiln left to become charred. For the slower the burning 
proceeds, the better, provided the clay is effectually burnt and 
pulverised. Should appearances indicate a likelihood of the fire 


being smothered, it will only bo necessary fo open one r mm* 
of the funnels, to renew the burning. If the land on which 
the charred clay is to le applied be deficient in calcareous 
matter, earth containing it. if burned, would improve it imieL. 

The clay to be burned is not the upper and better portion of 
the soil, but the colder and closer kinds, dug out of any pit. at 
any depth below the surface, together with the scouring of 
ditcher and vegetable rubbish of every description. The 
heaps, or kilns, must be attended to night and day while burn- 
ins, to prevent the fires going out. or burning too fiercely, in 
which case, the clay becomes burnt to a kind of brick, and is 
then nearly useless. Therefore, the heat should always be 
slow and steady, and never, if possible, burn the clay red, but 
black. When the burning is rightly managed, the clay is 
converted into a blackish kind of ashes, which is the thing to 
be air.ied at. 

Excellent crops of turnips may be produced on indifferent 
land by the use of burnt clay: and there can scarcely be a 
better preparation for rape. The ashes, in England, are usually 
carted on the land after harvest upon clover leas, stubble, or 
fallows. Upon grass land^ they may be laid on at any time 
most convenient. The quantity to be applied to arable lands 
is from 40 to 50 cubic yards to the acre, and on grass lands, 
from 25 to 30 yards. 

Burn; clay may also be used to form a compost with earth, 
sand. marl, or other manures ; and in this way, it will be found 
highly benencial as a top-dressing, and in lightening the tex- 
ture and improving the condition of stiff and heavy lands. 


THE rubbish of demolished buildings has a very durable 
and marked effect upon vegetation: and it is believed to be 
more advantageous than pure lime. It contains, besides car- 
bonate of lime, and a little lime that is still in a caustic state, 
some soluble salts that have lime for their bases, as the nitrates 
and muriates of lime, and also the muriates of potash and soda, 
which add to the effect of the calcareous principle. The fer- 
tilising effects are the most active on soils that contain bul 


littie or no lime ; elsewhere, this material is thought to be 
more injurious than useful, and renders the land more sensible 
to drought. 

Therefore, this rubbish is very us oful to be applied in the form 
of a top-dressing on moist meadows or pastures that are not cal- 
careous, but not on lands that are wet or inundated. It may be 
employed with advantage, if applied either in autumn or spring, 
upon winter as well as spring crops, as it promotes the forma- 
tion of grain rather than straw. It may be used with or with- 
out the medium of a compost, at the rate of 60 or 70 bushels 
to the acre, and like other calcareous amendments, requires to 
be spread in fair weather, when the ground is not wet 


CLAY, in an agricultural sense, according to the best writers 
is "a finely-divided chemical compound, consisting very nearly 
of 60 per cent of silica, and 40 of alumina, with a little oxide 
of iron, and from which no silicious or sandy matter can be 
separated mechanically nor by d'ecantatioa." Of this clay, the 
earthy part, (sand and lime.) of all known soils, is made up by 
mere mechanical admixture. 


Places and kinds of clay. 

Tertiary or Albany clay, 52.44 32-2? 

Niagara clay '. " 56.24 20r76 

.00 trace, trice, trace, 5.2S 

20r76 14.62 2.42 0.44 3.24 

Cayuzaclay 44.2ft 28.72 16.*= 0.16 trace, trace. 44 

Adirondack clay 84.63 0^4 0.60 trace. 0.11 6j2 

Brick clay, near" CaldwelL, 65.60 17 j2 8.92 0.39 6.68 

Reddish clay of Christian Hollow. 44,84 27.40 8.29 1 .36 2.60 16J36 

Clays are highly important materials in the constitution of 
soils. They are also important fertilisers, especially when they 
contain magnesia, potash, and lime. The expense, however, 


of carting clay may be considered as the great bar for its use 
as a fertiliser, and yet its effects are most decided upon all 
lands which are denominated " light." 

From the investigations of Mr. Thompson and Professor Way, 
" On the Absorbent Power of Soils," it has been ascertained 
that a subsoil, abounding in clay, loam, or mould, has not only 
the power of arresting ammonia, but of absorbing and retain- 
ing " everything which can serve as a manure for plants." Pu- 
trid urine, sewer water, &c., passing through these substances 
become pure as well as clear. The subsoil must be clay or 
loam, for sand and gravel have no such power, but allow all 
solutions freely to pass through them. 


FOSSIL coal is a well-known inflammable substance, formed 
of the remains of antediluvian vegetables, animal juices, and 
mineral or metallic matter, combined, or mechanically mixed 
more or less with different kinds of earth. When reduced to 
a powder, it Loses its inflammability by exposure to the air, 
and becomes oxygenated, as is the case with peat. Saline 
compounds are thence formed, which consist principally of 
sulphate of iron, sulphate of magnesia, phosphate of lime, 
phosphate of iron, oxide of iron, silica, alumina, and a propor- 
tion of imcorn bined simple earths. 

There are numerous varieties of coal, consumed in the 
United States, the dust of which could be obtained in consid- 
erable quantity from the yards where they are stored, or from 
the mines whence they were brought, and doubtless could be 
profitably employed as a manure. That of Pennsylvania and 
Wales is anthracite, which is somewhat difficult of combus- 
tion, producing little or no flame, but an intense heat, and con- 
sists almost entirely of pure carbon. Other varieties, found 
in Virginia, Ohio, and other parts of the world, are bitumi- 
nous in their character, and contain hydrogen, as well as 
carbon, and burn with a flame, and give out gas. The value, 
however, in an agricultural point of view, will of course depend 
upon the facility of decomposing the coal, and the chemical in- 



gradients of which it is formed. The following table shows the 
analyses of coal from various parts of the United States, with 
the character or color of their ash : 

Cumberland, Md 
Mid-Lothian, Va., 

Portsmouth, R. I., 

1 Rattling-Run Gap., Pa.,. . . 
Tioga or Blossburg, Pa.,... 
Dauphin County, Pa... . . . 

K! a a a a a-s^i >-3 f 
SP^O. 5- 5- 5- =' -. g. 
-,5 s S*dO g. 2.'^a a> 5? ,=? 

55 < ~ P 3 "3 ' ^ i 5 C5 ^ 5 5. 
S ? ^ 5 5. 2 r /^ ^ 'V3 7i ^ s c P^ 

?S "S 8- i S H"? S" 3- S L 2* 
3- ^^nfftg^wltg-LS 1 3 1 - 
?(J5 S"g^ ^ oS-n^oS 1 - 

"!, !,"? 3^3* 

P 1 ^CL^jL^jL 

1 Names and Location 
of the mines 


<i -.1 -i 

:] 3 3 S 8 2 88 S 3 

S f? 

-s -: 

CO ' 

o v\ ' 

Vi O O O O O CO rfk O "* 

o 2 

? 3 


b> o 

O5 ^l Cl 

= S 2 * So? S d 




' ' 

*C -1 <l 

-1 ~ 

O 00 * O tOOlrfW CT 

S ' 

co- a 

o o o 

C-T* O W Cn OlCDOOt-T ~l 




o O_1 


nclining to gre; 

nclining to gre; 

^Si's'i'i.'S 1 ? s-^3'^s=: 

tilf'i I I I^^PI 

haracter or color 




2 2 

22 2. 2 2 2. 222 r 

S o o p o P 


The earthy ingredients of the above-named coals consist 
principally of silica, alumina, lime, and the oxides of iron and 
of manganese, the proportions of which vary, like those of all 
other varieties of coal. None of the Pennsylvania coals, it is 
believed, contain any alkaline matter. This, however, can only 
be ascertained by burning the samples employed for examina- 
tion, \vliich have not been exposed to salt water, at a low tern- 
t^iMhuv, ill order to avoid any supposed sublimation. 


Again, the following varieties of bituminous coal, as analysed 
by Dr. Jackson, were composed of the ingredients as given un- 
der their respective heads: 


Carbon 57.5 

Bitumen, 37.5 

Oxide of iron, 4.5 

Silica and alumina, 0.5 


Specific gravity, 1.32 

Weight of a cubic yard, 2,227-Jlbs. 


Carbon, 63.4 

Bitumen, 35.3 

Oxide of iron 1.0 

Silica and alumina, 0.3 


Specific gravity 1.279 

Weight of a cubic yard. 2,158flbs. 


Carbon. 56.4 

Bitumen 41.0 

Oxide of iron, 2.6 



Carbon, , 77.9 

Bitumen, 16.5 

Sflica, 2.0 

Alumina and oxide of iron, 3.6 


Specific gravity, 1.321 

Weight of a cubic yard, 2,229ilbs. 

In these analyses we find the sum of the carbon :vnd bitu- 
men taken together, to amount to 95, 98 T 7 ff , 97f, and 94 per 
cent, respectively. These numbers, therefore, indicate their 
relative values, in the main, as manuring mixtures to be applied 
to the land. 


The coals most applicable for fertilising pu, poses are such 
as are found at the out-crops of the seams, or beds, particularly 
those which are of a soft, tender nature, and are easily acted 
upon by the joint influence of moisture and air. Among these, 
the bituminous coals of Virginia and Ohio stand conspicuous, 
and when reduced to powder, tend to quicken the vegetation 
of wheat and Indian corn in an eminent degree. 

When bituminous coal is in a state capable of being ren- 
dered soluble, it is soft and friable, and if rubbed between the 
fingers, it appears like soot. If thrown into the fire, it will not 
burn with any flame, but while consuming, emit a smell more 
like that from the combustion of peat than coal. When not 
found in this state in the mines, it may be oxygenated, or soft- 
ened, by exposing the small refuse coals of the collieries or 
yards, alternately to moisture and air. This process may be 
much accelerated by previously crushing or grinding the coal 
to a fine powder. 


THESE fossils, which usually occur of a conical shape, are 
generally found in the ancient calcareous formations, and are 
shown by Dr. Buckland, in his " Bridgewater Treatise," to be 
the petrified excrements of extinct animals. They also are 
represented to be found in the state of Maine, and occur in 
numerous limestone formations in other parts of the United 
States. They are most frequently found in layers of rock, and 
are generally associated with other fossils of various composi- 
tions, forms, and textures. Sometimes, however, they occur as 
water-worn pebbles, coarse gravel, or in a more comminuted 
state i:i 'he soil. An analysis of a sample made by Herapath 
gives of 

Phosphate of lime, magnesia, and iron, 53.7 

Carbonate of lime, 28.4 

Sulphate of lime, 0.7 

Silica, 13.2 

Water, 3.4 



Besides the other ingredients, the above analysis indicates 
that there is an equivalent of 262 per cent, of phosphoric acid, 
which shows coprolites arc an invaluable manure. They are 
about as rich in phosphate and carbonate of lime, as the re- 
cent bones of an ox, when perfectly dried, and deprived of 
their fat. The latter yield of phosphate of lime 56f per cent, 
and of phosphate of magnesia 3 per cent., which is equiva- 
to 26 T 7 o per cent, of phosphoric acid. It is to be observed, 
however, that coprolites, in general, are intensely hard, so 
much so, that it requires powerful machinery to grind them; 
and that, even when reduced to powder, they are not suffici- 
ently soluble of themselves for direct application to the soil. 
They are readily dissolved by sulphuric acid, and then afford 
a most excellent manure for turnips, cabbages, rape, &c- 


FELDSPAK, which has a peculiar pearly lustre, when pure, is 
generally white; but from the admixture of other ingredients 
in small proportions, it often has a red, blue, or greenish tint, 
which is owing to the minute quantity of metallic oxides it 
contains. It forms one of the regular components of granite, 
sometimes occuring in crystals 10 inches long and 8 inches in 
diameter. Several varieties of this mineral are known to 
mineralogists ; but, besides the common feldspar, it is only 
necessary to specify albi/e, which, in appearance, closely re- 
sembles the true feldspar, after taking its place in granite 
rocks, and in chemical constitution, differs from it only in con- 
taining soda, while the common variety contains potash. Ac- 
cording to Professor Johnston, these minerals consist repeo 
lively of 

Feldspar, Albite. 

Hilicti, 65.21 69.09 

Alumina, '. 18.13 19.22 

Potash, 16.66 

Soda, 11.69 

100.00 100.00 


It is to be observed, however, that these mine, als do not gen- 
erally occur in nature in a perfectly pure state ; for though 
they do not essentially contain lime, magnesia, nor oxide of 
iron, they are seldom found without a small admixture of one 
or more of these substances. It is also found that while pure 
feldspar contains only potash, and pure albite only soda, an 
abundance of a kind of intermediate mineral occurs which 
contains both potash and soda. 

In these two minerals, the silica is combined with the potash, 
soda, and alumina. 

Feldspar consists of a silicate of alumina combined with a 
silicate of potash. Albite, of the same silicate of alumina, com- 
bined with a silicate of soda. 

Feldspar undergoes a gradual decomposition when exposed 
to the action of air, water, and the spongioles of plants, or to 
the vegetable matter in the soil* The carbonic acid gas of 
the soil, of the atmosphere, as well as of mineral waters, acts 
upon it, so that the alkali is gradually removed, and the min- 
eral crumbles into fine particles, which enter into the compo- 
sition of all granitic soils. It is the principal source whence 
plants obtain their potash, which exists in their juices and solid 
parts, and is taken up by their rootlets entering into their 
composition, and serving, at the same time, as a solvent vehicle, 
by^which the organic acids are in part introduced into their 
sap vessels. 

The name of gr anile is given to a rock consisting of a mix- 
ture more or less of quartz, mica, and feldspar. When mica 
is wanting, and a mineral called hornl,ende occurs in its stead, 
the rock is distinguished by the name of Syenite; and when 
these minerals are blended together, and the rock is more or 
less distinctly stratified in its structure, it is known under the 
name of gneiss. 

The minerals of which these rocks consist, are mixed toge- 
ther in very variable proportions. Sometimes the quartz pre- 
dominates, so as to constitute two thirds or three fourths of the 
whole rock : at other times, both mica and quartz are present 


in such small quantity as to form what is hen called a feldspar 
rock. The mica rarely exceeds one sixth of the whole, while 
the hornblende of the Syenites sometimes forms nearly one half 
of the entire rock. These differences also are often overlooked 
by the geologist, though they necessarily produce important 
differences in the composition and agricultural characters of 
the soils derived from the crystalline rocks. 

Mica generally occurs disseminated through the granite or 
gneiss in small, shining scales, or plates, which, when extracted 
from the rock, readily split into an inconceivable number of 
thin layers. It sometimes also occurs in large masses which 
may be cleft into thin sheets, or plates, resembling window- 
glass, and is of various colors, as white, grey, brown, and 
black. It is soft, and may readily be cut with a knife. It con- 
sists of silicates, though its constitution is not always so sim- 
ple as that of feldspar. In some varieties, magnesia is pres- 
ent, whilst in others it is almost wholly wanting, as is shown 
by the following composition of two specimens from different 
localities, given by Professor Johnston : 

Potash , Magnesia* 
Mica. Mica. 

Silica 46.10 40.00 

Alumina, 31.60 12.67 

Prot-oxido of iron, 8.65 19.03 

Magnesia, 15.70 

Potash 8.39 5.61 

Oxide of manganese, 1.40 0.63 

Fluoric acid, 1.13 2.10 

Water, 1.00 Titanic acid, 1.63 

98.26 97.37 

If we neglect the last three substances, which are present 
only in small quantities, and recollect that the silica is in com- 
bination with all the substances which stand beneath it, we see 
th<vt these varieties of mica consist of a silicate of alumina 
combined in the one with silicate of iron and silicate of potash ; 
and in the other with silicate of iron and silicate of magnosia. 

Hornblende occurs of various colors, but thnt. which forms a 


constituent of Syenites and of the basalts is of a dark-g.-een or 
brownish-black color, is often in regular crystals, and is readily 
distinguished from quartz and feldspar by its color, and from 
black mica, by not spliting into thin layers. 

According to the last authority named above, hornblende 
consists of 




45 C9 





.. .. 12.24 . . . 

. . . . 13.83 




Prot-oxide of iron, 



Oxide of manganese. . . . 

.. 0.33... 

.. 0.22 

Fluoric acid 1 50 

97.06 99.53 

A comparison of these two analyses shows that the propor- 
tions of magnesia and oxide of iron sometimes vary consider- 
ably ; yet that the hornblendes still maintain the same general 
composition. They are remarkably distinguished from felds- 
par by the total absence of potash and soda, and by containing 
a large proportion of lime and magnesia. From the potash 
mica, they are distinguished by the same chemical differences, 
and from magnesian mica, by containing lime to the amount 
of ith part of their whole weight, which difference must mate- 
rially affect the constitution and agricultural capabilities of 
the soils formed from these minerals. 

A few other minerals occasionally occur among granitic 
rocks, in sufficient quantity to affect the composition of the soils 
to which they give rise. Among these, are the different varieties 
of tourmaline, beryl, schorl, and chlorite, the latter of which, 
sometimes contains 15 or 18 per cent, of magnesia, and nearly 
30 per cent, of the prot-oxide of iron. 

It thus appears that a knowledge of the constitution of the 
minerals of which the granhes are composed, and of the pro- 
portions in which these minerals are mixed in any locality 
clearly indicates what the nature of the soils formed from them 


must be an indication which perfectly accords with observa- 
tion. The same knowledge, also, showing that such soils never 
have contained, and never can naturally include more than a 
trace of lime, will satisfy the improver, who believes the pres- 
ence of lime to be almost necessary in a fertile soil, as to the 
first step to be taken in endeavoring to rescue a granitic soil 
from a state of nature will explain to him the reason why the 
use of lime and of shell sand on such soils, should so long have 
been practised with the best effects, and will encourage him 
to persevere in a course of treatment, which, while suggested 
by theory, is also confirmed by practice. Johnston. 

The potash of feldspar, or granitic rocks, may be liberated 
to a considerable extent, first, by breaking and burning them 
in a kiln, like limestone, and then slaking them by pouring on 
water while hot. In this state, most, or all of the alkalies con- 
tained in the rock will readily be available for the food of 
plants, and all that remains to be done is simply to apply the 
fragments to the soil. 


GYPSUM, or sulphate of lime, is a well-known white crystal- 
line compound found abundantly in large deposits in numerous 
parts of the globe. It is present in many soils, particularly in 
peat, and is detected in sensible proportions in lucern, sainfoin, 
ray grass, red clover, and turnips, as well as in the dung of 
most, if not all animals subsisting on grass. It is found, as a 
natural production, under the names of anhydrite, (which occurs 
in rocky masses almost free from water,) selenite, and alabaster. 
The native plaster, or gypsum of commerce, contains of 

Per cent. 

Water, 21 

Lime, 33 

Sulphuric acid, 46 


But when ca' Mned, it consists of 41-J per cent, of lime, and 



58- of sulphuric acid. Deprived of its water, at a low red 
heat, it forms the well-known " plaster of Paris," which, when 
made into a thin paste with water, chemically unites with it, 
and forms, in a few minutes, a hard substance, as in plaster 
casts, or moulds, cornices in rooms, &c. It is soluble in 450 
parts of boiling water, or in 500 parts of cold water ; owing to 
which circumstance it is often found in springs. A ton of pure 
gypsum, when crushed, will yield about 25 bushels. 

FIG. 3. 

The use of plaster in agriculture, as such, is not old, although 
it was doubtless used by the Roman farmers and early inhab- 
itants of Britain, as well as by the Lombards. It was not much 
applied in modern times until some years after its first discov- 
ery as a manure by M. Meyer, a clergyman of Germany, in 
1768. Its use spead. after this date in that country, and pene- 
trated France, Switzerland, Great Britain, and the United States, 
where it has been successfully employed, without interruption, 
in the vicinity of Philadelphia, and elsewhere, ever since the 
year 1772. And it may be worthy of repeating, that, when 
Dr. Franklin wished to introduce the use of this fertiliser into 
America, in order to convince his countrymen of its efficacy, 
he sowed in large letters, upon a clover field, in Washington, 
with powdered gypsum, the following phrase, as indicated u 
the cut above : THIS HAS BEEN PLASTERED. 


Theoretically, gypsum attracts ammonia from the atmos- 
phere, and retains it for the use of vegetation, its action, as a 
manure, is twofold. In the first place, it serves directly for the 
food of several of oar cultivated plants; and secondly, it fixes 
and retains certain soluble substances in the soil, which are 
necessary to their growth and nutrition. Nor is this all. To 
the same property is to be ascribed Us action of fixing ammo- 
nia, when scattered over stable floois, dunghills, manure tanks, 
&c., by absorbing it, and thereby preventing its escape. By 
" fixing," is meant the formation of sulphate of ammonia from 
its carbonate. Rain water, for instance, is supposed to bring 
down with it carbonate of ammonia, which acts upon gypsum 
in such a way as to abstract its sulphuric acid, and form sul- 
phate of ammonia, and exchange therefor its carbonic acid, and 
convert the gypsum into carbonate of lime. Thus, the carbonate 
of ammonia, which is brought down by the rain, if it does not 
meet with sulphuric acid in the soil, it readily becomes volatile, 
and rises again into the air; whereas, the contrary is the effect 
with sulphate of ammonia, and hence the meaning of the term 
" fix." Supposing the gypsum to meet with a sufficient supply 
of ammonia in the soil, and that it exercises its full influence, 
100 Ibs. of common unburnl gypsum will fix or form sulphate 
with nearly 120 Ibs. of ammonia, containing IS^lbs. of nitrogen. 
One hundred weight, therefore, (112lbs.,) will form as much 
sulphate as will contain 22 Ibs. of ammonia, and if introduced 
without loss into the interior of plants, it will furnish them with 
18i Ibs. of nitrogen. 

The sulphuric acid contained in gypsum, from well-known 
principles, also acts beneficially in decomposing and bringing 
into activity the humus and insoluble matter accumulated in 
loams or peaty soils. Gypsum is decomposed by carbonate 
and muriate of barytes, the carbonates of strontia, potash, soda, 
and of ammonia, as well as by oxalic and humic acids, and 
where any of the four last named occur naturally in the soil, 
or are applied by artificial means, new combinations take 
place, which are attended in some cases with beneficial results 


For instance, in order that gypsum may be useful as a fertil- 
iser, the soil must always contain more or less humus, even if 
it be only 2 or 3 per cent. If, however, it contains too much 
free humic acid, it will decompose the gypsum, so that humate 
of lime will be formed, and the sulphuric acid will be set free, 
which may then act as a corrosive on the roots of the crops. 
On this account, a soil very rich in humus must never be ma- 
nured with too much gypsum, because, though the sulphuric 
acid were to combine with another base contained in the soil. 
it would still form therewith a salt easily soluble in water, by 
which the plants would receive too much sulphuric acid at 
once. If strewn over fresh dung, and plowed in with it in the 
field, it will undergo a partial decomposition by the carbonate 
of ammonia developed from the excrements, so much so, that 
sulphate of ammonia and carbonate of lime are formed. 

Some difference of opinion appears to exist among agricul- 
turists whether gypsum should be used in a crude state or 
burned; but, experience fully proves that the effects are the 
same whether calcined or rough. In a raw state, when reduced to 
powder, it docs not swell in water, but remains like sand. But 
when roasted, or rather heated at a temperature just below red- 
ness, and diluted with its bulk of water, it will harden, or set, 
at the end of five or ten minutes; then, if we dilute it with 
another equal dose of water, and as soon as the mixture begins 
to harden again, we add a third dose of water of equal bulk, 
and proceed thus five or six times, the mixture will still acquire 
a weaker consistence. Then, if divided into clods, and left to 
dry in the air, it can easily be reduced to a fine powder. In 
this condition, plaster acts so much the better, as it presents 
more surface to the influence of water, and is the sooner dis- 
solved and taken up by the roots of plants. Indeed, it appears 
that its swelling, at each addition of water, genera lly increases 
its bulk ; and consequently its particles are more and more 
divided, till they occupy five or six times their former volume, 
by the agency of water. On the contrary, when we employ 
plaster which is too much roasted, it does not even absorb a 


volume of water equal to itself; nor docs it expand nor under 
go any further division, in consequence of which, it does not 
retain scarcely |th part as much interposed tvater as the well- 
roasted plaster, and therefore presents so much the less hold 
for the dissolving action. Hence, the only use of roasting plas- 
ter for agriculture, consists in the minute and easy division 
which results from the calcination ; and it is easy to perceive 
how important it is to avoid the excess of temperature that pro- 
duces the contrary effect. 

By burning, gypsum loses nothing but the water of crystal- 
lisation, or the water chemically bound up, as the sulphuric 
acid contained in it cannot be expelled even by the most vio- 
lent heat of the furnace. If left in the air, burnt gypsum will 
attract from it as much water as it had previously lost, which 
again becomes chemically fixed, but does not sensibly deterio- 
rate its value as a manure. 

From its property of being rather soluble in wat er, gypsum 
generally passes into the plants in an entire state. In its ap- 
plication, it is frequently strewn over the young growing 
crops ; and farmers like it still better, if the plants arc yet wet 
from dew, as they believe that it will then act as a better stim- 
ulus upon the leaves. Still, experience has shown that it will 
produce the same effect, if it is washed off the leaves by rain 
water; nay it has been found that, in most cases, it will im- 
prove the growth of clover best, if it be strewn over the field 
before winter, and harrowed in with the seed. This phenome- 
non is easily explained by the gypsum sooner finding in the soil 
the water required for its solution ; and it being now distrib- 
uted over the whole furrow slice, it can easier be received by 
the roots of the plants. The favorable issue of manuring with 
gypsum depends yet on another circumstance. It will act 
beneficially only in wet, warm seasons; as in this case, the 
water will not only convey it to the plants, but the heat will 
assist the assimilation of the sulphuric acid contained in it; 
that is, the leaves will only deoxidise the sulphuric acid by the 
assistance of the s<r ar rays, whereby they exhale the oxygen 


and retain sulphur for the formation of albumen, gluten, &c. 
That this process actually takes places in leaves, is to be seen 
by the gypsum acting very little in dark, wet weather, and 
that, being strewn over clover, growing in the shade, it will not 
exert any influence upon it at all. 

Gypsum, like lime and marl, requires to be applied with dis- 
cretion, and alternately with other manures. Without atten- 
tion in this respect, it will not always succeed. It has general- 
ly been found more useful when applied to clover, lucern, 
sainfoin, beans, peas, vetches, and several of the grasses, than 
in the cultivation of grain, turnips, and other green crops. In 
France, its effects have been extolled, when applied to the roots 
of orange trees, the olive, mulberries, and the vine. In Amer- 
ica, it is employed with success in the cultivation of Indian 
corn, buckwheat, and rye; and in some instances it has given 
much activity to the growth of hemp. 

The soils upon which gypsum operates most beneficially are 
those that are light, dry, and sandy, or open, as they soonest 
admit the rain water which dissolves and conveys it to the 
roots of the plants; whereas, clayey soils, which are stiff' and 
impervious to the rains, retain the plaster for a greater length 
of time. In some cases, gypsum will not produce any effect, 
on account of the soil already containing sufficient sulphate of 
lime, or beitig deficient in one or more substances required for 
the growth of plants; for, in order that such a simple sub- 
stance as gypsum may act beneficially, the soil must possess 
all the other substances requisite for the crop. Thus, in a 
plant like red clover, which requires fourteen or fifteen sub- 
stances to perfect its growth, if only one of these simple sub- 
stances is deficient, potash for instance, it is clear that the 
remaining thirteen or fourteen would be of little or no avail, 
however abundant any of the others may be; for plants re- 
quire only a determinate quantity of food, and an excess may 
be detrimental and do no good. 

Gypsum being itself calcareous, it would seem to follow that 
it should not h~ employed on l-uid containing much \\n\e ; but 


experience has proved that it may be avantageously applied 
to chalky and limestone soils, and particularly those which 
have shortly before been enriched with marl. On land which 
has been exhausted by cropping, and which contains not much 
vegetable matter, it will prove of little or no avail ; but it will 
do good after an application of barnyard dung, or after plow- 
ing under a green crop. Plaster is sometimes used upon dry 
meadows, in which leguminous grasses predominate, and con- 
quently increase their forage; but its application must be alter- 
nated with animal manure; otherwise, the fertility which it 
produces will not be sustained, and in a few years of repeated 
plastering, the product will descend lower than before. There- 
fore, gypsum should not be too often repeated upon the same 
soil, especially if it is moderately, or very rich, as most soils 
generally require a change in manures, as well as in crops, 
once in every five or six years. 

Plaster may be applied to grass lands by scattering it broad- 
cast over the surface, or over cultivated ground, harrowing it 
in at the time of sowing the seed. It may also be applied in 
the hill at the time of planting beans, peas, or Indian corn ; or 
: t may be applied to the plants of the these crops at their first 
or second hoeing. For grass lands, it is recommended to sow 
it in the spring, even when the grass is 5 or 6 inches in height ; 
and, when sown in August, after harvest, upon clover leas, a 
fine aftermath may be cut, and the crops of the year following 
will experience nearly the whole of its good effects. 

The best time for applying plaster is in the evening or morn- 
ing upon the dew, or in cairn and cloudy weather, just before 
or after a slight rain ; for, if the weather be very rainy, its ef- 
fects will be lessened, if not altogether destroyed. When sown 
with grain, its ordinary dose is equal in bulk to that of the 
seed, say 200 or 300 Ibs. to an acre ; but to grass lands, or 
crops of legumes, potatoes, and Indian corn, 5 or 6 bushels to 
the acre are commonly employed. Used in a compos: of earth 
or dung, or combined with other manures, such as guano, rape 
dust, &c.. it has been applied to turnips with marked effect. 


If a little gypsum be strewn over barnyard dung, \\hile being 
turned o v er, before using, its activity is very much increased. 


IRON, it is universally admitted, is the most extensively dis- 
tributed, and the most important of all metals, being essential 
to the existence of most, if not all organised beings, and indis- 
pensable to man in the ordinary wants of life. Every one 
knows the manifold uses to which this precious metal is applied ; 
its capability of being cast in molds of any form ; of being 
drawn out into wires of any desired fineness and strength ; of 
being extended into sheets, or plates ; of being bent in any 
direction ; of being sharpened, hardened, and softened at will. 
Iron accommodates itself to all pur necessities, our desires, and 
even our caprices. It is equally serviceable to agriculture, 
the arts, the sciences, and to war, as the same ore fur- 
nishes "the sword, the plowshare, the scythe, the pruning hook," 
the needle, the graver, the spring of a watch or of a carriage, the 
hammer, the anvil, the chisel, the chain, the anchor, the steam 
engine, the compass, the cannon, the mortar, and the bomb. It 
is also a medicine of much virtue, and bears upon its brow its 
recommendation, as such, for upwards of 2,000 years! 

Iron, when pure, is of a bluish-white color, exceedingly 
brilliant, very malleable, and ductile. Its fracture, in its ordi- 
nary state, is fibrous and dull; but, when polished, it is capa- 
ble of acquiring a brilliant surface. When rubbed, it emits a 
slight smell, and it imparts to the tongue a peculiar astringent 
or chalybeate taste. The ash of nearly all plants contains a 
more or less appreciable quantity of oxide of iron. This may 
have entered into the roots either in the state of soluble sul- 
phate or carbonate, dissolved in carbonic acid, or of some oth- 
er of those numerous soluble compounds of iron with organic 
acids, which may be expected to be occasionally present in 
the soil. 

The ores and oxides *f this metal are scattered over ilu: 


crust of our globe with bcnificent profusion; being found un- 
der every latitude and*in every zone ; in every mineral forma- 
tion, arid in every soil. Jonsidcred in a purely agricultural 
point of view, the'- may be described under the following 
heads : 

Oxides of Iron. It is well known that when metallic iron is 
exposed to moist air or water, it gradually rusts and becomes 
covered with, or wholly changed into a crumbling ochrey 
mass of a reddish-brown color. This powder is a compound 
of iron and oxygen, only, containing 69^ per cent, of the form- 
er, and and 30 per cent, of the latter. 

When iron is heated in the smith's forge, and then beaten on 
the anvil, a scale flies off, which is of n black color, and when 
crushed, gives a black powder. This also consists of iron and 
oxygen, only, but the proportion of oxygen is not so great as in 
the red powder above described. In both cases, the iron has 
derived its oxygen from the atmosphere. 

To these compounds of iron with oxygen, the name of ox- 
ides is given. There are only two which are of interest to the 
agriculturist, namely, 

Iron. Oxygen. 

Prot-oxide, (black,) 77.23 22.77 

Per-oxidc, (red,) 69.34 30.66 

Both of these exist abundantly in nature, and are present to 
a greater or less extent in all soils. The per-oxide, however, 
is by far the most abundant on the earth's surface, and the 
reddish color observable in so many soils is principally due 
to the presence of this oxide. 

The prot-oxlde rarely occurs in the boil except in a state of 
combination with some acid substances; and so strong is its 
tendency to combine with more oxygen, that when exposed to 
Ihe air, even in a state of combination, it rapidly absorbs this 
element from the atmosphere and changes into per-oxide. At 
first, it turns green and then red, by exposure to air. This 
charge is observable in all chalybeate springs, in which, as 
thej rise to tb.3 surface, the iron Ls generally held in solution 


in the state oft prot-oxide. After a brief exposure to the air, 
more oxygen is absorbed, and a reddish pellicle is formed on 
the surface, which gradually falls and coats the channel along 
which the water runs, with a reddish sediment of insoluble 

Both oxides are insoluble in pure water, and both dissolve 
in water containing acids in solution. The prot-oxide, how- 
ever, dissolves in much greater quantity in the same weight 
of acid, and it is the compounds of this oxide which are usu- 
ally present in the soil, and which, in boggy lands, prove so 
injurious to vegetation. The prot-oxide of iron abounds in the 
green-sand marl of Monmouth county, New Jersey, which 
often contains more than 25 per cent. On this- and the potash 
it contains, its chief value as a fertiliser consists. 

The per-oxide, or red oxide, possesses two properties, which, 
in connection with practical agriculture, are not void of some 
degree of importance. In a soil which contains much vegeta- 
ble matter in a state of decay, the per-oxide is frequently de- 
prived of one third of its oxygen by the carbonaceous matter, 
and is thus converted into the prot-oxide, which readily dis- 
solves in any of the acid substances with which it may be in 
contact. In this state of combination, it is more or less soluble 
in water, and in some localities may be brought to the roots 
of plants in such quantity as to prove injurious to their growth. 

The red oxide of iron, like alumina, is said to have the 
property of absorbing ammonia, and probably other gaseous 
substances and vapors from the atmosphere and from the soil. 
In that which occurs in nature, either in the soil or near the 
surface of mineral veins, traces of ammonia can generally be 
detected. Since, then, ammonia is so beneficial to vegetation, 
the property which the per-oxide of iron possesses of retaining 
this ammonia when it would otherwise escape from the soil, 
or of absorbing it from the atmosphere, and thus bringing it 
within the reach of plants, must also be indirectly favorable 
to vegetation, when the soil contains it in any considerable 


An impoitant practical precept is also to be drawn from 
these two properties of this oxide. A red, irony soil, to which 
manure is added, should be frequently turned over, and shoiiH 
be kept loose and pervious to the air, in order that the forma- 
tion of prot-oxidc m:iy if prevented as much as possible; and 
it may occasionally !>o summer fallowed with advantage, in 
order, also, that the per-oxide may absorb from the air those 
volatile substances which are likely to prove beneiicial to the 
growth of the future crops. 

Sulphurets of Iron. Iron occurs in nature combined with sul- 
phur, in two proportions, forming a sulphuret and a bi-sul- 
nhuret. These are both tasteless and insoluble in water, and 
consist respectively of 

Iron. Sulphur, 

The sulphuret, 62.77 37.23 

The bi-siilphuret, 45.74 54.26 

The first of these, the sulphuret, occurs occasionally in bog- 
gy and marshy soils, in which salts of iron exist, or into which 
they are carried by rains or springs. Tt is not itself directly 
pernicious to vegetation, but when exposed to the air, it absorbs 
oxygen and forms sulphate of iron, which, when present in 
sufficient quantify, is particularly injurious. 

The bi-sulphuret, or common iron pyrites, is exceedingly 
abundant in nature. It occurs in nearly all rocky formations 
and in most soils. It abounds in coal, and is the source of the 
sulphurous smell which many varieties emit while burning. 
It generally presents itself in masses of a yellow, gold-like 
color and metallic lustre, more or less perfectly crystallised in 
cubical forms, so brittle and hard as to strike fire with steel, 
and of a specific gravity 4 times greater than that of water. 
When heated in close vessels, it parts with nearly one half of 
its sulphur, and hence is often distilled for the sulphur it yields. 
In the air, it absorbs oxygen, in some cases, as in the waste 
coal heaps, with such rapidity as to heat, take fire, and burn. 
By this absorption of oxygen, (oxidation,) sulphuric acid and 
sulphate of iron are produced. In (he alum shales, the ir 


pyrites abound, and these are often burned for the purpose 
of con\erting the sulphur and sulphuric acid for the subse- 
quent manufacture of alum. Pyrites are only found in such 
soils as have not long been under cultivation, or exposed to 
the action of the air for a sufficient length of time to become 

Sulphate of Iron. Of the sulphates of iron which are known, 
there is only one, the common green vitriol of the shops, that 
occurs in the soil in any considerable quantity. There are 
few soils, perhaps, in which its presence may not be detected, 
though it is in bogs and marshy places that it is most gener- 
ally and most abundantly met with. It is often exceedingly 
injurious to vegetation in such localities, but it is decomposed 
by quicklime, by carbonate of barytes, by dung and urine of 
cattle, by magnesia, by chalk, and by all varieties of marl, 
and thus its noxious effects may, in general, be entirely pre- 
vented. With lime or chalk,, the acid of this substance forms 
gypsum; whilst with magnesia and the alkalies, it forms Ep- 
som and Glauber salts, the beneficial effects of which, on the 
growth of plants, have been fully ascertained. To soils which 
abound in lime, it may even be applied with a beneficial effect. 

When a solution of this salt is exposed to the air, it speedily 
becomes covered with a pellicle of a yellow, ochrey color, 
which afterwards falls as a yellow sediment. This sediment 
consists of per-oxide of iron, containing a little sulphuric acid ; 
but by the separation of this oxide, the sulphuric acid is left 
in excess in the solution, which becomes sour, and still more 
injurious to vegetation than before. In boggy places, the wa- 
ters impregnated with iron are generally more or less in this 
acid state, and lime, chalk, and marl, with perfect drainage, 
are 4he only available means by which such lands can be 
sweetened and rendered fertile. 

When iron pyrites are exposed to the air, they slowly absorb 
oxygen, and are converted into suipnate of iron and sulphuric 
acid ; on the other hand, the sour solution, above mentioned, 
when placed in contact with vegetable natter, where the air 


is excluded, par j with its oxygen to the decaying carbona- 
ceous matter, and is again converted into pyrites. These two 
opposite processes are both continually in progress in nature, 
and often in the same locality, the one on the surface, where 
air is present, the other in the subsoil, where the air is excluded. 

Pyrites or the sulphate of iron, wherever either may be Had 
in sufficient abundance, may be advantageously employed as 
a top-dressing in connection with quicklime, in all light soils 
moderately rich in humus, and deficient in per-oxide. of iron, 
and will thereby contribute directly to the growth of most of 
our cultivated crops. 

Carbonate of Iron. When a solution of the sulphate of iron, 
above described, is mixed with one of carbonate of soda, a yel- 
low powder falls, which is carbonate of iron. This carbonate 
is found abundantly in nature. It is the state in which the 
iron exists in the ore, (clay-iron ore,) from which this metal is 
so largely extracted by smelting, and in a similar ore often 
found in the subsoil of boggy places, which is distinguish- 
ed by the name of "bog-iron ore." Like the carbonate of 
lime, it is insoluble in water, but dissolves with considera- 
ble readiness in water charged with carbonic acid. In this 
state of solution, it issues from the earth in most of our chaly- 
beate springs, and it is owing to the escape of the excess of 
carbonic acid from the water, when it reaches the open air, 
that the yellow deposit of carbonate of iron more or less spee- 
dily falls. The carbonate of iron, being insoluble in water, 
cannot be directly injurious to vegetation. When exposed to 
the air, it gradually parts with its carbonic acid, and is con. 
verted into a per-oxide, the effects of which have already been 


LIME, the most valuable and the most extensively used of all 
the mineral substances ever made available in practical agri- 
culture, has, and M ith much truth, been called " the basis of 


all good husbandry." Therefore, it well deseives the most 
exact and careful attention of the practical farmer to avail 
himself of every species of information that will throw any 
light on its uses, application, and its injurious as well as its 
beneficial effects on his soils, his manures, and his crops. 

This important substance, called by chemists prot-oxide of 
calcium, is extensively distributed throughout this earth and its 
inhabitants, combined principally with carbonic, sulphuric, phos- 
phoric, fluoric, humic and silicic acids, in the form of limestone, 
marble, chalk, marl, calcareous spar, stalactites, stalagmites, 
gypsum, phosphorite, organic remains, &c. Notwithstanding 
the immense quantities of carbonate and sulphate of Itme, 
which constitute so large a proportion of the crust of our globe, 
it is questioned by some, whether lime should not. be looked 
upon as a characteristic of the animal rather than the mineral 
kingdom of nature. For the bony or testaceous skeleton, by 
which the softer portions of the animal frame are attached, is 
always found to consist of lime united either with carbonic or 
phosphoric acids. The bones of all vertebrated animals, 
(those having back bones,) are constituted principally of phos- 
phate of lime, while in the shells of the invertebrate animals, 
(beetles, crabs, lobsters, oysters, &c.,) the carbonate of lime is 
the prevalent component. The teeth of animals, also, mainly 
consist of the phosphate of lime, which, in all cases, is associ- 
ated with flouride of calcium, in a similar manner as these 
substances occur in the mineral phosphorite, or native phos- 
phate of lime. Indeed, it is a remarkable fact that all the 
great geological formations, of which lime is a prominent in- 
gredient, are found to consist of the aggregated skeletons, shells, 
or casts of myriads of invertebrated animals, which had existed 
at some period long before the creation of man. From the 
densest and hardest limestone to the softest chalk, the entire 
mass generally resolves itself ultimately into a congeries of 
animal remains ; and hence, the great supply of lime in the 
mineral state arises from the destruction of its animal sources. 
The lime, therefore, which exists in nature, must be looked 


upon as being continually in a state of passage between the 
organised and the inorganic kingdoms. The plants that 
grow upon the soil take up, by dissolution in their juices, salts 
of lime, which pass into the substance of the animal that feeds 
upon them, and accumulating in its system, they afford mate- 
rials for the proper development of the skeleton, the hair, the 
skin, and the softer parts. When the animal dies, the blood, 
muscles, and other tissues cither serve for the nutrition of 
some other animal, or, being totally decomposed, its elements 
return again to a mineral stale, to be, in after ages, the sub- 
ject of similar alternations. 

In considering the chemical nature of the ash of plants, it is 
known that lime, in all cases, forms a considerable proportion 
of its whole weight. Hence, the reason why lime is regarded 
as a necessary foo:i of plants, and hence, also, one cause of its 
beneficial influence in general agricultural practice. 

The quantity of pun; lime contained in the crops produced 
upon one acre, according to Professor Johnston, during a four 
years' rotation, amounts, on an average, to 242 Ibs., which are 
equal to about 430 Ibs. of carbonate of lime, in the state of 
marl, shell sand, or limestone gravel. It is obvious, therefore, 
that one of the most intelligible purposes served by lime, as a 
chemical constituent of the soil, is to supply this comparative- 
ly large; quantity of this substance, which in some form or other 
must enter into the roots of plants. 

But the different crops, which are grown in England, contain 
lime in unlike proportions. Thus the average produce of an 
acre of land for every 100 Ibs. of ash of the plants named in 
the table below, gives the following per-centage of lime: 

Grain or roots. Straw or tops. Total. 

Wheat, 23 bushels, 1.5 7.2 8.7 Ibs. 

Barley, 38 bushels, 2.1 10.9 15.0 

Out*, 50 bushels, 2.5 5.7 8.2 

Turnips, 25 tons, 45^ 93.0 138.8 

Potato<>s. 9 tons, 0.8 259.4 266.0 

Red clover, 2 ton* 120.0 126.0 

Eye ttrass, 2 tons, . 33.0 33.0 


These quantities are not constant, and wheat, especially, 
contains much more lime than is above stated, when it is 
grown upon land to which lime has been copiously applied. 
But the very different quantities contained in the several crops, 
a& above exhibited, show that one reason why lime favors the 
growth of some crops more than others, is, that some actually 
take up a* larger quantity of lime as food. These crops, there- 
fore, require the presence of lime in greater proportion in the 
soil, in order that they may be able to obtain it so readily that 
no delay may occur in the performance of those functions or 
in the growth of those parts to which lime is indispensable. 

The prot-oxide of calcium is usually obtained by exposing 
pure limestone or chalk, which are carbonates of lime, to a 
red heat, and is then popularly known under the names of 
stone lime, quicklime, hot lime, and caustic lime. It is also obtain- 
ed in an impure state, by burning oyster shells and the shells 
of other fish, which converts them into quicklime, and is com- 
monly called oyster-shell lime, or simply shell lime. When stone 
lime is exposed to the air, it rapidly absorbs water, and falls 
to a pure-white, earthy powder, increasing two or three times 
its bulk, and forms a hydrate of lime, which is usually known 
under the name of air-slacked or spontaneously-slacked lime. If 
11 little water be sprinkled upon a little piece of well-burned 
lime, it is instantly absorbed, and the lime slakes, or quenches, 
and appears quite dry ; but after a few moments, it cracks, 
swells, and crumbles into a powder of hydrate, popularly 
known as slaked lime, sometimes evolving sufficient heat to in- 
flame gunpowder or char wood. Pure lime is soluble in 635 
pnrts of water at 32F. ; but requires, at 60, 778 parts ; at 
130, 972 parts; at 212, 1,270 parts for its solution. A pint 
of water, at. 32, dissolves 13 grs. ; at 60, 112 grs. ; and at 
212, 6, 7 grs. Hence the propriety of employing cold water 
for the solution of lime. Clear lime water has an acrid, 
slightly-caustic taste, but when boiled, it becomes white or 
turbid. Exposed to the air, it absorbs carbonic acid, and be- 
comes covered with a crystalline pellicle of carbonate of lime. 


On breathing into clear, transparent lime \\ater, through a 
glass tube, it is immediately rendered turbid, or milky, by the 
carbonate of lime produced by the carbonic acid of the breath, 
an excess of which acid, however, dissolves the precipitated 
lime, and the water again becomes clear. It is in this way 
that carbonate of lime is held in solution in the water of 
almost every river and spring. If lime be perfectly dry, it has 
little or no tendency to absorb carbonic acid. It requires first 
to be "air-slacked," or "slaked" with water, and then the hy- 
drate is decomposed, the water being expelled by the carbonic 
acid, the absorption of which is very rapid, until the lime be- 
comes one half saturated, when a compound is formed 
known under the name of mild li?ne, but after that point, its 
advancement is very slow. The term mild is also applied to 
lime when it. is entirely in a state of carbonate. When strongly 
heated, lime becomes phosphorescent, and emits a brilliant 
light, on which account, it is sometimes employed for illumi- 
nation, as in the Drummond or Gurney light. 

The use oflime as an application to the soil, it is believed 
by some, acts in two ways one as a stimulant that promotes 
vegetation by causing the soil with which it is mixed to exert 
itself; and the other, in promoting the growth of trees and 
plants by enriching the land, as a manure, and adding to the 
quantity of vegetable food. By others, it is looked upon in a 
chemical and medicinal point of view, acting as an alterative a 
corrector, a dissolver, or a decomposer, a disengager of certain 
parts of the animal, vegetable and mineral substances con- 
tained in the soil, and as a retainer and a combiner with oth- 
ers, but not as a substance, like dung, or decayed organic mat- 
ter, fit for the immediate food and nourishment of plants. 

According to Professor Johnston's views on the subject, limo 
acts in two ways upon the soil. It produces a mechanical 
alteration which is simple and easily understood, and is the 
cause of a series of chemical changes, that are really ob- 
scure, and are as yet susceptible of only partial explanation. 

In the finely divided state of quicklime, or slaked lime or o. f 


soft and crumbling chalk, it stiffens very loose soi.s, and opens 
the stiffer clays ; while in the form of limestone gravel or of 
shell sand, it may be employed either for opening a clay soil 
or giving body and firmness to boggy land. These effects, and 
their explanation, are so obvious, that it is unnecessary to 
dwell upon them. 

The purposes served by lime as a chemical constituent of 
the soil are a . least of four distinct kinds : 

1. It supplies a kind of inorganic food which appears to be 
necessary to the healthy growth of all our cultivated plants. 

2. It neutralises acid substances which are naturally formed 
in the soil, and decomposes or renders harmless other noxious 
compounds which are not unfrequently within reach of the 
roots of plants. 

3. It changes the inert vegetable matter in the soil, so as 
gradually to render it useful to vegetation. 

4. It causes, facilitates, or enables other useful compounds, 
both organic and inorganic, to be produced in the soil, or so 
promotes the decomposition of existing compounds as to pre- 
pare them more speedily for entering into the circulation of 

The fertilising properties of lime, then, appear to arise, in a 
great measure, from the force with which it attracts carbonic 
acid from the atmosphere or soil to which it is exposed. This 
attraction for carbonic acid is so powerful, that if lime be 
placed in contact with animal or vegetable matter, they are 
decomposed or dissolved with great rapidity, and reduced to 
a fit state for entering the roots of plants. It is for this reason 
that we see such good results from the application of lime 
upon soils where green crops have been consumed on the 
land, or where any of the various plants used for that purpose 
have been plowed in green. It also produces equally good 
effects, and for the same reason, in soils newly broken up; in 
fact, in all soils rich in humus or vegetable matter. 

But the chemical action of lime is not confined to the decom- 
position of vegetable and other organic matter in the soil. It 


appears .o be clearly established by the experiments of agn- 
cultural chemists, that this substance has also the property of 
setting at liberty the alkalies which are present in exceedingly 
small quantities in the soil, favoring the formation of soluble 
silicates, which are useful to all of our crops of grain. Lime, 
however, not only acts chemically, but to a certain extent, it 
is also useful by altering the mechanical nature of the soil. 
For instance, it renders clayey soils less tenacious ; and it is 
also stated that it makes sandy soils firmer, and loamy soils 
soft, mellow, and light. Such is brielly all that is known at 
present, concerning the chemical properties of lime. Chem- 
istry does not, in all c:ises, explain to us how all the decom- 
positions take place, nor how lime acts as a stimulus or a 
manure; we only know the effects. The perfect elucidation 
of the subject, the results of which would be the establish- 
ment of rules to guide the practical farmer in the use of this 
fertiliser, is well worthy the attention of general government 
and of the highest scientific attainment. 

The application of lime to the soil is of high antiquity, and 
its utility, as such, has been recognised in almost every coun- 
try in which agriculture has attained much eminence; and 
certainly, it has been more largely and extensively used as a 
fertiliser, from a very remote period than any other mineral 
substance that has ever been made available in practical hus- 
bandry. Cato describes with much minuteness the best means 
of preparing it; and Pliny attests the use of slaked lime by 
the Roman cultivators as a dressing for the soil in which fruit 
trees were grown. It w;is also employed with equal success by 
the Arabs in Spain. Hence it may be inferred that what has 
been good in all past ages, is good at the present time. 

Lime is applied to the land in several combinations, and in 
a great variety of forms, some of them natural, and others 
artificially prepared, the nature, composition, and application 
of which, it is important that the practical farmer should, in a 
measure, understand. It is chiefly employed in the state of a 
carbonate, (including common limestone, marble, chalk, marl, 


shells, coral and shell sand, &c.,) bi-carbonate, chloride, cru- 
nate and apo-crenatc, hydrate, nitrate, oxalate, phosphate, super- 
phosphate, silicate, or of a sulphate, which, with the exception 
of the latter already treated of at length, under the head of 
"gypsum," are respectively as follows: 

Carbonate of Lime. Carbonate of lime, marble, or common 
limestone, consists of lime and carbonic acid, and when per 
fectly pure and dry, in the following proportions: 

Per cent 

Carbonic acid, 43.7 

Lime, 56.3 


One hundred pounds of carbonate of lime contains 43 T ^ Ibs. 
of carbonic acid, and 56 T 3 ff Ibs. of lime, or a ton, (2,000 Ibs.,) 
of pure carbonate of lime contains 1,126 Ibs. of lime. 

Limestones, however, are seldom pure. They always con- 
tain a sensible quantity of other earthy matter, chiefly silica, 
alumina, and oxide of iron, with a trace of phosphate of lime, 
sometimes of potash and soda, and often of animal and other 
organic matter. In limestones of the best quality, the foreign 
earthy matter, or impurity, does not exceed 5 per cent, of the 
whole, while it is often very much less. The chalk and moun- 
tain limestones are generally of this kind. In those of inferior 
quality, it may amount to 12 or 20 per cent, while many calca- 
reous beds are met with in which the proportion of lime is so 
small, that they will not burn into agricultural or ordinary 
building lime, refusing to slake, or fall to powder, when 
moistened with water. Of this kind are the hydraulic lime- 
stones of the state of New York, which are burned for making 

Chalk is another form of carbonate of lime that occurs very 
abundantly in many countries, and which, from its soft, earthy 
nature, has been extensively applied to the land in marry parts 
of England without burning. It is usually dug up from pits to- 
wards the close of autumn or beginning of winter, when full 


of water, and laid upon the land in heaps. During the winter's 
frost, the lumps of chalk fall to pieces, and are readily spread 
over the fields in spring. The quantity laid on varies with the 
quality of the soil, and of the chalk itself, and with the more or 
less perfect crumbling it undergoes during the season of win- 
ter, and with the purpose it is intended to serve. It gives tena- 
city and closeness to gravelly soils, opens and imparts freeness 
to stiff' clays, and adds firmness to such as are of a sandy 
nature. If a physical improvement of this kind be required, it 
is laid on at the rate of from 400 to 1,000 bushels to an acre. 
But some chalks contain much more clay than others, and are 
employed, therefore, in smaller proportions. For the improve- 
ment of coarse, sour, marshy pasture, it is applied at the rate 
of 150 to 250 bushels to an acre, and speedily brings up a sweet 
and delicate herbage. It is also said to root out sorrel from 
lands that are infested with this plant. These effects are pre- 
cisely such as usually follow from the application of marl, and 
like marl, the repetition of chalk exhausts the land, if manure 
be not afterwards added to it in sufficient quantity. Johnston. 

Marl, magnesian limestone, shells, as well as shell and coral 
sands, will be found described under their respective heads. 

Bi-carbonale of Lime. In this state, lime is combined with a 
double proportion of carbonic acid, and to a certain extent, is 
readily soluble in water. Hence, springs are often impregna- 
ted with it, and the waters that gush from fissures in limestone 
rocks, distribute it through the soil in their neighborhood, and 
thereby sweeten the land, which is a mode nature very fre- 
quently adopts in fertilising the earth. Here let it be remem- 
bered that carbonate of lime, though insoluble in pure water, 
is soluble to a considerable extent in that which is impregna- 
ted with carbonic acid gas; and that, when it holds lime in 
this way, and is exposed to the air for a length of time, or is 
heated over the fire, the lime will again separate from it more 
or less completely. In this manner, stalactites are formed in 
?.aves; substances are petrified in lakes and running streams; 
beds of marl, in some cases are produced ; drains are often 


choked up with lime ; and crusts are deposited at the bottoms 
of kettles and steam boilers. 

When the carbonate of lime contained in marble, common 
limestone, or in the shells of oysters and other shell fish, is 
heated to a high temperature, in the open air, the carbonic 
acid they hold in combination with other ingredients is driven 
off by the heat, and the lime remains behind in a caustic state. 
In burning, they are decomposed more readily when a current 
of moist air is allowed to pass through the burning mass. 
Hence, on a large scale, this burning is performed in kilns. A 
ton, (2,000 Ibs.,) of good limestone, yields 1,126 Ibs. of lime 
shells (caustic lime). The weight of these shells per bushel, 
varies with the kind of limestone employed, and with the manner 
in which they are burned. In some varieties of lime, a bushel 
does not weigh more than 75 Ibs. ; while in others, it will 
weigh nearly or quite 100 Ibs. This is a great difference, and 
shows how uncertain the quantity applied to the land may be 
when it is estimated by the bushel. Therefore, lime should be 
both bought and applied by weight. 

The following table, by Professor Johnston, exhibits the 
chemical changes which a ton, (,2,240 Ibs.,) of pure limestone 
undergoes, and the relative proportions in which the several 
compounds exist in it after it has been burned, slaked, and then 
exposed to the air, or mixed with the soil : 

Composition. '. 





to air or in 
the soil. 





ll l 

ll l 

Carbonic acid, 
Water, .... 


3 1 



Tot;il weight,. 







The form of lim; kilns vary; some being constructed inside 
in the shape of a hogshead, or of an egg, opened a little at 


each end, with the diameter at the bottom small, gradually 
widening towards the middle, and then contracting again to- 

FIG. 4. 

wards the top ; while others are made in the form of a sugar 
loaf, with the small end down ; others, again, are of an oblong 


oval in the ground plan, as well as at the middle an 1 top. The 
first of these forms is most generally in use, and when the 
sides are nearly perpendicular, it is observed that less fuel is 
necessary, in consequence of the great degree of heat that 
is created, above that which occurs in kilns formed in the 
shape of a sugar loaf reversed. Near the bottom of large 
kilns, two or more openings are made for admitting the air ne- 
cessary for supplying oxygen to the fire, and for dragging out 
the lime after it is burnt. 

Lime kilns may be built either of stone or bricks ; but tbp 
latter are considered preferable, particularly for the inside 
lining, as they are better adapted to stand a high degree of 
heat. They should always be situated at, or near the quarry, 
and if possible, in the side of a cliff or bank ; or they may be 
furnished with a "ramp," or inclined plane, of earth or stone, 
for carting up the fuel and limestone to their tops. 

A kiln of approved construction, suitable for burning lime 
with coal or other dry, smokeless fuel is denoted by fig. 4. It 
is supposed to be built on the side of a bank or cliff, of a circu- 
lar form within, 32 feet high from the iron grating over the 
pits, three feet in diameter at the top, arid seven feet across, 
near the middle, at a point 18 feet above the grating. 
The walls are designed to be built of stone, from three to six 
feet thick, and lined with bricks. Below the shaft, or hollow 
of the kiln, are two arches, or pits, each three feet wide and 
three feet high, divided by a partition wall eighteen inches 
thick, extending up the shaft 10 feet. About eighteen inches 
from each arch, or pit, is an oven, say two and a half feet, 
square, where coal is used for fuel, and somewhat deeper, 
where wood is employed, communicating with the shaft by 
narrow flues. Below the shaft, are two moveable iron grates 
for dragging out the lime after it is burned. The ovens, as 
well as the arches under the shaft, are provided with iron doors, 
which are to be closed whenever it. is desired to stop the draft. 
An iron cap, or cover, is also provided, to be placed over the 
top of the kiln, ts prev it the escape of more heat than is 


necessary to keep up the combustion of the fuel. This cap is 
also furnished with a damper, or valve, for regulating the draft. 

In a kiln like the foregoing, it is obvious that the lime 
can be well burnt, with a comparatively small amount of 
fuel, in winter as well as summer, and tha* ;he farmer or others 
can be supplied with lime, at any time, without extinguishing 
the fire. All that is necessary to be done, is, to supply the 
broken limestone, or shells, and the fuel at the top of the kiln, 
and rake out the burnt lime through the iron grate, or opening, 
at the bottom, as fast as occasion may require. In case it may 
be necessary to check the burning for a time, nothing more is 
necessary than to close the iron doors at the bottom of the 
kiln, and the cover, or cap, at the top, when the fire may be 
kept alive for four or five days. 

When the kiln is to be filled, the limestone should be broken 
into pieces about the size of a man's fist, and laid in alternate 
layers with the coal, usually in the proportion of three of the 
former to one of the latter ; but, as limestones vary much in 
their character, the proper quantity of fuel can only be regula- 
ted by trial. The coal should not be placed nearer the lining 
of the kiln than eight or nine inches, in order not to melt nor 
burn the bricks. 

The class of lime kilns in common use, in the United States, 
fig. 5, are similar to that of Mr. Ward Priest, of Lisbon, New 
Hampshire, described by Dr. C. T. Jackson, in his " Final Re- 
port of the Geology and Mineralogy " of that state. 

" The kiln holds about 35 tierces of lime. Each tierce holds 
six bushels. One which I measured was two feet, four inches 
high; one foot, nine inches head diameter; bilges to one foot, 
ten inches. The kiln is egged-shaped, and measures 12 feet, 
three inches in height, four feet in diameter at the top, six 
feet, four inches in diameter at the boshes (a little below the 
centre). Arch for fuel, two feet high. The walls of the kiln 
are two feet thick, and are made of mica slate, lined with com- 
mon bricks. It cost $150. 

"Mr Pr'est says that common bri ks soon glaze over on the 



surface, aad withstand the heat sufficiently well. Four days 
and three nights are required for burning a kiln cf lime, and 
ten cords of wood are consumed in the operation. From two 
to three men are employed. The cost of wood, cut, split, and 
delivered at the kiln, is $1 per cord. The lime sells for $2 per 
tierce, at the kiln." 

2 ft. Brick. 


FIG. 5. 

When newly-burnt lime is taken from the kiln, it has a 
strong tendency to drink in and combine with water. Hence, 
when exposed to the atmosphere, or is covered over with sods 
in a shallow pit, it slowly absorbs moisture from the air, with- 
out developing much heat, increases in weight, swells out, and 
gradually falls to powder. In this case, it is said to be air- 
slacked or spontaneously-slacked. In rich limes, the increase of 
bulk may be from 3 to 3| times ; but in the poorer varieties, or 
such as contain much foreign matter, the increase may be less 
than twice their bulk. 

If water be sprinkled or thrown upon the shells, or if they 
be immersed in water for a short time, and then withdrawn, 
they absorb the water, become hot, crack, swell, throw off much 
watery vapor, and fall down in a short time to a bulky, more 
or less white, and almost impalpable powder. When the 
thirsty lime has thus fallen, it is said to be slaked, or quenched. 


If more water be added, it is no longer drunk hi, but forms 
with the lime a paste, and if sharp sand be added, a mortar. 

These effects are more or less rapid and striking, according 
to the quality of the lime, and the time that has been allowed 
to elapse after the burning, before the water was applied. All 
lime becomes difficult to slake when it has been for a long 
time exposed to the air. When the slaking is rapid, as in the 
rich limes, the heat produced is sufficient to kindle gunpowder 
strewed upon it, and the increase of bulk is from 2 to 3 times 
that of the original lime shells. If the water be thrown on 
so rapidly or in such quantity as to chill the lime or any part 
of it, the powder will be gritty, will contain many little lumps 
which refuse to slake, and will also be less bulky and less 
minutely divided, and therefore less fitted either for agricul- 
tural or lor building purposes. 

It may be received as a general rule, however, that the best 
mode of slacking lime for agricultural purposes, is that which 
gives the shells the greatest bulk, and reduces them to the 
most minute state of division. For the following reasons, the 
spontaneous method is preferred by many, as it is thought to 
be more economical and has a better effect on the crops to 
which it is applied. First, it causes the lime to fall to the 
finest powder : and secondly, it is the least expensive, requir- 
ing less care and attention, and exposes the lime least to be- 
come "chilled " and gritty; but when thus left to itself, the 
shells should belaid up in heaps, covered with sods, and allow- 
ed to remain a sufficient time to slack, in order to prevent the 
surface of the heaps from being chilled, or the whole convert- 
ed into mortar by large or continued falls of rain; also to ex- 
clude the too free access of the air, which gradually brings 
back the lime to a half state of carbonate. Hence, the lime 
may be laid up in heaps, in the field in the winter, covered 
with sods, and left until it has completely fallen, or until he 
:ime is convenient for laying it upon the land, in spring or 
summer, when preparing for the ensuing crops. 

It hns already been observed that lime, from its nature, mus 1 


act both as a stimulus and as a manure, while it makes the 
earth exert itself in the nourishment of vegetables, in some 
measure, enriches it, and adds to the vegetable food. In 
some lands, the dissolving of the veget^lble food, and fitting it 
for entering the roots of plants, may be most beneficial. In 
others, the communicating of the power of attracting the veg- 
etable food from the air, may have an equally good effect. It 
will not be improper, therefore, to point out how lime is to be 
applied, so that it may chiefly answer one or the other of these 

In uncultivated land, in which there is a large quantity of 
vegetable substance, lime ought to be used chiefly as a stimu- 
lus; and when improved land needs a recruit of vegetable 
food, it ought chiefly to be used as a manure. When thus in- 
tended as a stimulus, a large quantity should be applied at 
once, in an unslacked or half-slacked state ; for it takes con- 
siderable quantity to dissolve roots, and the other vegetable 
substances in the soil, and to produce the necessary degree of 
fermentation. When intended as a manure, a small quantity 
applied at a time is sufficient. It is probable that it requires 
only a small quantity of lime to impregnate a large quantity 
of earth, and communicate to it an absorbent quality, in as 
high a degree as it is capable of receiving; and it is certain 
that it is in proportion to the absorbent power which it com- 
municates, that the soil is enriched by it. This is not mere 
conjecture. It is certain, that a small quantity of lime will 
impregnate a large quantity of water, and communicate to it 
all its virtues, and these in as high a degree, too, as it is capa- 
ble of receiving. 

The benefit to be derived from lime greatly depends, how- 
ever, upon the nature and the state of the soil. Strong lands 
are much improved for two or three crops, by this stimu- 
lant ; but frequent repetition will not have the same good 
effect, unless the land in the interim has been placed under a 
clover or other green crop, by which vegetable matter will be 
introduced for the lime to act upon. 


The ,:eficiency of vegetable matter in light soils, is one 
reason why lime does not always act upon them beneficially, 
and it should therefore be used very sparingly on these soils, 
with an interval of six or seven years between each liming. 
Indeed, it is often as necessary to change the mode ot manur- 
ing land, as it is to change the crops to be cultivated ; and it 
is from not sufliciently attending to this, that arable farms 
have become deteriorated, whilst the farmer fancied that he 
was doing great justice to the land by liming every third or 
fourth year. But let the introduction of a green crop be tried 
in such a case, and the farmer will afterwards find th;it his 
grain crops increase, and his land is in better heart. 

Some persons think, from witnessing its first effects, that 
they can always have recourse to lime with the same success; 
but in this, they will assuredly be disappointed ; once in five, 
six, or seven years, according to the nature of the land, is as 
often as lime can be applied with advantage. 

It may be proper to observe, likewise, that when lime is 
applied in small quantities, as a manure, it is necessary to re- 
peat the application frequently; it is probable that the soil 
loses its absorbent property, communicated by the lime; for 
experience proves, that if lime be frequently used, it must be 
applied as a manure, and not simply as a stimulant; and to 
this end, it must be compounded with earth, clay, and other 
matter, to which it communicates its stimulating qualities, 
whilst its fertilising effects are thereby augmented. In this 
state, it will act powerfully as a manure, and be a valuable 
auxiliary in the hands of the farmer. 

Most varieties of subsoil strata make good compounds with 
lime. Sand and lime, with peat or turf, if it can be obtained, 
should be mixed for a clay soil ; and subsoil clay and lime, 
for sands, gravels, loams, and peaty lands. No farmer need 
complain of want of materials to make fertilising compounds, 
since every sort of soil may be used for this purpose ; and not 
only is immediate fertility produced thereby, but there are few 
districtsyn the country, however barren, that may not be im- 


proved, or brought into a fertile state, by dressing with a well- 
proportioned mixture of earth, clay, sand, and lime. Care 
should be taken, however, to proportion the quantity of lime 
according as the land is light or heavy, cold or warm. Light 
soils have been hurt by too abundant applications of lime ; 
and while one part of lirne to from 6 to 10 parts of earth may 
do for light soils, one part of lime to 2, 3, or more parts of 
earth, will be required for heavy soils. 

The application of lime, alone, to land long under tillage, is 
often found not to be beneficial ; but if the same quantity of 
lime had been applied in a compound state, with sand, turf, 
earth, clay, or vegetable mould, good effects would have re- 
sulted. On deep loams, lime may be applied in a caustic 
state, more frequently than to most other soils ; but the testi- 
mony of experience is in favor of its being used in a compound 

Quicklime has the effect of disengaging and setting free 
the ammonia from guano and from fermenting manures. It is 
prudent, therefore, and a safer practice to apply the lime some 
short time before or after such manures have been laid upon 
the land. Where the soil is moist, and abounds in vegetable 
matter, there may not be much loss should the lime and other 
manures come in contact beneath its surface ; but in dry soils, 
and on the surface of the land, the admixture of the two ought 
to be carefully avoided. After the lime has been some time 
in or on the surface of the soil, and has been converted into 
a mild state, it can exercise no injurious effect upon any 
kind of manure. 

The most valuable variety of lime for agricultural purposes 
is that obtained by burning oyster shells, and allowing it to re- 
main exposed to the air a few hours, in order to allow it to 
stock. Quarry lime is not so good on account of the magne- 
sia which it often contains, and from its small quantity or total 
want of phosphoric acid. The quantity used must depend 
Upon the nature of the soil and the heat of the climate; for 
whilst 80 bushels per acre are sufficient for sandy soils, lonms 



will require 100 and clay 150 bushels per acre. Again, in a hot 
8un, like that experienced in most parts of the United States, 
the quantity should not be more than half as much as in Great 
Britain, where the climate is cloudy, cool, and moist. The 
lime must be regularly spread, and lightly covered immediately 
with a plow, or harrowed in with the seed ; but not too deeply; 
for lime, as a general rule, should be kept near the surface. 

Those unaccustomed to the application of lime or charcoal 
to land, by sowing or spreading them upon the surface, are 
often at a loss to know how thick a coat to put on in order to 
dispose of a certain number of bushels to the acre. I there- 
fore show at a glance, in the following table, the depth, to the 
nearest 1000th part of an inch, that a given number of bush- 
els will cover an acre of ground, assuming the bushel to con- 
tain 2,150 T 4 ff 3 o- cubic inches ; also the number of bushels neces- 
sary to cover an acre of land to a required depth : 

1 ! 

per acre. 

Inch, Decimals. 

Inch. Tenths. \ 

Quantity per acre. 
Sush. Dec. 


. ...0.007 

10 . . . 

2916 937 





40 . 



. . . 2333 ">50 





60 .. 



. ...1750 162 




. . 1458 469 

HO. .. 

. :... 0.027 






875 081 








291 694 




145 847 

Crushed limestone has often been applied to the soil with suc- 
cess in the crude or unburnt state, but its effects are slow and 
more lasting than lime that has been burnt. It has not the 
solvent activity of quicklime, however, nor the absorbing pow- 
er of chalk ; nor has it the minute division of mild lime mixed 
with earth, while in an impalpable powder. 

In a district where fuel is scarce and limestone, or marble, 
pentiful, it might be cheaply crushed into a powder, by means 


ot water power, and thus be economically prepared for im- 
proving most kin'ds of soil which are deficient in lime. But no 
lands in which calcareous matter naturally abounds, nor 
those containing a large proportion of imperfectly decomposed 
vegetable remains, such as bog roots, moss, &c., can receive 
much if any immediate benefit by the use of unburnt lime, 
unless it be to render clayey soils mechanically lighter and 
boggy ones more firm. 

The benefits derived from burning lime for -agricultural 
purposes are partly chemical and partly mechanical ; for, 
while in a caustic state, it acts more promptly in producing 
those chemical changes which follow from mixing it with 
the soil. Even, in the half-caustic state of spontaneously- 
slacked lime, its effects are more rapid and more quickly seen, 
than when it is entirely in a carbonate or unburnt state. But 
the principal benefits arise from the minute state of division 
into which the lime is brought by burning and slacking. When 
the burned limestone is slacked, if it is tolerably pure, the lime 
falls, or crumbles, to a powder finer, probably than any which 
could be produced by mere mechanical means finer, certain^ 
than any to which the farmer could bring it, by any crushing 
machine he could afford to employ. 

The chief advantages to be derived from this fine state of 
division of lime, are, first, it may be diffused more equally and 
more universally through the soil, and thus go much further in 
improving it; secondly, it more readily combines with acid 
substances, in the soil, and therefore sweetens it more readily 
and more quickly ; and thirdly, it comes into closer contact 
with the organic substances in the soil, such as roots of grass, 
straw, leaves, &c., and thus promotes more fully those chemi- 
cal changes which are constantly going on in every fertile soil, 
to produce which, is one of the useful purposes for which 
lime is added to the land. 

The above remarks are not intended to apply to such beda 
of impure limestone as may be employed for the manufacture 
ot cements and hydraulic mortars ; for these, when burnt and 


ground to a powder, cannot bu applied for the improvement of 
land in the usual way, without combining with the water, or 
moisture, in the soil, and shortly become as hard as stone. 

In countries abounding in limestone, there often exist scat- 
tered here and there, in the hollows and in the hillsides, banks 
and heaps of sand and gravel, in which rounded particles of 
limestone arc found. These are distinguished by the names 
of limestone sand and gravel, and are derived from the decay or 
wearing down of the limestone and other rocks by the action 
of water. Such accumulations are frequent in Ireland. They 
are indeed extensively diffused over the surface of that island, as 
we might expect in a country abounding so much in rocks of > 
mountain limestone. In the neighborhood of peat bogs, these 
sands and gravels are a real blessing. They are a ready, most 
useful, and largely-employed means of improvement, produc- 
ing upon arable land the ordinary effects of liming ;and, when 
spread upon boggy soils, alone enabling it to grow sweet her- 
bage, and afford a nourishing pasture. The proportion of 
carbonate of lime these sands and gravels contain is very 
variable. A sample of yellow sand, examined by Professor 
Johnston, contained 26 per cent, of carbonate of lime, the re- 
sidue being a fine red sand, chiefly silicious; the other, a fine 
gravel of a grey color, contained 40 per cent, of carbonate of 
lime in the form chiefly of rounded fragments of blue lime- 
stone, the residue consisting of fragments of sandstone, of 
quartz, and of granite. 

The application of these mixed sands to boggy land will 
not only consolidate and otherwise improve the physical char- 
acter of the soil, but will greatly benefit its chemical composi- 
tion. The fragments of granite, containing undecomposed feld- 
spar and mica, will supply potash, and perhaps magnesia, to the 
growing plants, and will thus materially aid the fertilising action 
on the limestone sand with which they are mixed. 

Chloride of Calcium. When common salt and slaked lime are 
mixed together, the salt is decomposed in whole or in part, and 
the soda of the salt is brought into the caustic state, while the 


lime is converted into chloride of calcium, a substance contain- 
ing 63 T 3 7 3 T per cent, of chlorine gas, very deliquescent, of a bitter 
taste, and dissolving in about th part of its weight of water at 
60 F, The same substance may be obtained by dissolving 
chalk or quicklime in muriatic acid. This solution occurs in 
sea water, in the refuse of salt pans, and is allowed to flow 
away in large quantities as a waste from certain chemical 

The effects of this salt are well known as a promoter of veg 
etable growth, and it has been recommended that the waste of 
our salt works and bleacheries be employed for fertilising tne 
land. But as these wastes are not conveniently to be had in all 
parts of the country, it may be more economical to use com- 
mon salt in connection with slaked lime. Both of these are 
very soluble in water, and can therefore readily act both upon 
the soil and upon the plant. Wherever common salt is useful 
as a manure, this mode of applying it in connection with lime 
may be safely recommended. It should be mixed with lime in 
such quantity as to allow from 100 to 300 Ibs. of salt to be laid 
upon each acre. The salt may be dissolved in water, and 
then thrown upon the lime, where it is the custom to slake 
with water ; or sea water alone may be employed instead of the 
salt for slaking the lime. A mixture of 600 Ibs. of quicklime 
with 200 Ibs. of common salt, it is stated, forms a powerful 
dressing for an acre of wheat, and also affords considerable 
benefit to the after crops of clover and oats. 

From some experiments made by M. Dubuc, of Rouen, in 
France, the effects of this salt was great upon potatoes, Indian 
corn, and on trees and shrubs of various kinds. He thinks 
that it would suit hemp, flax, and the oleaginous seeds. On- 
ions and poppies, manured with it, grew to double the usual 
size. From its liability to deliquesce, and consequent difficulty 
of transportation, he thinks that leached ashes, charcoal, and 
sawdust, or gypsum should serve as the medium for spreading 
it on the land. 

Chloride of Lime This salt, known also under the names o f 


oxymuriate of lime, or bleaching powder, when dry, is of a pale 
greyish-white color, and when of a good quality, should con- 
tain from 25 to 30 per cent., by weight, of chlorine gas. It is a 
compound of lime, in its slaked state, or as a hydrate and chlo- 
rine mechanically mixed ; whereas, the chloride of calcium, 
already described, is a perfect chemical compound, formed of 
chlorine and the metallic base of lime. Chloride of lime dis- 
solves only partially in water, the solution of which, when ex- 
posed to the air, evolves chlorine, whilst the freed lime attracts 
carbonic acid, and forms an insoluble carbonate, that collects 
in the bottom of the vessel. In a dry state, it likewise parts 
with its chlorine when exposed to heat, a change which also 
takes place when this salt is kept in a dark place. 

As chlorine is not known to form a necessary constituent 
of vegetation, the effects of the chloride of lime has been much 
doubled by some, while others regard its virtues similar to 
those of gypsum, in lixing the ammonia brought into the soil 
by rains and melted snows, and also as having a powerful in- 
fluence on the germination of seeds. It would seem to be high- 
ly important, however, that its favorable or neutral action upon 
the soil should be established ; because, at present, large quan- 
tities of the residuum of many of our factories are thrown 
away, which otherwise might be used as a valuable manure. 
It is believed that on hot sandy soils, if used in proper propor- 
tions, it would be productive of good results. For a descrip- 
tion of the use of chloride of lime as a steep for seeds, see the 
article BLEACHER'S WASTE, under the head of" Liquid Manures." 

Crenale and Apocrenale of Lime. Sec CHENIC and ATOCRENIC 
ACIDS, under the head of " Liquid Manures." 

Gas Lime. The refuse lime of gas works consists principally 
of a mixture of carbonate of lime, with a variable quantity of 
gypsum and other salts of lime containing sulphur, and a little 
coal tar and free sulphur, the whole usually being slightly col- 
ored by Prusian blue, the chief difference of composition aris- 
ing from the kind of coal employed in the manufacture of gas. 
The following table exhibits the composition of two gas limes. 



as analysed by Professor Johnston, one from Edinburgh Gas 
Works, and the other from those of London. The first two col- 
umns show what they contained when received from the works, 
and the second two what they would have become after long 
exposure to the air, after being made into compost, or tho- 
roughly incorporated in the soil : 

' Edin- 
| burgh. London. 




Water and coal tar, 









Hydrate of lime, (caustic,) 





Sulphite and hyposulphite of lime, 

Prusian blue, 

Alumina and oxide of iron, 
Insoluble matter, (sand, &c.,) . ... 


99.82 100.09 


The most marked difference between the two samples by the 
above analyses, is in the compounds called sulphite and hypo- 
sulphite of lime. The latter of these substances dissolves read- 
ily in water, and its presence in such widely different propor- 
tions satisfactorily accounts for the very different effects which 
have followed from the application of gas lime to the land it 
different districts in Great Britain. The rains dissolve the hy 
posulphite and the sulphuret, and carry them down in too grea 
quantity to the roots of young gain ; and hence, the complaints 
of some that the gas lime killed their wheat, while others found 
that, when applied as a top-dressing in a similar way, it great- 
ly improved their crops. Therefore, unless the composition be 
satisfactorily ascertains , there will always be a degree of risk 
in applying it to the grain while the crop is growing. 

Gas lime, however, in no case, if possible, should be wasted, 
as it would appear that it may always be safely employed with 
good effects under the following circumstances : 

1. It may be used directly upon mossy land, upon naked fal- 
lows, and in spring, when preparing for turnips. 


2. In cot;:posts, in which the whole of the soluble salts of 
lime will have a tendency to be cor.-verted into gypsum by 
the action of the air ; and consequently the benefits which re- 
sult from a large application of gypsum will be obtained by 
laying such composts upon the land. 

3. As it appears usually to contain only a small proportion of 
caustic lime, it may with safety be mixed at once with barnyard 
or other animal manures, though not in too large quantity. It 
may also prove a valuable admixture with guano, on which its 
action would ultimately be to fix rather than expel the am- 

4. Strewn sparing over the young turnip plants, it is stated 
that it prevents the attack of the turnip fly ; and harrowed in, 
when the ground is naked, if the quantity be considerable, 
slugs and wire worms disappear from its effects. 

5. If applied in too large quantity, it is liable to be injurious 
to crops of young grain. But grass lands, though at first 
browned by its application, soon recover and repay the cost by 
yielding n greener and an earlier bite in spring. 

Gas lirne, fresh from the works, it is also stated, is one of the 
best materials to lay under the floors of farm buildings; for it 
not only serves to absorb and fix the fertilising gases in such 
situations, and afterwards will form a good manure, but being 
excluded from the air, it retains its disagreeable smell for a long 
time, and is much disliked by vermin and rats. 

Humate of Lime. In combination with humic acid, lime ex- 
ists most frequently in soils that abound in vegetable matter, in 
peaty soils, for instance, to which quicklime or calcareous 
marl of any kind has been added for the purpose of agricul- 
tural improvement. 

The humic and ulmic acids, and certain other acid substances 
are always produced in greater or less abundance during the 
decay of vegetable matter in the soil. If any matter be pres- 
ent with which these acids can combine, such as potash, soda, 
lime, or magnesia, they unite with them, and form chemical 
compounds. But if, as in a mass of peat, such substances are 


not naturally present in sufficient quantity, those acids accu- 
mulate in an uncombined state, and form a "sour" soil, into 
which the roots of most of our cultivated crops cannot safely 

When marl or quicklime is added to a soil in which these 
acids exist, or in which they are gradually produced, the lime 
unites with them, and forms humate and ulmate of lime. Thus, 
the addition or presence of lime, by giving rise to the produc- 
tion of humate of lime, not only prevents the injurious action 
of this acid upon the roots of plants, but improves also the 
physical condition of the soil rendering it less retentive of 
water, more friable, more open, and more permeable to the air, 
to water, and to the roots of the growing crops. This is one 
of the causes of the known good effects which follow from the 
addition of lime to peaty and other soils that are rich in veg- 
etable matter. Johnston. 

Hydrate of Lime. It has already been stated that when quick- 
lime is slaked, it combines with the water which is added to it, 
and becomes converted into a milder or less caustic compound, 
known among chemists by the name of " hydrate of lime." It 
is in this form, it may be well to repeat, that lime is usually ap- 
plied to the soil. When pure, this hydrate consists of 

Per cent. 

Lime, 76 

Water, 24 


Or, one ton of pure burned lime produces nearly 25 cwt. of 
the slaked or hydrate. It is rare, however, that lime is suffici- 
ently pure, or is so skilfully and perfectly slaked as to take up 
the whole of this proportion of water, or to increase quite as 
much as th part in weight. 

When the hydrate of lime, obtained by slaking, is exposed 
to the open air, it gradually absorbs carbonic acid from the at- 
mosphere, and tends to return to the state of a carbonate like 
that in which it existed before burning. By mere exposure to 
the air, however, it does not attain to this state within an as- 


signable time. Thus, in a wall built by the Romans 1800 yearg 
ago, it was found by analysis that the proportion absorbed had 
not exceeded 75 per cent, of the quantity contained in natural 
limestone. In damp situations, the absorption of carbonic acid 
proceeds most slowly. 

Nitrate of Lime. When common chalk or limestone is dis- 
solved in nitric acid, (aquafortis,) nitrate of lime is obtained in 
the solution. It contains of 

Limo, 34.46 

Nitric acid, 65.54 


This nitrate is often produced naturally in compost heaps to 
which lime has been added, and it is only in such compost 
heaps that it has hitherto been applied in any quantity to the 
soil. It is also found not unfrequently in the soil as well as in 
the rocky formations of the crust of our globe. The celebra- 
ted Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, situated in a limestone ridge, 
yields an inexhaustible supply of nitrate of lime. During the 
late war with Great Britain, fifty men were constantly employed 
in lixiviating the earth of this cave, and in about three years, 
the washed earth is said to become as strongly impregnated as 
at first. Through the cave a strong current of air is continu- 
ally rushing, inward in winter, and outward during the sum- 
mer months. On the plaster of old walls, too, especially in 
damp situations, an efflorescence of this and other rtitrates is 
frequently observed over many parts of the globe. In China, 
according to Davis, the old plaster of the houses is so much 
esteemed as a manure, that parties will often purchase it at the 
expense of a coating of new plaster. 

Nitrate of lime is very soluble in water, and is deliquescent. 
It is decomposed by fixed alkalies, potash forming therewith 
saltpetre, (nilate of potash,) and soda, cubic, nitre (nitrate of 
soda.) According to Dr. Home, it is contained in what is com- 
monly called hard water, which, by his experiments, was found 
to promote the growth of plants in a much higher degree than 
soft, water. 


Oxcdalt of Lime. The chemical salt called " oxalate of lime," 
when put 5, consists of a white powder, extremely insoluble in 
water, but soluble in muriatic and nitric acids. It is formed 
by the combination of calcareous matter with oxalic acid, and 
may be exposed to a heat of 560 F. without decomposition. 

Oxalate of lime forms the principal solid parts of many 
lichens, especially of the Parmelia cruciata and the Variolaria 
communis, which contain as much of this salt as is equivalent 
to 15 or 20 per cent of pure oxalic acid. A species of parme- 
lia, collected after the droughts of the sands of Persia, con- 
tains 66 per cent, of this substance. 

From the insolubility of oxalate of lime, it is not probable 
that it can contribute, by itself, to the food of plants. It can- 
not be decomposed by alkalies, on superior affinity, because 
its affinity is greater with calcareous matter; but it may be 
decomposed by sulphuric acid, in which gypsum will be found, 
and the oxalic acid, thus disengaged, will be capable of enter- 
ing into new combinations with fixed or volatile alkaline salts 
or magnesia. These combinations are soluble, and when not 
superacidulated, they promote vegetation in a high degree. 

Phosphate of Lime. Lime combines with phosphoric acid in 
variable proportions, and forms several compounds, known 
under the names of phosphates. Of these, by far the most 
abundant, and certainly the most useful in agriculture, are the 
earthy parts of bones, and a native mineral, called " phosphor- 
ite," both of which are hereafter described under their appro- 
priate heads. And it occurs, but less abundantly, in corals, 
oyster shells, and in the shells of other fish ; in the teeth, horns, 
nails, and hair, and other parts of animals; and in the horny 
wings, and covering of numerous insect tribes. It also exists 
in minute quantities in nearly all limestones, marls, and prob- 
ably there are few fertile soils in which it is wholly wanting. 
It likewise forms one of the ingredients in the grain, straw, stalk, 
or roots of most of our cultivated crops ; and hence, is indis- 
pensable to their perfect growth and maturity. 

Bi-Phosphate of Lime. When burned bones are reduced to 


powder, and digested in sulphuric acid, (oil of vitrol,) diluted 
with once or twice its weight of water, the acid combines with 
a portion of the lime, and forms sulphate of lime, (gypsum,) 
while the remainder of the lime, and the whole of the phos- 
phoric acid are dissolved. The solution, therefore, contains an 
acid phosphate of lime, or one in which the phosphoric acid 
exists, in much larger quantity than in the earth of bones. The 
true bi-phosphute, when free from water, consists of 

Lime, 28.5 

Phosphoric acid, .71.5 


It exists in the urine of most animals, and is therefore an im- 
portant constituent of liquid manures of animal origin. If the 
mixture of gypsum and acid phosphate, above described, be 
largely diluted with water, it will form a most valuable liquid 
manure, especially for grass land, and for crops of rising grain. 
In this liquid state, the phosphoric acid will diffuse itself easily 
and perfectly throughout the soil, and there will speedily lose 
its acid character and unite with one or other of the follow- 
ing substances, almost always present in every variety of land, 
potash, soda, ammonia, lime, or magnesia, which have the 
property of combining with acids, and thus neutralising them, 
or depriving them of their acid qualities and effects. 

Or, if to the solution, before it is applied to the land, a quan- 
tity of pearlash be added until it begin to turn milky, a mix- 
ture of the phosphates with the sulphates of lime and of potash 
will be obtained ; or, if soda be added instead of potash or the 
phosphates with the sulphates of lime and of soda; either of 
which mixtures will be still more efficacious upon the land, 
than the solution of the acid phosphates alone. Or to the solu- 
tion of bones in the acid, the potash or soda may be added 
without further dilution, and the whole then dried up by the 
addition of charcoal powder, or even of vegetable mould, un- 
til it is in a sufficiently dry state to be scattered with the hand 
as a top-dressing, or buried in the land by means of a drill. 


Earth of Bones^or Bone Earth These are names given to the 
white, earthy skeleton that remains when the hones of animals 
are burned in an open fire until everything combustible has 
disappeared, and then is united with an additional quantity of 
phosphoric acid. This earthy matter, (bone earth, or bone ash,) 
is composed chiefly of lime and phosphoric acid, which ar 
combined in the following proportions. 

Lime, 51.5 

Phosphoric acid, 48.5 


Another rich phosphate also occurs abundantly in nature 
both in masses and in veins, when it is known by the names of 
apatite, or phosphorite. In this state, when pure, it consists of . 

Lime, 54.5 

Phosphoric acid, 45J5 


Phosphate of lime is decomposed by carbonic acid, as may 
be proved by the following fact: A gallon of carbonic-acid 
water will dissolve 30 grains of bone earth out of any given 
quantity acted upon. In this case, the carbonic acid not only 
drives off a portion of the phosphoric acid found in solution, 
and takes its place in union with the lime, but its affinity for 
lime, assisted by the existing affinity of bone earth for phos- 
phoric acid, induces such an interchange of elements, (one por- 
tion of bone earth being decomposed, its lime uniting with car- 
bonic acid, and its phosphoric acid uniting with the phosphate 
of lime in another,) that the resulting compounds are a super- 
phosphate of lime, which is soluble in water, and a carbonate of 
lime, that is found among the sediment. Hence it is, from its 
solubility in carbonic acid, and of certain other organic acids 
which exist in the soil, that by means of these acids of phos- 
phate of lime, it is supposed to be rendered capable of enter- 
ing into the roots of plants. Wherever vegetable matter exists, 
and is undergoing decay in the soil, the water makes its way 


to the roots more or less laden with carbonic acid, and thus is 
enabled to bear along with it not only common carbonate of 
lime, as has already bee-n shown, but also such a portion of 
phosphate as may aid in supplying this necessary food to the 
growing plant. 

Silicates of Lime. These compounds vary in their composi- 
tions, but when pure consist of 

Silicic acid, 61.85 

Lime, 38.15 


They may be formed by a mixture of silicious sand or flint 
with quicklime, which readily melts into a glassy silicate, or a 
mixture of two or more silicates of lime. These silicates are 
also present in large quantity in window and plate glass, and 
in some of the crystalline rock (granite and trap). In feld- 
spar and mica, which abound in the alkaline silicates, it is rare 
that any lime can bo detected. In that variety of granite, 
however, to which the name of Syenite is given by mineralo- 
gists, hornblende takes the place of mica, and some varieties 
of this hornblende contain from 20 to 35 per cent, of silicate of 
lime. Tliis silicate is almost always present in the basaltic 
and trap rocks, and sometimes, as in the augitic traps, in a pro- 
portion much larger than that in which it exists in the unmixed 
hornblende. Silicates of lime are also found in the ash, and 
probably exist in the living stem and leaves of plants. 

Like the similar compounds of potash and soda, the silicates 
of lime are slowly decomposed by the united agency of the 
moisture and the carbonic acid of the atmosphere. Carbonate 
of lime is formed, and silica is set at liberty. This carbonate 
of lime dissolves in the rains or dews which descend loaded 
with carbonic acid, and the same waters take up also a portion 
of the soluble silica, and diffuses both substances uniformly 
through the soil in which the decomposition takes place, or 
bear them from the higher grounds to the rivers and plains. 
The sparing, but constant and long-continued supply of lime 


thus afforded to soils which rest upon decayed trap, or which 
are wholly made up of rotten rock, has a material influence 
upon their well-known agricultural capabilities. 

In those districts where the smelting of iron is carried on, the 
first slag that is obtained consists in great part of silicate of 
lime. This slag accumulates in large quantities, and is not un- 
worthy the attention of the practical farmer, as an improver 
of his fields, especially where caustic lime is distant, or expen- 
sive, or where boggy and peaty soils are met with in which 
vegetable matter abounds. On such land, it may be laid in 
large quantity. It will decompose slowly, and while it imparts 
to the soil solidity and firmness, it will supply both lime and 
silica to the growing crops for a long period of time. 

Sulphate of Lime. This substance, which has already been 
described under the head of GYPSUM, in an unburned state, con- 
sists of sulphuric acid, 46^ per cent.; lime, 32 T 9 ff per cent; and 
water, 20f per cent. In a cnlcined or burned state, it contains 
58^ per cent, of sulphuric acid, and 4H per cent, of lime. 


MAGNESIA, the prot-oxide of magnesium, when pure, is a very 
light, white, odorless, tasteless powder, occuring abundantly in 
nature, particularly in combination with lime, in the form of a 
carbonate, and in soapstone and serpentine in the form of sili- 
cates. It also enters into the composition of all our ordinary 
cultivated plants, as well as into the muscles, tissues, and fluids 
of most animals. It is very insoluble requiring 5,142 times its 
weight of water at 60 F. ; and 36,000 times its weight of boil- 
ing water to dissolve. It possesses all the properties of alka- 
lies, uniting with acids, &c., but slowly absorbs carbonic acid 
from the air. With tne acids, it forms salts, most of which may 
be made by the direct solution of the magnesian earth, or its 
hydrate or carbonate. 

Magnesia, like lime, is applied to the land in various states 
of chemical combination, the nature, composition, and proper- 


ties of which, together with their modes of application, are as 

Crtrbmate of Magnesia. Carbonate of magnesia rarely oc- 
curs pure in nature, but is prepared from Epsom salts, (sul- 
phate of magnesia,) by precipitation, or by calcining the arti- 
ficial or natural carbonate in an impure state. When pure, it 
is a white, inodorous, tasteless powder, possessing similar prop- 
erties as the: calcined magnesia of the shops, and consists of 

Carbonic aciil, 51.7 

Magnesia, , 43.3 


A ton, (2,240 Ibs.,) therefore, of pure dry carbonate of mag- 
nesia, contains about 1,082 Ibs., and a considerable larger pro- 
portion of carbonic acid than is present in carbonate of lime. 

One of the chief sources of obtaining magnesia for agricul- 
tural purposes is from magnesian limestone, which abounds in 
various parts of the globe, and particularly on the banks of 
the Hudson, and in the county of Onondaga, in the state of New 
York. Where the magnesia is in large quantity, the lime con- 
taining it is decidedly injurious, and in some cases is so much 
so as to render it inadmissable for agricultural purposes* It is 
from these limestones that the hydraulic or water cement are 
made. According to an analysis by Dr. C. T. Jackson, a sample 
of cement stone, from Ulster country, New York, contained the 
following ingredients : 

Water, 1.182 

Silicic acid, 10.087 

Carbonic acid, .. 41.200 

Sulphuric acid, 0.60G 

Lime, 25.087 

Alumina, 3.395 

Per-oxide of iron, 3.274 

Magnesia, 12.890 

Oxide of manganese, O.COU 

Potash, , 0.709 

Soda, .!-.> 



A sample of calciferous sandstone from the state of New 
York, as analysed by Professor Emmons, gave the following 
results : 

Soluble matter, silica, &c., 6.20 

Alumina and per-oxide of iron, 4.50 

Carbonate of lime, 58.86 

Magnesia, 27.20 

Water and loss, 3.24 


Another sample from Onondaga, New York, as analysed by 
the same chemist, consisted of the following : 

Soluble matter, silica, &c-, 3.74 

Alumina and per-oxide of iron, 0.18 

Carbonate of lime, 89.00 

Magnesia, 4.00 

Phosphate of lime, 0.03 

Water and loss, 3.02 


The Onondaga limestone, however, may be regarded as a 
pure calcareous rock, or as pure as ordinary chalk and most 
limestones which are employed for agricultural purposes. 

When the carbonate of magnesia, contained in common lime- 
stone, is heated to a high temperature in the open air, the car- 
bonic acid it contains is driven off by the heat, and the lime 
and magnesia remain behind in a caustic state. When heated 
in this way, the carbonate of magnesia parts with its carbonic 
acid more readily, and at a lower temperature than the carbon- 
ate of lime. 

The caustic or calcined magnesia contained in lime shells, 
like quicklime, slakes and falls to powder when water is poured 
upon it, and forms a hydrate nf magnesia. It likwise swells and 
becomes hot, but not in an equal degree with pure lime. Pure 
hydrate of magnesia consists of 

Magnesia, 69.7 

Water, 30.3 



Thus it will be seen that it increases in we.ght in slaking 
more than lime does one ton of caustic magnesia augmenting 
to nearly 3,200 Ibs. of hydrate. 

When limestone containing magnesia is burned and after- 
wards slaked, the fallen mass consists of a mixture of two 
hydrates in proportions which depend upon the chemical coin- 
position of the limestone employed. An important difference 
in these two hydrates, is, that the aydrate of magnesia will 
harden under water or in a wet soil, in about eight days 
forming a hydraulic cement. The hydrate of lime will not so 
harden; but a mixture of the two will harden under water, and 
form a solid mass. In the minute state of division in which 
lime is applied to the soil, the particles, if it be a magnesian 
lime, will, in wet soils, or in the event of rainy weather en- 
suing immediately after its application, become granular and 
gritty, and cohere occasionally into lumps, on which the air 
will have little effect. This property is of considerable impor- 
portance in connection with the further chemical changes 
which slaked lime undergoes when exposed to the air, or when 
buried in the soil. 

Although magnesia is essential to the perfect growth of 
plants, if introduced in a caustic state in a large quantity into 
the soil, it appears to produce a very bad effect, and lime that 
contains it in excess should therefore be avoided. Caustic or 
calcined magnesia is much more injurious to vegetation than 
lime, from its retaining the caustic quality longer, and not 
uniting with carbonic acid so readily. It also forms a harder 
mortar with water, and is more apt to cake about the stems 
and roots of herbage ; but mild magnesia, provided there is a 
deficiency of calcareous matter in the soil, is of service to 
vegetation, being found in the ash of most plants, in all proba- 
bility replacing lime. 

It seems to be the result of experience, however, that mag- 
nesia, in the state of carbonate, is but slighly injurious to the 
land ; some deny that in this state it has any injurious effect at 
all. This it is feared is doubtful ; we may infer, however, with 


some degree of probability, that it is from some property pos- 
sessed by magnesia in the caustic state, and not possessed, or 
at least in an equal degree, either by quicklime or by carbon- 
ate of magnesia, that its evil influence is chiefly to be ascribed. 

Now, there exist in the soil, and probably are exuded from 
the living roots, various acid substances, both of organic and 
inorganic origin, which it is one of the functions of lime, when 
applied to the land, to combine with and render innoxious. 
But these acid compounds unite rather with the caustic mag- 
nesia, than with the lime which is already in combination with 
carbonic acid and form salts, which generally are much more 
soluble in water than the compounds of lime with the same 
acids. Hence the water that goes to the roots reaches them 
more or less loaded with magnesian salts, and carries into the 
vegetable circulation more magnesia than is consistent with 
the healthy growth of the plant. 

Caustic magnesia, applied to lands charged highly with rich 
manure, in. a proportion not exceeding |th part of the animal 
or vegetable remains, is speedily rendered mild by the car- 
bonic acid with which it is supplied, as the manure decompo- 
ses ; but it should never be thrown upon land where a portion 
of quicklime already occupies the surface ; because, while the 
quicklime is becoming mild by its more ready attraction for 
carbonic acid, the magnesia retains its caustic property, and 
acts as a poison to most plants. 

Caustic magnesia will destroy wood}'' fibre the same as 
quicklime ; and in combination with strong peat, assists in 
forming a manure. If the peat equal Jth part of the weight 
of the soil, and the magnesia do not exceed ^Vth) tne propor- 
tion may be considered as safe. Where lands have been 
injured by too large a quantity of magnesian lime, peat will be 
an efficient remedy. 

Chloride of Magnesium. When calcined or carbonated mag- 
nesia is dissolved in muriatic acid, and the solution evaporated 
to dryness, a white mass is obtained, which is a chloride of 
mngnesium and chlorine only. This compound occurs notun- 


frequently in the soil, associated with chloride of calcium. *t 
is met with also in the ash of plants, while in sea water, and 
in that of some salt lakes, it exists in very considerable quan- 
tity. Thus, 100 parts of the water of the Atlantic have been 
found to contain 3 of chloride of magnesium, while that of 
the Dead Sea yields about 24 parts of this compound. Hence, 
it js present in great abundance in the mother liquor of the salt 
pans, and it is from the refuse chloride in this liquor that the 
magnesia of the sho;>=4 as above stated, is frequently prepared. 
Chloride of, when pure, contains of 

Chlorine, 73.65 

Magnesium, 26.35 


The chloride of magnesium has not hitherto been made the 
subject of direct experiment as a fertiliser of the land. From 
the fact, however, that plants require much magnesia and some 
chlorine, there is reason to believe that, if cautiously applied, 
it might prove beneficial in some soils, and especially to grain 
crops. Its extreme solubility in water, however, suggests the 
use of caution in its application. The safest method is to 
dissolve it in a large proportion of water, and apply it to the 
young plant by means of a water cart. In this way, the refuse 
of the salt works might, in some localities, be made available 
to useful purposes. The chloride of magnesium is decomposed 
both by quicklime and by carbonate of lime; hence, when 
applied to a soil containing lime in either of these states, 
chloride of calcium and caustic or carbonated magnesia will 
be produced. 

Nitrate of Magnesia. Nitrate of magnesia is formed by dis- 
solving carbonate of magnesia in nitric acid, and evaporating 
the solution. It attracts moisture from the air with great rapid- 
ity, and runs into a liquid. It is probably formed naturally iu 
soils containing magnesia, in the same way as nitrate of lime 
is known to be produced in soils containing lime. No direct 
experiments yet been made as to its effects upon vegeta- 


lion ; but there can be no doubt that it would prove highly ben- 
eficial, could it be procured at a sufficiently cheap rate to ad- 
mit of its economical application to the land. 
The nitrate of magnesia, when pure, contain-: ef 

Nitric acid, 72.38 

Magnesia, 27.62 


Phosphate of Magnesia. Magnesia exists in combination with 
phosphoric acid, in the solids and fluids of all animals, though 
not so abundantly as the phosphates of lime. In most soils, 
phosphate of magnesia is probably present in minute quantity, 
since in the ashes of some varieties of grain it is found in very 
considerable proportion. 

Its action upon vegetation has never boon tried directly, but 
as it exists in urine, and in most animai manures, a portion 
of their efficacy may be due to its presence. In turf ashes, 
which often prove a valuable manure, it is sometimes met 
with in appreciable quantity, and their beneficial operation in 
such cases has been attributed in part to the agency of this 

Phosphate of magnesia, when pure, contains of 

Phosphoric acid, 63.33 

Magnesia, 36.67 


Silicates of Magnesia. In combination with magnesia in dif- 
ferent proportions, silica forms nearly the entire mass of those 
common minerals known by the names of serpentine and talc. 
In hornblende, also, and augite, silicates of magnesia exist in con- 
siderable quantity. They must, therefore, be present in great- 
er or less abundance in soils which are directly formed from 
the decomposition of such rocks. Like the silicates of lime, 
however, though more slowly than these, they will undergo 
gradual decomposition by the action of the carbonic acid of 
the atmosphere, and of the acids produced in the soil by veg- 
utation, and by the decay of organic matter. The magnesia, 


like the lime, will then be gradually broug it down, in a state 
of solution, from the higher grounds, or washed out of the soil, 
till at length it may wholly disappear from any given spot. 
Silicate of magnesia, when pure, contains of 

Silicic acid, 69.08 

Magnesia, 30.92 


Sulphate of Magnesia. Sulphate of magnesia, the commoiv 
Epsom salts of the shops, is formed by dissolving carbonate 
of magnesia in diluted sulphuric acid. It exists in nearly all 
soils which are formed from, or are situated in the neighbor- 
hood of rocks containing magnesia. In some, soils it is so 
abundant that in dry weather it forms a white efflorescence on 
the surface. 

Sulphate of magnesia, when pure, contains of 

Sulphuric ncicl, 32.40 

Magnesia, 16.70 

Water,... ...50.90 


This salt has been found by Sprengel to act upon vegetation 
precisely in the same way as gypsum does, and on the same 
kind of plants. It must be used, however, in smaller quantity, 
owing to its great solubility. Its higher price will prevent its 
ever being substituted for gypsum as a top-dressing for 
clover, &c., but it is worth the trial, whether barley plants, the 
grain of which contains much magnesia, might not be benefit- 
ted by the application of a small quantity of this sulphate 
along with such other substances as are capable of yielding 
the remaining constituents which compose the inorganic mat- 
ter of the grain. Johnston. 


MANGANESE is a metal, which, in nature, is very frequently 
associated with iron in its various ores. It also resembles this 
metal in many of its properties. Its compounds exist in plants. 


however, in much less quantity than those of iron ; but as its 
oxides, like those of iron, are insoluble in pure water., this me- 
tal, most likely, accidentally finds its way into the roots in a 
state of a carbonate, chloride, silicate, or of a sulphate, all of 
which are soluble to a greater or less degree. 

Manganese combines with oxygen in at least three propor- 
tions, and consequently forms as many degrees of oxyge nation. 
The first, or prot-oxide, is of a light-green color, but is not 
known to occur in nature in an uncombined state. The second, 
or deut-oxide, exists naturally in a mineral state, when it is 
black, but when finely pulverised, is of a dark-brown. The 
third, or per-oxide, which is of a dark-brown or brownish- 
black, also occurs abundantly in the common ores of manga- 
nese, and is extensively diffused in small quantities through 
nearly all soils. These oxides are all insoluble in water, but 
the two former dissolve in acids, and form salts. Traces of 
these two oxides are also to be detected in the ash of nearly 
all plants, probably as a substitute for iron. They do not ap- 
pear to be important, however, and have but little interest to 
the farmer. Should they ever prove of any agricultural value, 
millions of tons may be obtained in the states of Maine and 
New Hampshire at a cheap rate. 


BY the term marl is generally understood an earthy mixture, 
generally containing not les than ]th part of its weight, or 20 
per cent, of carbonate of lime. If the proportion of lime be 
less than this, the compound is a marly clay or soil, rather 
than a true or calcareous marl. When a piece of stiff or tena- 
cious marl is put into water, it usually loses its coherence, and 
gradually falls to powder. This is a very simple method of 
distinguishing between a true marl and a stiff clay. 

The application of marl to land, as a fertiliser, is of great an- 
tiquity; and no one can read the accounts given of it by Theo- 
phrastus, Pliny, and Columella without being struck with the 


minute discrimination witli which it was applied .o paidicular 
soils, and llio advantages resulting from uniting the light with 
the heavy, the fat with *Ue lean, or, in other words, mixing soils 
of an opposite naturr. It is thus spoken of by Columella: 
" If, nevertheless, you are provided with no kind of dung, it 
will be of great advantage to do with it what I remember Mar- 
cus Columella, my uncle, a most learned and diligent husband- 
man, was frequently wont to do, namely, to throw chalk or 
marl upon such places as abound in gravel, and to lay gravel 
upon such as are chalky and too dense and stiff'; and thus he 
not only raised great plently of excellent grain, but made most 
beautiful vineyards." 

There are a great variety of substances, popularly known 
under the name of marl, however, which are commonly reduced 
to four kinds, namely, the clay, the stone, the shell and the pot- 
ash or green-sand marls. The first of these takes its name from 
its similitude in appearance to clay ; the second, from its hard- 
ness, and resemblance to stone ; the third, from the shells with 
which it is mixed, or rather of which it is composed ; and the 
fourth from its color, and the quantity of potash it contains. 

Marls, again, are of various colors, white, grey, yellow, blue, 
and of various degrees of coherence, some occurring in the 
form of a more or less fine, loose, sandy powder. These dif- 
ferences arise in part from the kind and proportion of the 
earthy matters they contain, and in part, also, from the nature 
of the locality, moist or dry, in which they are found. They 
vary also in their composition. Some rich marls consist in 
part or in whole of broken and comminuted shells, which 
clearly indicate the source of the calcareous matter they con- 
tain. The clay and stone marls are very similar in their com- 
position ; but the shell and green-sand marls are very different 
from the other two, which renders it necessary to treat of them 
under separate heads. 

Clay Marls. These have the appearance of a more or less 
tenacious clay. When long exposed to the air, or are put into 
water, they fa 1 .! down into a powder. They seem to have mucb 


the same qualities of lime ; and therefore nust operate in a 
similar manner when applied to the soil, by enlarging the pas- 
ture of the plants, and fitting the vegetable food for entering 
their roots. These marls also communicate to the soil a power 
9f attracting vegetable food from the atmosphere. Clay marls 
usually contain from 68 to 80 per cent, of clay, and from 20 to 
32 per cent, of calcareous matter, silicious sand, &c. 

Stony Marls. These are often richer in lime than those which 
are clayey. The chief difference between them is this: The 
clay marls are sooner dissolved than the stone marls, and com- 
monly have a stronger power of neutralising acids and pro- 
ducing salts. As they are longer in dissolving, large pieces of 
stone marl are sometimes seen in lumps o* clods six or seven 
years after they have been laid upon the land. This makes it 
necessary to apply a very large quantity. 

Clay and stony marls are well suited to light sandy soils, 
which they improve and render more solid. On the contrary, 
sandy marl is good for stiff soils, rendering them friable, and 
more easy to work. 

Shell Marl. This marl is very different in its nature from the 
two just described, being highly fertilising upon soils of every 
description. It does not dissolve like them with water, but 
sucks it up, and swells with it like a sponge. It is stated that 
it is a much stronger attractor of acids, and requires six times 
the quantity to become saturated. From this circumstance, 
if it be applied in large quantity, and frequently repeated, it 
is possible that it might communicate such an attractive power 
to the soil as to enrich it in a very high degree. 

As this kind of marl does not deprive land of its vegetable 
matter like lime nor the other varieties of marl, it may be ap- 
plied to soils exhausted by them; or it maybe repeated. It 
dissolves sooner than the other kinds, and consequently its ef- 
fects are more sudden ; and as it does not dissolve so soon as 
dung, its effects will be sooner over. Its effects, however, are 
not so quick as lime, but more lasting. 

As calcareous marl operates in a similar manner as lime, 



it follows, likewise, that limed land, exhausted by crops, can re- 
ceive but little benefit from its application ; and that marled 
land, exhausted by cultivation, can receive but little benefit 
from the application of lime. As it exhausts the vegetable 
food, the proper manure after it, is a muck compost with dung, 
which contains this food in the greatest abundance. What is 
said of lime, also, with respect to its application in smaller and 
larger doses, may likewise be said of marl. When light barren 
land is to be improved, the marl should be laid on in large 
quantities, say from 1,000 to 2,000 bushels to an acre ; but 
when the soil is in good condition, ]th or |th part of the quan- 
tity, if applied once in six or seven years, will be attended with 
good results. 

The following table shows the composition of various marls 
found in the United States, with the authority from which the 
information was derived : 


-2 Cl 
localities If S| -2$ i 

Ps I 3 S, "2= 

^i ojj Jj ~ __ 

Saratoga county, 85.62 1.24 3.92' 3.40 2.32 1 3.80 

Fairmount, near Geddes, 21.24 - 

Salem, Mr. Crary's Farm 83.22 1.24 0.51 2.42 7.25 trace. 

Christian Hollow, 75.45 0.62 0.52 0.56 22.24 0.62 

Cayuga Bridge, (plaster shales,) 22.20 8.^8 3.0041.75 4.88 1 19.30 

A sample of very excellent marl, from Peterborough, New 
York, analysed by Professor J. P. Norton, was composed of the 
following ingredients: 

Carbonic acid, 35.00 

Lime, 45.02 

Magnesia, 0.66 

Iron and alumina, with a little phosphoric acid, 2.69 

Sand, 9.57 

Organic matter, ,. 7.06 



In this sample, it will be seen that the carbonate of lime 
amounts to nearly 80 per cent., while the small quantities of 
magnesia, iron, alumina, and especially of phosphoric acid, 
add materially to the value of this marl. 

Green-Sand Marl. This mineral fertiliser, which in some 
portions of the United States, has been of such immense ser- 
vice as a manure and especially in restoring worn-out soils to 
productiveness, is found in great abundance along the Atlantic 
coast. The stratum in which this substance abounds, as the 
principle ingredient, commences, as far as known, in New Jer- 
sey, at the base of the Highlands of Nevesink, near Sandy 
Hook, and along the sea shore from a little north of Long 
Branch to Shark Inlet; thence ranging south-westward, in a 
wide belt, through Shrewsbury, Marlborough, Squankum, and 
other towns in Monmouth county, gradually contracting as it 
runs parallel with the Delaware River, at a distance of a few 
miles, to Salem. It is then prolonged across the state of Del- 
aware, in a narrow strip, into the easterly part of Maryland, 
where it disappears under the overlaping formations. It again 
shows itself on the Potomac and throughout the tide-water re- 
gion of Virginia, where the proportion of the so-called " green 
marl," of New Jersey, is materially diminished. 

In New Jersey, between Long Branch and Deal, the bed of 
marl has been penetrated to the depth of 30 feet. The upper 
two feet consist of a green clay, seemingly derived from the 
disintegration of a green granular mineral, intermixed with a 
large proportion of yellowish-white clay. The main bed, 
which has a thickness of about 26 feet, comprises several sub- 
ordinate layers; but all contain a large share of the green 
grains. Beneath the whole, there is a greenish-yellow clay, in 
which the grains abound, of remarkably large size, and are 
associated with numerous casts of shells. In one or two other 
instances, wells have also been sunk through the bed of marl, 
and the depth of the green sand ascertained to be about 30 
feet. Various fossil shells and other marine productions, 
amounting, acceding to Professor Rogers' Geological Report, 


to considerably more than 100 species, are found imbedded in 
this marl. 

The value of this mart, as an active fertiliser, when spread 
on the surface of light sandy lands, in New Jersey, has been 
amply tested for more than 90 years. Various have been the 
views maintained in regard to its fertilising principles, and 
much speculation has been offered, in reference to them, as is 
visual on similar subjects. It is staled, however, that the prob- 
lem was first solved by Mr. Henry Seybert, of Philadelphia, 
who demonstrated that the green sand of New Jersey contained 
a considerable amount of potash, which seems to afford a sat- 
isfactory clue to its mysterious effects. 

In comparing the details of the several analyses, given by 
professor Rogers, in his Geological Report of New Jersey, it 
will be seen that the green-sand marl, even when of the great- 
est purity, is not absolutely constant, either in the nature of the 
ingredients which enter into its composition, or in their relative 
proportions. The per-centage of the silica varies from 43 to 
52.32; that of the alumina, from 6.4 to 8.94; that of the prot- 
oxide of iron, from 21.6 to 27.56 ; that of the potash, from 5.5 to 
14.48 ; and that of the water, from 4.4 to 8.12. It will be found, 
moreover, that in some instances, besides the above-named el- 
ements, that lime enters into the constitution of the green sand, 
in other cases magnesia; while, occasionally, both occur. The 
amount of these however, is generally in small proportions. 

The following tables will serve to show the prevailing con- 
stituents of this green sand, as given by Professor Rogers: 


Color of the granules, a rich, dark olive green ; their size, 
rather above the me Mum; composes 98 per cent, of the marl. 
100 parrs gave of 

Silica, 50.75 

Alumina, 6.50 

Prot-oxide of iron, 22.14 

Potash, 12.96 

Water, 7.50 




Color, a dark oliv^ green: granules of a medium size, 
composes 58.36 per cent, of the upper part of the bed, and 72.36 
per cent, of the lower. 100 parts, gave of 

Silica, 51.00 

Alumina, 6.50 

Prot-oxide of iron, 21.55 

Potash, 10.50 

Lime, trace. 

Magnesia, 1.08 

Water 9.00 



Color of the granules, rich green ; size, small ; composes 70 
per cent, of the upper part of the bed, and 50 per cent, of the 
lower. 100 parts gave of 

Silica, 50.00 

Alumina, 7.00 

Prot-oxide of iron, 22.00 

Potash, 1 1 .00 

Lime, 1.00 

Magnesia, trace. 

Water, 9.00 


The effects of green sand, applied as a manure, are strongly 
set forth in the following extracts from Professor Rogers' Re- 
port : 

"Mr. Woolley manured a piece of land in the proportion of 
200 loads of good stable manure to the acre, applying upon 
an adjacent tract of the same soil, his marl, in the ratio of 
about 20 loads per acre. The crops, which were Timothy and 
clover, were much heavier upon the section which had re- 
ceived the marl; and there was this additional fact greatly in 
favor of the fossil manure over the putrescent one, that the 
soil was also entirely free from weeds, wiile the stable ma- 
nure had rendered its own crop very foul. 


"This green-sand stratum, at Poplar & vamp, seems to be 
almost entirely free from any sulphate of iron or other astrin- 
gent material, and, as a consequence, the crops seem not to be 
scorched by any extra dose, however lavishly applied. 

"There can be no doubt that 20 loads of marl per acre must 
be regarded as an unnecessarily bountiful dressing; but com- 
puting the relative cost of the two manures, when employed in 
the ratio above stated, we lind a considerable disparity in fa- 
vor of the green sand. Placing the home value of farmyard 
manure at $1 for each two-horse load, and that of the marl at 
25 cents per load, we have the expense of manuring one acre, 
$200; of marling the same, $5. 

" This being an experiment, an extravagantly large dressing 
of manure was employed, but not exceeding the usual average 
application more than the 20 loads of marl surpassed what 
was necessary 

"Experience has already shown that land once amply 
marled retains its fertility with little diminution for at least 
10 or 12 years, if care be had not to crop it too severely ; while, 
with all practicable precaution, the stable manure must be re- 
newed at least three times in that interval, to maintain in the 
soil a corresponding degree of vigor. 

"At the Squankum pits, which are very extensive, the marl 
is sold at the rate of 37-A cents the load, the purchasers having 
to dig it. It is transported by wagons to a distance, in some 
directions, of 20 miles, and retailed, when hauled that far, at 
the rate of 10, or even 12i cents per bushel, being very profi- 
tably spread upon the soil in the small proportion of 25 or 
even 20 bushels to the acre." 

Professor Booth, in the Report of his Geological Survey of 
the State of Delaware, has given much highly interesting infor- 
mation in regard to green sand. In all essential particulars, the 
marl beds found in Newcastle county resembles those of New 
Jersey, described by Professor Rogers. 

" Practically speaking," says Professor Booth, " there are two 
principal kinds of green sand, that containing lime as an esserv 


tial ingredient, and that consisting chiefly of green particles. 
The former contains variable quantities of carbonate of lime, 
the highest limit yet observed being 25 percent. The average 
composition of the latter, in its natural state and selected, may 
be thus expressed: 

Unselected. Selected. 

Silica, 58 50 

Potassa, 7 10 

Prot-oxide of iron. 22 22J 

Alumina, 5 7 

Water, 8 10J 

100 100 

" The first is either cretaceous, containing finely-divided car- 
bonate of lime not formed by comminuted shells, and occuring 
on the canal ; or decomposed calcareous, on the western limit 
of the state, from which the calcareous matter has been wholly 
or partially removed, although abounding in casts of shells; or 
shelly green sand, on the southern line of St. George's Hundred, 
in which there is no fine calcareous matter but that of commi- 
nuted shells. The second contains mere traces of lime, and 
consists of green-sand particles, with variable quantities of clay 
and common sand, and is either bluish green, and of the finest 
quality, as found on Drawyer's and Silver Run ; or yellowish 
green, containing white silicious sand, as on Drawyer's and the 
Appoquinimink ; or black colored, decomposed externally, 
rarely internally, and containing both white sand and argil- 
laceous matter, from Silver Run to Scott's Run ; or dark colored, 
and containing pyrites, as from the south-west corner of St. 
George's Hundred, and along the ridge to the Deep Cut ; or, 
lastly, the blue micaceo. ^ sand of the Deep Cut, rarely contain- 
ing particles of green sand, although abounding with casts and 
impressions of shells characteristic of the green-sand forma- 
tion. We have seen that the yellow sand is the principal mem- 
ber of the series, both over and underlying the green sand ; that 
it is characterised by its uniformity of grain and color, and 
rising to the surface, constitutes the chief and most valuable 


soils of <.Yie region. We further observe that the green-sand 
stratum is undulating, and varies in its depth, the average thick- 
ness being about 21 feet, from which we may form a rough es- 
timate of the amount contained in the whole district." 

Upon the .subject of the fertilising properties of green sand, 
Professor Booth makes the following highly interesting obser- 
vations : 

"When it is decomposed by the ordinary processes of the 
labratory, only a small quantity of silica and all the other con- 
stituents being dissolved, we may regard the oxide of iron, pot- 
assa, and alumina as performing the principal functions, assisted 
by the presence of water. The useful action of potash or of 
ashes in the soil has been long acknowledged, and hence, as 
soon as it was known that the green sand contained potassa, its 
utility was immediately referred to that alkali ; latterly, how- 
ever, the opinion has gained ground that the prot-oxide of iron 
plays an important part by acting with the organic matter in 
the soil, in a manner resembling the saponih'cation of oil by 

"The addition of much unleached ashes to a soil determines 
the formation of salts of potassa, which, being very soluble, 
are taken up in excess by growing plants, and produce such 
luxuriant vegetation as to cause it, technically speaking, to 
burn up. The same operation would probably occur with prot- 
oxide of iron, were its salts not soon converted into more insol- 
uble humate and crenate of the per-oxide. 

" It might be objected by many that green sand being de- 
composed with difficulty by the powerful acids of the labora- 
tory, there is little probability that it can be resolved into its 
constituents by the feeble action of humic or atmospheric 
agents. Independently, however, of the proof of its decompo- 
sition by its inducing increased fertility, and of the mode by 
which nature, operating with feeble agents during a lengthened 
period of time, produces great results, it may be shown that it 
it is more readily decomposed than is generally admitted. 

" The most economical method of applying the marl will be 


to cart it from the pits immediately into the fields to which it is 
to be applied ; to throw it into heaps at convenient distances for 
spreading, and then to put a small quantity of lime on each heap, 
which should remain exposed to the air for a longer time. In 
regard to the quantity to be applied, a variety of opinions exists; 
and hence, from 50 to 1,000 bushels per acre have been tried 
with and without success. A little attention to the theory of its 
operation will enable us to approximate to the true proportion. 
Its strong bases appear to act on the organic matter in the soil, 
and to combine with it; hence, it would be useless to apply a 
large quantity to a poor and light soil, for which 60 to 100 bush- 
els would suffice ; but a clayey soil would be rendered looser 
by it ; and as there is usually more organic matter present in 
such a case, from 100 to 200 may be employed with advantage. 
Where the land is already of good quality, from 200 to 500 may 
be used, according to its richness and tenacity. Many persons 
believe that because one kind of marl is inferior to another, a 
much larger quantity will be required ; but the truth is, that the 
differences, although important, are less so than is generally be- 
lieved, and should not lead to the employment of quantities 
greater than have just been enumerated. Notwithstanding the 
effects of marl will be shown to be striking on ordinary, and 
even on very poor land, yet it. is essential that the soil should 
contain a fair proportion of organic matter, in order to reap 
the highest benefit from it. Hence the failure of some experi- 
ments made with the green sand ; for, although it stands supe- 
rior to lime in requiring the presence or addition of less organic 
manure, still the views offered to explain its mode of action 
show the necessity of some organic materials on which to 
operate, and this conclusion is strengthened by experience." 

The chief value of the New-Jersey marl, when applied to 
light sandy soils, is known to consist in the potash and oxide 
of iron it contains. As compared with common unleaded 
wood ashes, it is thought to be equal in value, measure for 
measure. Visible effects are said still to be seen on farms which 
were marled 30 years ago. When used as a compost, at the 


rate of 30 to 40 bushels of slacked lime to 300 or 400 bushels 
of marl to an acre, its action is more prompt, and consequently 
larger crops obtained ; but its fertilising effects, when thus ap- 
plied, are believed not to be felt generally beyond a period of 
15 years. Mixed with 300 Ibs. of Peruvian guano and a ton 
and a half of the marl, it forms an excellent top-dressing for 
an acre of grass or grain. 


THIS substance, commonly called apatite by mineralogists, 
occurs somewhat abundantly in various parts of the world, and 
is composed chiefly of phosphate of lime, which differs but 
slightly in its chemical constituents from the earth of bones. 
When pure, it consists of. 

Lime, 54.5 

Phosphoric acid, 45.5 


From the composition of this mineral, one would be led to 
expect that it would exert a favorable action on vegetation, 
which has been amply verified by experiments made by Spren- 
gel, of Germany, and particularly by Dr. Daubeny, professor 
of chemistry at Oxford, in England. From the reputed exist- 
ence of an extensive bed of phosphorite near Logrosan, in the 
province of Estramadura, in Spain, the latter-named gentleman 
was commissioned to examine the mine, in 1843, by the Royal 
Agricultural Society of England, to ascertain whether the min- 
eral could not be profitably imported into that country as a 
substitute for bones as a manure. The result was, that the 
expense of freight, inland transportation, and other charges 
would be too great to warrant the undertaking. He found that 
it existed in a bed or vein six or seven feet thick, of unknown 
depth, and occurred in one entire white, radiating, silky mass. 
He was allowed to dig, and carry away any quantity he liked, 
and accordingly obtained four mule loads of about 200 Ibs. 
each, which he took to England, and made carefully-conducted 


experiments with it iii comparison with twelve other fertilisers 
or manures. The result of these experiments may be found in 
the London Agricultural Gazette of April 4th, 1846, in which it 
will be seen that a given quantity of the phosphorite grew near- 
ly as large crops of turnips and grass as the same amount of 
bone manure ; and Dr. D. now says, as the Spanish phosphorite, 
which appears to act so beneficially, is wholly destitute of or- 
ganic matter, it seems to follow that the more valuable portion 
and at least of what is applied to the land, when bones are 
scattered over it, is the phosphate of lime, and not, as some 
have supposed, the oil or gelatine. He found 81 per cent, of 
this phosphate in the substance, which he estimates to be equiv- 
alent to almost 76 per cent, of the earth of bones. 

From recent discoveries, it has been ascertained that this 
mineral exists in great abundance in some parts of the United 
States, and bids fair to supersede the use of bones, both on ac- 
count of its cheapness, and the facility with which it can be 
made applicable for the purposes of manure. At Crown Point, 
Lake Champlain, Essex county, New York, a mine was opened 
by Professor E. Emmons, of Albany, in 1850, which turned out 
to be a solid vein of phosphorite, eight feet thick, containing 92 
per cent, of phosphate of lime, associated with fluorine, chlo- 
rine, and the sulphurets of copper and iron. 

In the summer of the same year as above, Dr. Charles T. 
Jackson and Mr. Francis Alger, of Boston, discovered a valua- 
ble and extensive deposit of massive phosphorite near or at 
Hurdstovvn, Morris county, New Jersey, and but a few miles 
from the Morris Canal. The mineral is reputed to be perfectly 
pure, parcels of which have been distributed in various parts 
of this country as well as in England, for the purpose of expe- 
riment. In the neighborhood of the same locality, just within 
the confines of Sussex county, the New-Jersey Mining and Ex- 
ploring Company have opened the same or another vein of 
this substance, having, it is stated, a thickness of eight feet, 
extending more than two miles in length, from which it is be- 
lieved in unlimited quantity of this phosphate can be supplied. 


A sample of the mineral from the last-narred locality, as 
analysed by Dr. Thomas Antisell, chemist to the American 
Agricultural Association, in the city of New York, yielded the 
following constituents in 100 parts: 

Phosphate of lime, 93.6 

Lime, 3.6 

Magnesia, 0.2 

Chlorine, 2.5 

Fluorine, trace. 

Alumina and per-oxide of iron, trace. 

Loss, . 0.1 


It may be ground to a powder and spread upon old grass 
lands, or dissolved in dilute sulphuric acid and applied to 
grain and turnip crops, at the rate of 1,000 to 1,200 pounds per 
ncre; but, owing to its admixture with the rocks- in which it 
occurs, it. is necessary to analyse each parcel of the ground 
mineral, to ascertain the proportion of acid that is required for 
its decomposition. 


POTASH, or potassa, the hydrated prot-oxide of potassium, is 
so called from being prepared 1 for commercial purposes by 
evaporating to dryness in iron pots or kettles the lixivium, or 
ley, of wood ashes. When pure, the hydrate or fused potash is 
highly caustic, of a white color, melting at any temperature 
above redness, assuming a crystalline appearance on cooling 
but bearing the most intense heat without volatilising.* It has 

* A phenomenon or diffiulty occurs in this respect, which chemical authors have 
in vain tried to solve. Potash and soda, it is well known, abound in the young and 
herbaceous textures of trees and plants ; and yet they thrive, and sometimes grow to 
gigantic dimensions in soils which contain a very small proportion of potash, and 
even in the crevices of calcareous rocks where there is not the smallest trace of it. 
Whence, then, do these plants and trees derive the alkali they contain ? May not 
potash be a product of vegetation? May it not become volatile by some inexplica- 
ble process of nature ? Is it not posssible that gaseous principles may be united in 
such a manner that the result of their combination shall be unalterable by the pro- 
cesses of chemists ? These are points which science, *a its present state, is not In 
condition either to ascertain or disprove. 


a great affinity for water, uniting with that fluid, forming a solid 
hydrate, which no heat hitherto employed is capable of dis- 
uniting. It is highly deliquescent, rapidly attracting humidity 
from the air, and requiring half its weight of water for its solu- 
tion, evolving during the operation a considerable heat. It is 
also soluble in alcohol, decomposing all animal substances, 
whether living or dead, and rapidly attracts carbonic acid from 
the air. The solution is highly alkaline, neutralising the strong- 
est acids, and changes vegetable blues to green. It also rapidly 
corrodes glass, containing much alkali or lead, and dissolves 
silica by the agency of heat, forming therewith the silicate of 
potash. In taste, it is intensely acrid, and when touched by 
the fingers, has a peculiar soapy feel, owing to its dissolving 
the cuticle, with which it forms a kind of soap. Potash does 
not occur in nature in this caustic or uncombined state, and 
as such is not known to exercise any direct influence upon 
natural vegetation. 

Potash is extensively distributed throughout the earth and its 
inhabitants, combined principally with carbonic, crenic, apo- 
crenic, citric, humic, nitric, oxalic, phosphoric silicic, sulphuric 
and tartaric acids. In the mineral kingdom, it occurs abun- 
dantly in mica, feldspar, lava, green sand, and in most, if not 
all aluminous clays. In plants and trees, it is also abundant, 
especially in the grasses and all kinds of grain. Hence, the 
reason why potash is regarded as a necessary food of plants, 
and why its beneficial influence is felt in general agricultural 
practice. It also forms one of the constituents of the urine, 
excrement, and numerous other parts of animals, as well as of 
the waters of the ocean and saline springs. But the chief 
source from which commercial potash is supplied, is the washed 
or lixiviated ashes of trees, especially of hemlock spruce, oaks, 
maples, hickories, birches, beeches, and elms, the potato haulm, 
and of other trees and plants. 

The quantity of potash contained in the crops of an acre, 
as given in their ash, is as follows, which shows their impover- 
ishing power, and the importance of supplying a comparatively 


large quantity of this substance, in some form or other, to en- 
ter the roots of the plants : 


Wheat, 32.58 

Rye, 21.39 

Barley, 08.93 

Oats, 21.75 

Red clover, 144.00 

Potatoes, 102.70 

White turnip, 133.34 

The use of potash, as a fertiliser, in the form of the ash of 
vegetables and trees, may be traced back to a very early pe- 
riod. The old Roman farmers wen: well acquainted with pair- 
ing arW burning, and burnt the stubble of their grain fields in 
order to enrich the succeeding crops, a practice also prevalent 
among the ancient Jews. Cato recommends the burning of the 
twigs and branches of trees, and spreading the ash on the land. 
The ancient Britons, according to Pliny, used to burn their 
wheat straw, and stubble, and spread the ashes over their 
fields. Similar practices in all civilised countries have ever 
since prevailed. 

The p rot-oxide of potassium forms with acids the bases of 
a great number of salts, the principal of which that are ap- 
plied to the soil, as fertilisers, are as follows: 

Carbonate of Potash. Impure or commercial carbonate of 
potassa commonly known by the names of " potash " and 
" pearlash," is chiefly obtained in Russia and North America 
by lixiviating or washing the ashes of trees, especially of 
oaks, hickories, maples, and elms, in the last-named country, 
and evaporating the solution to dry ness. The ash, first mixed 
with quicklime, is leached in barrels or conical tubs, and the 
clear solution being drawn off, is evaporated by boiling in 
large iron pots or kettles set in a furnace. When the fluid be- 
comes black, and of the consistence of thick molasses, it is 
subjected to the highest heat of a wood fire for some hours. 
By this means, much of the combustible matter is burned out 
As soon as the fused matter becomes quiescent, it is dipped out 


with iron ladles into iron pots, where it is left to congeal ; it is 
then broken into pieces, and packed up in air-tight casks, in 
which state it constitutes the potash of commerce. 

Another method is, to transfer the black salts, or product of 
the first evaporation, from the kettles to a large oven or fur- 
nace, so constructed that the flame is made to play over the 
alkaline mass, which is continually stirred by means of an iron 
rod. The ignition is continued until the impurities are burned 
out, and the mass changes from black to a dirty or bluish white. 
The whole is then cooled, broken up, arid packed in casks as 
above. This constitutes the pearlash of commerce, which is 
also an impure form of the carbonate of potash. When pot- 
ash or pearlash is dissolved in water, purified, and crystallised 
or evaporated to dryness, it becomes refined, and is a carbonate 
of potash sufficiently pure for most purposes in the art. 

When pure, it consists of 

Potassa, 68.09 

Carbonic acid, 31.91 


The American potash of commerce, when of a good quality, 
consists of the following ingredients: 

v'austic potassa, 85.7 

Sulphate of potassa, 15.4 

Chloride of sodium, 2.0 

Carbonic acid and water, 11.9 

Insoluble matter, 0.2 

American pearlash, in the state it is usually brought to mar- 
ket, in 115 parts, consists of 

Caustic potassa, 75.4 

Sulphate of potassa, 8.0 

Chloride of sodium, ( .4 

Carbonic acid and water, 30.8 

Insoluble matter,. .- 0.6 



The carbonate of potash has long been known to exercise a 
powerful influence on the growth of plants; and what has been 
.said on the subject of "wood ashes" and "soaper's waste," 
which also contain other fertilising substances, it is to !>e under- 
stood that much of their immediate effects are due to the quan- 
tity of this salt they contain. When wood ashes and quick- 
lime are mixed together in artificial composts, it is not unlikely 
that a portion of the carbonate of potash may be rendered 
caustic, and, therefore, be more lit to act upon the vegetable 
matter in contact with it, by rendering it soluble in water, 
and thus capable of entering the roots of plants. In the mean 
time, it is proper to remark, that if pearlash be mixed, as above 
prescribed, with half its weight of quicklime, and then boiled 
with less than 10 or 12 times its weight of water, a part of the 
potash only is rendered caustic, the lime being unable to de- 
prive the pearlash of its carbonic acid, unless it be largely di- 
luted. Hence, in dry composts, or mixtures of this substance 
with quicklime, it is unlikely that any large portion of the pot- 
ash can be at once brought to the caustic state. This fact is 
really of importance in reference to the theory of the conjoined 
action of quicklime and wood or pearlashes, when mixed to- 
gether in artificial manures, and applied to the land. 

Chloride of Potassium. This is n compound of chlorine with 
potassium, which, in taste, properties, and general appearance, 
has much resemblance to common salt. U may be formed by 
dissolving pearlash in dilute muriatic acid, (spirit of salt,) as 
long as any effervescence appears, and afterwards evaporating 
to dryness. It exists in small quantity in sea water, in the ash 
of most plants, and frequently in the soil. It is not an article 
of manufacture, but is occasionally extracted from kelp, and 
sold to- alum makers. Could it be easily and cheaply ob- 
tained, there is no doubt that it might be employed with advan- 
tage as a manure, and especially in those circumstances in 
which common salt has been found to promote vegetation. 
The refuse of soap boilers, where soap is made from kelp, 
contains a considerable quantity of this compound. This re- 


fuse might be obtained at a cheap rate, and. therefore, might 
be usufully collected and applied to the land where such works 
are established. Johnston. 

Citrates and Tarirates of Potash. These salts exist in many 
fruits. The citrates abound in the orange, the lemon, and the 
lime. The tartrates, in the grape. When heated over a lamp, 
they are decomposed, and like the oxalates, leave the potash 
in the state of carbonate. In the interior of plants, both pot- 
ash and soda are most frequently combined with organic acids, 
(oxalic, citric, tartaric, &c.,) and the compounds thus formed 
are generally what chemists call acid salts ; that is to say, 
they generally have a distinctly sour taste, redden vegetable 
blues, and contain much more acid than is found to exist in 
certain other well-known compounds of the same acids with 

The citrates and tartrates are not known to be formed in 
nature, except in the living plant, and as they are too expensive 
to be ever employed as manures, it is the less to be regretted 
that few experiments have yet been tried with the view of as- 
certaining their effect upon vegetation. Johnston. 

Crenate and Apocrenate of Potash. See CRENIC and APOCRENIG 
ACIDS, under the head of " Liquid Manures." 

Nitrate of Potash. This substance, which is commonly 
known under the names of "nitre" and "saltpetre," is spon- 
taneously generated in the soil and on the walls of certain 
caves, owing to the action of the atmosphere, and crystallises 
on the surface in various parts of the world. It is also pro- 
duced artificially by exposing a mixture of calcareous soil and 
animal matter to the atmosphere, when nitrate of lime is slowly 
formed, and is extnvcted by lixiviation. The liquid is then de- 
composed, by adding carbonate of potash, by which carbonate 
of lirne is precipitated, and nitrate of potash remains in solu- 
tion. This salt is also contained in several plants, particularly 
in tobacco, the sunflower, beet root, and in the stalks of Indian 
corn ; but it has not hitherto been found in any animal sub. 


When pure, saltpetre consists only of potash and nitric acid, 
combined in the following proportions : 

Nitric acid, 53.44 

Potassa, 46.56 


In this state, it does not become moist on exposure to the air. 
The nitrate of potash of commerce, however, more frequently 
contains muriates, sulphates, or calcareous salts. 

In combination with soda, saltpetre is found in deposits of 
considerable thickness in the district of Arica, in Northern 
Peru, from whence it is imported into this country, chiefly for 
the manufacture of nitric and sulphuric acids. More recently, 
its lower price has caused it to be extensively employed in 
British husbandry, especially as a top-dressing for grass lands. 
Like the acid itself, these nitrates of potash and soda, when 
present in large quantities, are injurious to vegetation. This is 
probably one cause of the barrenness of the district of Arica, 
in Peru, and of other countries, where, in consequence of the 
little rain that falls, the nitrous incrustations are accumulated 
upon the soil. In small quantity, they appear to exercise an 
important and salutary influence on the rapidity of growth, 
and on the amount of produce of many of the cultivated 
grasses. This salutary influence is to be ascribed, either in 
whole or in part, to the constitution and nature of the nitric 
acid which these salts contain. 

Saltpetre, however, is very soluble, and is a transient manure, 
especially when applied on very open soils. It is very service- 
able in retaining moisture, and a damp spot may be observed 
wherever a crystal of this salt has been laid. It has been used 
at the rate of 50 to 100 Ibs. to the acre as a top-dressing to 
grass, wheat, and other crops, for which it is regarded as more 
beneficial than either the phosphates or guano. Its effects are 
most marked on poor sandy soils, but they are not so apparent 
on lands that are very rich. 

Oxala/i>x of Potash. Th^se salts exist in the common and 


wood soirels, and in most of the other move perfect plants in 
which oxalic acid is known to exist. The salt of sorrel is the 
best known of these oxalates. This salt has an agreeable acid 
taste, and is not so poisonous as the uncombined oxalic acid. 

When this salt is heated over a lamp, the oxalic acid it con- 
tains is decomposed, and carbonate of potash is obtained. It 
is supposed that a great part of the potash extracted from the 
ashes of wood and of the stems of plants in general, in the 
state of a carbonate, existed as an oxalate in the living tree, and 
was converted into carbonate during the combustion of the 
woody fibre and other organic matter. This compound, there- 
fore, in all probability, performs an important part in the 
changes which take place in the interior of plants, though its 
direct agency in effecting their growth, when applied externally 
to their roots, has not hitherto been distinctly recognised. It 
is probably formed occasionally in farmyard manure, and in 
decaying urine and night soil, but nothing very precise is yet 
known on this subject. Johnston. 

Phosphates of Potash. If, to a known weight of phosphoric 
acid, pearlash, (carbonate of potash,) be added as long as any 
effervescence appears, and the solution be then evaporated 
phosphate of potash is obtained. If to the solution, before 
evaporation, a second portion of phosphoric acid be added, 
equal to the first, and the water be then expelled by heat, bi- 
phosphate of potash will remain. One or other of these two 
salts is found in the ash of nearly all plants. It may be stated 
as certain that they are of the most vital importance not only 
in reference to the growth of plants themselves, but also to 
their nutritive qualities when eaten by animals for food. 

These phosphates are occasionally, perhaps very generally, 
present in the soil in minute quantities, and there is every rea- 
son to believe that, could they be applied in a sufficiently eco- 
nomical form, they would in many cases act in a most favor- 
able manner upon vegetation. They are contained in urine and 
other animal manures, and to their presence, a portion of the 
efficacy of these manures is t< be ascribed. Johnston. 


Silicate of Potash. When finely-powdered quartz, flint, or 
c and is mixed with from one half to three times its weight of 
dry carbonate of potash or soda, and exposed to a strong heat 
in a crucible, it readily unites with the potash or soda, and 
forms a glass. This glass is a silicate or a mixture of two or 
more silicates of potash or soda. When pure, the silicate of 
potash contains of 

Silicic acid, 49.46 

Potassa, 50.54 


Silica combines with these alkalies in various proportions. 
If it be melted with much potash, the glass obtained will be 
readily soluble in water; if with little, the silicate, which is 
formed, will resist the action of water for any length of time. 
Window and plate glass contain much silicate of potash or 
soda. A large quantity of alkali renders these varieties of 
glass more fusible and more easily worked, but at the same 
time makes them more susceptible of corrosion or tarnish by 
the action of the air. 

The insoluble silicates of potash and soda exist also in many 
mineral substances. In feldspar and mica, they are present in 
considerable quantity. The former, (feldspar,) contains one 
third of its weight of an insoluble silicate of potash, consisting 
of nearly equal weights of potash and silica. Trap rocks, or 
green stone, abundant also in many parts of the world, often 
consist almost entirely of silicates. Among these, however, 
the silicates of potash and sod; rarely exceed 5 or 6 per cent, 
of the whole rock, and somet' ,-ies they are entirely absent. In 
the green-sand marl of New, Jersey, potash is combined with 
silica and iron, but their ,aon is readily destroyed by the car- 
bonic acid of the so : . and air, which rapidly forms the potash 
into a carbonate. 

These insolubl ; silicate? of potash and soda also exist in the 
tsms and leave., of nearly all plants. They are abundant in 
i' ihe grasses, especially in the straw of the culti- 


vated grains, and form a large proportion of the ash which is 
left when these stems are burned. 

It is important to the agriculturist to understand the relation 
which the carbonic acid of the atmosphere bears to these 
alkaline silicates which occur in the mineral and vegetable 
kingdoms. Insoluble as they are in water, they are slowly de- 
composed by the united action of the moisture and carbonic 
acid of th<*air, the laUer taking the potash or soda from the 
silica, and forming carbonates of these bases. In consequence 
of this decomposition, the rock disintegrates and crumbles 
down, whilst the soluble carbonate is washed down by the rains 
or mists, and is borne to the lower grounds to enrich the allu- 
vial and other soils, or is carried by the rivers to the sea. 

In some cases, as in the softer kinds of feldspar, this decom- 
position is comparatively rapid, while in others, it is exceed- 
ingly slow ; but in all cases, the rock crumbles to powder long 
before the whole of the silicates are decomposed, so that the 
potash and soda are always present in greater or less quantity 
in granitic soils, and will thus continue to be separated from 
the decaying fragments of rock for an indefinite period of time. 
But the silica of the feldspar or mica, when thus deprived of 
the potash with which it is combined, is capable of being dis- 
solved in a small quantity by pure -water, and more largely by a 
solution of carbonate of potash or soda. Hence, the same rains 
or mists which dissolve the alkaline carbonates so slowly 
formed, take up a portion of the silica, and convey it in a state 
of solution to the soils or to the rivers. Thus, with the excep- 
tion of the dews and rains, which fall directly from the heavens, 
few of the supplies of water by which plants are refreshed and 
fed,- ever reach their roots entirely free from silica, in a form in 
which it can readily enter into their roots, and be appropriated 
to their nourishment. 

In the farm yard and the compost heap, where vegetable 
matters are undergoing decomposition, the silicates they con- 
tain undergo similar decompositions, and, by similar chemical 
changes, their silica is rendered soluble, and thus fitted, wheo 


mixed with the soil, again to minister to the wants, and aid the 
growth of new races of living vegetables. Johnston. 
, Sulphate of Potash. This compound is formed by adding 
pearlash to dilute sulphuric acid, (oil of vitriol,) as long as effer- 
vescence appears, and' then evaporating the solution. It is a 
white saline substance, sparingly soluble in water, and has a 
disagreeable bitterish taste. It exists in considerable quantity 
in wood ashes and in the ash of nearly all plants, and is one of 
the most abundant impurities in the common potash and pearl- 
ash of the shops. This sulphate itself is not an article of exten- 
sive manufacture, but exists in common alum to the amount of 
upwards of 18 per cent, of its weight. When pure, it contains of 

Sulphuric acid, 45.93 

Potassu, 54.07 


Dissolved in 100 times its weight of water, the sulphate of 
potash has been found to act favorably on red clover, vetches, 
beans, peas. &c., and part of the effect of wood ashes on plants 
of this kind is to be attributed to the sulphate of potash they 
contain. Turf ashes are also said to contain this salt in variable 
quantity, and to this is ascribed a portion of their efficacy, also, 
when applied to the land. The black salts which remain in 
potash kettles during the manufacture of pot and pearl ashes, 
consist of impure sulphates of potash, which, when applied to 
bones, decompose them very rapidly. The bones may be broken 
up coarsely, and then boiled in the saturated solution of these 
black salts until they fall to powder, after which, the whole 
mass may be composted with swamp or pond muck or mould. 


Tins useful substance, known also by the names of chloride 
of sodium and muriate of soda, occurs abundantly in nature, and 
when pure, is composed of chlorine and sodium, combined in 
the following proportions- 

Chlorine, 60.34 

Sodium,... 39.66 



Massive rock salt, ha.s a vitreous lustre ; bu. is not so brittle 
as nitre. It is nearly as hard as alum, a little harder than gyp- 
sum, and softer than calcareous spar. When pure, it is usually 
colorless, translucent, and even transparent. On exposure to 
heat, it commonly 'decrepitates, or crackles with a noise. Ac- 
cording to M. Guy Lussac, 100 parts of water at 57 F. dissolve 
35 r Vu P arts of suit ; at 62 , 35f f parts ; at 140, 37^ parts ; and 
at 229i, 40]| P ar ts of salt. 

It is well known that common salt has been employed in all 
ages and in all countries for the purposes of promoting vege- 
tation ; and yet, perhaps, it would be diilicult to name any 
other substance in the catalogue of modern fertilisers, the 
powers of which have been subject to so much controversy, 
and even doubted and denied as exercising any beneficial ef- 
fects on the crops to which it has been applied. Notwithstand- 
ing this, there is abundance of evidence in the writings of old 
authors that it destroyed weeds and worms, and rendered grass 
and herbage sweeter and more palatable to stock. Allusion is 
also made to its fitness or uniitness, as a fertiliser, in Luke, xiv. 
34, 35: and Virgil reprobates a salt soil. In 1653, Sir Hugh 
Pratt, of England, speaks of salt as a fertiliser, and details the 
result of a very successful experiment on a " patch of ground," 
at Clapham. The old English gardeners were well aware that 
the brine of pickling tubs, when poured over heaps of weeds, 
not only killed them, even every seed and every grub, but that 
these heaps were then converted into so many parcels of most 
excellent mauure, the good effects of" which, especially upon 
potatoes and carrots, were very apparent and marked. It was 
well known, too, that a single grain of salt placed upon an 
earih worm speedily destroyed it ; that if brine were poured 
upon grass land, all the earth worms were immediately eject- 
ed from the spot; and that if it were sprinkled over a part 
of the grass, all the deer, sheep, and horses whi.:h fed upon 
it, constantly preferred that spot to any other part of the 

Native chloride of sodium, whether obtained from the water* 



of the ocean, from saline Jakes, from salt springs, or mineral 
masses, is never perfectly pure. The foreign substances pres- 
ent in it vary according to its origin and qualities. These are 
principally the sulphates of lime, magnesia, soda, muriates of 
magnesia and potash, bitumen, oxide of iron, clay in a state 
of diffusion, &c Common salt may also be detected in nearly 
all soils, and is _iund in the ash of most, if not all plants, but 
more especially , and in large quantity, in the ashes of marine 
plants (kelp). 

The following table shows the composition of various sam- 
ples of Onondaga and foreign salt in 1,000 par's, as given in the 
Natural History of the State of New York : 


. d 



| 'Is 







"3 !.= 

C 5 



Localities *3 

c ~ 

v. ' <g 

"1 1 



* ' 

03 aj Er 

+* vj-j 



*T3 'f 

*2 3 

c 2 





' | 



o c -3 

' 5 


1 jll 



-5 a 3 g 

ai -! 

Syracuse, (solar evnp ) 991.00 



Geddes, (soliir,) 992.50 




Inline, (table salt,).. 991.73 




Ditto, (extra 1,'ood,). 990.34 




Ditto, (by boiling,)- 97R.25 



Ditto, (condemned,; 974.44 




Turk's Island 984 04 


13 10 

Liverpool, (tine,) 988.99 




Bay salt, (St. Ube*,)- 900.00 

3.00 trace. 1 


4.50 9.00 

Ditto. (St. Martins ). 9511.50 




6.00 12.00 

Ditto. (Oleron.)... . 904.25 




4.50 10.00 

Sea salt, Scotch, (com .) 935.50 



17.50 4.00 

Ditto. (Sunday,) 971.00 



4.50 1.00 

Cheshire, Eng., (rock,). 983.25 





Ditto. (tisherv.) 980.75 





Ditto, (common,) 983.50 0.75 





The fertilising and injurious properties of salt, when applied 
to land, and its action on various substances may be compre- 
hended under the following heads: 

1. Administered in small proportions, it promotes the decom- 
position both of animal and vegetable matter, a fact first made 
known by Sir John Pringle and Dr. McBride. Salt, therefore. 


when applied, in moderate quantity, promotes the rapid disso- 
lution of the animal and vegetable remains, existing in all cul- 
tivated soils, and when employed as a manure, it is exposed to 
the action of a very dilute solution of rain water and dews, and 
very probably is absorbed as food by the roots of plants, and 
decomposition afterwards takes place in their organs. One 
thing is certain, chemical facts are at variance with the decom- 
position of minute quantities of common salt by the carbonate 
of ammonia, contained in rain water and dews, and its entire 
fixation by this carbonate at all ; yet, this in no way diminishes 
the value of salt applied as a manure. 

2. Applied in large quantity, it is well known that common 
salt is destructive to vegetation, and in producing complete 
sterility in the soil. For, among Eastern nations, from time 
immemorial, when a conquered city was condemned to desola- 
tion, it was sown in large quantities about the ruins and their 
vicinity, proclaiming the will of the destroyer, and announcing 
that the country should remain uninhabitable, without cultiva- 
tion, and devoted to eternal sterility. When applied in excess 
to the apple, the cherry, the plum, apricot, poplars, beeches, 
willows, and elms, their leaves usually speedily perish after 
they put out, and the trees soon die. On the contrary, some 
species of the oak, the mulberry, the pear, the peach, and other 
trees with deep roots, do not suffer from its application ; neither 
do asparagus, onions, celery, &c., which even grow more lux- 
uriantly from its effects. But grapes, apples, and gooseberries 
contract a salt taste, which often renders them unfit for use. 

When very strong solutions of common salt and carbonate 
of ammonia are mixed at low temperature, they slowly and 
imperfectly decompose each other, forming bi-carbonate of 
soda and muriate of ammonia, whilst a portion of the ammonia 
is set free. The bi-carbonate of soda being almost insoluble 
in the solution of muriate of ammonia may be separated, and 
obtained pure, whilst the muriate of ammonia may be obtained 
by evaporating Ihe solution, and separating it from undecom- 
posed comn on salt and free ammonia. If, instead of 


ting the two substances, a quantity of water be added, the bi- 
carbonate of ammonia dissolves, and the two salts re-decompose 
each other, common salt and carbonate of arnraonia being 
formed. In the same way, if solutions of carbonate or bi-car- 
bonate of soda be mixed with a solution of muriate of ammo- 
nia, they mutually decompose each other, and form carbonate 
of ammonia and common salt. This holds true, however, only 
when the solutions are highly concentrated ; if dilute, no such 
changes takes place. 

3. Common salt renders certain soils more susceptible of ab- 
sorbing moisture from the air, a property of the first import- 
ance, since those soils which absorb the greatest proportion of 
water from the atmosphere are always the most valuable to 
the cultivator, affording him at the same time one of the best 
methods of judging of the productiveness of his land. No 
doubt salt keeps the soil cool as well as moist. Therefore, it is 
injurious on heavy or wet undrained lands, making them 
damper and colder, and thereby causing delay in vegetation. 

4. When sprinkled over dunghills, or over the manure in the 
barnyard, twice or three times a week, about the thickness of 
barley or oat sowing, salt has a tendency to check the escape 
of the carbonate of ammonia, caused by the ordinary heat of 
the dung, and thereby prevent an undue fermentation, particu- 
larly if incorporated with it when the manure is laid up in heaps. 
It has also a tendency to destroy the small seeds that escape 
from the barns and stables, as well as living insects, thus pre- 
venting much mischief in being carried out into the fields. 

5. Salt preserves vegetables from injury by sudden tran- 
sitions in the temperature of the air ; for it is well known that 
brine freezes at a temperature 4 F. below that of common 
water ; that salted soils do not freeze so readily as those con- 
taining no salt ; and that it also preserves crops of turnips, cab- 
bages, &c., from injury by the frost, is equally well established. 

6. Salt not only acts on vegetation as a stimulant, but serves, 
as has been shown, to be a direct constituent, or food, of som* 
kinds of plants, 


Applied to grain crops, on light soils, at the rate of 500 or 
600 Ibs. to the acre, salt increases the produce of seed, and 
very much improves its weight and quality per bushel. It also 
tends to protect wheat from the attacks of wireworms, mildew, 
and rust. With regard to the destruction of vermin by means 
of salt, it may be safely asserted that there is, perhaps, no 
agricultural use of it more undoubted. The effect, too, is direct, 
and the result immediately apparent. For this purpose, from 
5 to 10 bushels are sufficient. The farmer need be under no 
apprehension that the salt will destroy his crop, for 20 bushels 
per acre may be applied to young wheat with perfect safety. 

On grass lands and clover, salt has a very good effect, rend- 
ering the herbage much more palatable to stock, and serves to 
destroy some kinds of weeds and worms. It has been em- 
ployed at the rate of 6 to 16 bushels per acre, and where the 
primary object has been the destruction of old turf, even 30 
or 40 bushels have been successfully applied to the same quan- 
tity of land. 

With potatoes, numerous experiments have been made with 
salt as a manure, which have been attended with varying suc- 
cess. In one instance, where ten different manures were used, 
with only one exception, it proved superior to them all. 

Mangold wurtzel, manured with salt mixed with farmyard 
Jung, grows luxuriantly, which is obviously a suitable manure, 
as the ash of this plant contains from 33 to 50 per cent, of com- 
mon salt. 

Applied to turnips, with barnyard manure, on a light soil, salt 
is equally beneficial. The quantity to be used may vary from 
1,000 to 1,200 Ibs. per acre. 

In the garden, salt has been employed for numerous pur- 
poses; most commonly on lawns, at the rate of 10 bushels per 
acre, to prevent " uorm casts;" and on gravel walks, at the rate 
of 20 to 40 bushels to the acre to kill weeds. It may be em- 
ployed in horticulture, however, as a fertiliser, with decided ad- 
vantage and effect. In a soil composed of the following ingre- 
Irents, experimented upon by Mr. George Johnson, at Great 


Tothum, in England, with various garden vegetables, the results 
were given as below : 

Stones and gravel, 27-0 

Vegetable fibre, !-5 

Soluble matter, 3.0 

Carbonates of lime and magnesia, 18.0 

Oxide of iron, 4.0 

Animal and vegetable matter, 1.0 

Alumina, 4.5 

Silica, *0.0 

Loss, 1.0 



Bus!iels per ccr*. 

Soil treated with 20 bushels of salt per acre, 217 

Soil simple, 135 


Tons. cwt. qrs. Ibs 

Salt 20 bushel, manure 20 tons, per acre, 3 12 3 12 

Manure, .....2 10 2 19 


1. Soil without any manure, 13 400 

2. Soil with 20 tons of manure, 22 18 26 

3. Soil with 20 bushels of salt, 18 2 

4. Soil with 20 bushels of salt, and 20 tons of manure,. 23 6 1 18 


1. Soil with 20 tons of manure, and 20 bushels of salt,. 6 15 

2. Soil with 20 tons manure, 11 1 1 



1. Soil simple, 308 

2. Soil with 20 bushels of salt, 584 


Tons. cwt. qrt. 

L Soil simple 4 10 1 

2. Soil with 20 bushels of salt, 4 8 3 

3. Soil with 20 tons of salt, and 20 tons of manure, 7 

4. Soil with 20 tons of manure, 6 10 

There is little doubt, but salt might be much more extensive- 
ly employed by the florist than it is at present. Mr. Thomas 
Hogg, of'Paddington, near London, says: "I am of the opinion 
that the numerous bulbous tribes of amaryllidacese, especially 


those from the Cape of Good Hope, ixias, alliums, which in- 
clude onions, garlic, shalots, &c., anemones, various species of 
the lily, antholyza, colchicum, crinum, cyclamens, narcissus, 
iris, gladiolus, ranunculus, scilla, and many others, should 
either have salt or sea sand in the mould used for them. I in- 
variably use salt as an ingredient in my composts for carna- 
tions, a plant which, like wheat, requires a substantial soil, and 
all the strength and heat of the summer to bring it to perfec- 
tion ; and I believe I might say, without boasting, that few ex- 
cel me in blooming that flower." 

With regard to the mixing of salt with other manures, this more 
appropriately comes under the head of "Compound and Home- 
stead Manures." Common salt, however, when mixed with 
quicklime, in the proportion of 100 Ibs. of salt to 300 Ibs. of 
lime, decomposition takes place, and the soda of the salt is 
brought into a caustic state, while the lime is converted into 
chloride of calcium, and a manure is formed of a most power- 
ful description. But those who try the effect of this compound, 
it would be well for them to attend carefully to the following 
directions, and not, as some farmers have done, use the mixture 
immediately, before decomposition has taken place : After the 
salt and lime have been well incorporated together, in a dry 
state, the mixture should be allowed to remain two or three 
months undisturbed, and then applied at the rate of 35 to 60 
bushels to the acre, either by sowing it broadcast, or mixing it 
with earth, and spread it the usual way. It is important to 
give the mixture time, as the decomposition proceeds very 
slowly, and is not to be hastened by any simple process. 

Salt, mixed with soot, is often recommended as an excellent 
manure, and mentioned as an instance of the decomposition of 
the former by the carbonate of ammonia contained in the lat- 
ter; there is no need, however, to suppose any decomposition 
to have taken place to explain the beneficial effects of such a 
mixture. When plants are manured with ammoniacal salts, 
they grow with increased vigor, their roots increase rapidly, a 
larger supply of inorganic inaUer is required, and if this i<" 


withheld from them, they do not flourish. When inorganic 
manures are employed, plants acquire increased powers of ab- 
sorbing ammonia; and wher manured with salts of ammonia, 
they acquire increased powers of absorbing inorganic matter. 
Hence, the best manures are those in which both classes of sub- 
stances are supplied at the same time; and hence, it would be 
reasonable to expect that salt and soot applied together, would 
produce a more powerful effect than either alone, except in 
soils rich in alkaline or ammoniacul salts. 

The mixture of salt and soot, wiicn applied to certain plants, 
produces the most remarkable effects, especially when trenched 
into the ground prepared for carrots. Mr. G. Sinclair, of Eng- 
land, found that, when the soil, unmanured, produced 23 tons 
of carrots per acre, the same soil fertilised with a mixture of 
only 6A- bushels of salt, with an equal quantity of soot, yielded 
40 tons per acre. It has also been found that a mixture of 
these substances is equally beneficial as a top-dressing for 
wheat. Mr. Cartwright, an English gentleman, who experi- 
mented with these fertilisers, states that, when the soil without 
any addition, yielded 157 bushels of potatoes per acre, by 
dressing the same land with a mixture of 30 bushels of soot 
with 8 bushels of salt, caused it to produce 240 bushels per acre. 

Common salt, when mixed with muriate of ammonia, (sal 
ammoniac,) and applied to grass lands, is attended with the 
best results. This deserves the attention of farmers, especially 
as this mixture is cheap, and but little skill is required by the 
person who uses it. The quantity of each, to be applied to an 
acre, is about 200 Ibs. 


SALTPETRE, or nitre, is described as NITRATE of POTASH, under 
the head of " Potash." 


PORE sand, or silex, is the earth of flints or quartz, and in its 
simple state, is incapable of retaining moisture or promoting 


vegetation ; but when clay, marl, loam, or other soil, possessing 
adhesive qualities, are mingled with it, a sandy soil may be 
cultivated with advantage. Or, when sand is added to stiff 
clayey lands, their texture is greatly improved; but where 
other materals are at hand, as lime, marl, chalk, or any othei 
kind of calcareous matter, they would be far preferable 
Gravelly soils are very similar in their nature to the sandy 
and should be treated very nearly in the same manner. In 
practice, however, much less expense is incurred, and more 
benefit received, by adding clay to a sandy soil, than adding 
sand to a clayey one. It would require perhaps from 6 to 10 
times the quantity of sand to diminish the adhesion of the lat- 
ter, than it would of clay to consolidate the former. 

Sea sand forms a much more valuable manure than the va- 
riety above described, wherever it can economically be ob- 
tained in sufficient abundance. Its quality, however, is not 
always the same ; but that which most abounds in shells, or 
their fragments, is always regarded as the best. 

Sea sand is useful in all sorts of soils, and may be laid on 
at all reasons of the year; but, like lime, it requires to be kept 
as near to the surface as possible, as it is apt tc sink deep into 
the earth, especially wherever the soil is hungry or light. It 
is particularly valuable for clayey lands, rendering them stiff 
and adhesive, and increasing at the same time their fertility. 

Sea sand may also be used with advantage in most com- 
pounds, and greatly adds to the value of the compost heap. In 
whatever way it is applied, it will, in fact, be found beneficial, 
unless the soil be of a loose and sandy nature, requiring adhe- 
sive applications or clay. The sooner the sand is applied to 
the land, or the compost heap, the better it will be. When 
carted directly from the shore, it contains more or less salt, 
which is of itself a valuable manure, but which is chiefly lost, 
if the sand be allowed to lie exposed to the action of the 
weather for a considerable time. 

Limestone sand and gravel, as well as those derived from the 
decay or wearing down of granitic and other rocks, are not 


without their \ ilue and fertilising efiects, when applied in the 
manner as described above; but as they are treated of in other 
parts of this work, it is needless to discourse upon them here. 


FOR a description of this substance, see GREEN-SAND MARL, 
under the head of " Marl." 


SILICA, or the prot-oxide of silicum, which is more familiarly 
known under the names of quartz, flint, rock crystal, pure 
sand, or silicious earth, occurs in great abundance in nature, 
and may be easily obtained by first igniting to a red heat any 
of the above-named substances, and then throwing them into 
water, by which means they are readily reduced to a pow- 
der. It is insoluble in water and all the acids, with the excep- 
tion of the hydrofluoric, by which it is dissolved. It is also 
dissolved by the fixed alkalies, in consequence of which, it 
seems to possess the properties of an acid, and hence has been 
called silicic acid, and consists of 

Oxygen, 51.96 

Silicum, 48.04 


In the cold, this substance is inactive, but at a white heat, 
forms an exceedingly active acid, combining with bases, and 
displacing most other acids, except the phosphoric and boracic. 

The silicates are nearly all insoluble in pure water; glass 
and common earthenware are specimens of silicates, but they 
gradually decay in the presence of acids, and of carbonic acid 
and water. But the compounds of silicic acid, with two or 
three times its weight of carbonate of potash or soda, are solu- 
ble silicates, and have been recommended as manures for grain 
crops, which always contain a large amount of this acid in 
their stems, leaves, and husks. Most of the minerals ar d rocks 



of .he earth are silicates, this acid forming from one quarter to 
one third of its entire solid mass. 

The stores of potash, soda, lime, and magnesia in the soil, 
which supply plants with saline matters, are often in the form 
of silicates ; these are slowly decomposed under the influence 
of the carbonic acid of the air, or from decaying vegetable 
matter, which converts them into soluble carbonates, whereby 
they gain access to the plants. 


SHALES and slates, it is well known, may be employed, undei 
favorable circumstances, as manures, as many of them readily 
decompose by the action of the weather, rains, dews, and 
frosts. This, however, depends much upon the mineral ingre- 
dients, and the facility with which they disintegrate or decom- 
pose. Those which are highly calcareous may be employed 
with advantage, like those at Marcel 1 us, in the state of New 
York, while those containing alkalies may be used with good 
effect in composting with peat, lime, &c. 

Professor Ernmons gives the analyses of the shales and slates 
of the state of New York and other places agreeably to the 
following table : 

Names and Localities g j- 





Prot-oxide of iron 1 
and alumina. 

Carbonate of lime. 



Sulphate of lime. 

Hoosic roofing slate, 3.79 

70.55 00.35 
84.65 11.53 
71.62 23.25 
80.72 12.76 
78.76 16.64 
83.50 12.56 
81.54 7.00 
48.12 10.00 
68.86 14.98 
34.56 13.36 


0.40 trace. 
0.60 truce. 
0.05 0.90 
0.30 trace, 
0.40 0.14 




Slate from t?alem, 2.62 

VVaterville, (Me.,) slatu, .... 3.4-2 

Fairhaven slate, 2.7(1 

Shale from Cortlandville, 3.03 

Red slate, or shale, (salt group, ) 6.48 
Giwn shale, (salt group,) 5.50 




SODA, hydrate of soda or the prot-oxide of sodium, when 
pure, resembles potassa, and like that salt, possesses alkaline 
and other properties, but less powerful. It consists of a white 
brittle mass, of fibrous texture, melting at any heat above red- 
ness, having a most corrosive taste and action upon animal 
matter, dissolving readily both in water and alcohol, attracting 
carbonic acid when exposed to the atmosphere, but scarcely 
any water, and falling thereby into an efflorescent carbonate. 
With tallow, oils, wax, and rosin, it forms soap. It also dis- 
solves hair, wool, silk, horn, alumina, silica, sulphur, and some 
of the metallic sulphurets. It contains of 

Water, 22.34 

Sodium, 77.66 


Soda is constantly found as one of the essential ingredients 
in the ash of plants, performing, in the economy of vegetation, 
the same functions as potash. In the animal kingdom, it occurs 
abundantly as a silicate, but especially in the form of a chlo- 
ride of sodium (common salt). The nitrate, (cubic nitre,) 
which is an important manure, is obtained in abundance, par- 
ticularly in Atacama and Taracapa, in Peru, where it is found 
in immense deposits. Soda is also extracted from the ashes of 
salsola and salicornia on the south coasts of France and 
Spain, in Portugal and the Canary Islands, as well as from 
those of the fuci of Holland and the northern coast of France. 
The crude soda obtained from the former is called " barilla," 
and that resulting from the latter is known by the name of 
" varac" (kelp). 

Soda, like lime and potash, is applied to the land, as a fertil- 
iser, in several combinations, and in a variety of forms, some 
of them natural and others artificially prepared, the nature, 
composition and application of which are as follows : 

Carbonatr f Soda. Th.3 carbonate c '' soda of commerce oc- 


curs in various states, in crystals, lumps, or in crude powder 
called "soda ash." It exists in small quantities in certain min- 
eral waters, and frequently occurs in slender needles upon 
damp walls, produced by the action of lime upon the common 
salt present in the mortar. In the province of Sukena, in Africa, 
is a mineral stratum of sesqui-ca.rbons.te of soda, of such thick- 
ness as to allow it to be employed as a building stone. It con- 
tains 37 per cent, of soda, 38 per cent, of carbonic acid, and 2^ 
per cent, of sulphate of soda, the remainder being water. In 
Mexico and South America, mineral carbonate of soda is also 
extracted from the earth in great abundance, sometimes known 
under the name of urao. But the carbonate of soda is more 
frequently obtained by lixiviating the ashes of marine plants, 
or by exposing the sulphate of soda in combination with lime 
and sawdust to the action of strong heat. It may also be ob- 
tained by dissolving common salt in water, with litharge and 
chalk. Carbonate of soda, when pure, dissolves in 2 parts of 
cold water, and in less than its own weight in that which is 
not. When dry, it contains of 

Carbonic acid, 41.42 

Soda, 58.58 


In a crystallised state, 100 parts are constituted as follows: 

Carbonic acid, 15.43 

Soda, 21.81 

Water, 62.76 


The dry soda ash, or crude carbonate of soda, produced from 
the decomposition of common salt, such as is commonly em- 
ployed for agricultural purposes, contains of 

Chloride of sodium, 13.94 

Carbonate of soda, 38.59 

Sulphate of soda, 14.31 

Caustic soda, , 16.60 

Carbonate of lime, (chalk,) 10.26 

Peroxide of iron, 2.74 

Soluble silica, 1.55 

i-oss and impurities, 2.04 


Soda ash, applied at the rate of 100 Ibs. per acre, will be 
found beneficial to barley, oats, beans, carrots, and celery, as 
well as for the destruction of insects, and the restoration of the 
plants by means of its application, after suffering from their 
ravages. Its effects also continue to the subsequent crops. 

Bi-Carbonate of Soda. This salt is contained in solution in 
the waters of many lakes, streams, and springs, in various parts 
of the world. When pure, it consists of 

Carbonic acid, 58.58 

Soda, 41.42 


There can be no doubt that the waters of such springs are 
fitted to promote the fertility of pasture lands, to which they 
may be applied either by artificial irrigation, or by the spon 
taneous flow from their natural outlets. In such cases, the 
springs may be expected to contain some alkaline or other 
natural ingredients, which the soil is unable to supply to the 
plants that grow upon it, either in sufficient abundance, or with 
sufficient rapidity. Johnston. 

Camtic Soda. When a solution of the common carbonate of 
soda of the shops is boiled with quicklime, it is deprived of its 
carbonic acid, and like the carbonate of potash, is brought into 
the caustic state, in which it destroys animal and vegetable 
substances, and, unless very dilute, is injurious to animal and 
vegetable life. When common salt is mixed with quicklime in 
compost heaps, it is deprived by the lime of a portion of its 
chlorine, and is partially converted into this caustic soda. The 
action of the soda, in this state, is similar to that of caustic pot- 
ash. Not only does it readily supply soda to the growing plant, 
to which soda is necessary, but it also acts upon certain other 
substances that the plants require, so as to render them sol- 
uble, and to facilitate the.r entrance into the roots. To the 
presence of soda, in this caustic state, the efficacy of such com- 
posts of common salt and lime in promoting vegetation, is in 
part to be ascribed. 


Chloride of Sodium. This substance is described under the 
head of COMMON SALT, which see. 

Crenate and Apocrenate of Soda. See CRENIC and APOCRENIC 
ACIDS, under the head of " Liquid Manures." 

Nitrate of Soda. Nitrate of soda, which is also known by the 
names of "cubic nitre," and "cubic petre," is chiefly obtained 
from Peru, where immmense deposits of it occur in thick strata, 
in Atacama and Taracapa. It consists of 

Nitric acid,. 63.40 

Soda, 36.60 


and is very soluble and deliquescent, requiring but 3 parts of 
water, at 60 F., for solution. It may be applied to land pre- 
cisely in the same manner as saltpetre, and with similar effects. 

As there is but little evidence of this salt entering into the 
composition of our common cultivated crops, there is but a 
slight probability of its being a direct food of the plants to 
which it is usually applied. The only common exception is 
that of barley, in which a minute portion of this nitrate is 
found to exist. Its application, as well as that of saltpetre, to 
grass, renders it much more attractive to live stock, which, if 
turned into the field only partially manured with either, will 
almost invariably resort to those parts of the land dressed with 
these salts. This is one argument in favor of the conclusion 
that they are absorbed in minute quantities by the crops to 
which they are applied. 

The effect of cubic nitre, as a fertiliser for heavy soils, ap- 
pears to be rather more favorable than that of saltpetre. Yet, 
it is stated that, in a majority of cases, both of these salts have 
been found much more valuable as top-dressings for light lands 
than for stiff, heavy soils. It is also a very valuable manure 
for light lands, exhausted by repeated croppings, particularly 
on soils that have been over manured with lime. 

As nitrogen is of great advantage to the cereal grains ap- 
plied in the form of, or rather in conjunction with, saline matter, 


those substances richest in this element have the mast ben- 
eficial action on the crop. Hence, nitrate of soda and sulphate 
and muriate of ammonia are superior in their effects to nitrate 
of potash. They give a deeper green to the plants, and, year 
after year, are more to be depended upon in the production of 
luxuriant and healthy growth. 

Applied to barley or oats, broadcast, at the rate of 140 Ibs 
per acre, finely divided as possible, soon after the young plants 
begin to show themselves above ground, the nitrate of soda is 
attended with most excellent effects. The clover, also, which, 
in many instances, is sown with barley, is benefittcd by the ap- 
plication of this .salt in a marked degree. 

It has been observed, too, that the effect of cubic nitre upon 
young wheat plants, when applied on clayey soils, at the rate 
of 140 Ibs. per acre, as well as those which are sandy, has 
been excellent, not only in producing a very deep-green color, 
but in showing a considerable rankness of growth. 

Applied to Swedish turnips and potatoes, at the rate of 
168 Ibs. per acre, this salt causes the roots or tubers to be much 
finer, richer, and more productive than those growing near them 
not thus dressed. But from trials made with the same propor- 
tions, on mangold wurzel, carrots, spinach, cauliflowers, aspa- 
ragus, and onions, but very little, if any difference will be ob- 
served between those thus manured, and those which are not. 

Phosphates of Soda. When the common soda of the shops is 
added to a solution of phosphoric acid in water, till efferves- 
cence ceases, and the solution is evaporated to dryness, phos- 
phate of soda is formed, and by the subsequent addition of as 
much more phosphoric acid ii-phosphate. When pure, the 
phosphate of soda contains of 

Phosphoric acid, 5IS.30 

Soda, 46.70 

The &i-phosphate, according to Professor Johnston, consists of 

Phosphoric acid, 69.54 

Soda, 30.46 



These salts occur more or less abundantly in the ash of nearly 
all plants ; they are occasionally also detected in the soil, and 
one or other of them is almost always present in urine and 
other animal manures. As we know from theory that these 
compounds must be grateful to plants, we are justified in ascrib- 
ing a portion of the efficacy of animal manures, in promoting 
the growth of vegetables, to the presence of these phosphates, 
as well as to that of the phosphates of potash. They are not 
known to occur iti the mineral kingdom in any large quantity, 
neither are they articles of manufacture. Hence, their direct 
action upon vegetation has not hitherto been made the subject 
of separate experiment. 

Silicate of Soda. See SILICATES of POTASH and SODA, under 
the head of "Potash." 

Sulphate of Soda. Sulphate of soda, or Glauber's salt, is 
usually manufactured from common salt by pouring upon it 
diluted sulphuric acid, (oil of vitriol,) and applying heat. Mu- 
riatic acid, (spirit of salt,) is given off in the form of vapor, and 
sulphate of soda remains behind. It may also be prepared, 
though less economically, by adding the common soda of the 
shops to diluted sulphuric acid as long as any effervescence ap- 
pears. When pure, in a dry state, it contains of 

Sulphuric acid, 56.18 

Soda, 43.82 


This well-known salt is met with in variable quantify in the 
ashes of nearly all plants, and is diffused in minute proportion 
through most soils. The beneficial effect which it has been 
observed to exercise on the growth, especially of such plants 
as are known to contain a considerable portion of sulphuric 
acid, is very apparent in red clover, vetches, peas, &c. And 
as this salt can be obtained at a low price, in the dry state, it 
has been recommended to the practical farmer as likely to be 
extensively useful as a manure for certain crops and on certain 


soils. The kind of crops and soils have AS yet, in great m< as. 
ure, to be determined by practical trials. 

Sulphuret <>f Sodium. When sulphate of soda is mixed with 
sawdust, and heated in a furnace, the oxygen of the salt is sepa- 
rated, and stilphuret of sodium is produced. By a similar 
treatment, sulphate of potash is converted into sulphuret of po- 
tassium. These compounds consist of sulphur and metallic 
sodium or potassium only. They do not occur extensively in 
nature, and are not manufactured for sale ; but there is reason 
to believe that they would materially promote the vegetation of 
such plants as contain much sulphur in combination with pot- 
ash or soda. The sulphuret of sodium is present in variable 
quantity in the refuse lime of the alkali works, and might be 
expected to aid the other substances of which it chiefly con- 
sists, in contributing to the more rapid growth of pulse and 
clover crops. 


THIS is a complicated and variably-mixed substance, usuall, 
produced by the combustion of wood and of mineral coal. Its 
composition, and consequently its effects, as a fertiliser, must 
vary with the nature and quality of the fuel, and the manner 
in which it is burned, as well as with the height and structure 
of the chimney or apparatus in which it is collected. The 
following is an analysis made in 1826, by Braconnot, which 
obviously relates to the soot of a wood fire, and is, besides, be- 
hind the present state of chemical knowledge. It was found 
to consist, in 1,000 parts, of 

Ulmic acid ? 302.0 

A reddish-brown soluble substancs, containing nitro- ^9000 

gen, and yielding mnmonia when heated, j 

Asbolinc, 5.0 

Carbonate of limp, with a trace of magnesia, (proba- ( ^ g g 
bly derived in part fiom the sides of the chimney,). > 

Acetate of lime, 56.5 

Sulphate of lime, (gypsum,) 50.0 

Acetate of mugne.^iu, . 5J 


Phosphate of lime, with a trace of iron, 15.0 

Chloride of potassium, 3.6 

Acetate of potash, 41.0 

Acetate of ammonia, 2.0 

Silica, (sand,) 9.5 

Charcoal powder, 38.5 

Water, 125.0 


As the soot of fire wood is somewhat limited in its supply, 1 
shall confine the remainder of my remarks on this subject to 
that produced from mineral coal, which, with little exertion on 
the part of chimney sweeps, cooks, &c., in cities and large towns, 
could be obtained in considerable quantities, and sold to farm- 
ers for manure. 

The composition of the soot of mineral coal will vary, of 
course, with the kind of coal used for fuel, and with the cir- 
cumstances under which it is burned. From whatever variety 
it is derived, it will contain a number of organic as well as in- 
organic bodies, including a considerable proportion of the coal 
ashes, which have been carried up and lodged in the chimney 
by the draught. One of its most prominent ingredients is the 
large amount of ammonia it contains. Besides this, it yields 
the phosphates, sulphates, carbonates, and chlorides of lime, 
potash, soda, iron, and of magnesia, which are the principal 
inorganic ingredients, and show that soot is quite a powerful 

The source of the ammonia, unquestionably is to be sought 
for chiefly in the nitrogen present in the coal, if bituminous in 
its character. The proportions of this ingredient vary, ac- 
cording tc Professor Johnston, from }th of 1 per cent, to 2 per 
cent, of the whole weight of the coal. Ammonia, however, 
may also be formed from the nitrogen of the air as it passes 
through the red-hot cinders of the fire. 

Some kinds of mineral coal contain from $ of 1 per cent, to 
3 per cent., and even more of sulphur. As this consumes and 
ascends the flue, part of it, at least is expected to be found in 
some form or other in the soot. From this circumstance, the 


economical value of .his fertiliser to the farmer depends in a 
great degree upon the sulphate of lime, (gypsum,) as well as 
upon the sulphate of ammonia it contains. The properties of 
these salts, however, vary ; but ihe latter often amounts to as 
much as 10 per cent, of the whole weight of the soot, and may 
even rise to as high as 30 per cent, of crystallised sulphate of 
ammonia. The peculiar action of soot, therefore, in promoting 
growth and verdure is explained chiefly by the presence of this 
ingredient; while its varying value in different localities is 
most probably due to the unequal proportions in which this 
sulphate occurs. In very dry seasons, this ammonia causes 
injury, and often diminishes the crop. Like rape dust, and sa- 
line substances in general, soot seems to require moist weather, 
or a soil naturally moist, to bring all its virtues out. 

Soot is commonly applied, as a top-dressing, either alone, or 
is compounded with some other substance, when it gives a 
beautiful dark-green color to grass and grain, and on many 
soils, very materially increases the yield. When employed 
alone, from \'2 to 100 bushels per acre are regarded as a suf- 
ficient dose, according to the quality of the soot, the nature of 
the crop, and the state of fertility of the hind. 

Mixed with chloride of sodium, soot has remarkable effects 
on certain crops, as is noted under the head of "Common 
Salt." It may also be composted with African or Patagonian 
guano with excellent effects, but should never be mixed with 
vood ashes, caustic potash, scda, nor lime. 


SULPHUR is a substance too well known to require any de 
tailed description. In an uncombined state, it occurs chiefly 
in volcanic countries, particularly in Sicily, Italy, and Iceland, 
where it is found native, but it may sometimes be observed in 
the form of thin pellicles on the surface of stagnant waters, or 
of mineral springs, which are naturally charged with sulphur- 
ous vapors. In this state, it is not known materially to infill- 


ence the natural vegetation of any part of the globe. It has 
been employed, however, with some advantage in Germany, as 
a top-dressing, for clover and other crops, to which gypam is 
generally applied. 

Sulphur is present in combination with numerous metals 
throughout the mineral kingdom, and is found in all vegetables 
containing albumen, casein, and other analogous bodies. It 
is insoluble in water, and at 300 F., it takes fire in the open 
air, and burns with a pale-blue flame. At 600 F., it is con- 
verted into vapor, which may be condensed in close vessels, 
unchanged, forming the flowers of sulphur of commerce 


OF trap rocks, there are several varieties, the most important 
of which arc distinguished by the names of "greenstone," 
" serpentine," and " basalt." 

Greenstones consist of a mixture more or less intimate of 
feldspar and hornblende, or feldspar and augite. They are dis- 
tinguished from the granites by the absence of mica and 
quartz, and by the presence of the hornblende or augite, often 
in equal, and not unfrcquently in greater quantity than the 

According to the analysis of a sample as given in the " Natu- 
ral History of the State of New York," it contains of 

Silica, 57.25 

Alumina, 25.50 

Lime, 2.75 

Magnesia, ? 

Soda, 8.10 

Iron and manganese, 3.50 

Water, 3.00 


The composition, however, of greenstones is extremely va 
riable ; but all< of them are known to contain alkalies and al 
kaline earths ; and it is owing to this circumstance that green- 



stone soils are remarkably fertile, so inucn so th? t they may 
often be employed to increase the fertility of those less fav- 
ored. In the vicinity of Crown Point, Lake Champlain, New 
York, according to Professor Emmons, there is a trap dyke 
which contains 40 to 50 per cent, of the phosphates, which, if 
abundant, would well pay for crushing and employing it as a 

Augile is a mineral having much resemblance to hornblende, 
and, like it, occurring of various colors. In the trap rocks, it 
is usually of a dark green, approaching to black. It generally 
contains much lime and oxide of iron in the state of silicates. 
The composition of two varieties compared with that of basal- 
tic hornblende is as follows: 


Black augite 
from Sweden. 

Augite from the 
lava of Vesuvius. 














Prot-oxide of manganese, 








The predominance of this mineral, (augite,) or of hornblende, 
in the greenstone rocks, must necessarily cause a very material 
difference in the nature of the soils produced from their decay, 
compared with those which are formed from the granitic rocks 
in which feldspar is the predominating mineral ingredient. 

Basalt consists of a mixture, in variable proportions, of aug- 
ite, magnetic oxide of iron, and zeolite, with or without feldspar. 
In addition to augite, magnetic iron, and zeolite, many basalts 
contain also a. considerable portion of certain varieties of feld- 
spar, especially of one to which the name of " nepheline " has 
been given. 

Basalt differs in appearance from greenstone, chiefly by the 
darkness of its colour, and by the minuteness of^the particles 
ot which it is composed, which; in general, cannot be distin- 


guished by the naked eye. The analysis of a specimen given 
in the "Natural History of the State of New York," yielded of 

Silica, 46.50 

Alumina, 16.75 

Lime, 9.50 

Magnesia, 2.25 

Soda, 2.60 

Iron and manganese, 20.12 

Water, 2.00 


Serpentine is a greenish-yellow mineral, consisting of silica in 
combination with magnesia and a little iron, and occasionally 
a few pounds in the hundred of lime or alumina. The distin- 
guishing ingredient is the magnesia, which generally approaches 
to 40 per cent, of the whole weight of the mineral. Rocks of 
serpentine are generally mixed with magnetic iron ore, and 
with portions of other minerals in greater or less abundance. 
According to Professor Shepard, it consists of 

Silica, 40.08 

Magnesia, 41.40 

Water, 15.67 

Prot-oxide of iron, 2.70 


In New York and a part of New England, however, it would 
appear that the serpentine exists under different conditions. 
Thus, in St. Lawrence, Jefferson, Essex, and Warren counties, 
New York, it is intermixed with lime, which disintegrates more 
rapidly than the serpentine. The soil, therefore, must contain 
a sufficient quantity of lime. However this may be, there is 
always a luxuriant growth of vegetation about the beds of this 
mineral. The serpentine hills of New Englan 1 are not so pro- 
ductive, however, as those of New York. 

From what has been stated in the forgoing remarks, it will 
be perceived how exactly the study of the composition of the 
different varieties of the trap rocks explains the observed dif- 


fercnces in the quality of the soils derived from them. When 
the minenils they contain abound in lime, the soils they yield 
are fertile ; when they predominate and lime is wanting, tho 
soils are inferior, sometimes scarcely capable of cultivation. 
The granites, it has been shown, abound in potash; and, with 
the exception of the Syenites, they rarely contain lime, and 
their soils are generally poor. Let them be mixed with the 
trap soils, and they are enriched. This would seem fairly and 
clearly to imply that the fertility of the one is mainly due to 
the presence of lime, and the barrenness of the other to the 
absence of this earth. 

Zeolite is a term applied to a great number of minerals which 
occur in the basalts, and often intermixed with the greenstone 
rocks. They differ from feldspar in their greater solubility in 
acids, and by generally containing lime, where the latter con- 
tains potash or soda. 

It may be stated, indeed, as the most important agricultural 
distinction, between the granitic and the true trap rocks, that 
the latter abound in lime, while in the former, it is often entirely 
absent. If, in a greenstone, only one fourth of its weight con- 
sist of augitc, every 20 tons of the rock may contain one ton 
of lime. If in a basalt, the augite and zeolite amount to only 
two thirds of its weight, every nine tons may contain a ton of 
lime. The practical farmer cannot fail to conclude that a soil 
formed from such rocks must possess very different agricul- 
tural capabilities from the soils already described as being 
formed frcm the decomposition of the granites. 



npHE rind, or covering, of the woody parts of a tree, common- 
ly called the " bark," is composed of three distinct layers. The 
epidermis, or outermost layer, in some trees, like the plum, cher- 
ry, birch, &c., is a thin, tough, membrane, when young, but 
gradually becomes thicker and rougher as the tree advances in 
age. That of the oak or hemlock spruce is coarser in its tex- 
ture, and cracks as the tree grows older, while a new epidermis 
is forming, giving it a rough or ragged surface, and is finally 
pushed off to decay. The middle layer is called the paren- 
chyma, and is usually comparatively tender, succulent, and of a 
dark-green color. The inner or cortical layer, sometimes called 
the H6er, consists of thin membranes encircling each other, which 
seem to increase with the age of the tree. It is generally known 
by its light color, great flexibility, toughness, and durability. 
In its structure, it consists of long, minute tubes, through which 
the juices, or generative sap, descend, from whence all the 
woody parts of the tree originate as they are received from the 

The miaule layer of the bark, in its interstices, contains nu- 
merous cells, which are filled with juices or other matter, vary- 
ing in their qualities, some, as in the oak, remarkable for their 
astringency, while others abound in tannin, resin, mucilage, 


essential oils, and alkaline or other earthy salts. Hence, the 
difference in the chemical constituents of the bark of different 
species of trees, which not only vary with the season of the 
year and their age, but in the different parts of the same tree. 

As the chief source of bark, to be applied as manure, is the 
refuse of our tanneries, I give below an analysis of the ash of 
hemlock spruce. (Abies canadensis,') the kind most in use in this 
country, as published in the "Natural History of the State of 
New York," which will very nearly show the composition of 
those of the bark of other trees employed for the purpose: 

Bark of trunk. Bark of ttoigs. 

Potash, 2.86 1.58 

Soda, 3.47 1.33 

Chloride of sodium, 0.03 0.99 

Sulphuric acid, 3.48. 4.47 

Carbonic acid, 24.33 24.00 

Lime, 31.48 31.05 

Magnesia, 0.01 0.30 

Phosphate of pur-oxide of iron, 1.49 1.55 

Phosphate of lime, 16.45 18.87 

Phosphate of magnesia, 5.17 1.28 

Organic matter, 3.48 4.10 

Insoluble silica, 13.40 0.40 

Coal, 152 0.48 

106.87 90.40 

It is obvious from the above analysis that a large supply of 
inorganic matter, essential to the growth of plants, may be sup- 
plied from refuse tan bark. Although it requires a long time 
to undergo decomposition or putrefaction, it certainly might be 
mixed with farmyard manure, at the rate of 1 bushel of tan to 
4 of dung, with considerable advantage. Mr. Robert Bryson, 
of Virginia, has been experimenting for several years upon 
this substance with the view of rendering it available as a 
manure. The plan which he adopts is, to cover a flat surface 
of ground with the exhausted bark to a depth of 1 or 2 feet 
Over this, he spreads a layer 2 or 3 inches thick of quicklime, 
and over this again ; stratun of tan, and so on. alternately, 


layers of lime and bark, until the pile is completed.. He then 
lets the compost, thus prepared, remain for two years, at the 
end of which time, he finds himself in possession of a bed of 
most valuable manure. Its effects upon the land, it is stated. 
can hardly be surpassed, either for the richness of its product 
or the durability of its fertility. If a layer of powdered char- 
coal or plaster, (gypsum.) were spread over the top of the pile, 
1 or 2 inches thick, it would doubtless retain a large share of 
the ammonia and other fertilising gases as they escape from 
the decomposing mass, and increase thereby the value of the 

Spent tan bark, in a half-putrefied or even fresh state, when 
applied as a top-dressing to grass lands, is attended with excel- 
lent results; and in cases where transportation is an objection, 
even its ashes or charcoal, would be valuable to the farmer 
from the quantity of earthy carbonates and phosphates they 
contain. When spread on a light soil, between the rows of 
strawberry plants, about an inch thick, it not only keeps the 
ground moist and the fruit clean, but checks the growth of 
weeds, and appears to be the material, above all others, in which 
this plant most delights. Doubtless from this hint, it might be 
applied to other plants with favorable results. 


WOOD charcoal is a well-known black, brittle substance, ob- 
tained by the calcination of the trunks, roots, or branches of 
trees in a place excluded from the free access of atmospheric 
air, which otherwise would cause it entirely to consume. 
When heated in the air, it burns with but little flame, and, 
with the exception of the ash which is left, it entirely disap- 
pears. By this process of burning, it is converted into a kind 
of air, known among chemists by the name of carbonic acid, 
which ascends as it is formed, and mingles with the atmos- 
phere; but when burned in a close apartment, accumulates on 

the floor, by its greater weight, forming a dense stratum, of a 


depth in proportion to the quantity produced. Charcoal is in- 
soluble in water, destroys the oder, color, and taste of many 
substances; and hence, its use in the arts in the purification 
of tainted meats and putrid waters. It also separates from 
water any decayed animal matters or coloring substances 
which it may hold in solution. Hence, its use in filters for 
purifying and sweetening impure river or spring waters, or for 
clarifying syrups and oils. In or upon the soil, charcoal, for 
a time, will act in the same manner, will absorb from the air 
moisture and gaseous substances, and from the rain and flowing 
waters, organised matters of various kinds, any of which it 
will be in a condition to yield * the plants that grow around 
it, when they are such as are likely to contribute to their 

The following exhibits the number of volumes of the differ- 
ent gases which were absorbed in the course of 24 hours, by 
one volume of charcoal, in the experiments of M. de Saus- 
sure : 

Ammoniacal gas, 90.00 

Muriatic acid gas, 85.00 

Sulphurous acid, 65.00 

Sulphurated hydrogen, 55.00 

Nitrous oxide, 40.00 

Carbonic acid gas, 35.00 

Bi-carburetcd hydrogen, 35.00 

Carbonic oxide, 9.42 

Oxygen gas, 9-25 

Nitrogen, 7.50 

Carbureted hydi ogen, 5.00 

Hydrogen gas, 1.75 

Charcoal has the property also of absorbing disagreeable 
odors in a very remarkable manner. Hence, animal food keeps 
longer sweet when placed in contact with it; hence, also, veg- 
etable substances, containing much water, such as potatoes, are 
more completely preserved by the aid of a quantity of char- 
coal. It exhibits, also, the still more singular property of ex- 
tracting from water a portion of the saline substances it may 
happen to hold in solution, and thus all iwing it to escape in 


less impure) form. The decayed, (half-carbonised.) roots of 
grass, which have been long subjected to irrigation, may act in 
one or all of these ways on the more or less impure water by 
which they are irrigated; and thus gradually arrest and col- 
lect the materals whuh are fitted to promote the growth of the 
coming crop. 

In or near large cities, charcoal is made of green wood, by 
distilling it in close iron vessels for the purpose of collecting a 
strong vinegar, (pyroligneous acid,) which is thrown off by the 
calcination. A fine charcoal remains in the vessels, and is 
thus obtained for commercial use. On the farm and in the 
forest, the production of charcoal must be done on a cheaper 
and more extensive scale. It is usually prepared by cutting 
pieces of wood, from 1 inch to 6 inches in diameter, in lengths 
varying from 2 to 4 feet, forming them into a conical pile, and 
covering them with turf, clay, or loam, to exclude the air, leaving 
only two or three small holes at the bottom of the pile for light- 
ing the wood, and a few others still smaller at the topv to admit 
the escape of the smoke. The wood is now kindled, and the 
combustion slowly allowed to proceed for eight or ten days, 
more or less, until the volatile matter of the wood is driven off, 
when the air holes are stopped up with earth or clay, in order 
to arrest the further combustion of the pile. The whole is then 
allowed to remain until the fire goes out, after which, the 
heap is broken up, and the charcoal raked out and assorted for 
sale or use. In cases of very high winds occurring during the 
carbonisation of the wood, the air holes at the windward ape 
closed with earth or clay, to prevent the too rapid burning of 
the mass; but in the process of carbonisation, however, care 
should be taken to let the vapors freely <. scape, especially to- 
wards the end of the operation ; for when the carbonic acid gas 
is re-absorbed, it greatly impairs the combustibility of the coal, 
and also renders it less fit for agricultural purposes. 

Charcoal varies in its qualities, according to the nature of the 
substances from which it is prepared. That made from the dry 
wood of the trees of this country most commonly employed 


for the purpose, yields the following per-centage, by weight, and 
the number of pounds of dry coals in a heaped Winchester 
bushel, respectively : 

Per cent. Pounds per bushd- 

Pitch pine, (Pinus rigida,) 26.76 15.68 

Shell-bark hickory, (Vary a alia,) 26.22 32.89 

White ash, (fr'ruxinus americanaj) 25.74 28.78 

American chestnut, (Castanea amm'care,).25.29 19.94 

Pign'it hickory, (Carya porcina,) 25.22 33.52 

Jersey pine, (Pinus inopg,) 24.88 20.26 

White elm, ( Ulm us amcricana,) 24.85 18.79 

White pine, (Pinus strobu.i,) 24.35 15.42 

Short-leaved yellow pine, (I'inus mitif,). ..23.75 17.52 

Tliick shell-bark hickory, (Carya siUcala,) .22.90 26.78 

Sassafras, (Laurus sassafras,) 22.58 22.47 

Black walnut, (Julians nigra,) 22.56 22.00 

Red oak, (Qucrcus rubra,) 2243 21.05 

Pin oak, (Quercus paluatris.) 22.22 22.94 

Tulip tree, (lAriodcndron tulipifera,) 21.81 20.15 

Wild cherry, (Cerasus virrrincnsis,) 21.70 21.63 

White oak, (Quercus alba^) 21.62 21.10 

Big laurel, (Magnolia grandiflora,) 21.59 21.36 

Sugar maple, (.?crr saccharinum,) 21.43 22.68 

Dog wood, (Cornus Jlorida,) 21.00 28.94 

Red-flowered maple, (Acer rubrum,) 20.64 19.47 

Sweet gum, (lAquidambar styraciflua,) .... 19.69 21.73 

White beech, ( Pag-us sylvcstris,) 19.02 27.26 

Black birch, (Bctula lenta,) 19.40 22.52 

White birch, (Bctula populifolia,) 19.00 19.15 

Iron wood, (Carpinm amcricana,) 19.00 23.94 

As charcoal is one of the most undecomposable substances in 
organic nature, it may be kept for centuries without change, 
and, therefore, is not very subject to decay. The only materials 
that it will yield to plants are certain salts it contains, amongst 
which is the silicate of potash. It is known, however, to pos- 
sess the power of absorbing gases within its pores, particularly 
ammonia and carbonic acid. And it is in virtue of this power, 
in a degree, that the rootlets of plants are supplied by charcoal, 
precisely as in the case of humus, with an atmosphere about 
them of carbonic aci 1, which is renewed again as quickly as it 
is abstracted. 


Charcoal may be aoi lied with advantage, in the powdered 
state, in the form of a top-dressing. About 40 bushels to the 
tcre, sown over grass lands, or among young plants, as t'irnips, 
has been found, will produce an increased yield. The suc- 
cess, however, will depend upon the state of fertility of the 
soil and its wants. Wherever an increased supply of ammo- 
nia, escaping from the air, the earth, or from any putrescent 
matter, is desirable to be caught and retained, charcoal will 
always do good. The fresh-burnt article, also, contains much 
saline matter, as stated above, that will be dissolved by rains, 
dews, or melted snows, and contribute to the enrichment of the 

The best, and perhaps the only advisable mode of using char- 
coal is, to compost the powder with night soil, urine, blood, and 
other putrescent bodies, either liquid or solid. By this method, 
it tends to absorb or dry up these fluids, and retain the ammo- 
nia formed during their decomposition or decay. Such com- 
posts, when added to the soil, retain the virtue of these bodies 
much longer than when they are used alone. Besides its ab- 
sorbent action, this fertiliser will loosen tough soils, and in- 
crease their warmth by its black color, in consequence of an 
augmented absorption of the rays of the sun. It also adds 
to the tilth of stiff, clayey soils, by rendering them warmer, 
more open, and dry. 

It has further been shown by numerous gardeners, that char- 
coal powder, kept moist with rain water, furnishes a good me- 
dium, or soil, for growing many flowers, and is capable of sus- 
taining vigorous vegetation, and that slips, when planted in it, 
readily take root. 

The question is often asked by the farmer, "Where am I to 
get so much charcoal without a greater expense than will prove 
profitable to my land and crops?" In most parts of the United 
States, perhaps with the exception of the prairies, it can be 
economically obtained from one or other of the following 
sources, namely, by burning in ordinary "coal pits;" from old 
"coal hearths:" from coal yards, or where charcoal has been 


stored ; from the refuse of various manufactories ; or from rail- 
roads, where the locomotives discharge the cinders of their 

Again, there has been some difficulty heretofore in reducing 
coarse charcoal to a powdered state. This can easily be done 
by means of a cast-iron bark mill, such as is used by tanners 
in almost every neighborhood throughout the land ; if one of 
these mills cannot be obtained, the coal may be pulverised in 
the old-fashioned bark mill, which can readily be fixed up with 
an old mill stone, turning around a post on a platform made of 
planks or flat stones, and crushed to a powder with the aid of 
a horse. 

Charred Peat. It must be obvious from the preceding re 
marks, that peat, which is little else than an accumulation of 
woody fibre, if reduced to charcoal, would be of eminent service 
as an absorbent of blood, urine, night soil, and other feculent 
matter, and consequently would form a valuable manure. Dr. 
Anderson, chemist to the Highland Agricultural Society of Scot- 
land, has lately tried several experiments with peat, both raw 
and reduced to charcoal. He finds that the charcoal is a pow- 
erful deodoriser, (having the power of removing fetid smells 
from water, meats, and manures,) but not an absorber of am- 
monia. The greatest amount of ammonia he found to have been 
taken up by filtering putrid urine through it, was y ff th of 1 per 
cent. The peat, itself, when dried at 212 F., was found to ab- 
sorb 2 per cent, of ammonia, while still dry to the touch. After 
exposure to the air in a thin layer, for 15 days, it retained 1-J- per 
cent. This shows the invaluable properties of the article un- 
charred ; and if the results of that chemist are correct, we must 
give up the use of peat charcoal, as an absorbent of ammonia, 
and employ it only as a deodoriser. In the preparation of this 
material, however, I shall limit my remarks to that "rough- 
and-ready " mode of management, which is most likely to suit 
the individual farmer ; but where any one may possess a peat 
meadow from which he might derive an annual income from 
the pule of the article after it is cha'rrd, and where extreni" 


economy in the cost of its production is of moment, ;ther and 
very superior methods of burning it might be pointed out, as 
practised in Great Britain, Ireland, and France by means of 
kilns. The method, therefore, to which I shall confine my re- 
marks, is as follows : 

After having collected a sufficient supply of dried peat, a 
quantity is first thrown over a small heap of brush or other 
dry fuel, with an aperture left on the windward side for lighting 
the fire. As soon as the heap is ignited, and the lire gets good 
hold, more peat is laid on, and is continued to be supplied at 
regular intervals. In tending the heaps, the fire must never be 
allowed to make its appearance on the outside, but must be 
sufficiently covered to prevent the free access of the air to the 
combustion which is gradually going on. However, if too large 
a quantity be laid on at once, there will be some danger of 
putting out the fire ; more particularly when the peat is moist 
or wet, or the fire but recently lighted. The fire should not 
continue burning many days ; for if it does, the heat will accu- 
mulate from the peat with which it is supplied, so that there 
will be great difficulty in extinguishing the lire in proper time. 
Before putting out the fire, a quantity of the dust, or fine peat, 
from which the large pieces have been sifted, or screened, may 
be laid over the heap, by means of which, all the peat that 
has been put on previously becomes charred, the fire being 
prevented by the dust from breaking out at the surface. 

The heap is next pulled down by means of large iron rakes 
or hooks, and a sufficient quantity of water thrown on the fire 
to extinguish it altogether. If there be much difficulty in put- 
ting out the fire, the heap may be turned over, and water ap- 
plied, as the process of turning proceeds. There is no use in 
throwing a few buckets of water over the heap, and then allow- 
ing the fire to smoulder underneath; for though the outside 
may have the appearance of being charred, the fire will con- 
tinue to burn in the interior, without giving off much smoke 
till it breaks out on the surface, and converts the whole of the 
centre of the heap-into ashes. Let it be remembered that peat 


charcoal is quite as combustible, and rather more so than peat 
itself; so that, when the fire is nearly extinguished on the oui- 
side, that which remains within will soon break out again. 
When the fire is completely extinguished, the ashes will have 
a black or charred appearance, quite different from the reddish 
color of the heaps that are allowed to burn out of themselves. 
It is preferable to have two heaps burning at the same time, 
one on each side of the drying ground ; for, by adopting this 
plan, the distance for removing the peat will not be so great as 
it would otherwise be by having only one fire. 

At the end of the burning season, all the charred peat may 
be conveyed to a dry, level spot of ground, to be stored away 
till wanted for use. It may be piled up in a triangular form, 
resembling the roof a house, and then thatched with straw to 
keep out the wet. Should the heap be placed on a wet spot, a 
trench should be dug around it to carry off' the water, which 
would otherwise soak into the bottom of the pile. 

Charred peat, as a fertiliser, may be applied to the same pur- 
poses as powdered charcoal, or other charred vegetable mat- 
ter. Mixed with mould during winter, and planted the spring 
following with cucumbers or melons, they grow famously, pro- 
ducing a heavy crop. The vines or tops strike root freely in 
pure charred peat. 

Strawberries grow remarkably wjell in charred peat mixed 
with the soil. 

Fruit trees and grape vines, manured with this material, are 
much improved by it, as it not only serves as a fertiliser, but is 
also the means of keeping the ground more open or porous ; 
and finer-flavored fruit may be expected. 

Potatoes manured with charred peat are generally dryer and 
more mealy than those grown by farmyard manure. The foli- 
age and tops are more compact and firm, the tubers cleaner- 
skinned, and freer from the rot. 

In flower gardens, peat charcoal will be found invaluable, 
inducing, as it does, quick growth, but not overluxuriant, and 
consequently plenty of blossoms. 


For sweetening cesspools, charred peat, finely powdered, will 
be found an excellent deodoriser. One pound of this material 
will require ly Ibs. of water to. saturate it; and hence, its great 
value as an absorber of blood, night soil, and other feculent 

Charred Sato Dust, Tan Bank, and Apple Pomace. These three 
substances being similar in the size and texture of their frag- 
ments, may be treated under the same head. Before attempting 
to char them, they should be made thoroughly dry by spreading 
them in thin layers on the ground, and exposing them several 
days to a hot summer sun. They may then be formed into 
conical heaps of any convenient size, and covered with sods, 
loam, or clay, with one or more holes left at the bottom of the 
windward side for lighting the fire, and a few others gtill small- 
er at the top, to admit the escape of the smoke. The interior 
of the heap is now kindled by means of a little brush, or other 
dry fuel, and the combustion allowed to proceed slowly until 
the volatile matter is driven oft', when the air holes should be 
stopped with earth or clay, in order to arrest the further burn- 
ing of the piles. They may then be allowed to remain until 
cold ; or the heaps may be opened with a large iron rake, the 
fire extinguished with water, and the whole treated and applied 
in the same manner as the charred peat before described. 

Charred Bagasse. In sugar-growing countries, where the 
planter cannot immediately obtain carbonaceous matter from 
other sources to manure his cane fields, he can procure a sup- 
ply by charring a portion of his bagasse. It should first be 
made thoroughly dry by spreading it in thin layers on the 
ground, exposed several days to a hot sun; then formed into 
compact, conical heaps, of a convenient size, covered with 
sods, loam, or clay, and afterwards treated in a similar manner 
as the tan bark and saw dust, described above. This will prove 
far more economical than the wasteful practice of burning the 
trash and dissipating all its carbonaceous parts to the air by 
combustion, merely for the sake of the small proportion of al. 
kaline salts contained in the ash. 


Charred Weeds. As regards the charring of farm weeds, it 
may not always be convenient to -emove them from the field 
where they gro\v. Therefore, in cases where this process is 
desirable, and will prove beneficial the most economical meth- 
od of disposing of the weeds is to char them on the spot. They 
should first be thoroughly dried, and then formed into large, 
compact conical heaps, covered with sods, loam, or clay, and 
treated in every other respect like the charring of tan bark, 
saw dust, or apple pomace, as described in the preceding para- 

Paring and Burning. It is obvious, that, in all cases, the 
process of burning must waste a certain quantity of vegetable 
matter, and can only be profitable where an excess of this 
matter renders the soil too ran-k. It must be of eminent service, 
also, in reducing to charcoal, or wood ashes, a great accumla- 
tion of woody fibre already overrunning the land; for woody 
matter, in general, is very slowly reduced to a state of humus, 
or vegetable mould, if left to the process of natural decay; nor 
is it very rapidly decomposed by caustic lime or other solvents 
artificially applied. 

Although paring and burning has been much recommended 
by many persons, still it requires great limitations and restric- 
tions. In some cases, it may be proper, while in the hands of 
the unskilful, it may be attended with the most pernicious con 
sequences. Mossy and peaty soils, or those covered with 
rushes or a sward of coarse, unprofitable herbage, and contain- 
ing a superabundance of vegetable matter, with due precaution, 
may be subjected 'to this process with beneficial effects. It 
may likewise be attended with advantage to strong clayey 
soils, fro:ii the effect that burned or half-burned clay has in 
rendering such soils more open ^d less tenacious ; in which 
cases, the benefit arising fr^.-n the change in the mechanical ar- 
rangement of the tilU. would probably more than compensate 
for the dissipation of the volatile matter of t-73 ^vard. It 
would prove more economical, however, when th- :. il requires 
to be r&nJered more open, to calcine the clay : //A kilns, and 


afterwards spread it on the ground either I y itself or mixed 
with lime. 

The cases in which burning proves positively injurious are 
those of sandy, dry, flinty soils, containing little animal or veg- 
etable remains; for it decomposes those constituents which are 
already below the minimum proportion, and on the presence 
of which, in a limited degree, the productiveness of a soil 

The most speedy way of bringing under tillage a pasture or 
meadow, overrun with rushes, is, first to drain it, and then pare 
off the grassy and fibrous parts of the thick turf with a hoe or 
some other appropriate implement, dry it by means of the sun, 
and char it precisely after the manner recommended for peat, 
on a preceding page. When burned, the heaps may be spread, 
as a top-dressing on the same ground from which the material 
was pared ; the field may then be sown with grass seed or 
some other suitable crop, and treated the usual way. 

Burning without fire is a method by which quicklime is sub- 
stituted in its stead. The lime, which must be in its most 
caustic state, fresh from the kiln, and obtained from the best 
limestone, is laid upon the vegetable surface to be consumed ; 
and, before it is weakened by exposure to the air, water is 
sprinkled over it, just in sufficient quantity to put it powerfully 
into action. This fierce compound will not only consume the 
vegetable covering, but will also affect the clay, or other upper 
stratum, in a similar manner as if it had been in contact with 
fire. This supersedes the trouble which attends burning ; and 
in respect to poor soils that would be improved by the twc dis- 
tinct operations of "burning" and "liming" by the common 
mode, it would doubtless bring them on a par with those of 
superior quality. 


FARMERS residing in the vicinity of cotton manufactories can 
obtain, without much cost, considerable quantities of rejected 
cotton, and the waste from the mills, which, from- the following 


analysis of .he ash of the fibre, or staple, by Professor Shep- 
ard, we are led to suppose would be valuable :n forming com- 
posts, or might be applied directly to the soil as a manure: 

Lime and magnesia, 30.31 

Potash and (soda?) 21.09 

Phosphoric acid, 12.30 

Sulphuric acid, 1.22 


The fibre yielded but about 1 per cent, of ash ; consequently, 
the principal part of the remainder consisted of about equal 
weights of water and carbon, the latter being one of the chief 
ingredients of all plants. 


THE seeds of cotton abound in a mild oil, and are accounted 
very nutritious after the oil is expressed. A bushel of seeds 
weighs 30 Ibs., and yields 2 quarts of oil and 12 Ibs. of fine 
meal. The oil cake is very brittle, and breaks down much 
more readily than linseed oil cake. Moistened with water, it 
appears to be much less mucilaginous than that substance. Its 
taste is not unpleasant, and it is stated that it can be employed 
with success in fattening stock. 

According to an anlysis of cotton seed made by the authority 
last quoted above, 100 parts of the ash contained of 

Lime and magnesia, 29.79 

Potash and (soda ?) 19.40 

Phosphoric acid, 45.35 

Sulphuric acid, 1.16 


Dr. Anderson, of Scotland, in the following analysis of cotton- 
seed oil cake, pursued the method usually employed for linseed 
cake, simply determining those constituents upon which its 
feeding value is believed to depend, which were as follows: 

Water, 11.19 

Oil, 9.08 

Sugar, 10.70 

Albuminous compounds, (nitrogen,) 24.69 


The cake yielded 5 T c ff 4 ff ths per cent, of ash. which contained of 

Silica, 1-32 

Phosphates, 2.19 

Excess of phosphoric acid, 0.15 

It would appear from the above information, that the pro- 
duction of this cake is of considerable importance to the south- 
ern planter, not only on account of its feeding properties, but 
its value as a manure. In cases where the seed is not em- 
ployed for expressing the oil, it should be carefully saved and 
applied broadcast to the land, at the rate of 60 to 100 bushels 
to the acre ; or it may be plowed under in the course of the 
winter, where it will rot before spring ; or it may be thrown 
into heaps, and allowed to heat ; and after the vitality is de- 
stroyed, it may be plowed or drilled in, or thrown between the 
hills of cotton or corn, and covered with the plow or hoe. 


As in all other crops, in the ordinary course of practice, one 
or more portions of flax is returned to the soil in manure, whilst 
others go off permanently to market or are disposed of some 
other way. While the flax plants are approaching maturity, 
the greater part of the leaves fall off, and are left on the field 
to manure the land. At a convenient time, the grower sepa- 
rates the seed from the straw by " rippling," or beating it. 
From the seed, the capsule, or husk, is separated by winnow- 
ing, and is principally used for feeding cattle and making oil ; 
the husks are employed for feeding stock in a similar manner 
as hay. But the straw of flax is destined to a more important 
purpose. After the separation of the seeds, the stalks are 
usually steeped, or soaked, for a certain length of time in 
water, a species of fermentation takes place, and the woody 
matter of the straw becomes rotten, and is easily detached 
from the fibre. At this stage of the process, the stalks are re- 
moved from the water, and spread upon the grass to bleach. 
Subsequently, by the operation of " breaking," " scutching," 01 



"swingling," the woody matter is separated from fibre, the 
all-important part of the plant, and is converted into small 
fragments called " boon," or " shives." 

In the process of steeping, a large proportion of the nitro- 
genous and saline compounds are dissolved, the prepared flax, 
consisting of only about 20 per cent, of ligneous matter ; the 
fluid, therefo're, in which the flax is steeped, as well as the 
shives, should be preserved and used as manure. From care- 
ful analysis in England, 100 parts of line flax stalks before 
steeping, contained 3 T 2 ff 7 ff ths parts of ash, while 100 parts of the 
same flax, after steeping, contained only T n oV ns f * P er cent - 
of ash. 

The following table exhibits the composition of these ashes 
the third column indicating the amount of mineral matter 
separated in the water employed for steeping : 

Ci imposition 

In 4,480 Ibs., 

In 3,020 Ibs., 

Dissolved in 
the water. 






Phosphoric acid,... 
Sulphuric acid, 
Carbonic acid, 

Pur-oxide of iron,. . 


Chloride of sodium, 


146.32 ' 29.29 i 117.03 

By an examination of the ingredients of the flax straw, be-, 
fore steeping, according to the above analysis, and the constit- 
uents of a portion of the same after undergoing that process, 
a difference, or loss, will be discovered of about |ths of the 
whole mineral ingredients, a loss consisting principally, as it 
naturally would, of the soluble and most important constitu- 
ents. Nearly all the potash, nu.gnesia, and phosphoric acid 
have disappeared, whilst what is left, is little else than carbon- 
ate of lime, with a small proportion of silica and oxide of iron. 


From recent discoveries in the preparation of fax by M. 
Chevalier Claussen, it has been ascertained that, not only are 
the present modes of steeping inconvenient and unnecessary, 
but they are highly injurious, as they impart dark colors to the 
fibre, and give it an inequality of strength, which, in the subse- 
quent stages of manufacture and bleaching, are difficult to 
overcome. Therefore, every possible effort should be made for 
the introduction of such modifications of the" process as will 
allow something to be returned to the soil, in some form or 
other, as a manure. 


GREEN manuring, or the plowing under of green crops in their 
living state, attracted the early attention of civilised man, and 
has been practised more or less from the time of Xenophon, 
who wrote about 400 years before the commencement of our 
era. He recommended green plants to be plowed into the soil, 
and even that crops should be cultivated for that purpose ; for 
these, he says, " enrich the earth as much as dung." The 
lupin is named as an excellent manure by most of the early 
writers on agriculture, and is cultivated at the present day in 
Spain, Italy, ,Tuscany, and the south of France for the purpose 
of being plowed into the soil. 

The plowing under of green crops is directly opposed to 
burning peat, or turf, in regard to intention and effect, and is 
particularly serviceable where the basis of vegetable mould is 
to be increased. The soil, manured I y them, receives all the 
vegetable food contained in the seen sown, the quantity of 
which, in peas and buckwheat is not very inconsiderable. 
Some plants employed for this purpose, as peas, turnips, clover, 
&c., push down their roots into the soil far below the reach of 
the ordinary plow, and whatever nutriment they find there, they 
suck up and bring to the surface-, in the form of green manure, 
and administer it to the growth of other plants, as wheat, 
barley, oats, and rye; the principle being to enrich the soil by 


selling a quick-growing plant to draw organic matter from the 
air, and inorganic from the subsoil, and then plowing it in. 
When the green crops are turned into the soil, besides enrich- 
ing its staple with fertilising matter, they promote the fermen- 
tation and decomposition of woody fibre buried near the sur- 
face, which is a useless incurnbrance in an undecayed state, so 
far as any immediate effect is concerned. In general, they 
.should be plowed under, if possible, when in flower, or at the 
time when the ilower is opening; for, in this stage of growth, 
they contain the largest quantity of soluble matter. 

For poor, light and sandy soils, these green manures do well ; 
and also for poor clays, which, however, arc much improved 
by having the subsoil burnt, or rather charred, with peat, spent 
tan bark, saw dust, apple pomace, or any other cheap fuel. 
And as green vegetable matters ferment, or sour, when under- 
going decomposition, the land should be limed just before or 
soon after plowing under the plants. 

The vegetables grown for this purpose should possess the fol- 
lowing properties in order to be cultivated with economy, and 
attain the desired end : 1st, They should flourish on poor soils ; 
2d, should require but little labor of cultivation ; 3d, have cheap 
seed ; 4th, be of quick and sure growth ; 5th, stand all weath- 
ers and vermin ; 6th, run their roots deep; 7th, bring up such 
inorganic matter from the subsoil as the succeeding crops re- 
quire ; 8th, should smother weeds ; and 9th, they should pro- 
duce a large quantity of herbage, that will readily decay in 
the soil. 

The plants best known for the above purposes, may be de- 
scribed and compared as follows: 

Jerusalem Artichoke. The Jerusalem artichoke, (Helianthus 
tuber osus,) is one of the plants found by Boussingault to draw 
its -nitrogen almost entirely from the air. Hence, k is recom- 
mended as an ameliorating ^rop, when plowed under before 
the tubers are formed. 

This plant may be propagated in most parts of the United 
States by sets from the roots, and will grow in any soil moder- 


ately moist, especially such as are sandy and light. The sets 
should be planted in early spring, and may be cultivated in a 
similar manner as the common potato. As it rather prefers 
shade to open culture, it thrives well in orchards ; and instead 
of exhausting the land, it is stated that it will produce abun- 
dantly for 10 or more years in succession, without manure, even 
upon poor soils. It has further been stated, that it does not re- 
quire much tilling after it has once been planted ; for it is only 
necessary to draw the tops out of the ground, when ripe, the 
remaining roots being sufficient to produce the next year's crop, 
without resetting ; and thus they continue from year to year 
until they die of old age. All these properties seem to render 
this plant suitable for orchards ; the pulling up of the tops 
opens the ground, while the avoidance of digging, after once 
set, will spare the roots of the trees many a wound from the 
plow or hoe. 

Bokhara Clover. The celebrated Bokhara or tree clover, 
(Melilolus /eucantha major,} is a biennial herbaceous plant of 
very striking appearance, 6 to 12 feet high, covered with spikes 
of white pea-like blossoms, resembling those of some kinds of 
clover, which also shed a sweet perfume. Nature increases the 
woody fibre of this plant for support as it elongates its gigan- 
tic stem. If, however, it is cut at a height of 2 or 3 feet, it will 
be found nearly as succulent as the common red clover. 

Mr. Robert Arthur, of Edinburgh, states that no plant what- 
ever, within his knowledge, will produce so much weight of 
vegetable matter in an equal space and time ; and were it only 
for its production, as a fertiliser, it is a boon to the agricultural 
world. In the economical formation of manure, he suggests 
that it might be liberally supplied with other food during the 
summer, to young cattle and pigs, in an open yard, profusely 
bedded over with layers of turf, peat, earth, ferns, straw, weeds, 
&c., and thereby save much outlay in the purchase of other 

The seed of this clover may be sown in early spring, in 
drills, 18 inches asunder, in any part of the United States south 


of Pennsyhania. The plants should be kept free from weed* 
when young, by scraping them out with a hoe. The crops may 
be cut four or five times in the course of a season, as fodder fo; 
soiling, or for the purpose of being converted into manure. 

Borage (Borago oflicinalis). This is a well-known plant in 
gardens, growing to a height of about 2 feet, with round, thick, 
juicy stalks, prickly to the touch, large, broad, wrinkled, hairy 
leaves, and bright-blue flowers, which open from June till late 
in autumn. It is much used as a fallow crop in Germany, and, 
according to Lampadius, it draws from the air ten times as 
much nitrogen and other organic matter as it does from the 
soil; and hence is admirably adapted for enriching the land on 
which it grows. 

Buckwheat (Polygonum fagopyrum). This well-known plant 
stands high in the scale of green manures, as two crops may 
be raised on the same ground in a year, with little labor in its 
culture, and but a small outlay for seed. Its roots, however, do 
not run very deep into the soil. Its ash sometimes abounds in 
salts of potash and of lime, nitrogen and phosphoric acid be- 
ing the most valuable ingredients with which they are com- 

Buckwheat is usually sown on light, silicious and calcareous 
soils, but it will grow well on lands that are either stony or 
poor. The yield commonly ranges from 2 to 4 tons of stalks 
and leaves to an acre, and from 20 to 40 bushels of seed. It 
may be sown in the spring soon after the disappearance of 
frost, for a summer crop; or immediately after the harvesting 
of wheat, oats, or rye, or still later, for a crop in the fall. The 
period of growth is usually about two months. For a fallow 
crop, from 1-J- to 2 bushels of seed may be sown to an acre, 
which should be lightly harrowed in. The plant is very lux- 
uriant, and predominates over most weeds. As soon as the 
blossoms begin to appear, it is ready to bury in the soil. This 
is done first by passing a roller aver the field, and following 
immediately after with the plow ; or it. may be mown half ivay 
up th? stalks, and then plowed under with the stubble. 



If the land is intended for turnips, and the buckwheat is plow- 
ed under in the fullness of its sap, it will become rotten, or de- 
composed, in about 10 days. The ground may then be plowed 
again, followed by the harrow, with a light dressing of guano, 
and then sown with the turnip seed, and afterwards rolled. 

But if the land be intended for wheat, the ground may lie 
two or three weeks after the buckwheat is plowed in, or until 
the grass or weeds begin to start ; then plow the ground a 
second time, and sow the wheat the usual way ; or, if the 
weather is favorable, and the season far advanced, the wheat 
may be sown directly after turning under the green crop. 

Red Clover. The common broad-leaved clover, (Trifolium 
prafense,) from its hardihood and adaptation to nearly all kinds 
of soil; its certain and rapid growth ; abundant yield; cheap- 
ness of seed, quick decay, when incorparated with the soil ; and 
the great depth to which its roots penetrate the earth, is re- 
garded, in the United States, as one of the best of fallow crops. 
Under favorable circumstances, it will yield from 4 to 8 tons 
of green herbage per acre, in the coarse of a season ; and its 
roots, which sometimes run into the soil to a depth of 2 or 3 
feet, are nearly equal in bulk to half the stalks and leaves. 

Per cent. 

Stalk, 58.12 

Leaves, 23.12 

Blossoms, .' . . . 19.76 


In the 


In the 


In the 


In the 
whole plant. 


131.04 Ibs. 

273.72 Ibs. 


193.70 Ibs. 

Ash calculated dry,. . . . 
Inorganic matter, (ton,) 

A specimen of clover, 2 feet high, gathered when in blossom, 
at Albany, by Professor Emmons, on the 10th of June, yielded 
in 100 parts, as indicated in the above table. 


The following analyses of the ash of red-clover hay, by 
Professor Way, are given in the Journal of the Royal Agricul- 
tural Society of England, one specimen grown on silicious 
sand, and the other on clay : 

Orown on Grown on 

siliciviis sand. clay. 

Silica, 4.03 2.66 

Phosphoric acid, 5.82 6.88 

Sulphuric acid, 3.91 4.46 

Carbonic acid, 12.92 20.94 

Lime, 3:>.02 35.76 

Magnesia, 1 1.91 10.53 

Per-oxide of iron, 0.98 0.95 

Potash, 18.44 1130 

Soda, 2.79 

Chlorido of sodium, 4.13 0.58 

Chloride of potassium, 5.92 

99.95 99.88 

From the above analyses, it will be seen that the ingredi- 
ents of this plant, when grown on sand and clay, are, ih most 
respects, singularly alike. The greatest discrepancies occur in 
the amount of potash and carbonic acid. The proportion of 
sulphuric acid, however, does not truly represent the total 
amount of sulphur in the plant. For, 100 Ibs. of the ash of 
dry clover, grown on sand, yielded l/^ths Ibs. of sulphur ; and 
100 Ibs. of that grown on clay, yielded l/^ths Ibs. Hence, fully 
two thirds of the whole sulphur was dissipated in the combus- 
tion, and it is fair to conclude that at least this proportion 
must have existed in the form of sulphate of lime, (gypsum,) 
or in some other condition than sulphuric acid. 

Red clover is extensively cultivated in various parts of the 
United States, not only as a superior forage or hay, but is fre- 
quently turned under in the summer or fall, to enrich the 
ground preparatory to a crop v>f wheat, or in the ensuing 
spring for the benefit of one of Indian corn. It is thought by 
some persons that the best time for plowing it in, is the rankest 
and most succulent stage of its growth ; while others maintain, 
from facts founded upon the results of actual experiments, 


that it is best to leave it to the period just preceding the de- 
cline of the flower, when its extractive matter is most abundant. 

Ciover is usuallj sown in this country in early spring with 
wheat or other grain, or with winter wheat in the fall. If in- 
tended for a fallow crop, it may be sown in February or March, 
while the ground is still subject to freezing and thawing, in 
order that the seed may gain admission into the soil without har- 
rowing in. The quantity to be sown to an acre may vary from 
10 to 15 Ibs. When sown with wheat, if the first season's 
growth be luxuriant after harvesting the grain, the " clover 
may be pastured in the autumn, or suffered to fall and waste on 
the ground, the former being the most economical. The follow- 
ing year, the early crops may be taken off for hay, and the se- 
cond, after partially ripening its seeds, may be plowed in ; and 
thus it carries with it, a full crop of seed for future growth. It 
is usual when wheat is cultivated, to turn in the clover when in 
full flower in July, and allow the ground to remain undisturbed 
till the proper time for sowing the grain ; when it may be cross 
plowed if necessary, or the wheat may sown directly on the 
ground and harrowed in. This system gives alternate crops 
of grain and clover, and with the use of such saline manures, 
as may be necessary to replace those abstracted from the soil, 
it will sustain the greatest fertility. With a slight dressing of 
these, when the land is in good condition, the first crop of clover 
may be taken off, and yet allow a sufficient growth for turning in. 

"It is a common observation of intelligent farmers, that they 
are never at a loss to renovate such lands as will produce even 
a moderate crop of clover. Poor clayey lands have been brought 
to a clover-bearing state, by sowing an early and late crop o* 
oats in the same season, and feeding them off on the ground. 
Poor sandy soils may be made to sustain clover, with the aid 
of manure, ashes, and gypsum, combined with the free use of 
the roller. This object is much facilitated by scattering dry 
straw over the surface, which affords shade, increases the de- 
posit of dew, and prolongs itb effects. Whenever the period 
of clover-producing is attained, the improvement of the soU 



may be pushed with a rapidity coinmensuate with the inclina- 
tion and means of the owner." American Farm Book. 

Old Grass. One of the most common forms of green manur- 
ing, practised in this country, is that of breaking up grass lands 
of various ages. The large amount of vegetable matter in the 
sod serves to fertilise the succeeding crop, and render the soil 
capable of yielding a richer return at a smaller expense of ar- 
tificial manure. 

Indian Corn (Zea mays). From its rapid and luxuriant growth, 
its facility of decomposition when mixed with lime, and the 
large amount of fertilsing salts contained in its ash, this plant 
is highly valued for [flowing in where the soil is deficient in 
humus that cannot be more economically obtained from some 
other source; but, from the trailing nature of its roots, which 
run not far below the surface of the ground, little or no benefit 
can be expected to be derived from its drawing up salts from 
any greal -depth in sour compact subsoils. 

The ash of a sample of early white-flint corn plant, about 43 
inches high, with the stalk just beginning to form, taken from 
a field near Albany, New York, on the 19th of July, according 
to Professor Emmons, yielded, in 100 parts, the following con- 
stituents : 









15 60 

36 60 










1 56 


1 64 
















When used as a green manure, Indian corn may be sowp 
broadcast, in June or July, at the rate of 3 or 4 bushels to an 


acre, and may be mown close to the ground, just as th t stalks 
arc beginning to form. Then, in the operation of plowing, as 
soon as a furrow is opened, it may be partially filled by one 
or more persons with the newly*mown plants by, means of a 
rake or the hands, and followed directly by others with a lib- 
eral scattering of caustic lime. As soon as a furrow is thus 
prepared, the next furrow slice will bury the green plant with 
the lime, decomposition will immediately take place, and the 
land will be brought into a fit condition for a crop of turnips, 
winter wheat, Timothy, or rye; or, in the spring following, the 
ground may be sown with wheat, oats, barley, grass seed, 
pumpkins, potatoes, or another crop of Indian corn. 

White Lupin (Lupinus albus). This plant, which is at pres- 
ent cultivated in the south of Europe to a limited extent for 
forage and soiling, was employed as food by the ancient Ro- 
mans, and, as with the inhabitants of the present day, was 
plowed into the soil as a manure. In Germany, also, it has 
been found to be one of those plants by which unfruitful, sandy 
soils may .be most speedily brought into a productive state. 
The superiority of this plant for the purpose of enriching the 
soil depends upon its deep roots, which descend more than 
2 feet beneath the surface ; upon its being little injured by 
drought, and not liable to be attacked by insects; upon its 
rapid growth ; and upon its large produce in leaves and stems. 
Even in the north of Germany, it is said to yield, in 3 to 4 
months, 10 to 12 tons of green herbage. It grows in all soils 
except such as are marly and calcareous, is especially partial 
to such as have a ferruginous subsoil; and besides enriching, 
also opens stiff clays by its strong stems and roots. It abounds 
in potash, nitrogen, and phosphoric acid, and is considered the 
best of green manures, being almost equal to farmyard dung. 
The seeds are somewhat expensive, and about the size of peas. 
They should be sown as early in the spring as the season will 
admit, without injury from frost, and the plants will blossom 
in 3 or 4 months, soon after which, they may be turned into 
the soil, and succeeded by most of our field or garden crops. 


Although rather slow to decay, its decomposition may be has- 
tened, if desirable, by the addition of caustic lime. 

While Mustard (Sinapis alba). This plant, from its rapid 
and sure growth, abundant yield, and richness in fertilising 
salts, is highly valued when cultivated as a fallow crop. It 
may be sown broadcast, in the northern and middle states, at 
the rate of 2 to 3 pecks of seed to an acre, from early spring 
till August, and still later at the south. It should be plowed 
under just after the plant puts out flowers, and may be treated 
in a similar manner as clover or buckwheat. 

Oats (A vena sativa). Of all the plants commonly cultivated 
in our fields, the oat seems to have the greatest power of draw- 
ing nourishment from the soil, and has been justly considered 
as an exhausting crop. The roots have a very strong vegeta- 
tive power, and strike quite deep into the earth, even in a soil 
that is indifferently poor; and hence this plant may be cultiva- 
ted with advantage to plow under to enrich the soil, but is in- 
ferior to clover, lupins, or buckwheat. 

The composition of the ash of the whole plant, on the 9th of 
July, when the oat had attained nearly its full height, but yet 
quite green, and the grain had scarcely begun to form in the 
interior of the husk, according to an analysis by Professor 
John P. Norton, while residing in Scotland, was as follows: 

Potash and soda, 31.31 

Chloride of sodium, 8.10 

Lime, 5.40 

Magnesia, 4.52 

Oxide of iron, 0.21 

Sulphuric acid, .12.78 

Phosphoric acid, .20.09 

Silica, 17.05 


At this period of growth, the per-centage of water contained 
in the plant was 76 T 9 ff \ per cent., and that of the ash, calculated 
dry, 12j per cent. It was remarked by Professor Norton, that 
the large quantity of sulphuric acid present at ihi< st;urr of 


growth would have diminished as the plant matured, as he had 
.seldom found so much in the ash of the oat when ripe. 

As the general composition of the oat is similar to that of the 
other cereals, it would be rational to infer that the green plant 
buried in the soil, would serve as an excellent fertiliser for all 
our cereal crops. The mode of plowing under may be similar 
to that recommended in Indian corn, either with, or without the 
admixture of caustic lime. 

Cow Pea (Phaseolus vel multiflorus?). The cow pea, or Yeat- 
man pea, as it is sometimes called, like the pole bean and 
other runners of the same kindred, grows with a long vine, 
and produces an abundance of broad succulent leaves, which 
draw nitrogen and carbonic acid from the air; but its slight 
spindle-shaped roots do not penetrate so deeply into the soil as 
the long tap roots of clover, and consequently do not bring to 
the surface so great an amount of fertilising salts from the sub- 
soil below. Still, it is regarded as the most valuable, and cer- 
tainly the cheapest fertiliser tha.t can be employed at the south. 

This plant will grow on poor, sandy land, and if sown early 
in March, it will mature two good crops in the season, from two 
successive plantings. It may be sown broadcast, or in drills, 
at the rate of 2 or 3 bushels to the acre, or sufficiently close to 
give a good and early covering to the ground, after which, it 
requires little or no culture. As soon as it is in full flower, or 
the pods begin to form, the vines may be cut off near the 
ground, or passed over with a field roller, and plowed under in 
a similar manner as clover, and suffered to decay, preparatory 
to planting a crop of sweet potatoes, beans, peas, or Indian 

Rape (Brassica napis). As this plant can only be grown on 
soils, which, in a measure, are already rich, it cannot be profit- 
ably cultivated as a green manure, although it has the advan- 
tage of growing very late in autumn as well as in the begin- 
ning of spring. It also sends down deep roots, which loosen 
clayey soils by their hard thick stems 

In the light, soils c ' Belgium, rape is sown after early po 


tatoes and peas, and plowed under preparatory to a succeeding 
crop of wheat or rye. The period of growth is about 5 months, 
and a good crop, when in full flower, weighs 10 or 12 tons of 
green herbage to an acre. The plant abounds in potash, phos- 
phoric acid, and nitrogen. 

Rye (Secale cereale). Unlike the lupin and rape, rye may 
be cultivated on poor light soils, although unfit for wheat, and 
with some degree of profit, where it is desirable to enrich *he 
land for other crops; but from the small amount of nitrcgen 
and fertilising salts contained in the ash, and the trailing char- 
acter of its roots, it is much less valuable to plow in as a green 

Rye is often sown as a green crop, and when fed off early in 
spring by sheep, the land is invigorated, and will bear excel- 
lent potatoes, or other roots, the same year. But as this prac- 
tice cannot be strongly recommended, it would be preferable to 
sow the rye late in the summer or early in autumn, and feed it 
off in the October and November following, when sheep pas- 
tures begin to fail, which can be done without any detriment 
to the succeeding crop the next year. By this means, the sheep 
will drop their manure upon the field, and not only benefit the 
crop of rye the spring following, but enrich the land for other 

Sorrd (Rumex acetosella). It does not appear that any far- 
mer has cultivated, nor that any writer, except the Earl of 
Dundonald, has recommended the growth of those plants to be 
promoted, which seem indigenous to any particular soil, with 
intention of rendering such plants of use in the future produc- 
tion of grain, or the rich herbage upon which cattle feed. 

"Soils not calcareous," says Dundonald, "containing much 
inert vegetable matter or peat, have a tendency to produce wild 
sorrel, a plant considered in general as an indication of the 
want of fertility in the soil. This is certain" y correct, if the 
fertility of the soil is only to be estimated by <he use or value 
at market of the crop, but not as it respects vegetation itself; 
for a soil of the above description often produces a most plen- 


tiful crop of sorrel. In this case, as it applies to the further 
improvement of the land, the growth of sorrel should as much 
as possible be encouraged, even by sowing the seed for this 
especial purpose. The vegetation of this plant is no doubt pro- 
moted in the soil by the oxalic or soreline acid, formed by the 
combination of oxygen, or pure air, with the basis of the soreline 
acid contained in the vegetable matter of the soil; and so long 
as the vegetable matter remains in a state fit to become oxygen- 
ated, it will have a tendency to promote the growth of sorrel. 
It has been stated that the juice, or saft of sorrel, is a superacid- 
ulated neutral salt, consisting of the vegetable alkali and the 
oxalic acid. This superabundant acid is inimical to the growth 
of grain, or of such vegetables or grasses as constitute the food 
of most animals ; but which tendency in the soil, and injurious 
consequences, are to be corrected by the application of differ- 
ent substances, namely, by lime, by chalk, by magnesia, by 
alkaline salts, and by paring and burning. 

" Lime will combine with the acid of the sorrel, and form an 
oxalite of lime, which is insoluble. As such, it should only be 
applied in such small quantities as will neutralise the acid in 
the soil, or the superabundant proportion of acid contained in 
the sorrel ; so that the other component part of sorrel, namely, 
the oxalate of potash, may not be decomposed by the superior 
affinity which the oxalic acid has to lime ; in which case, the 
alkali would be disengaged. No injury will arise from the ap- 
plication of a superabundance of lime, provided that the soil 
contain a still greater proportion of vegetable matter; in which 
case, the alkali disengaged by the Hme, would act upon the 
vegetable matter, and form a saline substance, similar to that 
which the superabundant use of lime had decomposed. 

"Ground of this description, to which lime has been applied, 
will no longer have a tendency to promote the growth of sor- 
rel in preference to other plants; its next spontaneous growth 
will probably be chickweed, which is a certain indication of its 
being in a state fit to produce grain or other crops. 

"Magnesia has a greater affinity with the oxalic acid than 


alkalies have, so that by the addition of earths, containing mag- 
nesia, to ground producing a crop of sorrel, the acid will no 
only be neutralised, but the oxalate of potash, the other com- 
ponent part of sorrel, will likewise be decomposed. By this 
means, the alkali will be disengaged, and put into a situation to 
act upon, and dissolve the inert vegetable matter contained in 
the soil. The salt formed by the combination of the magnesian 
earth with the oxalic acid, will, as well as the vegetable matter 
dissolved by the alkali, be found to promote vegetation in a 
very great degree ; hence, magnesia, by forming with the ox- 
alic acid a soluble salt, has an advantage over lime, which 
forms with the same acid a salt that is nearly insoluble, but 
capable of being brought into action by methods previously 

"By the application of alkaline salts to sorrel, there results 
a salt fully nutralised, which highly promotes the vegetation, 
or growth, of more valuable plants and grain." 

Spurry. (Spurgula arvensis). It is to poor dry sandy soils 
that green manuring has been found most signally beneficial; 
and for such soils, no plant has been more lauded than spurry. 
It may either be sown in autumn, on the wheat stubble, or after 
early potatoes, and plowed under in spring, preparatory to the 
annual crop; or it may be used to replace the naked fallow, 
which is often hurtful to lands of so light a character. In the 
latter case, the first sowing may take place in March, the 
second in May, and the third in July, each crop being plowed 
in to the depth of 3 or 4 inches, and the new seed then sown 
and harrowed. When the third crop is plowed in, the land is 
ready for a crop of winter grain. 

Von Voght. of Germany, states that, by such treatment, the 
worst shifting sands may be made to yield remunerative crops 
of rye; that the most worthless sands are more improved by 
it than those of a better natural quality ; that the green manur- 
ing every other year not only nourishes sufficiently the alter- 
nate crops of rye, but gradually enriches the soil; and that it 
increase^ the effect of any other manure that may ibsequent- 


ly be put on. 1.3 adds, also, that spurry produces often as 
much improvement, if eaten off' by cattle, as if plowed in, and 
that when fed upon this plant, either green or in the slate of 
hay, cows not only give more milk, but of a richer quality. 

The rooty of spurry run into the soil to a depth of 15 or 18 
inches ; the stalks and leaves rapidly decay ; and the ash of 
the whole plant abounds in nitri^en, phosphoric acid, and 

Turnip (Brassicu rapa). In some parts of England, turnip 
tops are plowed under, when green, as soon as the bulbs arc 
taken off the land ; and it is stated that there is no better way 
for manuring for wheat. The portion of the turnip bulbs 
which are left in the ground, when they are fed off' by sheep, 
when plowed under, contributes to enrich the land for a crop of 
barley that is to follow. 

According to Professor Way, in the Journal of the Royal 
Agricultural Society of England, the mean analyses of the ash 
of six specimens of turnips were as follows: 

Bulbs. Tops. 

Silica, 1.81 3.99 

Phosphoric acid, 9.85 6.17 

Sulphuric acid, 13.12 8.43 

Carbonic acid, 11.96 9.98 

Lime, 9.93 28.49 

Magnesia, 2.61 2.81 

Per-oxide of iron, 0.4G 1.68 

Potash, 3410 15.21 

Soda, 7.96 2.84 

Chloride of sodium, 8.13 15.30 

Chloride of potassium; 5.04 

99.93 99.94 

From the above analyses, it will be seen that the ash of the 
top differs from that of the bulb chiefly in containing less phos- 
phoric and sulphuric acids, less potash, but a great deal more 
lime. Neither in the top nor in tlm bulb is there much silica, 
but the ash of both contains much carbonic acid, and a con- 
siderable quantity of c.'ilo - i 'e of'-odi'im (common salt). Thi 


circ imstance may, in part, explain the action of turnip tops in 
causing purging in sheep when they are first turned upon them 
to feed. Other alkaline salts, such as the phosphates of soda 
and potash, and other organic salts of these bases, oxalate, tar- 
trate, &,c., and which are known as purgatives, exist largely in 
the leaves of the turnip. 

The turnip, like most root crops, from the great development 
of its gas-collecting leaves, is believed to be comparative' v in- 
dependent of the soil for nourishment. Jt is stated that it may 
in reality have the property of adding to, rather than taking 
from, the quantity of vegetable matter in the soil, even when 
entirely removed for land has been found after several years 
cropping with turnips, all the produce being carried off, abso- 
lutely richer in organic matter than at lirst, the plant having 
returned to the soil more than it had taken" from it. This prin- 
ciple is founded upon the belief that, in the circulation of veg- 
etable juices of the plants, there is a continual ejection into the 
soil of matters not required in the economy of their growth; 
but whether the amount thus voided much exceeds that which 
is taken in by the roots, it is diliicult to decide. It is extremely 
likely, however, that in broad-leaved plants of rapid growth 
this result may sometimes occur. 

Vetch, or Tare (Vicia saliva). This plant is inferior in many 
of its qualities to the white lupin; yet, in Southern Germany, 
it is often sown on the stuble, and plowed in after it has been 
touched with frost, and has begun to decay. Its period of 
growth is about 3 months, but will be hastened by gypsum; its 
produce 6 or more tons per acre ; its roots do not run deep ; 
its decay is rapid ; and the whole plant abounds in potash, 
nitrogen, and phosphoric acid. 


BESIDES the litter from the cribs or stalls of stables, the far- 
mer often has left in the spring considerable quantities of re- 
fuse or damaged hay at Ihe boltom of his stacks or mows, which 
can readily be converted into excellent manure by spreading 


it over his barn 3 .xrd, and there let it remain to rot and be.,ome 
incorporated with the urine and dung of the animals. But the 
fertilising properties of hay varies according to the species of 
grass from which it is made. Thus, in the ash of three of our 
most prominent artificial grasses, Timothy, (Phleum pratense,) 
Kentucky blue grass, (Poa pratensis^) and the American orchard 
or cock's-foot grass, (Daclylis glomerala,} we find, according to 
the analyses of Professor Way, the following constituents : 



blue grass. 






Phosphoric acid, 











2.7 [ 


Per-oxide of iron, 

24 '25 



Chloride of potassium, 
Chloride of sodium,.. . 







From the above analyses, it will be observed that each of 
these grasses contains a remarkably high per-centage of silica 
as well as of potash ; and what is still more remarkable, not 
one of them contains any soda, as such, although they contain 
variable proportions of chloride of sodium (common salt). 
Bog-meadow hay and that made from water grasses, gen- 
erally, are not so rich in fertilising salts as that made from our 
sweet artificial grasses that are grown upon a dry soil ; and 
consequently bog-meadow hay is of less value to convert into 


THE general name of "humus" is given to the fine, dark- 
brown or blackish particles of decayed vegetation, which im- 
part thoir richness to all fertile soils. It is commonly called 


by gardeners "vegetable mould," and has also received the 
names of " humin," "humic acid," humic extract," ''coal of 
humus," and h".s been improperly called " ulmin," " ulmic acid," 
" geine,"" geic acid," " apotheme,"&c., &c. It is funned by the 
gradual decomposition of vegetable matter ; exists more or less 
in all soils; forms th chief substance of peat; and generally 
consists of a mixture of several different compounds, which 
are naturally produced during the decay of the several parts 
of trees and plants. It is distinguished into the " mild," " sour," 
and " coaly humus." 

The mild imparts a brown color to water, but does not render 
it sour; gives a dark-brown solution when boiled with carbonate 
of soda ; evolves ammonia when heated with caustic potash 
or soda, or with slacked lime, and leaves an ash, when burned, 
which contains lime and magnesia. The sour gives, with 
water, a brown solution of a more or less sour taste. This 
variety is less favorable Jo vegetation than the former, and in- 
dicates a want of lime in the soil. The coaly humus gives 
little color to water, or to a hot solution of carbonate of soda ; 
leaves an ash which contains little lime; occurs generally on 
the surface of very sandy soils, and is very unproductive. It 
is greatly ameliorated by the addition of wood ashes or lime. 

When a fertile soil, or a piece of dry peat, is boiled with a 
solution of the common carbonate of soda of the shops, a 
brown solution, more or less dark, is obtained, from which, 
when diluted muriatic acid, (spirits of salt,) is added till the 
liquid has a distinctly sour taste, brown flocks begin to fall. 
This brown flocky matter is humic acid. 

If, instead of a solution of carbonate of soda, one of caustic 
ammonia, (the hartshorn of the shops,) be digested upon the 
soil or peat by a gentle heat, a more or less dark-brown solu- 
tion is obtained, which, on the addition of muriatic acid, gives 
brown flocks as before, but which now consists of ulmic acid. 

These two acids combine with lime, magnesia, alumina, and 
oxide of iron, forming compounds, (salts,) which are respect, 
lively distinguished by the names of" humates" and " ulmates." 


Tney probably botn exist, ready formed, in the soil in variable 
proportions, and in combination with one or more of the earthy 
substances above mentioned lime, alumina, &c. They are 
produced by the decay of vegetable matter in the soil, which 
decay is materially facilitated by the presence of one or other 
of these substances, and by lime especially on the principle 
that the formation of acid compounds is in all such cases much 
promoted by the presence of a substance with which that acid 
may combine. They predispose organic substances to the for- 
mation of such acids, and consequently to the decomposition 
by which they are to be produced. These two acids consist 
respectively of 

Humic acid. Vtmic acid. 

Carbon, 63 57.00 

Hydrogen, C 4.75 

Oxygen, 31 38.25 

. 100 100.00 

When exposed to the air, the humates and ulmates, contained 
in the soil, undergo decomposition ; give off carbonic acid, and 
are changed into carbonates. The admission of air into the 
soil facilitates this decomposition, which is supposed to be 
continually going forward and it is in the form of this gas 
that plants are considered by some to imbibe the largest por- 
tion of that carbon for which they are indebted to the soil. 

The real utility of humus, irrespective of the ashes which 
mould contains, arises from the following effects : 1st. It is 
constantly decaying, and thus producing carbonic acid and 
water, which feed the plant and moisten the soil. 2d. During 
decay, it constantly absorbs nitrogen from the air, which be- 
comes converted into ammonia and nitric acid, and is thus ad- 
mirably fitted to sustain vegetation. 3d. It not only imparts 
valuable mechanical qualities to the soil by increasing its 
warmth, porosity, and friability, but the carbonic acid produced, 
as well ?is the nitric acid, by acting on the insoluble minerals 


of the soil, tis the silicates of potash, soda, lime, and its bone 
earth and other phosphates, dissolves or decomposes them, 
rendering them food for plants. In this manifold way, humus 
becomes of great utility to culture, but is neither the only 
manure, nor competent of itself to produce fertility ; for, accu- 
mulations of humus are by no means desirable ; 10 per cent, in 
the soil is an abundance, and 2 to 3 per cent, is quite enough 
for most plants. Potatoes, roots, corn, cotton, tobacco, cru- 
ciferous plants, and wheat are most partial to this body ; they 
are all plants developed by culture, and require a supply of 
food by the roots as well as leaves. Grasses, clovers, and many 
beans increase instead of exhaust the soil of humus; hence, 
their utility in rotations. 

The amount of humus in the soil is readily increased by 
green fallows, by plowing in straw, prepared peat, and all veg- 
etable rubbish. The greater part of the solid matter of all 
putrcscent manures is humus, decayed wood, the rotten interior 
of the trunk and branches, &c. Gardner. 


THE leaves of trees and plants, where they can be collected 
in large quantities, may be highly useful in augmenting the 
manure heaps of the farm. It has been recommended that, in 
wooded countries, all the leaves which can be had at little ex- 
pense, should be raked together in October or November, and 
carted to the barn yard, pig sties, and sheep folds for littering 
or bedding them during the winter. In due time, they become 
incorporated with the dung of the animals, and also serve as 
an excellent absorbent of their urine, which might otherwise 
be lost. 

The fertilising properties of leaves vary with the species of 
trees and plants upon which they grow. Thus, the ashes of the 
leaves of iron wood, or hop hornbeam, (Ostrya vi>-gi?iica,) dog 
wood, (Cornus jljrida,') and of the harvest apple tree, (Pyrus 
malus,) according to the analyses given in the " Natural History 



of the State of New York," consisted of the following ingre- 
dients : 

1 - 

Iron wood. 

Dog wood. Apple tree. I 

Silica,. . .- 












Carbonic ncid, 

Sulpuliric acid, 


Pot. ; ih 


Chloride of pouhun.... 
Organic ni titter, 





JYom these three analyses, it will be seen that they somewhat 
\. ^emble each olher, as regards the proportions of lime, the 
pnosphates, and the organic matter, as well as the carbonic 
acid they contain ; but in the other constituents, the amounts 
differ, as will be found the case with many other trees and 

Leaf mould, or rotten leaves, is a manure so nearly adapted 
for universal application, that no other exception need be made 
to it than the case of a soil already too rich. It is too valu- 
able to be used on common occasions, alone ; but may be mixed 
with sand, perfectly-rotten dung, exhausted tan bark, or other 
ingredients, according to the wants of the soil. 


WHEN barley is caused to sprout by the maltster, and is after- 
wards dried, the small shoots and rootlets drop off, and form 
the substance known by the names of " malt dust" and " malt 
combs." One hundred bushels of barley yield 4 or 5 bushels 
of this dust, which, when applied to the land, serves as a 
manure of great power and vivacity. It excels in stimulating 
a cold soil, and answers best as a top-dressing in the spring. 


For wheat, from 40 to 80 bushels of this substance may be 
employed to an acre ; for barley or turnips, from 30 to 60 bush- 
els ; and for grass lands, from 16 to 32 bushels to an acre. 
Like guano and rape dust, its portability renders this manure 
of great convenience and valuo to the farmer, wherever it can 
be obtained. 


IN the cold and temperate parts of the globe, plants of a very 
low organisation grow upon the rocks and the bark of trees, 
where they form a kind of incrustation, and are commonly 
known by the name of "moss." They often abound in oxa- 
late of lime, which, in some cases, is equivalent to 15 or 20 per 
cent, of pure oxalic acid. 

Although these substances have never been employed within 
my knowlege as a manure, it is possible, that, where they oc- 
cur in abundance, they might be collected, and decomposed 
with sulphuric acid, as suggested under the head of OXALATE 


THE residue of oleaginous seeds, after expression for oil, 
such as those of flax, hemp, cotton, poppy, coconut, &c., is 
usually known by the name of "oil cake," and in almost every 
case is useful as a manure, particularly for a succeeding crop 
of the same kind. In Great Britain, the cake of linseed has 
hitherto been used for this purpose in considerable quantity ; 
but, for some years past, as it is relished so well, and has 
proved so fattening to cattle, that have been fed upon it, this 
substance is seldom applied directly to the land as a manure. 

The coconut cake is also employed in Southern India, not 
only for feeding cattle, but as a manure to the coconut tree 

In France, and some parts of Belgium, where the poppy i.* 



extensively cultiva.ed for the oil yielded by its st ds, the resi- 
due, or cake, is highly prized as a manure. 

When flax seed is ground into a coarse powder, and digested 
with a small quantity of water, with the aid of heat, and is 
subjected to strong pressure, two products arc obtained the 
one, linseed oil, and the other, the oil cake, which remains in 
the press. By this operation, no other substance but oil, if we 
except a small quantity of water, is separated from the cake ; 
and the two products, therefore, correctly represent the com- 
position of the seed from which they are derived. Linseed is 
known to consist principally of mucilage, or gum, sugar, oil, 
and albuminous matter the former three of which being sub- 
stances devoid of nitrogen, the latter having the same constit- 
uents as the flesh of animals, or the gluten of wheat. Now, as 
linseed oil contains no nitrogen, it is obvious that the cake 
must be richer in albuminous principles than the seed. The 
mean composition of linseed cake from different countries, as 
given by Professor Way, is as follows : 









7 GO 


United Status, 

















11 80 


8 '59 











From the above analyses, it would appear that the oil cake 
of each of *he above-named countries, with the exception of 
Russia and Italy, are on an average practically alike, in regard 
to the amount of nitrogen they contain. 

From the same authority last quoted, I insert below the mean 
analyses of the ash of two samples of linseed, the composition 
of which should exhibit no other difference from linseed cake, 
than that produced by the accidental introduction into the hit- 


ter of a little grit, or sand, derived from the stones employed 
in grinding the seed : 

Silica, 1.45 

Phosphoric acid, 38-54 

Sulphuric acid, 1.56 

Carbouic acid, O.S22 

Lime, 8.40 

Magnesia, 13.11 

Per-oxide of iron, O.!>0 

Potash, 35.17 

Soda, 1.G9 

Chloride of sodium, 0.36 


From an inspection of the above, it will be scon that the ash 
of linseed abounds in potash and phosphoric acid, two very im- 
portant items in the composition of fertilisers; and hence, to- 
gether witli the nitrogen, consists the value of oil cake as a 


OXALIC ACID, when pure, consists of colorless, odorless, trans- 
parent crystals, having an intensely-acid taste, and effervesces 
with the carbonates of potash and soda; but on account of its 
poisonous qualities, it is unsafe to administer it as a medicine, 
as half of an ounce is sufficient to destroy life in a very short 
time, and a quarter of an ounce in a few days. It eflloresces 
in warm dry air; fuses and sublimes at 350 P.; dissolves 
readily in 8 parts of water, mixed with 4 parts of alcohol at 
60, and in its own weight of water at 212, or twice its weight 
in water that is cold. 

In an uncombined state, this acid exists in the hairs of the 
chick pea. In combination with potash, it is found in the wood 
sorrel. (Oxalis acelosella,) as well as in the common sorrel and 
other species of rumex, in which consists the acidity of these 
plants. It also occurs in the leaves and roots of rhubarb, and 
in the roots of tormentilla, bistort, gentian, saponaria, and in 


many others. Combined with lin.e, it forms the solid 

many lichens, which incrust the sides of rocks and mos t <r e n 

not unfrequently contain more than half their weight o 

of lime. It can be formed artificially by the action n . , 

acid on starch, sugar, gum, and many other organic substance ( , 

When perfectly free from water, oxalic acid contains no ^ 
hydrogen, but consists of 

Carbon, 33.75 

Oxygen, 66.25 


When heated with strong sulphuric acid, it is decomposed and 
resolved into equal volumes of gaseous carbonic acid and car- 
bonic oxide. 

Although this substance, according to Professor Johnston, is 
not known to exist in the soil, nor in the waters which reach 
the roots of vegetation, and -consequently is not thought to min- 
ister either to their growth or nourishment, still it is found 
largely in the interior of many species of plants, as stated 
above. Yet, if we can rely upon the remark quoted from Dun- 
donald, under the head of "SORREL." which we have no reason 
to doubt, by the application of alkaline salts to the green 
plants containing this acid, there results another salt, fully 
neutralised, which highly promotes the vegetation, or growth, 
of more valuable plants and grain. 


PEAT, or inert vegetable matter, for the. most part, is formed 
by the growth of sphagnous mosses, and of the remains of 
aquatic plants, or of those vegetables which generally grow 
in humid or moist situations. Their nourishment and growth 
are promoted by atmospheric air, by the decomposition of 
water, and by the calcareous and alkaline matters held in so- 
lution, and contained in most kinds of water. These substan- 
ces, alone, are sufficient to account for the growth of such 


ier of C' vegetables, and the accumulation on the surface of the 
in grinding 1 at tough, spongy matter forming peat mosses, peat 
, or hogs, 
caves, rotten trunks, branches, and seeds of tre*s also 

.en enter into the composition of a peat swamps ; but they 
form only a small proportion of the whole mass, though they 
generally attract more attention on account of the perfect pre- 
servation of their forms, by which the nature of the tree may 
be recognised, even when its substance is perfectly rotten, 
brown, and black. 

Trees of a considerable size have been frequently found at 
the bottom of peat mosses, with the appearance of having been 
cut down, or in part acted on by fire. Hence, it may be infer- 
red, that the peat moss itself did not give birth to, nor support 
the growth of, such trees ; but on the contrary, that, by the de- 
struction of forests, in consequence of natural causes, fire, or 
war, the trees had been thrown down, and causing a stoppage 
of the waters in their passage to the sea, the growth and decay 
of the aquatic vegetables, already noticed, had formed those 
extensive peat mosses and fens, which, in their natural state, 
are of all soils the most unproductive, but which are the most 
fertile when improved. 

According to Dr. Jackson, peat contains crenic acid, mostly 
combined with lime, magnesia, alumina, and oxide of iron; 
apocrenic acid ; humic acid; humin and ulmin. the latter be- 
ing found in brown peat ; extract of humus, consisting of two 
distinct substances ; vegetable fibre, disorganised in part ; 
phosphoric acid, combined with earthy bases; sulphuric acid, 
combined with alumina, and with oxide of iron; oxide of man- 
ganese ; also a little potash and soda, sea salt, and silica. It 
also contains a small proportion of phosphate of lime, a saline 
ingredient which enters largely into the composition of all 
cereal grains ; and phosphate of magnesia, an important salt 
required for the perfect growth of all our cultivated plants. 
The sulphates of iron and of alumina, also, are not unfrequent- 
ly present in excess, and exert a baneful action on plants. 


There are, probably, other organic acids than those mentioned 
above, in some kinds of peat, but such are the ones most gen- 
erally present. 

Peat always contains nitrogen, and will give out ammonia by 
the action of hydrate of potash. This is stated by Jackson to 
be owing to the presence of the highly-nitrogenised crcnic and 
apocrenie acids, which he found present in all the peats he had 

When peat is exposed to the air, it blackens, and evidently 
undergoes a change in its composition, a large proportion of 
apocrenie acid being produced by the action of the atmos- 
phere a change analogous to that which takes place when a 
yellow subsoil is exposed to the action of the air, and becomes 
a black mould. 

Again, the products of vegetable decomposition under water 
differ essentially from those arising from exposure to the air; 
and the changes which take place in a bog, by draining, and 
afterwards plowing it, are probably more complicated than is 
generally imagined. For, it is well known that when such a 
bog, or swamp, has been thus improved, or when recently-dug 
peat has been freely spread on a soil, it generally acts unfav- 
orably on vegetation, and the farmer justly says it is "sour" 
and worthless in that state. This acidity will be recognised 
by those who have observed the stones taken from boggy 
land, from which every trace of matter that the acid would 
attack has been dissolved; in a piece of granite, for instance, 
from which the mica and feldspar have disappeared, there will 
only be left a silicious skeleton of the stone. All the oxide of 
iron is also generally taken up, unless, as is sometimes the case, 
the bog is already saturated with it. 

A soft spongy soil, covered witR moss or coarse grass, shak- 
ing as it is trodden upon, with a good black mud, or mould, un- 
der the surface, are indications that peat is underneath. It is 
not always found, however, in such situations, but is frequently 
the case. By digging from 1 to 10 feet below the surface, if 
peat exists, it will usually be found within that depth. It often 


occurs in low, rniry, and boggy places, that lie between hills. 
It is sometimes found, also, in "interval" or "bottom" lands, 
near the banks of rivers. 

Good peat earth, as it lies in the ground, cuts soft and easy, 
so that it may be formed into shape as it is dug. When dried, 
it is tough and firm, and is not easily broken. The blacker it 
is, the better the quality. When it is reddish, or pale brown, 
and soft, it is less valuable. 

The application of peat was recommended as a proper ma- 
nure for a light, sandy soil by Dr. Francis Home, as early as 
the year 1756, previous to which, an experiment was made on 
such a soil, where thfe beneficial effects were not only visible 
on a crop of oats, but on a crop of clover the year following. 
And Mr. Nicholas Turner, in his "Essay on Draining and Im- 
proving Peat Bogs," published in London in 1784, describes the 
properties of peat at length, and details the modes of employ- 
ing it in burning lime for the purpose of agriculture, as well 
us of converting it into ashes, and applying them to the land as 
a manure. The subject also has since been ably treated by the 
Earl of Dundonald, Lord Meadowbank, and others. The latter 
gentleman recommends a mixture of peat with farmyard dung, 
for the purpose of bringing it into a state of fermentation. For 
this object, dung is well adapted ; but any putrescent sub- 
stance, as blood, urine, soap suds, fish, the refuse of slaughter- 
houses, night soil, &c., will be absorbed, and serve equally 
well ; and the more readily the mixture heats, the better it will 
answer the purpose. In ordinary cases, 1 part of dung is suffi- 
cient to decompose from 3 to 6 parts of peat. In the heat of 
summer, it will require from 2 to 3 months to reduce fermented 
peat to a state of humus, or vegetable mould. Green vegeta- 
bles, also, mixed with peat, vifill accelerate the fermentation. 

The directions for the conversion of peat i.ito a rich com- 
post, as given by Lord Meadowbank, are very simple, and de- 
scribed as follows : " Let the peat moss," says he, " be thrown 
out of the pit for some weeks or months, in order to lose its 
redundant moisture. By this means, it is rendered the lighter 


to carry, and less compact and heavy when made up with 
fresh dung for fermentation ; and, accordingly less dung is re- 
quired for this purpose than if the preparation were made with 
peat taken recently from the pit; the peat taken from near the 
surface, or at a considerable depth, answers equally well. 
Take the peat moss to a dry spot convenient for constructing 
a dunghill, to serve the field to be manured ; lay the cart loads 
of it in two rows, and of the dung in a row between them. The 
dung thus lies nearly on an area of the future compost dung 
hill, and the rows of peat should be near enough each other 
that workmen, in making up the compost, may be able t-o 
throw them together by the spade. In making up, let the 
workmen begin at one end, and at the extremity of the row of 
dung, (which should not extend quite so far at that end as the 
rows of peat on each side of it do), let them lay a bottom of 
peat 6 inches deep and 15 feet wide, if the ground admits of 
it; then throw forward and lay on about 10 inches of dung 
above the bottom of peat, then add from the side rows about 
6 inches of peat, then 4 or 5 of dung, and then 6 more of peat; 
then another thin layer of dung, and then cover it over with 
peat at the end where it was begun, and at the two sides. 
The compost should not be raised above 4 or 4 feet high; 
otherwise it is apt to press too heavily on the under parts, and 
check the fermentation. 

"When a beginning is thus made, the laborers will pro- 
ceed working backwards, and adding to the column of com- 
post, as they are furnished with the three rows of materials 
directed to be laid down for them. They must take care not 
to tread on the compost, nor render it too compact ; and, of con- 
sequence, in proportion as the peat is wet, it should be made 
up in lumps, and not much broken. In mild weather, 7 cart 
loads of common farm dung, tolerably fresh made, is sufficient 
for 21 cart loads of peat moss ; but in cold weather, a larger 
proportion of dung is desirable. To every 28 cart loads of the 
compost, when made up, it is of use to throw en above it a cart 
load of ashes> either made from coal, peat, or wood ; or, if these 


cannot be had, ha'f the quantity of slacked lime may be ..sed, 
the more finely powdered the better ; but these additions are 
nowise essential to the general success of the compost. 

" The dung to be used should either have been recently made 
01 kept fresh by compression, as by the treading of cattle or 
swine, or by carts passing over it ; and if there is little or no 
litter in it, a smaller quantity will serve, provided any spongy 
vegetable matter is added at making up the compost, as fresh 
weeds, the rubbish of a stack yard, potato shaves, (parings,) saw- 
ings of timber, &c. ; and as some sorts of dung, even when fresh, 
are much more advanced in decomposition than others, it is ma- 
terial to attend to this; for a much less proportion of such dung 
as is less advanced will serve for the compost, provided care is 
taken to keep the mass sufficiently open, either by a mixture of 
the above-mentioned substances, or, if these are wanting, by ad- 
ding the peat piece meal; that is, first making it up in the usual 
proportion of 3 to 1 of dung, and then adding, after a time, an 
equal quantity more or less of moss. The dung of this quality 
of greatest quantity is shamble dung, with which, under the 
above precautions, 6 times the quantity of peat, or more, may 
be prepared. The same holds as to pigeons' dung, and other 
fowl dung, and, to a certain extent, also, as to that which is 
collected from towns, and made by animals that feed on grains, 
refuse of distilleries, &c. 

"The compost, after it is made up, gets into a general heat 
sooner or later, according to the weather and the condition of 
the dung ; in summer, in 10 days or sooner; in winter, not per- 
haps for many weeks, if the cold is severe. It always, how- 
ever, has been found to come on at last ; and in summer, it some- 
times rises so high as to be mischievous, by consuming the 
materials (fire-fanging). In that season, a stick should be 
kept in it in different parts, to pull out and felt of, now and 
then ; for, if it approaches to blood heat, it should either be 
watered or turned over, and, on sucli an occasion, advantage 
may be taken to mix it with a little fresh moss. The heat sub- 
sides after a time, and with great variety, according to the 


weather, the dung, and the perfection of tho making up of the 
compost, which then should be allowed to remain untouched 
till within 3 weeks of using, when it should be turned over 
upside down, and outside in, and all lumps broken; then it 
comes into a second heat, but soon cools, and should be taken 
out for use. In this state, the whole, except bits of the old de- 
cayed wood, appears a black, free mass, and spreads like gar- 
den mould. Use it weight for weight, as farmyard dung, and it 
will be found in a course of cropping fully equal to stand the 

This compost may then be put on the land in the, same quan- 
tity that farmyard manure would have been, and, consequent- 
ly, by a little labor, 4 times the quantity of manure is produced 
by the mixture of the. peat with the dung. It is found that lime 
is not essential to the formation of this compost. The fermen- 
tation excited, is sufficient to decompose the tannin and con- 
vert it into soluble extract. The fibres, partially decomposed, 
are reduced into vegetable mould, and the whole assumes a 
uniform and rich appearance. A complete chemical change 
has taken place, and the peat, from being very inflammable, is 
now scarcely capable of combustion, and that only in a very 
great heat. There is no better nor more economical mode of 
converting peat into a rich manure. 

Dr. Jackson earnestly protests against the employment of 
acid peat in soils, and advises farmers to convert it into a 
neutral compost by means of animal manures, capable of gen- 
erating ammonia. He also recommends the mixing of lime and 
wood ashes with peat after it is fermentated sufficiently to 
give out ammoniacal gas by the action of alkaline matter, as 
lime and potash will disengage a portion of ammonia from 
some kinds of peat, saturating the noxious acids, and convert- 
ing them into fertilising salts by Combining with them. Hence, 
lime is generally a valuable top-dressing for rec' aimed peat 
bogs, and will render them fertile. 

On the subject of composting peat with lime and alkaline 
salts, Dun lonald remarks : " When hot or newly-calcined lime 


is broken into pieces of a small size, and mixed with peat, 
moderately humid, heat is disengaged, and that htat, by the 
slaking of the lime when it is applied in too great a proportion, 
is so increased, as completely to reduce the peat to charcoal, 
and to dissipate, in a gaseous state, all its component parts, 
excepting the ashes, part of the carbonaceous matter, and such 
a portion of fixable air, (carbonic acid,) generated in the pro- 
cess, as is absorbed by the lime, by which that substance is 
made to return to the state of chalk. No benefit can, therefore, 
arise by this method of preparing peat with lime, the object 
not being to destroy and dissipate in a gaseous state, the com- 
ponent parts of the peat, but to make such a combination with 
the lime, and the gas generated in the process, as will, on the 
application of the mixture to the ground, promote the growth 
of plants. 

" This object is best attained by mixing newly-made and 
completely-slaked lime, with about 5 or 6 times its weight of 
peat, which should be moderately humid, and not in too dry a 
state. In this case, the heat generated will be moderate, and 
never sufficient to convert the peat into carbonaceous matter, 
nor to throw off, in the state of fixable air, the acids therein 
contained. The gases thus generated will be imflammable, 
and phlogisticated air, (nitrogen,) forming volatile alkali, 
which will combine, as it is formed, with the oxygenated part 
of the peat that remains unacted upon by the lime applied for 
this especial purpose, in a small proportion. By this mode of 
conducting the process, a soluble saline matter will be produced 
consisting of phosphate and oxalate of ammonia, whose ben- 
eficial effects on vegetation have already been described. 

" Inattention or ignorance of these important facts, has, prob- 
ably, in many cases, defeated the wishes of the farmer in the 
application of this preparation, which is particularly recom- 
mended as a top-dressing to grounds under pasture. The pro- 
portion of the lime to the peat here given, should be carefully 
attended to, and the mixing of the two substances together 
should be performed under civer, in a shed or outhouse, con- 


structed for that purpose, as too much rain, or a too great ex- 
posure to the air, will prevent a due action of the lime upon 
the peat. The success of most operations, but more especially 
of those of a chemical nature, greatly depends upon a regular 
and due observance of circumstances apparently trivial. 

"This preparation of lime and peat is in a peculiar manner 
conducive to the growth of clovei and of the short, as they 
are called, sweet kinds of pasture grasses. The soil also, by 
the application of it, acquires such a predisposing tendency to 
promote the growth of such grasses, as to prevent their growing 
afterwards rank, coarse, or sour herbage. 

" Notwithstanding that this preparation of lime and peat is 
certainly, when properly made, a valuable manure, yet the ad- 
vantages that may be derived, by using alkaline salts instead 
of lime, are of much greater importance and general utility ; 
in as much as the peat, by alkaline salts, is rendered complete- 
ly soluble; whilst, by the application of lime, no greater pro- 
portion of it is made capable of solution than what is equiva- 
lent to the quantity of volatile alkali, which may be generated 
in the process; besides which, a large proportion of the acids 
contained in the vegetable matter, combines with that which is 
calcareous, and forms insoluble compounds. 

"From experiments made with alkaline salts and peat, it can 
be asserted, that the effects of such a mixture, weight for weight, 
ire equal, if not superior, to those of dung." 

Frost has hardly any effect at all upon good peat; for, on 
being exposed through the winter, it moulders, or crumbles, but 
slightly, and consequently it is useless to attempt to improve its 
quality by this means. 

Where peat is abundant, and charcoal cannot be econom- 
ically obtained, the farmer can find a good deodoriser by char- 
ring it for manure. Full directions for performing this opera- 
tion may be found under the head of CHARRED PEAT, in the 
article " charcoal." 

Swamp or bog muck differs from peat chiefly in being com- 
posed of fine humus, or vegetable mould, produced by decayed 


vegetables, and therefore contains more or less of the natural 
food of plants. Its value, however, as a fertiliser, ,vill depend 
much upon whether the swamp or bog, from which it is pro- 
cured, has a running stream of water passing throjgh or from 
it, as in all such cases, the soluble portions of the mud are 
separated from the vegetable remains, and washed away; 
whereas, the muck taken from those swamps or bog holes, 
having no mode of discharging their water, except by evapo- 
ration, retain most of the soluble portions of their animal and 
other organic remains, and consequently is richer in nitrogen 
and fertilising salts. 

When a dry season occurs, t : , prudent farmer will be indus- 
trious in removing or carting muck from evaporated swamps 
or other sunken places on or near his farm, and composting it 
with the dung or urine of animals, night soil, soap suds, or other 
putrescent matter; or, what would be better, to lay it in his 
barn yard, pig sty, or sheep fold, and let it become thoroughly 
mixed with the dung and urine of his stock. When thus man- 
aged, the compost is excellent, and suitable for almost any va- 
riety of soil, though best for those that are sandy and light. 

It is not recommended to plow under mud of any kind that 
is recently dug, as it should either be composted with lime or 
putrescent manures, or lie exposed to a winter's frost, which 
will destroy its tenacity, and reduce it to a fine powder that 
will serve as a valuable absorbent of feculent matter and urine ; 
or it may be spread upon the field like ashes. But if it be 
plowed into the soil, before it has undergone fermentation by 
the action of salts, or has been mellowed by frost, it will remain 
in lumps in the earth for years without much avail. 


POMACE, apple murk, or the refuse of ground apples after the 
cider is expressed, is believed to be very rich in mineral mat- 
ter, and when left in abundance af'.er it has been fed to cows 
and swine, it might doubtless bt converted into a valuable 


fertiliser. As it is difficult of decomposition, it rots very slow- 
ly, and consequently has not hitherto been much employed as 
a manure. Its decay might be hastened by using it in a com- 
post with some rapidly-decaying substance, as fresh horse dung 
or urine, or it may be charred after the manner recommended 
under the head of CHARRED SAWDUST, &c. It may also be con- 
verted into ashes, and applied to the soil with good effects. 
From the laws which govern special manures, it is to be infer- 
red that pomace would be beneficial to apple trees. 

The skins and seeds of grapes, in wine-growing countries, may 
ilso be treated in a similar manner as pomace, and applied to 
:he roots of vines. 


IN those parts of the country where pine forests abound, the 
straw, or leaves, may be raked together, and carted to the yards, 
or folds, were animals are confined at night, or it may be used 
for bedding in their stalls. Employed in this way, it absorbs 
the urine, and becomes incorporated with the dung, forming 
in a few weeks, an excellent manure for almost any kind of 
crop that is required to be grown on light sandy soils. 

In regions where marl is abundant, pine straw may be 
collected, and formed into a compost heap, consisting of a 
layer of leaves 1 foot thick, and then one of marl 3 inches 
thick, and so on alternately, until the pile is completed. In the 
course of 6 months, the straw will be sufficiently decomposed 
to be applied to the land, and will serve as an excellent manure 
on sandy soils. 


WHEN the seed of rape, (Brassica napis,) is deprived of its oil, 
it comes from the press in the form of hard cakes, which, when 
crushed to powder, forms the rape dust so extensively employed 
in Europe of late years, as a manure. 


According to an analysis by Professor Way, 100 parts of the 
ash of rape cake gave of 

Silica and sand, ] 3.07 

Phosphoric acid, 32.70 

Carbonic acid, 2.15 

Sulphuric acid, 1.62 

Lime 8.62 

Magnesia. 14.75 

Oxide of iron, 4.50 

Potash, 21.90 

Chloride of potassium, 0.17 

Chloride of sodium, 0.46 


The entire seed of the rape, as analysed by the same author. 
ity as above, contained 4 T 2 ff Vths per cent, of nitrogen; 37 T 8 5 4 oths 
of oil ; 6/o 4 ff ths of water ; and Sethis per cent, of ash. There- 
fore, a ton of rape cake will contain about 94 Ibs. of nitrogen ; 
128 Ibs. of mineral matter, id of which is phosphoric acid, ^th 
potash, and |th magnesia. 

Rape dust is occasionally mixed with farmyard dung, and 
applied to turnip crops; but its principal use in Europe has 
hitherto been as a top-dressing for wheat, either harrowed in 
with the seed in the fall, or applied to the young plants in the 
spring, when it greatly accelerates their growth ; but if added 
in too large a quantity, in immediate contact with the seed or 
the young plants, on heavy, impervious soils, it often undergoes 
the putrid fermentation, and proves fatal or injurious to both. 

According to Professor Johnston, rape dust requires moisture 
to bring out its full fertilising virtues ; hence, he recommends 
its application chiefly to clayey soils, or to such as rest upon 
a stiff subsoil. It is seldom applied in England, therefore, to 
the barley crop, and even upon wheat, oats, and tur.iips, it will 
fail to produce any decidedly good effects in a very dry season. 
The quantity to be applied to an acre may vary from 700 to 
1,000 Ibs. 

It may be noticed as a curious fact, that the action of rape 
dust is dependent upon the presence or absence of cerlain othe.T 


eubstances in the soil. Common salt and sulphate of soda, 
when mixed with it under certain circumstances, lessen the 
effect which it would produce alone, and the same will prob- 
ably happen when it is applied, without admixture, to soils in 
which these saline compounds happen to be already present. 

Dissolved in water, and mixed with urine, rape dust forms 
one of the most, efficacious of artificial liquid manures. Hence, 
it is probable that the most advantageous mode of using it on 
the land, after it has been dissolved in the urine tank, is, to ap- 
ply it by means of a water cart to the rows where the seed has 
been already drilled, or some time before it is put in. Where 
flax is to be sown, this mixture, applied a few days before the 
seed is put in, so as to allow it to sink into the soil, is considered, 
in Flanders, as next in value to the emptyings of privies, which, 
with them, hold the first rank for producing fine crops of flax. 
When a crop appears sickly, and not growing as it should do, 
owing to poverty in the soil, a top-dressing of rape cake dis- 
solved in water, if no urine is at hand, will generally excite the 
powers of vegetation ; and it is highly probable that it may 
greatly assist the effects of saltpetre or of nitrate of soda, 
where these salts are applied. Rham. 


ALL plants which grow within reach of the sea are good 
nanures. Those thriving upon rocks or attached to the 
Bottom, on shoals, are regarded as the richest in fertilising 
salts, but they cannot always be reached on account of being 
covered with water. A considerable quantity of them, how- 
ever, is usually driven on shore in the vicinity of the rocka 
where they grow, particularly when the spring tides are high, 
accompanied by heavy rains, and a high-swelling sea occurs at 
the same time. At low water, the roots of the plants are ex- 
posed to the falling rain and the air, become loose, and detach- 
ed from their beds by tha power of the waves, and are convey- 
ed far on shore by the rising tide. 


Some kinds of seaweed are burnt for their ashes, and ap- 
plied as a manure, as has already been noticed, with an analy- 
sis, under the head of BARILLA, or KELP. 

Marine plants are generally of a soft consistency, and soon 
putrefy when buried in the soil. They are transient in their 
nature, and are not very marked in their effects beyond the 
first year ; but for a single crop, the yield is very productive. 
They are sometimes suffered to dry before they are used ; but 
this is a wasteful practice, as they contain nearly 90 per cent, 
of water, which, in a great measure, is evaporated, if allowed 
to ferment; for there is no fibrous matter rendered soluble by 
the process, while a part of the manure is lost. 

The best farmers use seaweed as fresh as it can be procured. 
But where it cannot be immediately applied, a good method to 
save the juices, is, to compost it in a flattened heap with dry 
earth or loam, and allow it to remain until ready for use. It is 
more common, however, and a better method, to haul it to the 
barn yard, or pig sty, and incorporate it with the dung. 

Seaweed may be applied to soil in almost any situation, and is 
proper for land that has been exhausted by wood ashes or lime. 
When its effects are over, the soil is in no worse condition than 
before it was applied, and any other manure can follow with- 
out injury therefrom. The oftener it is applied, the richer be- 
comes the land, as has been confirmed by experience in several 
of the maritime districts of New England, which have been 
kept almost constantly under tillage, where it occurs in great 
abundance, and has long been used as a manure. 

Seaweed, as a fertiliser, it is stated, improves both the growth 
and the flavor of most of our esculent herbs. 


WHEN the flour of wheat, barley, oats, Indian corn, &c. a 
mixed up into a dough with water, and this dough washed on a 
linen cloth with pure water, a milky liquid passes through, 
from which, when set aside, a white powder gradually falls. 


This white powder is the " starch " of wheaten 01 other flour. 
When the raw potato is peeled and grated on a fine grater, and 
the pulp thus produced, well washed with water, " potato starch " 
is obtained in the form of a fine white powder, consisting of 
rounded, glossy and shining particles. 

Although starch constitutes a large proportion of the weight 
of the grains and roots usually employed for its manufacture, 
it is obvious, from the following table, that a large share of 
their bulk is rejected, and where it can be cheaply procured in 
abundance, it will serve as an excellent manure, when applied 
to similar crops as those from which it is obtained : 

Starch per cent. 

Wheat, 39 to 77 

Rye, 50 61 

Barley, 67 70 

Oats, 70 80 

Indian corn, 77 " 80 

Potatoes, 13 15 


MERE woody fibre, in all cases, seems to require fermentation 
or charring to render it nutritious to plants. Shavings of wood, 
fine chips, saw dust, the young shoots of trees and shrubs, 
usually require as much dung, or vegetable refuse, to bring 
them into a state of fermentation, as the most obstinate kinds 
of peat. They can much sooner be decomposed by the action 
of caustic lime than by the process of fermentation, as they 
may be speedily converted into a manure by being laid in a 
pit with alternate layers of newly-burnt stone lime. 

But the most profitable mode of disposing of these substances 
to the farmer, is, to char them, as directed under their respective 
heads in the article CHARCOAL. 


T.HE straw of wheat, barley, oats, and rape contains a mix- 
ture of saline substances, as is shown in the article .' SHES, ut- 


der their respective heads, which is exceedingly valuable as a 
manure to almost every kind of crop. The same may also be 
said of their chaff. But, as it is thought to be a wasteful prac- 
tice to burn so large a bulk of vegetable matter, merely for its 
small amount of ash, it is believed to be more economical, as 
a general thing, to rot the straw and chaff in the dung pits or 
barn yard, instead of dissipating all its volatile matter into the 
air. Furthermore, as vegetable matter, or humus, appears to 
be really essential to a fertile soil, it would seem rational to 
supply that matter from this source. 

It is in the form of straw that dry vegetable matter is most 
abundantly employed as a manure. It is only, however, when 
already in the ground in the state of stubble, that it is usually 
plowed in without some previous preparation. When buried 
iii the soil in the dry state, it decomposes slowly, and produces 
a less sensible effect upon the succeeding crop; it is usually 
fermented, therefore, more or less completely, by an admixture 
of animal manure in the farm yard before it is laid upon the 
land. During this fermentation, a certain unavoidable loss of 
organic and generally a large loss of saline matter takes place- 
It is, therefore, generally theoretically true of dry, as it is of 
green, vegetable matter, that it will add most to the soil, if it be 
plowed in without any previous preparation. Yet this is not the 
only consideration by which the practical man must be guided. 
Instead of a slow and prolonged action upon his crops, he may 
require an immediate and powerful action for a shorter time; 
and to obtain this, he may be justified in fermenting his straw 
with the certainty even of an unavoidable loss. Thus the dis- 
puted use of short and long dung becomes altogether a question 
of expediency or of practical economy. 

Chaff partakes of the nature of straw, but it decomposes 
more slowly when buried in the soil in a dried state. It is also 
difficult to bring it into a state of fermentation, even when mixed 
with the liquid manure of the farm yard. 

The main general difference between vegetable matter of the 
same kind, and cut at the same age, wL?n applied as a mann-T 


in the gioon and in the dry state, consists in this: That in the 
former, it decomposes more rapidly, and, therefore, acts more 
speedily. The total effect upon vegetation will probably in 
either case be very nearly the same. But if the dry vegetable 
matter has been cut at a more advanced age of the plant, or 
has been exposed to the vicissitudes of the weather while 
drying, it will no longer exhibit an equal efficacy. A ton of 
dry straw, when unripe, will manure more richly than a ton 
of the same straw in its ripe state not only because the sap 
of the green plant contains the materials from which the sub- 
stance of the grain is afterwards formed, but, because, as the 
plant ripens, the stem restores to the soil a portion of the sa- 
line, especially of the alkaline, matter it previously contained. 
After it is cut, also, every shower of rain that falls upon the 
sheaves of grain, or upon the new hay, washes out some of 
the saline substances which are lodged in its pores, and thus 
diminishes its value as a fertiliser of the land. These facts place 
in a still stronger light the advantages which necessarily fol- 
low from the use of vegetable matter in the recent state, for 
manuring the soil. Johnston. 

The straw and husk of rice, according to the following analy- 
ses of their ash by Professor Shephard, are by no means des- 
titute of fertilising matter, and where they can cheaply be ob- 
tained in abundance, in the vicinity of rice plantations, they 
may be used for the bedding of animals in stables, or compost- 
ed in the yards, or folds, with urine and dung : 

Chaff. ~* StraiB. 

Phosphate of lime, 1.02 2.00 

Phosphate of potash (nearly,) trace trace. 

Silica, (nearly,) 97.55 84.75 

Sulphate of potash, trace 

Chloride of potassium and loss, 1.13 2.56 

Carbonate of lime, 0.29 20.00 

Potash from the silicate, 8.69 

The chaff, or husk, contained 13 T 7 ff ths per cent, of ash, and 
the straw I2?t.hs per cent. 



ALL weeds and herbaceous plants, whether cultivated or wild 
such as potato haulms, the vines of beans, peanuts, (pindars,) 
squashes, or melons, and all the well-known troublesome weeds 
which spring up about our cultivated fields and cleared land 
as well as the ferns, (brakes,) of the woods, may be collected 
and laid in the pig sties and barn yards to putrefy and decom- 
pose with the urine and dung. Or they may be collected into 
compact heaps, and charred after the manner of bagasse, in 
the article CHARCOAL, on a preceding page. They are all rich 
in fertilising salts, and hence, are valuable as a manure, how- 
ever they may be applied. 

It is stated that ferns, cut while the sap is in its height, and 
left to rot on the ground, are a great improver of the land ; for, 
if burned, when so cut, their ashes will yield nearly double 
the quantity of salts that any other vegetable can do. In sev- 
eral parts of the north of Europe, they are mown when green, 
burnt to ashes, which are made up into balls with water, dried 
in the sun, and employed in washing linen instead of soap. 
From this circumstance, we may be led to conclude that these 
plants would serve as an excellent manure. 



J8LOOD is an alkaline, liquid, of a red color in the 
and generally white in the invertebral animals, which circu- 
lates throughout the whole body, and carries life to every part 
of it by means of innumerable vessels, ramifying from the ar- 
teries and veins. Its temperature is the same as that of the 
animal in which it is contained ; that is to say, in man it varies 
from 96|F. to 98; in fishes, 5lf; in dogs and cats, 102; 
in the hog, 105; and in birds, from 102 to 105|. It coagu- 
lates by the heat of boiling water, the strong acids, and by 
alcohol, as well as spontaneously in the open air, or in close 

This fluid, by its coagulation, is divided into two parts, one 
of which is liquid, transparent and yellowish, called the serum, 
while the other is opaque, soft, denser, of a reddish color, and 
is named the crassamentum, cruor, or clot. The blood which 
circulates through the arteries, is of a bright red, but that 
which returns to the heart by the veins is of a brownish red, 
which, seen through the pellucid sides of these vessels, appears 
bluish or black. 

The crassamentum of the blood of a bullock, according to 
Berzelius. is composed of 36 per cent, of fibrin, and 64 of red 
coloring matter ; while the fibrin in man scarcely amounts to 
17-J- per cent. And from the analyses of the same chemist and 


Marcet, ],000 parts of the blood of man and of a bullock gave 
the following results : 




Bullock. ; Man. 












Impure lactate and phosphate of soda, 

Chloride of sodium and potassium,. . . 

Loss, . .... 

1 1,000.000 1,000 




According to the researches of Proust, blood contains, be- 
sides the above-named substances, a portion of ammonia, a 
hydro-sulphuret, benzoate of soda, traces of acetic acid, slightly 
modified, and of bile. Brand and Vogel have proved, that, in 
vaccuo, blood gives out its own bulk of carbonic acid gas. 
Vauquelin found in it a yellow fatty matter, which Chevreul 
considered as being of the same nature as that of the brain. 
Barruel did not find the slightest trace of urea in 10 Ibs. of 
bullocks' blood, while Provost and Dumas alleged that they 
found urea in the blood of a dog. 

Blood, therefore, contains certain quantities of most, if not 
all the principles found in animal substances, and constitutes 
a manure of the most active properties. In the vicinity of large 
cities or towns, it is carried off to some extent from the 
slaughterhouses, and converted into a rich and fertilising com- 
post. In some parts of Europe, it is dried, and in the state of 
a powder, is applied with much effect as a top-dressing to many 

Blood is always highly valued to compost with dried peat, 
charcoal, vegetable matter, f ne earth, or loam. It has been 
somewhat extensively applied to fruit trees; but the compara- 
tively limited q>'a^tity that can be obtained, precludes it from 



at .iversal use It is most generally mixed with the offal of 
slaughterhouse* and with the animal dung in the pits of butch- 
er shops, where a substance of great value is found for adding 
to the compost heaps, or for mixing with farmyard manure. If 
butchers would keep on hand a large stot k of dried pulverised 
peat, or swamp muck, to absorb the blood and offal of their 
slaughtered animals, it would richly pay the trouble and cost, 
as it would form a manure that would readily sell at a very 
high price. 


WHEN the oil is expressed from the " blubbler," or the cellu- 
lar or muscular parts of the whale, a skinny or membraneous 
refuse remains, which has hitherto been employed with great 
advantage, both in Europe and in this country, as a manure. 
Whale blubber is composed principally of train oil and other 
animal matters ; but the oil constitutes by far the largest por- 
tion of the blubber; and to the presence of this oil, which 
does not appear to differ materially in composition from what- 
ever fish it is obtained, must be attributed the chief fertilising 
value of all fish. 

According to Thompson, 100 parts of train oil contained of 


Carbon, 68.78 

Hydrogen, 16.10 

Oxygen, 15.03 


Spe-maceti oil, according to Dr. Ure, consists, in 100 parts, of 

Carbon, 78.0 

Hydrogen, 11-8 

Oxygen, 10.2 


Fish oils, therefore, are composed of exactly the same mate- 
rials that constitute most if not all vegetable substances, differ- 


ing only in the proportions. Hence blubber, .is well as train 
oil and other animal oils, which contain impurities, rich in 
nitrogen, may be classed among the most condensed manures 
that it is possible to apply to the soil. 

All practical writers on the application of blubber and train 
oil, and similar refuse, agree that to modify them, they must be 
made into a compost with a large proportion of peat, swamp 
muck, earth, coal or wood ashes, or loam, though the propor- 
tions may differ under the diversiiied circumstances on which 
individual experience is founded. Animal or vegetable alkalies 
increase their fertilising power by converting them into soap. 
But quicklime diminishes their efficacy by liberating their am- 
monia, and also tends to render them insoluble. Hence, the 
mixing of lime is detrimental, as it deprives the blubber of its 
ammonia, and prevents fermentation. 

A correspondent in the London Farmer's Magazine found that 
blubber, in a crude state, as he applied it, destroyed, instead of 
assisting vegetation. Twelve years' experience, however, led 
him to a most successful method of using it, by mixing 9 loads 
of earth with 1 load of blubber. He first made a layer of 
earth 2 feet thick, building it a foot higher at the sides, 3 feet 
inward, like a stone wall, to form a cavity for the blubber. Af- 
ter the blubber had been laid on a foot in depth, similar layers 
were repeated, one above the other, until the blubber was ex- 
pended. The entire heap was then beaten down close at the 
top and sides, in order to exclude the air. In this state, it fer- 
mented, and the earth became impregnated with the ammonia 
and other gases escaping from the blubber. When this fer- 
mentation had abated, which required about 2 months, the heap 
was turned over from top to bottom. The lowermost layer of 
earth, which then became the uppermost, required an addition- 
al covering of fresh earth, in order to prevent the escape of 
ammonia by the second fermentation. After this fei mentation 
had abated, the heap was again turned, fresh earth added as 
before, and at the completion of the third fermentation, the 
compost was ready for us*; It was not put on the soil before 


it was from 9 to 12 months old, when it was applied both to 
grass and tillage lands, at the rate of 20 to 30 ton's to an acre. 
It was also used for tillage crops of wheat, beans, and potatoes, 
on strong clayey soil, with remarkably good effects. 

An excellent compost for almost all kinds of crops may be 
made by dissolving 12 Ibs. of American potash in 4 gallons of 
water, and mixing the solution with a gallon of train oil and 20 
bushels of dry mould. A mixture of a few gallons, also, of im- 
pure train oil with the usual quantity of bone dust, increases 
the turnip crop to a considerable degree wherever it is applied. 


WHEN bones are charred or distilled at a red heat, in close 
vesssels, they leave behind a coaly residuum, to which the names 
" bone black " and " ivory black," have been applied. By this 
calcination, the animal matter is arfmost entirely decomposed. 
It still retains a little nitrogen, however, though seldom em- 
employed in a pure state as a manure, yet it is not wholly 
without effect in promoting the growth of cultivated crops. A 
good article of animal charcoal contains from 80 to 85 per cent, 
of phosphate of lime, besides other mineral matter. 

Bone black is chiefly employed in refineries for the purpose 
of removing the color from the solutions of raw sugar. Blood 
is also used for clarifying the same solutions, with quicklime, 
for neutralising the acid matter they contain; thus render 'rig 
the sirups more capable of easy crystallisation. Consequently, 
the animal charcoal, blood, lime, and the coloring and other 
matters, separated from the sugar, become mixed together, and 
form the refuse of sugar refineries. This refuse often contains 
from ^th to ith of its weight of blood ; and hence, where it is 
employed as a manure, it is considered from 4 to 6 times more 
powerful than the pure animal charcoal, alone. 

The value of this substance depends very much upon the 
proportion of blood which it contains, and as this is in some 


measure variable, its fertilising qualities must be variable also. 
In Europe, as well as in this country, blood is used much 
more sparingly than formerly, and several of the larger re- 
fineries do not use it at all ; and hence, the refuse of many of 
our northern establishments is doubtless less valuable at pres- 
ent than it was in former years. Still, this refuse is suffi- 
ciently rich in fertilising matter to be employed where more 
economical manures cannot readily be obtained, provided it is 
treated with sulphuric acid, after the manner of dissolving 
bones and phosphate of lime, described in another part of this 
work. It is then of great service in producing vigorous growth, 
strong plants, and fine seeds. The quantity to be applied in a 
compost, to one acre of land, in tolerable good tilth, may 
vary from 150 to 200 pounds. 

This refuse does not appear always to have a constant com- 
position, but varies somewhat when obtained from different es- 
tablishments, which is due to the adoption of different modes 
of manufacture. In most j^n'neries in the United States, blood 
is dispensed with, and the animal charcoal, in some cases, is 
only used in one operation of refining; while in others, it is 
burnt, or revivified, a second and even a third time, carrying on 
two or three refinings before it is rejected as refuse. This, of 
course, alters the composition to a considerable extent. 

From the analyses of two samples of sugar refuse, taken 
from a refinery at New York, by Dr. Antisell, chemist to the 
American Agricultural Association, the following was the re- 

jvo. i. JVo. a. 

Charcoal, 34.00 12 

Phosphate and carbonate of lime and magnesia, 62.25 65 

Sugar and organic coloring matter, with isinglass,. . . 2.35 10 

Water, 1.40 12 

100.00 100 

No. 1 would appear to have been used frequently by the large 
amount of charcoal in it, the quantity of carbon which burnt 
bones alone would possess being not above that in No. 2. Hence, 
it is likely it was obtained by the burning of the sugar and 

. 231 

coloring matters obtained by a previous refining. From this 
abundance of charcoal, it would form a more valuable com- 
post than No. 2, but it has less of the sugar and coloring mat r 
ters, which, by their ready decomposition, warm the groui.s s . 
In this respect, No. 2 excels. The quantities of bone earth it: 
both are almost alike, and exceed the quantity in the same 
weight of bone dust or guano ; so that, when these manures 
are used for the sake of phosphate of lime, the charcoal is 
preferable as containing them more abundantly. No. 2 also 
contains an unusually large quantity of water. Taken as a 
whole, I believe it more nearly represents the average consti- 
uion of refuse animal charcoal. I think it would make a 
'uable manure for pear trees and orchards generally, 
^e estimation in which the refuse charcoal of the sugar 
:s was held, has led to the manufacture of very useful imi- 
ns of it under the name of animalised carbon. A calcare- 
oil, rich in vegetable matter, (an intimate mixture of peat 
narl or shell sand, would answer well,) is charred in close 
)ls, and is then mixed at intervals with repeated portions 
jght soil as long as it disinfects it or removes its smell ; and 
.his mixture is added 4 or 5 per cent, of clotted and partially- 
dried blood. This animalised carbon is said to be of much 
value as a manure. The main objections to it are its liability 
to adulteration, and the uncertainty to which, even when skil- 
fully and conscientiously prepared, its composition must be in 
some measure liable. A ton of animalised carbon is sufficient 
to manure au acre of turnips. 


A BONE is a hard substance, unalterable in dry air, insoluble 
ill cold water, yielding a jelly by the action of highly-condensed 
steam, and leating, on calcination at a red heat, half of its 
weight or more of inorganic matter called " bone earth," or 
ash. The quantity of inorganic matter, however, contained in 
bones, is nut constant, being less in the young than in the adult 


animal, also less in the cellular than in the compact or more 
solid bones, and less in those of some species of animals than 
'n those of others. Thus, when deprived of their fat, and ren* 
/-Vred perfectly dry, the per-centage of inorganic matter con- 
ained in several kinds of bones is as follows : 

Per cent. 

The lower jaw bone of an adult, 68.00 

Ditto. of a child of 3 years, G2.80 

A compaiM liuinan bone 58.70 

A spongy human bone, 50.20 

The tibia of a sheep, 48.03 

The vertebrie of a haddock, 60.51 

Berzelius, who examined the bones of the human subject, 
found that 100 parts contained of 

Per cent. 

Animal matters, 33.30 

Phosphate of lime, 51.04 

Carbonate of lime, 11.30 

Fluatc of lime, 2.00 

Phosphate of magnesia, 1.16 

Soda, muriate of soda, and water, 1.20 


According to Dr. Thompson, the constitution of certain bones 
of the sheep, ox, and of the haddock is as follows: 

of a sheep. 

of an ox. 

of a haddock. 

Organic or combustible matter, 




















The soda exists in bones probably in the state of common 
salt, and the magnesia in that of a phosphate. An appreciable 
quantity of fluoride of calcium, with traces of iron and mag- 


nesia, are also generally found in bones, in addition to the sub- 
stances indicated in the preceding analyses. 

From the above, it will be seen that the inorganic matter, or 
ash, of human bones, consists in a large proportion of the phos- 
phate of lime ; and it contains also a considerable amount of 
the carbonate of lime, with smaller quantities of several other 
ingredients. It woulfl seem, however, from the following table, 
that the proportion of carbonate of lirne exists in less quantity 
in the bones of carnivorous animals. Thus, for every 100 pans 
of phosphate of lime there occurs in 

Carbonate of lime* 

Human bones about, 20.7 

Bones of tho sheep, 24.1 

Ditto. ox. 13.5 

Ditto. fowl, 11.7 

Ditto.' haddock, 0.2 

Ditto. frog, 5.8 

Ditto. lion, 2.6 

Again, recent bones contain a variable quantity of water and 
fat. That of the latter depends upon the position of the bone 
in the body, and upon the condition of the animal. The pro- 
portion of water depends partly upon the solidity of the bone 
and partly upon its age. According to Denis, the radius of a 

Aged 3 years, contained 33.3 per cent, of water, with a little fat. 
Aged 20 years, " 13.0 " " 

Aged 78 years. " 15.4 

The quantity of water thus present in bones performs an im 
portant part in determining the action which bone dust is 
known to exercise upon the land. The oil is sometimes ex- 
tracted by boiling the bones. During this boiling, they absorb 
more water, and thus, when laid upon the land, undergo a more 
rapid decomposition, and exercise, in consequence, a more 
immediate and apparent, and therefore, as some may think, a 
more powerful and fertilising effect. 

From the preceding analyses, it will be perceived that the 


proportions are not to be considered as constant, because it 
varies not only in the different bones of the same animal, but, 
.also in bones from the same part of the body of different ani- 
mals 01 the same species. But the existence of such differences 
must render unlike the fertilising action of the bones of differ- 
ent animals, especially, if, as many think, this action depends 
in any great degree upon the quantity'of phosphate of lime 
which they respectively contain. 

The use of bones as a manure is of great antiquity. There 
is found recorded a remarkable passage of their fertilising 
powers in a collection of Welsh manuscripts, recently pub- 
lished, with an English translation, by the Welsh M. S. S. So- 
ciety, under the title of "The lolo M. S. S." The passage to 
which direct allusion is made is a very short one, but is the 
more significant of truth from the fact of its being incidentally 
introduced at the close of the account of " The Prison of Oeth 
and Annoeth." The narrative refers to a period in history as 
far back as about the middle of the first century, when Caradog, 
(Caractacus, king of the Silures, inhabiting South Wales,) was 
warring against the Romans, and slaughtering them most, ter- 
ribly. After those wars, in which so many of the Ccosarians 
had been killed, their bones, which had been left by the wolves, 
ravens, and dogs, like a white sheet of snow in many places, 
covered the face of the earth. Manawyddan, the son of Llyr, 
caused these bones to be collected together into one huge pile 
from one of the battle fields, with other bones found through- 
out his dominions, so that the heap became of marvellous mag- 
nitude. It then came to his mind to form a prison of these 
bones, in which to confine such enemies and foreigners as 
might be taken in war; and he set himself to work and con- 
structed a large edifice with exceedingly strong walls of the 
bones, cemented together with lime. It was of a circular form, 
and of wonderful magnitude, the larger bones being placed en 
the outer face of the walls, and within the inclosure were 
manv smaller prison?, or cells, formed of the lesser bones. 
Thi- was called the " Prison of Oeth an.! Aimo.itli," which was 


demolished several times by the Csesarians. and rebuilt by the 
Cymry stronger than before. " And in the course of a long 
time," reads the remarkable passage before referred to. "the 
bones became decayed, so that there was no strength in them, 
and they were reduced to dust ; then they carried the remains 
and put it on the surface of the plowed land ; and from that time, 
they had astonishing crops of wheat and barley, and of every other 
grain for many years." 

In modern times, bones were not employed for manuring land, 
unless we except occasional instances of the application of an- 
ent tumuli for fertilising crops, before the year 1775, when Colo- 
nel St. Leger, then residing at Warmsworth, in England, who 
was the first person known to use them. The early progress 
does not seem to have been very rapid, from the practice of lay- 
ing them on almost unbroken, and as Professor Low informs us, 
they were used in immense quantities, frequently at the rate of 
60, 70, and even 100 bushels to an acre. Experience, however, 
has shown that the application of so large a quantity is not fol- 
lowed by a corresponding increase of crop, and a dose of 10 or 
15 bushels of bone dust is held, now, by many farmers, as quite 
sufficient for many soils. At the same time, the high price now 
paid for them renders such an extravagant use inadmissible, and 
has directed public attention to the most economical modes of 
applying them to the land. Much difference of opinion exists 
with regard to this point amongst practical men. Some prefer 
fresh bones to dry; others .burned to unburnt; rotten or fer- 
mented bones to those that are fresh, and rice versa. In shorr, 
we meet with such conflicting assertions in regard to these 
points, that it would seem almost impossible to form any de- 
cided opinion as to the most economical method of applying 
them to the land. 

Again, bones contain, as has been shown, a large proportion 
both of organic and of inorganic matter. On which of these 
two constituents does their fertilising action most de-pendl 
Some regard the phosphate of lime, or bone earth, as the only 
source of the benefits so extensively derived from them ; and 


it is by supposing the soil to be already sufficiently impregna- 
ted with this phosphate, that Sprengel accounts for the little 
success wh ch has attended the use of bones in Mecklenburg 
and Northern Germany. Others, again, attribute the whole of 
their influence to the organic part, the gelatine, which they 
contain. Neither of these views is strictly correct. Plants 
require a certain quantity of phosphoric acid,-lime, and mag- 
nesia, which are present in the inorganic part of bones, and so 
far, therefore, are capable of deriving inorganic food from bone 
dust. But the organic part of bones will decompose, and 
therefore will act nearly in the same way as skin, wool, hair 
and horn, which substances it resembles in ultimate compo- 
sition. It cannot be doubted, therefore, that a considerable 
part of the effect of bones upon all crops must be due to the 
gelatine which they contain. 

The organic matter of bones acts like that of skin, woollen 
rags, horn shavings, &c., but as bone dust contains only about 
Jd of the organic matter which is present in an equal weight 
of either of the above substances, its total effect, in so far as it 
depends upon the organic matter, will be less in an equal pro- 
portion. But as this matter contains more water than horn or 
wool, it will decay more rapidly than these substances when 
mixed with the soil, and will therefore be more immediate in 
its action. Hence, the reason why woollen rags and horn shav- 
ings must be plowed in the preceding winter, if they are to 
benefit the subsequent wheat or turnip crops, while bone dust 
can be beneficially applied at the sowing of the seed. 

When bones are boiled, the oil will be separated, and a por- 
tion of the gelatine will, at the same time, be dissolved out. 
Therefore, they will be in reality rendered much less rich as a 
manure. But as they at the same time take up a considerable 
quantity of water, boiled bones will decompose more rapidiy 
when mixed with the soil, and thus will appear to act as ben- 
eficially as those unboiled. The immediate effect may indeed 
be equal, or even greater, than that of unboiled bones, but the 
to;al effect must be less in proportion to the quantity of organic 


matter which has been removed by boiling. Cases, however, 
may occur in which the skilful man will prefer to use boiled 
bones, because they are fitted to produce more immediate effect 
where, as in the pushing forward of the young turnip plant., 
such an effect is particularly required. 

In so far as the efficacy of bones really depends upon their 
earthy constituents, the use of phosphorite or of marl, contain- 
ing phosphate of lime will, no doubt, greatly supercede them; 
but in so far as it depends upon the animal matter they contain, 
bones exhibit their natural fertilising action, however rich the 
soil may already be in those compounds of which their earthy 
or incombustible part consists. 

Yet there is reason to believe, nay, it may be assumed as 
certain, that the phosphate and carbonate of lime, which bones 
contain so largely, are not without effect in promoting vegeta- 
tion. All our cultivated plants require and contain both phos- 
phoric acid and lime, and from the vegetables on which they 
feed, all animals derive the entire substance of their bones. 
This same phosphoric acid and lime, therefore, must exist in the 
soil on which the plants grow, or they will neither thrive them- 
selves nor be able properly to nourish the animals they are 
destined to feed. If a soil, then, be deficient in phosphate of lime 
or its constituents, it is clear that the addition of bones will 
benefit the after crops not only by the animal, but by the earthy 
matter, also, which they contain. And that such is the case, in 
many instances, there is good reason for believing. But that 
this can by no means account for the whole effect of bones, 
even supposing the soil to which they are applied to be, in 
every instance, deficient in phosphates, is clear from the fact 
that 260 Ibs., (less than 6 bushels,) of bone dust per acre are 
sufficient to supply all the phosphates contained in the crops 
which are reaped during an entire four-shift rotation of turnips, 
barley, clover, and wheat. Yet the quantity of bones actually 
applied to the land is from 3 to 5 times the above weight, re- 
peated every time the turnip crop comes round. 

Still, glinting that the chief effect of bones npon the imme- 


diatcly succeeding crops is due to their organic part, upon what 
does their prolonged good effect depend ? Some lands show the 
effects of a single dressing of bones for 15 or 20 years, while 
others, after the application of 2 or 2 tons of bones have 
yielded 10 to 15 successive crops of oats, and have been sen- 
sibly benefited for as many as 60 years after the bones were 
applied. This prolonged effect is also due, in part, to both 
constituents. When not crushed to powder ; the organic matter 
of bones is always slow in disappearing, and slower the deeper 
they are buried. In some soils, also, the process is more slow 
than in other. The long-buried bones of the bear and of the 
stag, which had lain in the soil for an unknown period, still 
contained a sensible proportion of animal matter. So it is 
with the bones used for manure, when they are not crushed too 
fine. They long retain a portion of their organic matter, which 
they give out more slowly, and in smaller quantity every year 
that passes, yet still, in such abundance, as to contribute sensi- 
bly to the nourishment, and in some degree to promote the 
growth of the crops which the land is made to bear. So it 
would be with the horns and hoofs of cattle, if laid on in equal 
quantity, for they also decay with exceeding slowness. 

Still, the inorganic part is not without its use. If the soil be 
deficient in phosphates or in lime, the earthy matter of the 
bones will supply these substances. I only wish to guard the 
farmer against the conclusion, that, because bones often act 
for so long a period, therefore the organic matter can have no 
share in the influence they exercise after a limited period of 
years. Johnston. 

There is great economy in reducing bones to as fine a con- 
dition as possible before applying them to the field. If added 
in their unprepared state, they will yield a portion of their sub- 
stance to the crops; but 100 bushels will produce no more ef- 
fect for a single season, when thus applied, than perhaps 5 or 
6 bushels, when finely divided. If the 100 bushels, then, be 
ground or decomposed, and applied to 20 acres, there will be 
an equal amount of benefit accruing to each in a single season, 


that would be otherwise derived to the land for 20 successive 
years, if applied unground on a single acre. 

The forme in which bones are now applied to the land are 
five in number, namely, by grinding, by burning, by steaming, 
by dissolving in sulphuric acid, and by fermentation. 

Grinding bones to a dust or powder is an expensive operation. 
Large and fresh bones are so hard and tough, that immense 
power is required for breaking and reducing them sufficiently 
for agricultural purposes. Costly mills of great strength, and 
requiring considerable motive power, are necessary. Such an 
outlay can only be justified where a large quantity of bones 
is to be prepared. There are no cheap machines within my 
knowlege, adequate to the objects, and adapted to the use of 
the small farmer. Unless a mill is erected by some individual 
or company to grind for a neighborhood, or for a more distant 
market, it would be advisable to adopt one or other of the 
modes described below of preparing them. 

Bone dust, is usually sold by the bushel, the weight of which 
varies with the degree of dryness, and the fineness to which 
the bones have been reduced, say from 40 to 50 Ibs. to a bushel. 

The burning of bones, at a red heat, in an open fire until every- 
thing in them combustible has disappeared, is a summary mode 
of preparation, but is attended with a certain loss of much of 
their valuable properties, leaving, in the dried bones of the ox, 
nearly half of their weight in " bone earth," or " bone ash," 
which is composed of about 80 per cent, of phosphate of lime 
and 16 per cent, of the carbonate of lime, and 2 or 3 per cent, 
of phosphate of magnesia, soda, and potash. All of these sub- 
stances are indispensable to vegetable growth ; and, unless the 
soil is previously supplied with them, bone ash cannot fail to 
add greatly to the augmentation of the crops. When burned 
bones are reduced to a powder, as has already been shown un- 
der the head of BI-PHOSPHATE OF LIME, and digested in sulphuric 
acid, diluted with once or twice its weight of water, the acid 
combines with a portion of the lime, and forms sulphate of lime, 
(gypsum,) while the remainder of the lime, and the whole of 


the phosphoric acid are dissolved. The solution, therefore, 
contains an acid phosphate of lime, or one in which the phos- 
phoric acid exists in much larger quantity than in the bone ash. 
By the above process, the bones are reduced to their finest con- 
dition, and most readily yield their substance to the roots of 

The steaming of bones, reducing them by a new process, has 
attracted a considerable attention for a year or two past in 
Scotland, as suggested by Mr. Robert Blackall, of Edinburgh, 
who recommends exposing them to the action of high-pressure 
steam, in an apparatus especially constructed for the purpose, 
a description of which, together with a detailed process of 
steaming the bones are given in the London "Farmer's Herald" 
for November, 1850, as follows: 

"The boiler is circular, 6 feet long, and measures 3 feet, 4 
inches in diameter. It is constructed of the ordinary boiler 
plate, of -J-d of an inch thick. In the front, the man hole, or 
door, is placed, 9 inches from the bottom, 13 from the top, and 
12 inches from each side. The man hole is closed by a plate 
door, secured by wedges and screw bolts in the usual manner, 
upon a jointing of hempen gasket. Inside the boiler, a straight 
false bottom of sheet iron, on which the bones are placed, is 
fixed immediately below the man hole. Close upon the bottom 
of the boiler a stop cock is placed, for the purpose of drawing 
off the liquid at the conclusion of the process, if necessary. 
On a level with the false bottom, is placed a gauge cock, to 
show whether the water has risen or fallen to that level ; about 
10 inches above, a second or a steam cock is fixed. A safety 
valve on the top of the boiler indicates the pressure of steam, 
and secures the boiler from explosion. The water for steaming 
the bones is filled in by a water cock at the top of the boiler. 
An extra steam cock is likewise placed at the top of the boiler, 
for the purpose of supplying steam for any other operation, as 
for steaming food, &c., when required. The boiler is set in 
mason work, and lined with fire bricks, the length of the mason 
work being 7 feet, 2 inches, and 5 fee" 5 inches in height, the 


sides speading out 13 inches from the boiler. Ti.e smoke of 
;ne fire passes off directly through the chimney, which is more 
jian 15 feet in height. 

" Early in the morning, the boiler is filled with bones, through 
the man hole, and the door of the same is then fastened steam 
tight To secure this, the gasket of hemp, which lies between 
the two metal surfaces of the boiler and the door, is smeared 
with a luting, made by moistening oatmeal with boiling water 
and working it by the hand into a stiff paste ; the door is then 
replaced, and screwed tight. This luting, which perhaps may 
just as well be made of common flour, answers perfectly the 
purpose, and is much better than white or red lead, made into 
a paste with boiled linseed oil. 

" When the boiler was first put into operation, only 7-J- cwt. 
of bones could be packed in it, but in a short time, the man 
who had charge of the boiler, becoming better accustomed to 
the work, succeeded in packing 9| cwt. of bones instead of 
7 cwt. The water for generating steam is filled in the boiler 
to the depth of 12 inches from the bottom, and as the space 
between the true u^ttom of the boiler and the slip bottom, on 
which the bones rest, is 9 inches, the water rises about 3 inches 
amongst the bones. From the time of kindling the fire, it takes 
about one hour to get up the steam. During 24 hours, the 
steam is kept as uniformly as possible at a pressure of 25 Ibs. 
to a square inch, a boiling during 22 hours having previously 
been tried, but found insufficient for reducing afterwards the 
bones to powder with ease. As no water can escape in the 
form of steam during the boiling, one filling is sufficient. Be- 
fore the withdrawing of the charge, th^ fire is removed, the 
steam let off through the safety valve, and about 3 bucketsful 
of the watery liquid, equivalent to about 7-J- gallons, drawn off, 
in order to reduce the water to a little below the false bottom, 
on which the bones rest. The man hole is then unscrewed 
and the whole allowed to cool down for a short time. While 
still warm, the contents of the boiler are shovelled out succes* 
sively by one man, who is assisted by another, in crushing the 


bone?, hv means of a wooden mallet. The reducing to powdei 
is recdered so easy by this process, that it requires no longer 
time for crushing the bones than for taking them out of the 
boiler ; as fast as they are shovelled out, by one, they are 
broken into a rough powder by the second man. It is neces- 
sary to bring the bones under the action of the wooden mallet, 
in successive portions when still warm; for when allowed to 
become cool, they require a greater effort .0 bring them to a 
powder. The steamed bones treated in this manner contain 
much water, absorbed in the boiler ; thrown into a heap whilst 
yet warm, they not only retain their original heat, but in a very 
short time, the temperature of the heap increases very consid- 
erably, and at the same time, a most disagreeable smell of pu- 
trefying animal matter is given off. The fermentation of the 
bones, however, which is the cause of this, and consequently 
the loss of ammonia, may be prevented entirely by adding a 
small dose of common salt to the steamed bones. 

"Nothing can be more simple and expedient than this new 
process. So soft are the bones rendered by it, that the above 
charge of 9 cwt. takes less than an hour for crushing them to 
powder. The only assistance required by the man in attend- 
ance is an extra man for about 1 hours, to break the bones 
with the wooden mallet, as they are shovelled out of the boiler, 
and to give him the bones, whilst he is in the boiler engaged 
in packing the same. As the time necessary for allowing the 
boiler to cool at the end of the operation, emptying its con- 
tents, crushing the bones to powder, packing the boiler with a 
new charge, and getting up the steam, does not exceed 2 or 3 
hours. Five batches of steamed bones may be readily obtained 
in a week. 

" The changes bones have undergone, after having been sub- 
mitted to the operation of steaming, are very simple, but in 
order to understand them properly, let us look for a moment 
to their composition. Those of animals consist of an or- 
ganic and inoiganic portion. On exposure to a strong heat, 
.-> an open vessel, they first turn black, on account of the or^ 


ganic matter becoming charred, and burnt perfectly white, 
after all the organic malter has been dissipated by the heat. 
Bones thus treated, and subsequently washed with water, ap- 
pear soft and pliable ; boiled with water, they become com- 
pletely dissolved, forming with the same a thickish, sticky 
liquid, which on cooling gelatinises. On account of this prop- 
erty, the organic matter of bones is called ' gelatine,' and is 
essentially the same substance as glue. Some of the gelatine 
may be extracted by boiling the fresh bones, without treating 
them first with muriatic acid, and this is the case in the above 
steaming process. 

" Steamed bones decompose more readily in the soil than 
bones in their natural state; and for that reason they are likely 
to be quicker and more powerful in their action as a manure 
than the latter. They differ in their composition but slightly 
from fresh bones, with the exception, that the organic matter 
has undergone some change, whereby the bones are rendered 
more easily available as food for plants. Long experience, 
indeed, has taught some farmers to prefer bones, previously 
boiled by the glue makers to those in a natural state, particu- 
larly for old pastures, and it is therefore more than probable, 
<hat crushed and salted bones, prepared by Mr. Blackall's pro- 
cess, will be found more valuable still." 

The following are the results of two analyses of bones pre- 
pared by the new process by Dr. Anderson, chemist to the 
Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland : 

JVo. 1. JVo. 

Water, V2.6& 13.86 

Animal matter, 27.37 19.90 

Bone earth, 59.97 66.24 

100.00 100.00 

In order to form a correct estimate of the advantage of Mr. 
BlackalPs method, it is necessary to compare the composition 
of these bones with that of those prepared by the ordinary 
process as it is very evident that a certain proportion of the 


gelatine, or glue, which is very soluble in boiling water, must 
have been extracted by the steaming. In looking into the sub- 
ject, however, Dr. Anderson was unable to find any anlysis of 
bones in the state in which they are used as a manure, and he 
found it necessary to analyse several specimens of agricultural 
bones, of which the following are the results : No. 1 were drill 
bones, in pieces about an inch in length. No. 2, ordinary finely- 
crushed bones ; and No. 3, the entire bones in the state in which 
they are sold to the bone crushers by the persons who collect 
them : 

Jfo. 1. JV. 2. JVc. 3. 

Water, 10.00 10.39 14.79 

Animal matter, 41.88 42.60 37.02 

Bone earth, 48.12 47.01 48.19 

100.00 100.00 100.00 

From a comparison of these analyses with the former, it is 
manifest that they contain much more animal matter than the 
steamed bones, the. amount averaging 40 percent.; while in the 
latter, in one case, we we have only half that quantity, and in 
the other about 27 per cent. Now, it must be very clear that, in 
the production of a ton of steamed bones, it is not sufficient to 
reckon the mere cost of steaming in addition to that of the crude 
bones, but that the loss of animal matter must be taken into ac- 
count. Supposing the crude bones to contain exactly 40 per cent, 
oi' animal matter, a very simple calculation shows that they mu^t 
lose 25 per cent., in order to yield a substance which shall con- 
tain 20 per cent, of animal matter. Supposing then, that the 
crude bones cost 4 per ton, the same quantity, as prepared by 
Mr. Blackall's process, would cost 5 6s. 8d., independently of 
the cost of steaming. It is true that the whole quantity of the 
phosphate of lime will remain in the bones, but it must be re- 
collected that the gelatine which is extracted is a very valuable 
manure, and extremely rich in nitrogen, so much so that Bous- 
singault, who has given a comparative table of the value of 
manures, founded upon the amount of nitrogen they contain. 


estii-.ates, (irrespective of the phosphate of lime,) 6 parts of 
bones as equivalent to 100 of farmyard manure. Now, by Mr. 
Blackall's method, the animal matter extracted must be en- 
tirely lost, or it must be recovered by evaporating the conden- 
sed steam, or, in the event of the quantity of water being suf- 
ficiently small, by converting it into a compost. Any such 
operations, howler, must, to a greater or less extent, add to 
the original cost of the bones. 

It is quite possible that, by the use of a proper steaming 
vessel, the quantity of gelatine extracted may be reduced con- 
siderably under what it was in either of the specimens analy- 
sed, but it admits of question whether this very extraction may 
not be connected with the softening process. It is well known, 
at least, that bones, from which all or nearly all the animal 
matter has been extracted by boiling in water under pressure, 
are so soft that they may be reduced to fine powder by rub- 
bing them between the fingers. 

These are disadvantages which are likely to limit considerably 
the value of Mr. Blackall's process; but it may, notwithstand- 
ing, prove valuable in remote districts, where small quantities 
of bones may be collected at such a distance from a bone ir.ill 
as to render it unprofitable to transport them to it. The superi- 
ority of steamed bones as a manure is a question which can be 
properly determined only by experiment in the field, and it is 
not impossible that good results may be obtained from them, 
though they can never form a substitute for bones dissolved by 
an acid. 

Tlie dissolving of bones by sulphuric acid has been practised 
for some years past by several emiment agriculturists both i 
Europe and in this country, and when applied to the soil, was 
attended with beneficial results Various proportions of acid 
have been tried as the proper quantity ; but, in cases where 
the bones were to be completely decomposed, half of their 
weight was thought to be sufficient ; while others recommend 
that a complete solution should not tuke place at once, in order 
that a portion of the bones might b--; left for the benefit of the 


succeeding crops; and that at the same time, a sufficient quan 
tity might be rendered soluble for the wants of the first year. 

The following method of dissolving bones in sulphuric acid 
is given by Mr. Alex. J. Main, a practical fanner, of Whitehill, 
in the "Journal of Agriculture" and the "Transactions of the 
Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland," for January, 
1851 : "Get a joiner to put together a rough .box something 
like a cooler for steamed food, but higher in the sides say 8 
feet long by 3 feet or 2 feet, 6 inches high, and 3 feet wide, dove- 
tailed and jointed with white lead. The box prepared, put in 
the water of the preparation lirst; then the sulphuric acid, al- 
lowing one half more bulk of water than acid, and one half less 
weight of acid than bones; that is, to a gallon of acid, allow a 
gallon and a half of water ; and to 100 Ibs. of bones, allow 50 Ibs. 
of acid. To the water and acid, the bones must now be added, 
(finely broken up into half-inch fragments, or less,) mixing the 
whole intimately and equally. This done, cover up the box, or 
tank with straw or old sacks, laid on pieces of wood ; or have 
a rough wooden lid to the box ; and then allow the whole 
to stand, untouched, for 48 hours. The process of manufacture 
will then be complete. In anticipation of its necessity, I would 
recommend a careful accumulation of the house ashes during 
the year, kept in some dry place. When the operation above de- 
tailed is compleled, put the ashes in a heap in a convenient 
position for the tank; make then a basin at the top of the heap, 
and lift the dissolved bones out of the tank, placing 'them in 
the basin. Turn over the entire heap with shovels, two or 
three times, till the whole is well mixed, and the preparation 
will then be perfectly fit to be handled, or at least be spread, 
out of a cart with shovels, and put on the soil. This process 
may be attended with a little trouble at first ; but once or twice 
done, the difficulty is past, and no one giving his attention to 
the matter will afterwards regret his perseverance." 

The following is another good method of mixing bone dust 
with sulphuric acid, as given in the "London Agricultural Ga- 
zett> " * Lay 80 bushels of bone dust in a conical heap ; pour 


on water till it begins to run off at the base; leave it for a 
couple of days; then spread it abroad somewhat, leaving a 
raised rim, (which should be trampled firm,) and a basin-shaped 
cavity ; pour on more water till it will no longer remain in the 
heap ; and then slowly pour about 1,000 Ibs. of sulphuric acid 
over the heap. Turf ashes, (about 300 bushels,) may, with ad- 
vantage, have been previously laid around the edge of the heap. 
When the heap has somewhat subsided, mix the bone dust to- 
gether again, into a conical heap ; cover it with the ashes; and 
leave it for a few weeks. The whole may then be mixed with 
the dry ashes, and will be ready for drilling. It will suffice for 
10 to 20 acres." 

Bones, it is stated, may be dissolved, also, in strong caustic ley, 
such as is used by the soap boiler, and will form a paste of the 
consistency of butter, which may be reduced to any thinness 
of fluid required for application as a liquid manure. 

The decomposition of bones by fermentation, without the aid of 
sulphuric acid, is another method which has been practised 
with success both in Europe and this country. The bones, 
which must be fresh, are first thrown into compact heaps, and 
then mixed with moist sandy loam, ashes, or earth, when they 
will be gradually heated and decomposed. The decomposition 
will be materially hastened by occasionally sprinkling them 
with urine, and especially by mixing them with fresh horse 
manure. If they have been deprived of their animal matter 
however, they will not readily ferment. The presence of nitro- 
gen appears to be essential to induce and carry forward fer- 
mentation, and this is found only in the organic matter of the 
bones. During the fermentation, putrefactive odors are given 
off', that occasion a los to the manure, which objection, in a 
degree, may be remedied by covering the heap with a layer of 
rich decayed turf, peat, charcoal, gypsum, or any other good 

Mr. Miles, of the Royal Agricultural Society of England, haa 
discove-ad a process for preparing bones for manure without 
the use t acids; and, instead of sand ashes, or earth, he uses 


saw dust as the material for covering up the heaps, double the 
amount of heat being evolved, and the disintegration being 
effected much more rapidly and effectually. He piled up the 
bones into a heap, which he first moistened well with water, 
and then covered it over to a depth of 2 or 3 inches with saw 
dust, by means of which, not only .were the bones speedily con- 
verted into a manure, but the saw dust also. By this process, 
however, the decomposition of much ammonia takes place, and 
escapes in a volatile state, as t is developed, and is lost. 


CORAL is a general name for those marine polypifers, which 
have stony or horny axes. It is of various colors, and is 
composed principally of carbonate of lime, assuming some- 
times the character of trees or shrubs, and at other times a 
round form. Corals are the solid secretions of zoophytes, pro- 
duced within the tissues of polypes, and corresponding to the 
skeleton in the higher order of animals. The surface is usually 
covered with radiated cells, each of which marks the position 
of one of the polypes; and when alive, these polypes appear 
like flowers over every part of the zoophyte. 

Coral sand, which is similar in its nature to coral itself, has 
been freely used in France as a manure in the "same way and 
with similar effects as marl. It is preferred by the farmers in 
a fresh state, probably because it contains both more saline 
as well as more animal matter than after it has been exposed 
for some time to the air. Payen and Boussingault, it will be 
remembered, ascribe the relative manuring powers of different 
substances when applied to land, by the quantity of ammonia 
or nitrogen, which they severally contain, and thus, compared 
with farmyard manure, attribute to coral sand the following 
relative values : 

JOO IDS. of farmyard manure, contains of nitrogen, . . .0.40 Ib. 
" of corJ sand, (merl,) 0.51 " 

That is to say, so far as the action of these substances is de. 


pendent upon the nitrogen they contain, fresh coral sand is 
nearly id more valuable than an equal weight of farmyard 

A sample of fine infusorial sand, which is highly prized by 
the local farmers on the coast of Normandy, as analysed by 
Professor Johnston, consisted of the following ingredients : 

Organic matter, 5.06 

Chloride of sodium, (common salt, N 1.01 

Gypsum, (plaster,) _ 0.32 

Chloride of calcium, 0.73 

Magnesia, trace. 

Carbonate of lime, 43.50 

Alumina, 0.17 

Oxide of iron, 1.20 

Oxide of manganese, trace. 

Insoluble silicious matter, 47.69 


From this analysis, Professor Johnston thinks that the value 
of this mealy sand does not depend solely upon the lime, (43 
per cent.,) it contains, but is derived in some measure, also, 
from the 5 per cent, of organic matter, and the 2 per cent, of 
soluble salts, which are present in it. It is remarkable, also, 
for containing nearly half its weight, (48 per cent.,) of silicious 
matter in the state of an exceedingly fine powder. Its value, 
therefore, over the coarser shell sand, consists in its organic 
matter and soluble salts, and in the minute state of division in 
which its particles are found. This fine powdery state enables 
it to be mixed more minutely with a clayey soil ; causes an 
equal weight to go further ; and prevents it from opening and 
rendering still lighter the more sandy soils, in the manner 
coarse fragments of shells would be apt to do. In Normandy, 
it is generally applied in the form of compost and is extensive- 
ly mixed with farmyard manure, which it is said greatly to 

It is well kn^wn that the reefs and shoals of the Keys of 
Florida, as well as of the Bahama Islands, in many places, arc 


composed entirely of the fragments of broken or comminuted 
coral, shells, infusoria, &c., the supply of which is inexhausti- 
ble, and would subserve the purpose of manuring all the culti- 
vated lands in the Atlantic states, for thousands of years. The 
cost of procuring this sand, and delivering it at any of our 
seaports, south of Boston or New York, would probably not 
exceed $3 or $4 the hundred bushels; and if it were brought 
here, as ballast, from Key West, or Nassau, New Providence, it 
could be afforded for much less. This is a subject, worthy of 
investigation, and experiments might be tried, on a limited scale, 
by our agriculturists, both at the north and at the south. 


OF all fertilisers, the dung, or excrement of animals, is the 
most universal, as well as the most valuable to the cultivator} 
and has often well been described as the farmer's "sheet 
anchor." It is the earliest mentioned of all mahures ; although, 
it is first noticed as being employed in Palestine for fuel 
(Ezekiel, iv. 12, 15) ; and even to this day, in the barren des- 
erts of the East, the dung of camals, after being dried in the 
sun, is the only kind of fuel the natives possess. 

The dung of animals is spoken of by all the early Greek 
and Roman agricultural writers, who describe its application 
and uses with a fullness and clearness that cannot be misun- 
derstood. Thus, Theophrastus, who wrote in the fourth century 
before our era, describes the properties which render dung ben- 
eficial to vegetation, and dwells upon composts. He also re- 
commends the stubble to be left long at the time of reaping, if 
the straw is abundant; "and this, if burned, will enrich the 
soil very much, or it may be cut and mixed with dung." And 
Cato, who wrote 150 years before Christ, thus expresses his 
conviction of the importance of this manure; " Study to have 
a large dunghill keep your compost carefully ; when you carry 
it out in autumn scatter and pulverise it. Lay dung around the 
roots of your olive trees in autumn." Again, ne advises the 


use oi pij,jon dung for gardens, meadows, and grain lields, as 
well as the dregs of olive oil. Furthermore, he recommends 
the farmer carefully to preserve the dung of all descriptions 
of animals. We learn also from Columella and Pliny, that the 
Romans collected their manure and stored it in covered pits, 
in order to check the escape of drainage by the rains, and 
evaporation by the sun. They also scattered pulverised pigeon 
dung over their crops, and mixed it with the surface soil by 
means of the hoe (sarcle). The former of these writers ad- 
vises the cultivator not to carry more dung on the field than 
the laborers can cover with the soil the same day, as the expo- 
sure to the sun does it much injury ; aud he enumerates as well- 
known fertilisers, night soil, the excrements of birds, sheep, 
cattle, the ass, the goat, and of pigs, as well as urine (especi- 
ally for apple trees and vines). Varro, also, mentions many 
kinds of animal manure, and is particularly minute in his enu- 
meration of the dung of birds, and includes even that of black 
birds and thrushes kept in aviaries. 

In the year 1570, Conradus Heresbachius, a learned German, 
published his " Foore Bookes of Husbandrie," translated and en- 
larged by Barnabe Googe, Enquire, in which he mentions the 
various kinds of manure in his days. He speaks of the dung of 
poultry and pigeons in high praise ; but condemns that of ducks 
and geese. Human freces, he says, when mixed with rubbish, 
is good; but by itself, is too hot. Of the dung of animals, he 
mentions that of the ass as first in order for fertilising effects ; 
then that of sheep, goats, oxen, horses, and lastly, that of swine, 
which he says " is very hurtful to come, but used in some places 
for gardens." Again, he says: " The weeds growing about 
willow trees, and fern, &c., you may gather and lay under your 
sheep." He speaks of the practice of placing turfs and heath 
clods in heaps with dung, much in the same way as Lord 
Meadowbank has advised with peat. He also advises the 
placing of the same turf parings in sheep folds. " This is also 
to be noted," says our author, " that the doung that hath lyen a 
yeer is best for corne, for it both is of sufficient strength antl 


breedeth less weedes ; but, upon meadowe and pasture you 
must laye the newest, because it brings most grasse, in Febru- 
arie, the moone increasing, for that is the best time to cause 
increase of g^asse." 

To enter into the present state of agriculture in all parts of 
the civilised world, the enlightened farmer hardly need be told 
that the basis upon which good husbandry is founded, is ma- 
nures; and that, among these, above all others, animal excre- 
ments are the best adapted to our varied climate, soils, and 
crops. Observation of the simplest facts must have shown the 
merest novice that good crops are generally insured by the 
abundant application of barnyard manure. But if one has not 
an abundance of this, he must make up the deficiency by some 
substitute from another source. 

It is well known that the nature and properties of excremen- 
titious manures depend upon the species of animal from which 
they are derived; upon the food on which they subsist; upon 
the amount of labor or exercise to which the animals have been 
subjected; upon the substances with which they are littered; 
upon the length of time during which the manures have been 
kept ; and especially upon the care bestowed upon their man- 
agement after they are voided by the animals. Hence, there 
are as many kinds of dung as there are of animals producing 
it, and in some respects, all differ from each other. The dung, 
for instance, of the cow, is not so rich as that of horses ; nor is 
that of the horse so rich as that of fowls ; and yet, the excre- 
ment of horses, cows, sheep, hogs, and geese all differ in their 
texture and composition, though fed upon the same pasture. 
Some animals digest their food more quickly than others, ow- 
ing to a difference in the degree of mastication ; the organisa- 
tion of their stomachs; and in the nature of their gastric juice. 
This makes a difference in the dung produced by the same 
kind of food. All animals feed on pure vegebles, or vegetable 
and animal matter mixed, or on other animals that feed on veg- 
etables alone. Those which feed on the latter are made up of 
the same elemert* as the vegetables themselves, only under a 


different form ; and therefore, the dung of animals that feed 
upon these may still be considered as vegetables in a putrefied 

As the elementary composition of the dung of the different 
kinds of animals is a point which is not undeserving of consid 
eration in a work like the present,! have thought proper *'o treat 
of them under separate heads. This, however, is believed to 
be needless by some, as it requires more pains and expense to 
keep these manures by themselves in the barnyard or else- 
where, and use each of them by itself, than all the advantages 
arising from this method of treatment above the ordinary way, 
can possibly amount to. These manures may be arranged and 
treated of in the following order : 

Excrement of the Ass. The structural difference between the 
horse, the ass, and the mule is so trifling, that all the essential 
points of their organisation may be regarded as the same ; and 
consequently, except in cases where there is a variation in their 
food, their manure is very similar in character. Heresbachius, as 
has already been stated, regarded the dung of the ass as first in 
order among excrementitious manures; and most of the old Ro- 
man writers on agriculture speak highly of its fertilising ef- 
fects. Even in Spain, at the present day, it is preserved and 
collected with great care, and is frequently composted with the 
urine of the animals, with the leaves or spray of trees and 
shrubs, employed as litter in the stalls where these animals are 
kept. In many parts of the United States, also, where mules 
are abundant, a similar practice prevails in littering their pens 
or stalls with muck, pine straw, or other leaves of trees, which 
are speedily converted thereby into an excellent manure. 

Excrement of the Camel. The dung of this animal is but little 
used as a fertiliser, even in the countries where it most 
abounds, as it is more valuable, when dried in the sun, to be 
employed as fuel. It is similar in its nature to that of the cow, 
and when applied as a manure, it is attended with about the 
same effects. From its limited supply, however, it must eve* 
be precluded as a fertiliser from general use. 


Excrement of the Cow. Under this head, also is included the 
dung of the ox and of other animals of the same species. This 
substance forms by far the largest proportion of the animal 
manure, which, in modern agriculture, is at the disposal of the 
practical farmer. It ferments more slowly than night soil, or 
the dung of the horse and sheep. In fermenting, it does not heat 
much, and it gives off little unpleasant or ammoniacal odor. 
Hence, it acts more slowly, though for a longer period, when 
applied to the soil. The slowness of the fermentation arises 
chiefly from the smaller quantity of nitrogen, or of substances 
containing nitrogen, which are present in the dung, but in part, 
also, from the food swallowed by the cow being less perfectly 
masticated than that of man or of the horse. It is in conse- 
quence of this slower fermentation, that the same evolution of 
ammoniacal vapors is not perceived from the droppings of the 
cow as from night soil and from horse dung. Yet, by exposure 
to the air, it undergoes a sensible loss, which, in 40 days has 
been found to amount to 20 per cent., or nearly ^th of the whole 
solid matter that recent cow dung contains. Although the com- 
paratively slow fermentation, as well as the softness of cow 
dung, fits it better for treading among the straw in the open 
farm yards, the serious loss which it ultimately undergoes 
will satisfy the economical farmer that the more effectually he 
can keep it covered up, or the sooner he can gather his mixed 
dung and straw into heaps, the greater proportion of this valu- 
able manure will he retain for the future enriching of his fields. 

According to Boussingault, the excretions of a cow fed on 
hay and raw potatoes, including the urine, in a dry and in a 
moist state, contained of 

Dry. Moist, 

Carbon, 39.8 539 

Hydrogen, 4.7 0.64 

Oxygen, 35.5 451 

Nitrogen, 2.6 0.36 

Ash, (salts and earth,) 17.4 2.36 

Water, 86.44 

100.0 100.00 


The faeces of cattle fed principally on turnips have been an- 
alysed by M. Einhof, and 100 j arts evaporated to dryness yield- 
ed 28^- parts of solid matter; the 71 J parts lost in drying would 
consist principally of water and some ammoniacal salts. In 
half a pound, or 3,840 grains, he found 45 grains of sand, and 
by diffusing it through water he obtained about 600 grains of a 
yellow fibrous matter, resembling that of plants, mixed with a 
very considerable quantity of slimy matter. By evaporating 
the faeces to dryness, and then burning them, he obtained an 
ash which contained, besides the sand, the following sub- 
stances : 


Lime, 12.0 

Phosphate of lime, : 12J5 

Magnesia, 2.0 

Iron, 5.0 

Alumina, with some manganese, 14.0 

Silica, 52.0 

Muriate and sulphate of potash, 1.2 

The ingredients of which the urine and faeces of cattle are 
composed, will, of course, differ slightly in different animals 
of the same kind, and according to the different food upon 
which they are fed ; but this difference will not, in any case, be 
found very material. Fat cattle yield better manure than those 
which are lean, or that from cows in milk ; because it contains 
more phosphate of lime. In lean animals, the phosphates go 
to nourish and build up the horns and bones, and in cows, it 
passes off in their rnilk. 

The dung of horned cattle is supposed by many to require a 
long preparation to fit it for manure. It is the practice of many 
gardeners, skilled in preparing choice composts, to keep cow 
dung for a period of three years before they apply it either 
alone or as an ingredient in compost mould. In the opinion of 
the late Judge Peters, however, it begins to deteriorate after it 
is one year old. " I have put it on," he says, " after lying sev- 
eral years without any perceptible benefit. But the practice 
of plowing in hot and fresh dung, has of*en been to me a sub- 


jf.rt of regret. It not only produces smutty crops in parts over- 
stimulated, but it cannot be equally spread or covered, so that 
much straw and little grain appear in some spots; and in 
others, scarcely any advantage is derived." When used in a 
fresh state, it should never be used alone, except on warm arid 
soils, but mixed with other substances that will easily pulver- 
ise, as the dung of the sheep, the hog, the horse, the pigeon, 
the hen, the duck, or some other animal manure, or with soot, 
coal ashes, sand, or marl. The question, however, as to the 
proper mode of applying the dung of horses and cattle more 
properly belongs to the article on FARMYARD MANURES, under the 
division of "Homestead Manures;" for it is usually mixed in the 
farm yard with straw, offal, chaff, and various kinds of litter, 
and even it contains a large proportion of fibrous vegetable 
matter in itself. 

Excrement <>f Deer. This is similar in its character and ef- 
fects to that of sheep; but from the limited supply in the hab- 
itable parts of this country, it can never be turned to much 

Excrement of the Dog. This manure, wherever it could be 
obtained in sufficient abundance, has been found to be, it is 
stated, the " most fertile dressing of all quadruped sorts." More 
than 100 years ago, there lived a, gentleman at Dagnal, in Bed- 
fordshire, England, who kept so large a number of setters and 
spaniels that they afforded him a considerable quantity of dung. 
In the vicinity of his house, he possessed an acre of gravelly 
soil, which he manured every year with the dung of his dogs. 
By this means, he was sure to raise the best crops of wheat, 
barley, beans, and peas, while many of the neighboring farm- 
ers failed from excessive drought and cold. 

The white dung of dogs, called album Gracum, and that ot 
carnivorous animals in general, have a very powerful corroding 
effect upon animal substances when the putrid fermentation is 
established ; that of dogs has not been examined, but it is sup- 
posed to consist chiefly of the earthy part of the bones that 
ure generally used as food, the organs of that animal having a 


powei of digesting hard substances to an extent almost be- 
yond credibility. Album Graecum was formerly used for in- 
flammation in the throat, but is now discontinued, and chiefly 
employed by leather dressers to soften leather, after the appli- 
cation of lime. A man and a dog fed on the same substances, 
animal and vegetable, will afford, in the different nature of the 
excrements, a most notable instance of the various materials 
into which the food has been transformed in passing through 
the different organs of digestion. 

Excrement of the Domestic Fowl. The dung of cocks and 
hens, like that of all kinds of birds, abounds in uric acid, 
which constitutes the whitish and farinaceous-looking part of 
their excrement. The urine of birds, let it be recollected, is 
voided in a solid form along with other matter ejected from 
their bowels. Their dung, therefore, is not dissimilar to tirate, 
or the dried urine of quadrupeds; and the less vegetable food 
they consume, the more fertilising their dung. Hence, the ex- 
crement of sea fowls, which subsist mainly upon fish, produce 
the richest manure that is known (guano). 

The composition of the dung of the domestic fowl varies 
with its food. When fed on grain, meal, or potatoes, it is much 
richer than when it lives on the husk and green indigestible 
parts of vegetables, which, being impurities, diminish its value. 
The more insects the fowl devours, the richer its dung. 

According to the analysis of M. Girardin, the excrement of 
the domestic fowl consists of 

Water, 72.00 

Azotised vegetable matter, 16.20 

Saline or mineral matter, 5.24 

Insoluble matter, sand, &.C., 5.66 


If exposed to moisture, especially if it is recent, this substanco 
undergoes fermentation, and loses a portion of its amrnoniacal 
salts. Thus, in poultry yards, it often accumulates in consider- 
able quantity's, decomposes, and runs trt waste. To guard against 


this loss, it may be composted in equal quanti;y with moist 
charcoal, coal ashes, gypsum, peat, or mould, and allowed 
to ferment, when it will form an excellent stimulating top- 
dressing for grass lands, wheat, and other kinds of grain, just 
after sowing. By thus mixing it with peat, mould, &c., it di- 
vides or breaks it so well that it may be more readily scattered 
over the land. Hen dung i.s also good for fruit trees, particu- 
larly for quince bushes. It does the most good on clayey lands, 
but may be used 0:1 almost any soil. From 600 to 800 Ibs. are 
sufficient to be applied to an acre of wheat or grass. 

Excrement of the Duck. The dung of ducks differs somewhat 
from that of the domestic fowl, owing chiefly to the nature of 
their food, and partly to the difference in the organisation of the 
bird. According to Sir H. Davy, it stands next to hen dung in 
the scale of manures. It may be composted with rather more 
than a double quantity of peat, powdered charcoal, coal ashes, 
gypsum, or mould, and applied broadcast on grass lands or 
grain fields, just after sowing the seed ; or it may be incorpora- 
ted with the dung of the cow, the horse, the pig, or of the sheep. 
Tiie quantity to be used on an acre may vary from 500 to 
1,000 Ibs. 

Excrement of the Goat. The dung of goats is a hot, dry ma- 
nure, resembling that of sheep in its texture, but is less rich as 
u fertiliser, owing principally to the nature of their food, as 
there are few plants which they do not relish, and even they 
will browse on heaths, shrubs, and plants that sheep and other 
animals will reject. 

According to Boussingault, 18 parts of the excrement of a 
goat are equal in fertilising effect to 100 parts of farmyard 
manure. From its limited supply in this country, this manure 
can never be turned to much account. Wherever it can be 
had, however, it may be applied in the same winner as that of 
sheep, but in somewhat larger quantity. 

Excrement of the Goose. The dung of geese, like that of most 
water fowls, di tiers in some degree from birds which feed 
wholly on the land, it is less rich than th<it ol ducks, pig- 


eons, and hens, because they feed less on grain and seeds, and 
derive a considerable portion of their livelihood from grass 
and weeds, when allowed to run at large in pastures or fields. 
Its known injurious effects upon the grass where it is dropped 
arise from its being in too concentrated a state. In moist wea- 
ther, however, or when rain soon after succeeds, it does little 
or no injury, and even when in dry weather it kills the blades 
on which it drops, it brings up the succeeding shoots with 
increased vigor, which are much finer, richer, and sweeter 
than before. 

Goose dung is as good for grass lands as it is for gram ; but 
there is some difficulty in getting it together, and spreading it 
on the fields. It has been proposed to adopt the same method 
with geese as is sometimes practised with sheep keeping them 
upon the land required to be manured, turning them, for in- 
stance, upon a wheat field, late in autumn, and suffer them to 
run over it during the winter, or until they have eaten off the 
young wheat close to the ground, which they will readily do, 
as they are very fond of the young blade. While thus feeding, 
they would leave their dung very plentifully, and evenly 
spread over the surface, and the frosts and rains would suffi- 
ciently break and wash it into the soil, in consequence of which, 
it may be conceived that the wheat would rise again, in the 
spring, not in the least injured by the cropping, and the ground 
would be greatly enriched by this excellent manure. 

As it is difficult to spread goose manure thin enough, with- 
out more or less injury to the crops, it may be mixed, like ne^ 
dung, with charcoal dust, peat, gypsum, coal ashes, or ncn 
mould, with which it will ferment, and after it is washed into 
the earth by the rains, it will gradually mellow the soil like 
other manure. The quantity of green goose dung that may be 
applied to an ordinary crop of grass or grain, may vary trom 
600 to 1,200 Ibs. to an acre. 

Excrement of the Guinea Fowl. The dung of this bird, as well 
us that of the peacock, from the nature of its food, and from 
its internal organisation , greatly resembles that of the domes- 


tic fowl ; f ut owing to the limited supply of this species of 
manure, it can be turned to no practical account. 

Excrement of the Hog. The dung of swine is characterised 
by an exceedingly unpleasant odor, which, when applied to the 
land alone, it imparts to the vegetables, especially to celery and 
to the root crops with which it, is manured. Even tobacco, 
when manured with pig dung, according to Sprengel, is so 
much tainted, that the leaves subsequently collected are unfit 
for smoking. Hog dung, as the excrement of an animal that 
feeds partly upon animal, but chiefly upon vegetable food, is 
richer than that of any other creature which feeds upon veg- 
etables only. It is of a cold saponaceous substance, so much 
so, that in some countries it is substituted for soap. According 
to M. Girardin, 100 parts consists of 

Water, 75.00 

Azotisod matter, 20.15 

Saline matter, 4.85 


Boussingault estimates that 63 parts of the excrement and 
urine of the pig are equivalent to 100 parts of farmyard manure. 

Pig dung is an excellent manure for hemp, hops, running 
beans, Indian corn, pumpkins, and other crops intended for 
food. It is best to employ it in a state of a compost with other 
fertilisers. A mixture of it, for instance, with urine, heightens 
the virtue of farmyard manure exceedingly ; and this is a good 
way to employ it. For grain fields, no method of ;ipplying it 
is better ; for it does not ferment and mellow so well in the 
earth, when used alone, as when mixed with the dung of cattle 
and horses; and it is so rich and stimulating, that it is difficult 
to spread it thin enough by itself. If employed alone, how- 
ever, it is excellent for meadow and pasture lands, producing a 
large, and at the same time, a sweet blade. It is also prefer- 
able 10 most other kinds of dung for fruit trees and shrubs. 

No dung yields its virtue so readily as this; and none loses 
it so quickly by improper management. The time of applying 


it to the land should carefully be regarded; for the falling of a 
gentle rain, just after laying it on, will wash it entirely into the 
ground in a few hours; while, on the other hand, a dry windy 
day will evaporate its efficacy, and the land will be but little 
better than if it were sprinkled with chaff'. Therefore, the 
careful farmer will not leave it spread upon the surface of his 
fields in a dry time, nor will he lay on too much at once. 

Being a strong manure, pig dung serves the best purpose with 
mixing with it a large proportion of peat, mould, swamp or 
pond muck, weeds, straw, the leaves of trees, and other veg- 
etable matter that will easily decompose. It is almost incredi- 
ble how large a quantity of excellent manure can be obtained 
by supplying a pig yard with an abundance of the above- 
named substances, or other rubbish, to be worked over by the 
swine, and incorporated with their urine and dung. A half 
dozen of hogs have been known to make 30 or 40 loads of ex- 
cellent compost in a single year. 

In some parts of Europe, as well as in this country, land is 
sown with clover or peas, with the double object of feeding 
them off in a green state in the field, by swine, which are al- 
lowed to run loose, and of enriching the soil by the dropping 
of their dung. In the Southern States of the Union, this prac- 
tice prevails to a considerable extent in the cultivation of the 
the cow PEA, described in a preceding page, under the division 
of "Vegetable Manures." 

Excrement of the Horse. Although the horse feeds almost ex- 
clusively upon vegetable food, there is a great deal of differ- 
ence between the manure produced from his feeding upon the 
green succulent grass of the pastures, and the dry hay and 
nutrit ous grain fed to him in the s'able. The dung of the 
horse, it is well known, consists of the grosser parts of his 
food, mixed with the peculiar juices of his mouth and stomach. 
Thus, his gastric juice differs from that of most of our other 
domestic animals, in containing a larger proportion of bile> 
which is secreted more rapidly directly from the liver in the 
absence o' a gull bladder an apendage that the horse, the 


ass, and other animals of the same natural family do not pos- 
sess. Hence, tho admixture of the finely-comminuted, strong, 
and hearty food he devours, together with these peculiar ani- 
mal juices, are the causes of the remarkable active properties 
of this species of manure. 

Pure horse dung is moderately warm, but hotter in its nature 
than that of the cow. It heats sooner, and evolves much am- 
monia, not merely because it contains less water than cow 
dung, but because it is generally also richer in those organic 
compounds of which nitrogen forms a constituent part. Even 
when fed upon the yame food, the dung of the horse will be 
richer than that of the cow, because of the greater proportion 
of the food of the latter which is discharged in the large quan- 
tity of urine it, is in the habit of voiding. 

According to Boussingault, the dung with the urine, voided by 
a horse, fed on hay and oats, contained 76' per cent, of mois- 
ture, and the composition in a dry and in a wet state was found 
to be as follows: 

Dry. Wet. 

Carbon. 38.6 9.19 

Hydrogen, 5.0 -. . 130 

Oxygen, 36.4 8.66 

Nitrogen, 2.7 4.13 

SalU and earth, 17.3 4.13 

Water, 76.17 

100.0 100.00 

By the above analyses, it will be seen that the fresh horse 
dung, in a dry state, contains 2 r 7 ff ths percent, of nitrogen. The 
same substance, on the authority last quoted above, when al- 
lowed to ferment, as it does in practice, will contain only 1 per 
cent, of nitrogen, and loses besides, nearly T 9 ff ths of its weight. 
This gives some idea of the waste that always attends the prac- 
tice of neglecting the manures on a farm. In comparing this 
substance with other manures, 73 parts of the solid excrement 
of the horse are considered as equivalent to 100 parts of farm- 
vard dung. 


In the short period of 24 hours, horse dung heats and begins 
o suffer loss by fermentation. Hence, the propriety of early 
removing it from the stable, and mixing it as soon as possible 
with some other material by which the volatile substances 
given off may be absorbed and arrested. The colder and wet- 
ter dung of the pig and of the cow will answer well for this 
purpose, or soil rich in vegetable matter, as peat, saw dust, or 
powdered charcoal, or any other absorbing substance which 
can readily be obtained; or if a chemical agent be preferred, 
moistened gypsum may be sprinkled among it, or diluted sul- 
phuric acid. There is undoubtedly great loss experienced 
from the general neglect of night soil, but in most cases, the 
dung of the horse might also be rendered a source of much 
greater profit than it has hitherto been. 

The warmth of horse dung fits it admirably for bringing 
other substances into a state of fermentation. With peat, 
swamp or pond muck, saw dust, spent tan bark, weeds, the 
leaves of trees, mould, and almost every kind of rubbish, it 
forms an excellent compost for most kinds of crops ; and to 
soils containing much inert vegetable matter, it can be applied 
with much advantage. From its very hot nature, it is suitable 
for making hot beds, when it is new, and for nourishing early 
garden vegetables which require a considerable degree of heat 
to accelerate their growth. 

Great care should be observed that horse dung be not spoiled 
by "fire-fanging," or burnt in the heaps, before it is used. For, 
when so heated as to give it a white mouldy appearance, most 
of its virtue is gone. It is difficult to give it age in an unmixed 
state without tempering it with the dung of the pig, of the cow, 
or with some of the substances named above, when it will be 
suitable for land that is neither too light nor too stiff. But, if 
buried in very cold, moist land, as soon as it comes frcm the 
stable, in an unmixed state, it has been remarked that the crop 
succeeded be.ter than where the ground was dressed w*n it in 
" ro'ii n or fu mented state. 

in order f .o prevent fermentation, or overheating, of horse ma- 


nure, the farmer can pour or sprinkle over .he heap, every few 
days, a moderate quantity of soap suds, old brine, or common 

Excrement of Man. Human ordure, or "night soil," in gen- 
eral, is an exceedingly rich and valuable manure; but its dis- 
agreeable odor, has, in most countries, rendered its use unpop- 
ular among practical men. This unpleasant smell may be in 
a great measure removed by mixing it with powdered charcoal 
or with half-charred peat, a rrethod which is adopted in the 
manufacture of certain artificial manures. Quicklime is in 
some places employed for the same purpose, but though the 
smell is thus got rid of, a large portion of the volatile ammonia, 
produced during the decomposition of the manure, is at the 
.same time driven oft' into the atmosphere by the lime, and con- 
sequently is lost. Johnston. 

In general, night soil contains about fths of its weight of 
water, and when exposed to the air, undergoes a very rapid de- 
composition, and gives oft' much volatile matter, consisting of 
ammonia, of carbonic acid, and of sulphureted and phosphu- 
reted hydrogen gases ; and iinely loses its smell. In the neigh- 
borhood of many large cities, the collected night soil is allowed 
thus naturally to ferment and lose its smell, and is then dried 
and sold for manure, under the name of POUDRETTE, described 
under its appropriate head. 

Night soil is a mixture of urine and fasces, and must vary in 
composition, but as such, has never been examined. The faeces 
and urine separately were analysed by Berzelius, who found the 
composition of the faeces to be as follows : 

Remains of food, 7.0 

Bile, 0.9 

Albumen, 0.9 

A peculiar extractive matter, 2.7 

Indeterminate animal matter, viscous matter, resin, and ) , 4 Q 
an insoluble mailer, J 

Baits, 1.2 

Wtwr, 7&3 



The salts had the following composition : 

Carbonate of soda, 19.4 

Chloride of sodium. C3.5 

Sulphate of soda, 11.8 

Ammoniaco-magnusian phosphate, 11.8 

Phosphate 01' lime, 23.5 


Human urine is one of the most powerful of all manures. 
Left to itself, it speedily undergoes putrefaction, and evolves an 
abundance of amny iiacai salts. Its composition consists of 

Urea, 3.01 

Uric acid, 0.10 

Indeterminate animal matter, lactic acid, and lactate of > , ,~ 

ammrvia, i ' 

Mucus of f'm bladder, 0.03 

Sulphate A potash, 0.37 

Sulphate jf soda, 0.32 

Phosphate of soda, 0.29 

Chloride of sodium, 0.45 

Phosphate of ammonia, 0.17 

Chloro-hydrate of ammonia, 0.15 

Phosphate of lime and of magnesia, 0.10 

Silica, trace. 

Water, 93.30 


The phosphates of lime and magnesia, which it contains, are 

extremely insoluble salts, and have been supposed to be held 

,n solution by phosphoric acid, lactic acid, and hippuric acid, 

he latter of which is now regarded as a regular constituent of 

aealthy human urine. 

It is difficult to give an estimate of the comparative value of 
night soil ; for the urine present is nearly altogether the valuable 
part, and the amount varies. It is, however, more active, (hot- 
ter,) and valuable than the best horse dung, being estimated at 
14, and horse dung at 10. Arthur Young increased his crop of 
wheat, on a poor gravel, from 12 to 31 bushels by 160 bushels 
upwards of 6 bushels more than he obtained by 60 cubic yards 


of farmyard manure. According to Boussingault, when dried 
in the air, it is 10 timos as fertilising as good farmyard dung. It 
may be composted with arvof the ordinary manures, and should 
be plowed under shallow, and near to seed time. Gardner. 

Night soil, in whatever state it is used, whether recent or fer- 
mented, is capable of supplying abundant food to plants. The 
Chinese formerly mixed it with id of its weight of a fat marl, 
made it into cakes, and dried them by exposure to the sun. 
These cakes, which are represented as having no disagreeable 
smell, formed an article of commerce, sold in the neighborhood 
of large cities, under the name of taffo. According to Mr. For- 
une, however, the Chinese prefer to use their night soil in its 
nost recent state, diluted with water, and applied directly to 
their crops in the form of liquid manure. 

In a fresh state, night soil is applied at the rate of 6 to 12 
cart loads to the acre ; but this is an unpleasant and wasteful 
application. It may be dried, and rendered inodorous by union 
with charcoal, charred peat, or broken peat, coal ashes or fine 
mould, and drying by exposure to the air. This forms one; 
kind of poudrette. It is best treated with charcoal powder 
gypsum, or very small quantiites of green vitrol, (sulphate ol 
iron,) the sulphuric acid of which fixes the volatile ammonia. 
Quicklime and unleached ashes are objectionable additions, as 
they liberate the ammonia, and cause loss. The most econom- 
ical method, so far as the soil of the farm is concerned, is to 
keep pounded charcoal and a little gypsum in the privy, to be 
sprinkled occasionally in the vault, so as to have it ready for 
use as soon as removed. Drying night soil in the air, without 
any addition, is wasteful ; for fermentation comes on rapidly, 
and great loss of ammoniacal matters takes place. 

Excrement of the Pigeon. The dung of pigeons has been cei- 
ebrated by all writers on agriculture for more than 2,00b years; 
and it has been so highly valued by the husbandmen of the 
East, that these birds have been kept in vast numbers in cotes, 
or houses, principally for the sake of their manure. Kinneir, 
poetical assistant to Sir John Malcolm, Ambassador to Uie 


co'irl of Persia, states in his " Geographical Memoir of the 
Persian Empire," published at London, in 1813, that the ac- 
knowledged superiority of the flavor of the melons at Ispahan, 
is alone to be ascribed to this rich manure. The largest of the 
pigeon towers will sell for $15,000 ; and many of them yield 
to the proprietors an annual income of $1,000 to $1,500 each. It 
is also highly esteemed in Spain, Portugal, France, and Bel 
gium, at the present day, wherever it can be obtained in suffi- 
cient quantity. In the last-named country, it is used as a tqp- 
dressing for young flax plants, and the yearly product of 600 
pigeons will sell for nearly $20. 

The effect of pigeon manure on crops is immediate, which 
depends principally upon the quantity of soluble matter con- 
tained in it; and this varies according to its age, and the cir- 
cumstances under which it has been preserved. Thus, Sir H. 
Davy found, that, in recent pigeon dung, 23 per cent, was sol- 
uble, while that after fermentation, contained only 8 per cent. 
The soluble matter consists of uric acid in small quantity, 
urate, sulphate, a.nd especially carbonate of ammonia, common 
salt, and the sulphate of potash. The insoluble portion consists 
chiefly of phosphate of lime, with a little phosphate of mag- 
nesia, and a variable mixture of sand or earth. 

According to M. Girardin, the recent dung of pigeons con 
tains of 

Water, 79.00 

Azotised vegetable matter, 18.11 

Saline or mineral matter, 2.28 

Insoluble matter, sand, &c., 0.61 


When, exposed to moisture, the dung of pigeons, like guano 
and the excrement of all kinds of birds, especially if recent, 
undergoes fermentation, loses a portion of its ammoniacal salts, 
and thereby becomes less valuable. If intended to be kept, it 
should be mixed with dry vegetable mould, or made into a com- 
post with dr earth and saw dust, with a portion of charcoal 


dust, pulverised or charred peat, gypsum, or with sugar refuse 
(animalised carbon). One part of recent pigeon dung, mixed 
with 4 parts of dry sand, and 5 parts of pulverised peat, or veg- 
etable mould, makes an excellent compost for a cold heavy soil. 
For grain fields, 40 bushels of pigeon dung, mixed as above, 
will be sufficient to manure an acre, but there is great care to 
be observed in 'laying it on. The best way is to scatter it 
broadcast over the surface, immediately after the grain is sown, 
harrowing them in at the same operation. Then, the first rains 
that fall will wash most of the soluble portions into the ground, 
and the seed, as it softens and swells for sprouting, absorbs its 
proper quota, and has the advantage of its warmth and stim- 
ulating effects from the beginning. 

Pigeon manure is most appropriate for moist as well as stir) 
soils ; but most of its virtue is spent in one crop. When tem- 
pered with other dung, it is excellent for fruit trees and vines ; 
and, even, when used alone, it is superior, perhaps, to all other 
manures for the hop, to which it imparts an increased size, 
strength, and spirit. 

As the value of pigeon dung is so great, it is advisable for 
the farmer to have a pigeon house wherever it can be done 
without injury to the neighboring fields of grain. The floor 
of the cote should be covered 4 inches thick with pulverised 
peat, or fine black mould, reduced to a powder, which, when 
taken out with the dung, feathers, and sweepings (if the walls, 
forms a most valuable manure. 

Excrement of the Rabbit. In countries where rabbits are ex- 
tensively kept, their dung has been used with great success 
as a manure, so much so, that it has been found profitable to 
propagate them for the sake of their dung, and to have their 
"hutches" constructed in reference to the object of accumula- 
ting it without waste. 

Excrement of Sea Fowls. One of the most powerful manures 
in nature, is the dung of such birds as feed on fish or animal 
flesh. The arid, sterile plains of Peru have been fertilised for 
ages by G : - ANO, a species of manure collected from the small 


islands near the coast, there accumulated by the droppings, 
feathers, &c., of the immense number of sea birds that con- 
stantly frequent those spots. As this substance is treated of at 
length under its appropriate head, a further description of it is 
unnecessary here. 

On the Keys of Florida, immense flocks of pelicans, flamin- 
goes, and other sea birds congregate in vast numbers, and 
doubtless, if special pains were taken to collect their dung be- 
fore it is decomposed by the rains and scorching sun, this 
guano would prove profitable to the collectors, and would be 
sought after by the American farmers for manure. 

At the suggestion of Sir H. Davy, a trial was made with 
the dung of sea fowls, in Wales, and it produced a powerful, 
though transient effect on the grass upon which it was applied. 
That sagacious experimentalist very truly conjectured, how- 
ever, that the rains of that climate, as well as those of all 
others, materially injure this species of manure, unless where 
it happens to be deposited in caverns or the fissures of rocks, 
out of the reach of moisture and the sun. 

Excrement of the Sheep. The dung of sheep is regarded as 
one of the best manures of this class ; and for many purposes, 
it is considered better than any other. It has not that violent 
heat so remarkable in the excrement of the horse, nor is it cold 
and inactive like that of the cow in a recent state ; but there is 
a mildness and richness in it that no other manure can ap- 
proach, unless we except that of the goat. It ferments more 
readily than that of the cow, but less so than that of the horse. 

As the food of the sheep is more finely masticated than that 
of the cow, and its dung contains a little less water, it is richer 
in nitrogen, and hence, its more rapid fermentation. 

According to Girardin, the simple excrement of sheep in u 
recent state, contains of 

Water, 6a?l 

Azotised matter, 25. 16 

Saline matter, 8.T 



In comparing this substance with other IT. mures, Boussin- 
gault considers that 36 parts of the excrement of the sheep to 
be equivalent in fertilising effects to 100 parts of farmyard 

Although the dung of animals, in general, suits most kinds 
of soils, if properly tempered with other matter, cold clays ap- 
pear to receive the most benefit from that of sheep, yet it is 
suited to almost every description of land, and most kinds of 
crops. Those soils in which a considerable quantity of veg-% 
etable matter is already present, are believed to be the most 
benefitted by this manure, in consequence of the readiness with 
which they absorb the volatile matters it so soon begins to 
throw off. 

In the management of this manure, there are practised by 
farmers three ways, according to the season, the climate, and 
other circumstances by which the owner of the flock has to be 
govern! one by allowing the sheep to run at will, and eat off 
the crop in the field, dropping their dung evenly over the sur- 
face, and at the same time treading it into the soil another by 
confining them in open folds, or yards, at night, in which they 
deposit their urine and dung, and range about the pastures and 
fields by day and a third, by securing them in a barn or cov- 
ered fold during most of the colder months of the year, where 
all their manure is saved, and husbanded to the best advantage, 
without loss or injury from wet, from drying winds, or from the 
sun. By the lirst two methods, much of the virtue of the ma- 
nure is lost by evaporation and the washing of rains; by the 
latter, pulverised peat, swamp or pond muck, vegetable mould, 
or almost any kind of earth, may be spread in the bottom of the 
covered fold, where it will absorb the urine, and become incor- 
porHed with the dung, forming therewith an abundance of val- 
uable manure. When sheep are fed in pastures, they drop 
their dung about the surface, which does comparatively but 
little service *c the land ; whereas, if evenly so-altered over the 
fields, and trcxllen into the soil, as in the case of feeding off a 
crop of turmos or of green -ye, it decomposes more slowly than 


when it is collected into heaps, and the ammonia and other pro- 
ducts of the decomposition are al sorbed in great part bv the 
soil as they are produced. 

In folding sheep upon land at night, with the view of pre- 
paring it for a crop of tobacco, turnips, or wheat, care should 
be observed that their dung be not left long exposed to the air 
and sun on the surface of the ground ; for that will exhaust 
its richness with little or no value to the land. It should be 
plowed in as soon as a sufficient deposit has been made, while 
tne ground is moist with urine, and the manure is fresh ; for, of 
all dungs, perhaps, it is the most free to lose its virtue, and in 
this respect, it should not be overlooked, as it is an axiom 
beyond dispute that "the fertilising power which shows itself 
with the greatest promptitude, is also that which is soonest ex- 

In Belgium, it has long been the practice to house their sheep 
at night under slight sheds, the ground being spread with dry 
sand about 4 or 5 inches thick, laying on a little more fresh 
every day. Once a week, the whole mass, including the urine 
and dung, is carried to a compost heap, or is applied at once 
to the soil. This mixture of sand with hot urine and dung 
serves as an excellent dressing for cold stiff lands. If a light 
soil is intended to be manured with this compost, instead of 
sand, layers of clay, swamp or pond muck, peat, &c., may be 
substituted therefor, after having been previously mellowed by 
a winter's frost. 

Excrement of the Turkey. The dung of turkeys, from the 
similarity of their food and internal organisation to those of 
domestic fowls, is also similar in composition and character to 
that of the latter birds, and may be treated and applied to the 
same kinds of soil, anc o similar crops. 

Although by no means an abundant manure, considerable 
quantities may be saved where a large nun ber of turkeys are 
kept, by causing them to roost under cover, and composting 
their excrement after the manner recommended for the DOME* 



IN general properties, feathers resemlije nail-, cuticle, hair 
wool, bristles, &c., consisting principally of inspissated albu- 
men, with a very minute proportion of gelatin. 

Although limited in the supply, considerable quantities of im- 
perfect feathers and quills can be obtained, such as cannot be 
used for beds, or for writing, pencil tubes. &c., which can be 
employed for manure. From 20 to 30 bushels of old feathers, 
which are generally clotted and packed, when they have long 
been used in beds, may be applied to an acre of grain. It is 
stated that even 10 bushels per acre of old feathers plowed under 
on wheat land nearly double the produce. Covering with the 
seed furrow of a grain crop, is recommended to be the best mode 
of application in securing unmolested the future disposition of 
the feathers in order that they may rot or decompose in the earth. 


THE fleshy, muscular, tendinous, and other textures of dead 
animals, which cannot be fed with-advantage to dogs or swine, 
or are not in demand for the manufacture of Prussian blue or 
animal black, can be converted into a most valuable manure 
by baking or charring them in a close furnace, or by mixing 
them as intimately as possible with about 6 times their own 
weight of peat, vegetable mould, or ordinary field earth. This 
manure, when applied to the roots of most of our garden and 
field plants, without coming in immediate contact with the 
stalks, stimulates the vegetation in a remarkable degree. It 
can also be sown broadcast with grain, and produces, when 
judiciously applied, astonishing results. Mixed with twice its 
bulk of dry powdered earth, its application becomes exceed- 
ingly easy, and 1,500 Ibs. of the mixture are sufficient to manure 
an acre. 

Horses, uogs sheep, deer, and other quadrupeds, that have 


died accidentally or by disease, are too of. en suffered to remain 
exposed to the air, er lie floating or partly immersed in water 
until they are devoured by birds or beasts of prey, or are entirely 
decomposed. In the mean time, noxious gases are thrown off to 
the atmosphere, and the land or water where they lie receive but 
little or no benefit, and often an injury therefrom. By covering a 
dead animal with 6 times its bulk of dried pulverised peat, leaf 
mould, charred saw dust or tan bark, swamp or pond muck, or 
finely-divided soil, mixed with 1 part of quicklime, and suffer- 
ing it to remain for a few months, the decomposing carcass will 
impregnate the surrounding medium in which it is mixed with 
soluble matters sufficient to render the compound an excellent 
manure. At the time of removal, if a disagreeable effluvium 
is exhaled, it may be chiefly or entirely destroyed by incor- 
porating with the heap a small quantity of ground gypsum or 
charcoal dust, which will absorb and retain the gases for ma- 
nure. Any waste carcass may also be decomposed by inclos- 
ing it in a heap of vegetable matter in a state of fermentation, 
particularly in warm weather, when the temperature is high. 


UNDER this head is included not only the ordinary fish em- 
ployed as manure, but the offal, or heads, intestines, fins, and 
scales of those disposed of in the markets, as well as crabs, 
lobsters, muscles, and other shell fish. They all owe their fer- 
tilising effects mainly to the animal matter and bone earth they 
contain. The former is similar in its composition to the flesh 
or blood of quadrupeds. Indeed, the chemical constituents of 
sprats, and other similar fish, used for fertilising the land, are 
found to be nearly identical with the entire animal. 

Assuming sprats, a well-known fish, employed as manure at 
cer'ain seasons, on the coasts of Sussex and Ken , in England, 
to be taken as a type of the animal, the following analyses by 
Professor Thomas Way, chemist to the Royal Agricultural 
Society of England, will serve to show, in a degree, the com- 


position of most other species offish, applied to the same pur. 
pose. In 100 parts of the entire fish, bruised in a mortar, and 
then dried at a temperature of 212F., there were found of 


Water,. G 3-f>5 

Oil, 18.60 

Dry nitrogenous matter, 17.75 


The amount of pure nitrogen obtained from the above, was 
H_s3_ths per cent, which would be equivalent to l T n 6 V ns of the 
entire fish in their natural condition. Out of 1,000 grs. of the 
fish, when examined directly for sulphur, there won; found 
li grs., or -jVVhs of 1 per cent. 

The quantity of ash, or mineral matter, obtained by burning 
the fish of two seasons was 2-p^-ths per cent., which had the 
following composition : 

Sprats of 1847. Sprats of 1848. 

Silica, traces 0.30 

Phosphoric ncid, 43.52 40.49 

Sulphuric acid, traces 1.40 

Carbonic acid, 

Lime, 23.57 27.23 

Magnesia, 3.01 3.42 

Per-oxide of iron, 0.28 0.65 

Potash, 17.23 21.89 

Soda, 1.19 

Chloride of potassium, 2.31 

Chloride of sodium, 11.19 2.31 

HX.OO 100.00 

Prom the analysis of this ash, we find precisely what would 
have been expected phosphate of lime, furnished by the 
bones, and potash by the muscular parts of the fish. 

As a matter of practical importance to the farmer, his atten- 
tion may be directed to the similarity in composition between 
some of our cultivated crops and that of sprats. Wheat, for 
instance, contains about 2 per cent, of nitrogen; so does the 
fish. Wheat contains about Ifths per cent, of ash, of which 


about i is phosphoric acid, and id potash. Sprats contain about 
2 per cent, of ash, of which about fths are phosphoric acid, and 
Ith potash. What manure, then, would be more suitable to 
grow a bushel of wheat than 50 Ibs. of sprats ? 

The use of fish, as a manure, is generally confined to within 
certain distances of the set' shore, which is obvious, principal- 
ly for the following reasor. : It requires to be employed in 
somewhat large dressings, although, weight for weight, they 
ai-e at least 4 times more powerful than farmyard dung; conse- 
quently, the expense of transportation, added to the original 
cost, soon places them beyond the farmer's reach. 

The fish usually employed in this country for manure may 
be described and applied as follows: 

Alewife, or Spring Herring (Alosa tyrannus). This species 
offish occurs in great abundance along the Atlantic coast from 
Maine to Virginia. They usually appear in the Chesapeake 
from March till May. In the waters about New York, they ap- 
pear with the shad, early in April. In New Hampshire and Mas- 
sachusetts, they swarm in great profusion, a month or six weeks 
later, where they are taken in seines in vast quantities, and for- 
merly were employed with their congeners, the shad, as a ma- 
nure. But, since the obstructions made in the rivers and 
streams they were wont to frequent, in consequence of the erec- 
tion of dams and mills, they are caught in less abundance, and 
are now generally used for food. , 

Horse-foot or King Crab (Polyphemus occidentalis). This 
crab is common during the spring and summer all along the 
coast from Maine to Florida. It is sometimes called the " sauce 
pan," from the shape of its shield, which is frequently used fci 
bailing out boats. They usually approach the shore at high 
water, when they are frequently taken in large numbers, and 
employed in feeding poultry and swine. If eaten too plenti- 
fully, they are liable to cause sickness in pigs and hogs, and 
sometimes are the cause of their death. 

When thrown promiscuously in the pig yard, broken and 
composted with swamp or pond muck, these fish add greatly to 


the richness of the manure, and are an important source for tn 
maritime farmers to fertilise their fields. 

Menhaden (Alosa menhaden). This important fish, which 
also bears the local names of " manhaden," " bony fish,'' "hard 
head," "mars banker," " mossbonker," " mossbanker," "moss- 
bunker," or simply "bunkeV panhagen, (Indian.) and "skip- 
pangs," is found during the summer months, more or less abun- 
dantly, from Maine to the Chesapeake. The sea and shoals often 
literally swarm with them, where they are taken in seines or 
nets, and employed as bait for halibut, mackerel, and cod. 
Sometimes they are cured and packed up, like herrings, and 
used for human food ; but, from their very oily nature, they are 
not much resorted to for this purpose, being more extensively 
and profitably applied as a manure. It is computed that a 
single menhaden of ordinary size, (12 inches in length,) is 
equal in richness to a shovelful of farmyard manure. 

The use of this fish is well known as a manure in the vicin- 
ity of the coast from Massachusetts Bay to the Chesapeake, par- 
ticularly on the light lands of Long Island, Cape Cod, as well 
as those of the eastern counties of New Jersey and Delaware. 
They are used in various ways for growing wheat, oats, grass, 
Indian corn, peaches, and other kinds of crops; and their ef- 
fects in renovating worn-out lands, and enriching those that are 
naturally sterile, are truly remarkable. But, from the manner 
in which they are usually applied by scattering them in a crude 
state broadcast over the surface, or- slightly covering them with 
earth, is not only a wasteful practice, in consequence of the loss 
of ammonia and other volatile constituents, but, on medical 
authority, they sometimes have created pestilence and disease 
from the intolerable and unhealthy stench with which thev 
contaminate the atmosphere for miles around. 

The most economical and advantageous mode of applying 
these fish, as a manure, is to compost them in alternate layers 
of dry mould, swamp or pond muck, pulverised charcoal or 
peat, charred saw dust or tan bark, or any other similar absorb- 
ent matter, in the same manner as recommended for BLOOD, 


URINE, BLUBBER, and other putresccnt manures, described under 
their respective heads. When thoroughly decomposed, this 
compost may be spread broadcast, or disposed of in drills, or 
in the hill, according to the kind of crops to which it is applied 
If the fish are buried in the soil, however, in a crude state, re. 
ference may be had to the nature of the subsoil in regard to 
its power of absorbing and retaining the ammonia and other 
soluble parts of the fish, that would be liable to be carried 
downward by the rains or melted snows, with which they are 
combined. It will be seen under the head of CLAY, (unburnt,) 
that a subsoil, abounding in clay, loam, mould, or decomposed 
vegetable matter, has the power of absorbing and retaining 
everything which can serve as a manure for plants. This action, let 
it be remembered, is not at all the same as in filtration, as a 
subsoil composed of sand or gravel does not possess this prop- 
erty, but allows most of the fertilising matter from the fish, 
contained in solution, to penetrate the earth with the water from 
the rains or melted snows. Thus, if the soil be deep and 
loamy, the fish may be plowed under or otherwise buried to a 
depth of 6 to 10 inches, with at least a foot of clayey or loamy 
soil below them to secure absorption. The subsoil must be 
clay or loam, for sand and gravel have no power of absorption, 
and allow all solutions to pass freely through them. 

When applied to Indian corn, with no other manure, from 2 
to 3 fish are employed to each hill ; but when used in connec- 
tion with wood ashes and stable dung, one fish is appropriated 
to a hill ; say 3,630 fish, 14 cubic yards of horse dung, and 56 
bushels of unleached ashes to an acre. A dressing like this, 
on the Long-Island plains, will produce from 60 to 80 bushels 
of shelled corn to an acre; and after the corn is removed, the 
land will be suitable for a tolerable crop of buckwheat, oats, 
or rye, without any additional manure. 

For a wheat crop, about 10,000 of these fish may be plowed 
under in a crude state to each acre of land ; or from 5,000 to 
U> 6,000 may be composted as directed above, and plowed 01 
harrowed in with the seed. 


When from 2,JOO to 3,000 menhaden are decomposed in a 
compost as described in the preceding page and spread on an 
acre of old grass land, the renovating effects are astonishing. 

For root crops and peach trees, there is no manure that has 
a better effect for a single year than these fish; but they do not 
have that influence after repeating, which they have at first, 
unless they are used in connection with charcoal, gypsum, bone 
dust, leached ashes, guano, farmyard manure, or green-sand 

Mussels (Mytilus borealis). This species of shell fish, as 
well as the Mytilus plicatula, is common all along the northern 
coast of the United States, and are often found in great abun- 
dance on the banks of the estuaries or creeks, whence they are 
collected and fed to poultry or swine, and are used to some ex- 
tent as a manure. From 10 to 20 bushels, in connection with 
other fertilisers, are regarded as sufficient to manure an acre 
of land. 

Clams, cockles, and other kinds of shell fish, as well as crabs 
and lobsters, all form excellent manures. The crust, or shells, 
of the latter, is stated to contain 14 per cent, of the phosphate 
of lime; the remaining portion consisting of carbonate of lime 
and animal matter. 

The offal offish, such as the heads, fins, scales, and intestines, 
are to be obtained more or less abundantly in most of our mar- 
kets, and from the places where fish are dressed and packed, 
all form excellent fertilisers, and may be treated and applied in 
& similar manner as the menhaden, described in the preceding 


FOLDING;, or yarding, is the practice of confining sheep, cows, 
&c., at night or other times, in a sirall parcel of ground for the 
purpose of enriching the soil for turnips, cabbages, tobacco, 
and sor.ietimes wheat. The benefits arising from this mode of 
manuring is acknowledged in many cases to be great; yet, 


during the summer months, it cannot be otnerwise than waste- 
ful, as a great part of the urine of the ar. imal is lost by evapo- 
ration, as well as much of the solid excrement, which becomes 
volatilised or removed by the washing of the rains. 

Some farmers turn in their horned cattle with the sheep, 
which answers well when the soil contains much gravel or 
warm sand, and is not bad when it consists mainly of loam 
But it is regarded to be more judicious to fold the cattle by 
themselves on a dry gravelly or hungry soil, and the sheep 
without the cattle on a soil that is stiff', heavy, and cold. 

Before folding a piece of ground, it should be plowed once 
or twice, in order to put it in a proper condition to receive the 
urine and dung of the animals. By repeated observation, it has 
been determined that, on an average, 200 sheep cannot manure 
by folding, in one summer, more than 10 acres of land of a 
medium quality, notwithstanding it has been stated that 100 
sheep will enrich 8 acres, so as to need no other manure for 
eight years. 

For a crop of turnips, let half of an acre of ground be plow- 
ed and fenced, in the latitude of New York, about the first of 
June. Turn in every night a half dozen head of neat cattle, 
and about 50 sheep. Continue to do so for three or four weeka 
harrowing the surface every few days, in order to mix the ex- 
crement with the soil. About the middle of July, the ground 
will be sufficiently folded, and the turnips may be sown and 
harrowed in, and will produce an abundant yield. 

A yard for cabbages may be begun about a fortnight earlier 
than for turnips, or soon after the cattle are turned out to grass. 
In other respects, the time and treatment of the land, are sim- 
ilar to those for turnips. 

When a wheat crop is intended, the ground may be plowed 
and folded in July, with frequent harrowings, up to the time of 
sowing the seed in August. If the ground is very moist or wet, 
let the harrowing be done in the middle of ?he day; if dry, in 
Ihe morning, while moist vdth dew. 

Meadow lands, which a - e cold and sour, producing bad hay. 


may be greatly improved by even a moderate folding, which 
will kill the ferns, (brakes,) and mosses, and destroy the lushes 
or other watery grasses, without breaking up the sod. This 
may be done, too, at such seasons as are unsuited for folding 
plowed lands for turnips or wheat, say from September till 
May, where the ground is not covered with snow. Sheep are 
regarded more proper for this purpose than cattle, as their ex- 
crement is hotter, and will have a more powerful effect in kill- 
ing the noxious grasses and plants. Where a large field is to 
be ameliorated in this manner, it is sometimes the custom to 
confine the sheep at night in one part of the meadow, by means 
of "hurdles,"' and as soon as that particular portion of the land 
has been sufficiently folded, to change their enclosure to 
another part of the Held, and thus continue until the whole is 

In some places, they fold their fatting cattle in autumn, upon 
the stubble fields or grass lands, where they are daily fed with 
turnips, beets, potatoes, &c., which are spread upon the field. 
By this means, the cattle are made to go over the entire ground, 
dropping their urine and manure wherever they go, until the 
whole is manured. A similar practice sometimes is also adopt- 
ed in Boiling cows, where green food, such as rye, lucern, clover, 
corn stalks, &c.. is scattered over the surface until the land is 
sufficiently enriched. 


GUANO, or huanu, which signifies in the Peruvian or Quichua 
language " manure," is now well known to be the excrements of 
various species of sea fowls, such as cranes, flamingoes, mews, 
divers, &c., which resort in immense numbers to small uninhab- 
ited islands or rocky promontories on the coasts of Africa and 
South America, where they have remained in undisturbed pos- 
session for ages, and on which their dung and exuviae have 
gradually accumulated in some instances, on the coast of Peru, 
according to Humboldt, to a depth of 50 or 60 feet ; but their 


deposits for a period of 300 years had not formed a bed more 
than from -J-d to of an inch thick. 

As regards the history of this substance, we read in all the 
works relating to the ancient agriculture of the Peruvians of its 
value as a fertiliser, and admire the provident use made of i* 
.y the Incas, long before that patriarchal race of monarchs 
had been exterminated by their chivalrous invaders, the Span- 
iards. For more than a hundred years, the early navigators to 
the Pacific had noticed the guano islands, and had seen car- 
goes of this deposit conveyed to the adjacent mainland, where 
they must have witnessed the greater luxuriance of the her- 
bage, as well as the increased weight of the crops wherever it 
was applied. European and American merchants, also, who 
have had opportunities ever since the declaration of Peruvian 
independence, of forming establishments of their own on the 
coast, as well as in the interior, could not have been ignorant 
of the use made of guano by the natives, and the astonishing 
effects it produced on their crops. The delay, therefore, of in- 
troducing it into Europe and elsewhere, could not have occur- 
red through the want of a knowledge of its value arid appli- 
cability to a foreign soil. 

Tt was not until the year 1806, that the true nature of this 
substance, as a fertiliser, was communicated to the scientific 
world, when a sample was transmitted by Humboldt on his re- 
turn from South America, to Messrs. Fourcroy and Vauquelin, 
of Paris, two eminent chemists, who made a most careful and 
elaborate analysis of it, the results of which are published in 
vol. Ivi. of the " Annales de Chimie." They found it to contain 
ith of its weight of uric acid, partially saturated with am- 
monia, and small quantities of sulphate and muriate of potash, 
mixed with portions of quartzose and ferruginous sand. From 
this circumstance, a knowledge of its value was communicated 
to most of the enlightened agriculturists of Europe as well as 
of the United States, but. no application was made of it in either 
country before the year 1824, when the late Mr. Skinner, then 
editor of the " American Farmer," received two barrels of il 


at Baltimore, and distributed in small parcels for experiment 
Governor Lloyd, of .Maryland, an intelligent and enterprising 
farmer, to whom a portion was sent, pronounced it "the most 
powerful manure lie had ever seen applied to Indian corn." 

But no further measures were taken to introduce this manure, 
with the exception of a few samples sent home by travellers in 
Peru, with which experiments were made in Europe and in this 
country, more as a matter of curiosity than from any other ex- 
pectation, until the year 1840, when 20 barrels arrived in Eng- 
land to test its qualities upon the soil. At first, it was used 
with great precaution ; and notwithstanding the astonishing re- 
sults of the earlier experiments, the fear that the enormous 
crops which it produced might exhaust the land, deterred the 
British farmers, generally, from availing themselves of so val- 
uable a manure. Repeated experiments, however, having con- 
vinced them that it imparts great vigor to the plants, without 
injury to the soil, and that it is the cheapest as well as the most 
nourishing fertiliser known, the increase of its consumption 
was such, that, from a few tons employed in 1840, the whole 
amount imported into that country up to the beginning of the 
year 1850, was about 650,000 tons ! 

From this great consumption of guano in England, and the 
success with which it was everywhere attended, its introduc- 
tion became gradual into the United States ; and, for the last 
year past, the demands for a. genuine article have been so great 
by the farmers along the Atlantic coast, that their wants could 
not be supplied. 

Independently of the immense quantities imported from Bo- 
livia and Peru, guano has been obtained from Ichaboe, a rocky 
islet on the coast of Africa, from which many thousand tons 
were shipped, and it has been stripped down to the very rock 
itself by the emissaries of the greedy agriculturists, and again 
abandoned in solitude. Considerable quantities have also been 
brought from Patagonia, Chili, and the islands of the South 
Sea ; but, as might have been expected from the nature of the 
climates from which they were obtained, they were either found 


>o *>e worthless, o far inferior in qualiti y to those of Bolivia 
}id Peru. 

From this great and insatiable demand for g jano in England 
ir.<] elsewhere, thw most wilful adulterations have been made 
in that country, confined principally to the Peruvian, by mixing 
'> with gypsum or sand, or, more correctly speaking, with a 
sort of brownish-yellow loam, not differing much from the color 
of guano itself ; but, as ready means have recently been dis- 
covered for detecting these frauds, together with severe enact- 
ments for punishing the perpetrators, the practice, it is hoped, 
will soon become absolete. 

Guano, like all kinds of animal excrement, varies materially 
in its quality according to the nature of the food habitually 
used. The richer and more nutritious it is, the greater will be 
the fertilising properties of the manure. Hence, the dung of 
the highly-fed race horse is more valuable than that of the 
drudge released from the cart, and kept upon low fare. For the 
very same reason, the excrementitious deposits of birds feed- 
ing upon fish or flesh, afford a stronger manure than parrots 
or pigeons which live on berries and grain. Again, guano is 
very materially influenced by the age and climate in which it 
is found. Thus, during the first year of its deposit in Bolivia 
or Peru, the strata are white, and abounding in uric acid ; but 
in the lower strata, which have existed, perhaps, for ages, the 
color is a rusty red, as if tinged with oxide of iron. They be- 
come progressively more and more solid from the surface 
downward, a circumstance naturally accounted for by the 
gradual accumulation of the strata, and the evaporation of the 
volatile parts. In all climates subject to rains and heavy dews, 
the guano exposed to their influence undergoes fermentation, 
loses a portion of its ammoniacal salts by the decomposition, 
and thereby is diminished in value. The excrement of the birds, 
when first deposited, is rich in nitrogenous compounds. No am- 
monia, as such, exists among its constituents ; but the access 
of air and moisture induce a slow decomposition by which 
ammonia is generated, and when the circumstances are favor- 


able, it escapes into the atmosphere. Whenever moist, re is 
abundant, these changes are most rapidly effected; wnereas, 
on the other hand, a dry climate and a rapid accumulation of 
the deposit are more likely to insure its preservation m a com- 
paratively unchanged state. 

From the preceding remarks, it is obvious that the composi- 
tion, and consequently the value, of the different kinds of guano 
will vary according to the age and localities from which they 
are obtained. From numerous analyses and experiments made 
with those sort? in most general use, their rank in the scale -of 
this class of manures, together with other circumstances con- 
nected with their production and application, stand in the fol 
lowing order: 

Anagamos Guano. By a subsequent table, it will be seen that 
this guano contains a larger per-centage of ammonia, with a 
due share of phosphates, than any other kind in the list. It is 
a perfectly recent deposit, collected by hand from the rocks, 
which accounts for its richness. Although it is not distinctly 
known whether the composition of the dung of birds, recently 
voided, is perfectly alike, we have reason to suppose, that of 
sea fowls, all piscivorous and nearly allied in their habits, can- 
not greatly differ. From this circumstance, it is worthy of in- 
vestigation to ascertain whether the Florida guano, deposited on 
the Keys by immense flocks of flamingoes, pelicans, and other 
aquatic birds, cannot be collected after the manner of that from 
Anagamos, and turned to profitable account. 

Penman Guano. From the large amount of ammonia and 
phosphates contained in this kind of guano, together with the 
almost inexhaustible supply, and the circumstances attending 
its origin, collection, and importation, the farmer can more im- 
plicitly rely upon it for fertilising his fields than on any other. 
Being the production of a climate where rair seldom or never 
fulls, its composition becomes less altered, and its character 
'ess varied, except i/i color, than those varieties found further 
north or south. 

During the first year of deposit, the strata are white, when it 


is called by the natives guano bianco. In the opinion of .he 
Peruvian cultivators this is the most efficacious kind, as less 
quantity suffices, and the field must be more speedily and abun- 
dantly watered after it is applied; otherwise, the roots of the 
plants would bo destroyed. 

In the deepest deposits, the uppermost strata are of a greyish 
brown, which gradually become darker as they are opened 
downward. In the" lower strata, the color is rusty red, as if 
tinged with the oxide of iron. The beds become progressively 
more and more solid from the surface downwards, a circum- 
stance naturally accounted for by the gpadual deposit of the 
strata and the evaporation of the fluid particles, the result, per- 
haps, from an uninterrupted accumulation during many thous- 
and years. 

As before remarked, the wilful adulteration of guano is be- 
lieved to be confined almost entirely to the Peruvian. Hence, 
much precaution is necessary on the part of the farmer in 
making his purchases; otherwise, he is liable to be deceived. 
It is not enough to know that the "substance is of a brown 
color, sufficiently dry, with a tolerably strong smell, and ap- 
pearing to contain little or no gritty matter when rubbed be- 
tween the fingers ;" for, if genuine, all guanos have a general 
character running through them. For instance, they invariably 
contain feathers and comminuted shells; water, of course; or- 
ganic matter, always ; crystallised gypsum, never ; carbonate 
of lime, commonly ; phosphate of lime, always ; super-phos- 
phate, never; and nitrogen or ammonia, invariably. Several 
of these points can only be determined by accurate analysis 
which farmers in general are incapable of doing. All the rist 
and uncertainty, therefore, to which the farming public is now 
subjected, might be avoided if they would give up seeking for 
cheap guano, buy from dealers of known character and honesty, 
and insist that the purchase shall be guaranteed to be of the 
same composition as a sample analysed by seme chemist of 
well known accuracy and veracity. 

in selecting samples fot analysis, it should always be takeo 


from as many bags as possible. A large handful or two should 
be selected from perhaps a dozen different bags, and the whole 
laid on a large sheet of paper, and mixed carefully together 
with the hand. From this, about a pound should be taken,and 
the remainder returned into the stock. This precaution ia de- 
sirable in all sorts of guano, but is quite indispensable with 
the inferior kinds, which f-equently differ very much in differ- 
ent parts of the same cargo. 

Bolivian Guano. Next to the Peruvian in value as a fertiliser, 
stands the Bolivian, which, from the similarity of the climate 
in which it is produced, being obtained only a few degrees fur- 
ther south, it lias been placed in the very iirst rank of excel- 
lence. Some cargoes, however, have proved to be of very in- 
ferior quality, obviously having been adulterated, or had been 
subject to moisture or long exposure to the wind and sun. 

Chilian Guano. Of this fertiliser, two qualities have been 
imported. The one most commonly met with is of a most in- 
ferior description, and scarcely deserves the name of guano; 
but there is another and a very valuable variety, although rare, 
which is imported from Valparaiso, and is stated to be collected 
on the rocks. It is quite hard, and comes in large pale-yellow- 
ish masses; and, in value, it is said to be equal to that of the 
very best Peruvian. 

Ichaboe Guano. This guano, although abundant a few years 
since, has now almost entirely ceased in its supply. It is de- 
signated under the names of the "old" and the "new Ichaboe," 
the former being a deposit probably many centuries of age. 
which hud been exposed to the sun, wind, and rain, and conse- 
quently had lost a large share of its virtue, and hence inferior 
in its value. Soon after its discovery, the whole of the deposit 
with which the island was covered, was entirely removed. So 
completely, indeed, was this done, that the last cargoes carried 
away were but little better than sand, and the island was again 
Abandoned to the birds. Since that time, the sea fowls returned, 
rapidly formed fresh deposits, and other importations have been 
made, designated under the name of the ' ; new Ichaboe," which 


proved, on analysis, to be much richer than the " Id." It ap- 
pears that the recent Ichaboe guano contains an amount of 
ammonia not far short of double of that contained in the older 
deposit, and between 3 and 4 per cent, more than the highest 
per-centage hitherto observed. It approaches in composition 
much nearer that of Peru, both in this respect, and in the small 
amount of phosphates and larger quantity of alkaline salts 
which it contains. In one other respect, also, it is remarkable 
and this is, in the considerable per-centage of carbonate of 
lime, of which traces only are found in the oldest deposits, and 
none at all in the Peruvian. 

Patagonian Guano. This varioty, from the high latitude in 
which it is produced, and subjected as it is to frequent rains, 
alternated by intense sunshine and drying winds, has usually 
been purchased at higher prices than its quality justifies. Its 
inferiority to Peruvian or Bolivian guanos is very marked, 
especially in its amount of ammonia ; and from numerous 
analyses, it has been ascertained that it contains a considerable 
quantity of sand, in one case, at least 38 per cent. This guano, 
it is believed, never is willfully adulterated. In fact, its quality 
is so low that it will not bear it. There is said to occur among 
this guano considerable quantities of crystals, composed almost 
entirely of the salt called ' ammoniaco-magncsian phosphate," 
which, when pure, contains no less than 7 per cent, of ammo- 
nia. These crystals, it has been stated, have been carefully 
avoided by the captains of vessels, with the impression that 
they were of no value. 

Saldariha-Bay Guano. This variety, like the Patagonian, 
comes from a latitude and climate subject to heavy rains, al- 
ternated by an intense sun, and consequently loses the greater 
part of its ammonia, unless it is collected in a very recent 
state. Its chief value, as a fertiliser, consists in its phosphates, 
which range higher than those in any other variety hitherto 

The foregoing includes all the varieties of guano that have ap- 
l>eared in any Quantity in trn European and American markets. 


~ I 5 


I I 


S i ts r~ p i~ o 
LI <r. rs I ;i 'L 

5 S g I 153 



the average composition of 
which is indicated in the ad- 
joining table, by Dr. Thomas 
.\ nderson, chemist to the High- 
l;md and Agricultural Socjety 
of Scotland. In the more com- 
mon guanos, the average is de- 
duced from a large number of 
analyses, made by himself in 
his own laboratory, or frorr 
those of others in whom he 
could implicitly rely. 

A moment's inspection of the 
table will render apparent 
much more clearly than words 
can the great difference in 
the composition of the differ- 
ent varieties of guano; and as 
their values differ quite as 
much as their composition, it 
is of much importance for the 
farmer to have a ready means 
of estimating, from the compo- 
position, their value. 

Now, practically, there are 
only two constituents which 
require to be taken into con- 
sideration in the estimate of 
the commercial value of a 
guano, and these are the am- 
monia and the phospliates. With 
the exception of the alkaline 
salts, none of the other con- 
stituents have any value ; and 
these last, though no doubt 
worth something, are too small 


m quantity, and loo unimportant to deserve consideration. In 
order to estimate the worth of a guano, then, we require to 
know the value of ammonia and phosphate of lime; in other 
words, the price at which they can be bought in the market, in 
other forms than that of guano. Professor Way, of the Royal 
Agricultural Society of England, has gone fully into this ques- 
tion, and has deduced from a variety of considerations, that 
the value of ammonia is very nearly sixpence per pound, and 
that of phosphate of lime, about three farthings per pound. 
Suppose, then, we wish to estimate the value of a ton (2,000 Ibs.,) 
of Peruvian guano of the average composition, we calculate 
from the per-centage the number of pounds of ammonia and 
phosphates present in it ; and calculating 12 cents for each of 
the former, and H cents for the latter, we have the value of the 
ton. Thus : 

17 per cent, of ammonia is equal to 340 Ibs. in a ton ( .,,, cr. 
of ii,000 Ibs., at 1-2'y cents, { ^^^ 

23.48 per cent, of phosphates is equal to 470 Ibs. in ) ~ ,,. 
a ton, at 1J cents, > ' 

Value of a ton of Peruvian guano, $49.55 

Exactly in the same manner we are enabled to find the fol- 
lowing value of a ton of Saldanha-Bay guano: 

1.62 per rent, of ammonia is equal to 32.4 Ibs. in a > e Ane - 
ton, at 12i cents, j * 

56.4 per cent, of phosphates is equal to 1,128 Ibs. in ( i<- rv> 
a ton, at 1 cents, j 10>sw 

Value of a ton of Sald;tnha-Bay guano, $20.97 

Strictly speaking, something should be allowed for the alka- 
line salts present ; but the exact value cannot be estimated 
without some difficulty. It might average from $4 to $5 per 
ton, which should be added to the above, thus making Peruvian 
guano worth about $54 a ton. 

Guano, like farmyard manure, it is hardly necessary to state, 
may be applied with advantage to almost any kind of soil, as 
well as to most of our cultivated crops, as it contains every ele- 


merit necessary to their growth, independent of Hie quality uf 
the soil one great point being attended to that the land be 
in good tilth; for, otherwise, the tender roots of the vegetables 
would meet with obstructions, and became crippled in their 
growth. Poor, well-tilled soils receive the most advantage from 
this fertiliser, as they are most generally delicient in some essen- 
tial necessary to the growth and perfection of the plants. In 
regard to the amount to be applied to an acre, this will depend 
upon the variety of guano employed ; the nature and state of 
fertility of the soil and climate ; the kind of crop to be raised ; 
the number of applications in a season ; and whether the 
guano is to be used alone or in conjunction with any other 

Taking the best Peruvian guano as a standard, in a soil of 
medium quality inthe Northern States, an acre of wheat, barley, 
nemp, or flax will require about 250 Ib.s. mixed with 10 times its 
bulk of earth, garden mould, well-rotted peat or swamp muck, 
and sown broadcast, and plowed or harrowed in with the seed 
just before a rain. If the soil be rather poor, 300 Ibs. will be 
necessary; if good, 200 Ibs. will suffice. For oats, peas, and 
rye, 200 Ibs. will be enough. Grass lands of several years' 
standing may be renovated or greatly improved, by sowing 
about 300 Ibs. broadcast in wet weather, soon after the young 
blades begin to shoot. For turnips, potatoes, cabbages, to- 
bacco, and Indian corn, 200 Ibs. may be applied broadcast to 
an acre at the time of planting or putting in the seed, in con- 
nection with decomposed peat, swamp or pond muck, vegetable 
mould, &c., previously thoroughly plowing the land, and then 
well harrowing in the guano, and afterwards raising the earth 
into beds or ridges by means of a plow at suitable distances 
apart for the rows or drills of the respective crops. This will 
diffuse the guano equally through the soil. When the plants 
are up, or are sufficiently advanced in their growth to be 
cleansed or earthed up, a second dressing of 100 to 200 Ibs. of 
guano may be applied in the same way as above ; that is, 
spreading i f 'uiiformly ovei :he surface, taking care not to scat- 


ter it on the leaves or stalks, and then drawing the earth con- 
taining it around the plants. It is regarded as better to apply 
the guano twice than all at one time, and much more advan- 
tageous to work it through the soil, than to put it at the bottom 
of the drills or hills. When employed in the latter manner, it 
not unfrequently kills the young plants by coming in direct 
contact with the roots, or overgorging them with nourishment, 
and leaves those which survive with an insufficient supply in 
the advanced stages of their growth. 

In the Middle and Southern States, where guano is much 
employed for manuring tobacco, cotton, sugar cane, and other 
sourthern crops, about the same quantity may be applied as 
at the north ; but experience has taught the planters that, 
where the subsoil consists of clay, mould, or loam, it is prefer- 
able to sow the guano broadcast in the early part of the win- 
ter, and plow it under at the fnll depth, and there let it remain 
and infuse its virtues throughout the soil, or furrow slices, 
above, until the crops are sown or planted in the spring, when 
the ground should be replowed and harrowed at the time of 
putting in the seed. But, let it be remembered that, where the 
subsoil contains a large share of gravel or sand, it would be a 
wasteful practice thus to plow under the guano, as the dissolv- 
ing rains would carry a large share of its fertilising properties 
deep into the earth. A second dressing of 100 to 200 Ibs. of 
guano to an acre may also be added to cotton, tobacco, sugar 
cane, and other hoed crops, at the time of earthing them up, in 
a similar manner as recommended for corn and potatoes in the 
Northern States. For wheat, let from 200 to 250 Ibs. of guano 
to an acre be scattered broadcast, just before the seed is sown, 
and plowed under to a depth of 6 or 8 inches, and t -<ere remain 
undisturbed, bearing in mind this important rule as regards all 
fertilisers that are soluble by rains or melting snows : That there 
be at least 10 inches in depth of loam, mould, or clay, directly beneath 
the manure; otherwise, the most valuable parts may sink deep 
into the earth as they are carried downward by the rain, and 
consequently will be lost. 


For grape vinos, the apple, pear, cherry, plum, and other 
fruit trees, as well as the orange, lemon, and coffee trees, guar.o 
stands unrivalled in its effecls as a manure. If the trees or 
shrubs are small, and are ready to transplant, slanting holes 
may be dug to receive them, of dimensions proportioned to the 
depth and extent of the roots, leaving at least 10 inches of 
mould at their bottoms, before the guano is put in. Then, around 
the edges of the bottom of the holes, that is, near the foot of the 
slanting sides, scatter from to 4- of a pound of guano, which 
should be covered with a little light earth or mould, in order 
that none of the guano may touch the roots when the vines or 
trees are consigned to the ground. Then, into each hole, 
about 2 quarts of water may be sprinkled, and the further 
process of transplanting left till the next day. The trees may 
now be planted in the position they are intended to grow, and 
the holes filled up with light soil, leaving a slight depression 
around each, in order to make the most of any rain that soon 
after may fall. If the trees or vines have long been planted 
and have attained a considerable size, the ground about their 
roots may be forked or trenched in the spring, and the guano 
scattered broadcast over the surface around each tree, and fol- 
lowed immediately by a copious watering by hand or by a 
drenching rain. By these means, a portion of the guano will 
become dissolved, sink into the soil about the roots, the good 
effects of which will be apparent in a very few weeks. 

Guano may also be employed as a steep for seeds, or applied 
directly to the plants, in their second leaf, in a diluted and liquid 
form; or it may be advantageously composted with an equal 
weight of common salt or soot, or with 10 times its bulk of veg- 
etable mould, rotte'd peat, swamp or pond muck, or green-sand 
marl, mixed with a small proportion of gypsu n or charcoal dust, 
but never icith wood ashes, carbonate of soda, potash, magnesia, nor 
common lime; for these will liberate the free ammonia, and thus 
diminish the value and effects of the manure. 

For a further account of the application of guano, the reader 
i* referred tc LIQUID and SPECIAL MANURES. 




GREAVES, or "scraps," are the muscular or membraneous 
matter left as refuse by the lard and tallow tri rs. They usual- 
ly contain a larg 3 amount of fat, and are well adapted for fat- 
tening hogs, feeding poultry, dogs, &c. They have also been 
used as a manure, at the rate of about 200 Ibs. to an acre, in- 
corporated with an ordinary dressing of farmyard dung, pul- 
verised peat, leaf mould, swamp or pond muck, &c. 

This substance is a nitrogenous manure, 100 Ibs. yielding 
about 13 Ibs. of ammonia. The presence of phosphorus, sul- 
phur, as well as of bone earth, renders it applicable to all staple 
crops, as wheat, tobacco, Indian corn, &c. ; but the only draw- 
back in the economy of using it, as a mannre, is the high price 
it is held for feeding animals, or for the manufacture of soap 


IN chemical composition, all of these substances are nearly 
identical, and resemble that of muscular fibre, (lean meat,) or 
of dried blood. Therefore, they may be treated under the same 
head. When burned, they leave but a small proportion of ash> 
that of wool being only 2 per cent. ; that of hair, T Voths of 1 
per cent. ; and that of horns, T 7 ff ths o f 1 per cent. The organic 
part, or that which burns away, according to Professor John- 
ston, io indicated in the following table : 



Wool. Horn. 


5 1 .53 

50.65 51.99 
7.03 ' 0.72 
17.71 ! 17.28 
24.6 1 1 24.01 



Oxygen and sulphur, 

10U.OC 100.00 100.00 

The organic part of these substances, then-fore, is nearly the 
same in composition; and hence, when equally decomposed. 


they would doubtless produce similar effects upon young crops. 
They contain a little more nitrogen than dried flesh and blood, 
and rather less than dried skin ; and therefore, in so far as their 
fertilising action depends upon this element, they are consid- 
ered as occupying an intermediate place in the scale of 

Hair and Bristles. The hair of horned cattle, horses, and 
swine has long been ranked amongst the best of dressings for 
fertilising the land, as it was extensively used in England as 
such, previous to the year 17-12. Ellis, in his "Modern Hus- 
bandman," states that from yearly experience it was found, that 
"cows' hair and and hogs' bristles are as fertile manures as 
any other sort whatsoever ; for the time they last by their 
yielding a quick, warm, and moist nourishment to the land they 
are sown on, so that, if they are righly sown and mixed with 
the earth, the roots of vegetables presently meet their assist- 
ance, and then they bring on their luxurious growth. * * * 
By their line, stiff, and thready parts, they are made capable 
of uniting with the earth in a little time; and more so, when 
their substance becomes rotted; for then, they easily incorpo- 
rate with the small particles of the mould, which they stick 
to, and thus last two, three, or more years before the hair or 
bristles are entirely consumed. 1 ' 

Hair is composed chieily of animal matter, a small quantity 
of white solid oil, and a somewhat larger proportion of a 
greyish-green oil. A sample of refuse horse hair, analysed by 
Professor Way, yielded of nitrogen Il r 8 3 ff ths per cent, with 
^yWhs per cent, of ash. Hair burnea to ashes by others, has 
giver, iron and oxide of manganese ; the phosphates of lime 
and of iron ; the sulphate and carbonate of lime ; the muriate 
of soda ; and a considerable portion of silica. White hair 
yields magnesia, which is wanting in other colors ; and red hair 
contains iron and manganese. The animal matters are chiefly 
gelatine and albumen, and a substance resembling both. 

Hair and bristles may be obtained in considerable quantities 
from the tar.neries or butcheries, and may be applied with the 


best advantage to light gravelly soils, to be sown with tu nips 
or wheat, at the rate of 20 to 30 bushels to an acre ; but they 
are well adapted for fertilising most other kinds of soil, as wel 
as nearly all of our cultivated crops. They may be spreau 
broadcast over the surface of the ground, and lightly covered 
by plowing; or they may be composted with earth, mould, 
pulverised peat, and swamp or pond muck. 

Wool and Woollen Waste. Refuse wool, " shoddy," (the 
sweepings of woollen manufactories,) " premings," and "cut- 
tings," (the waste of the shearing machines of cloth dressers,) 
in some sections of the country, are other sources from which 
the farmer can obtain more or less means for fertilising his 
land. They are not so rich in nitrogen as pure wool, and the 
former often contains a large proportion of dirt or dung. In 
three samples of shoddy, analysed by Professor Way, the 
amount of nitrogen contained in one was 5 T 2 ff Vths per cent. ; in 
another, 4 T Vths per cent. ; and in the third, 3ths percent. A 
sample of refuse wool, also analysed by him, evidently of a 
different origin to shoddy, and differing from it in containing 
very little oil, yielded 3 per cent, of nitrogen, and 47 per cent, 
of earthy matter, principally clay and carbonate of lime. A 
sample of premings gave 9 T ff 2 ff ths per cent, of nitrogen, and one 
of cuttings, llyWhs per cent. 

It appears, then, that it is erroneous to estimate the value of 
the different kinds of woollen refuse by the known composition 
of pure wool itself ; for, to whatever cause the inferiority may 
be due, it is obvious that they do not on an average contain 
fds as much nitrogen as found in the raw material. 

Again, it is worthy of attention that the cuttings and pre- 
mings differ also in com"*)sition only about 2 per cent, of nitro- 
gen, and therefore should bear a price accordingly. 

All of the above-named substances may be applied to the 
same kind of crops, the same class of soils, and in the same 
manner as directed for bristles and hair; but the quantity to 
be used, may vary from 40 to 100 bushels to an acre. 

The conversion of the animal matter of wool into ammonia 


may be hastened by watering it with urine, or m.xing it with 
the dung heap ; but it will probably be always more advan- 
tageously applied to grain than as a substitute for manures 
which contain ready-formed ammonia. 

Horns and Horn Piths. Horn shavings, parings, and turn- 
ings, when judiciously applied, are considered as a very pow- 
erful and durable manure. They are noticed by Houghton, 
Worlige, and several other old agricultural authors, all of whom 
write in great praise of them. One says, that, " in the year 
1694, horn shavings were then sold in London for eight shil- 
lings and sixpence a quarter sack, and that five such sacks, 
strewed and scattered in furrows, before the plow, at Michael- 
mas, [September 29th,] will very much improve two acres of 
land sown with wheat seed ; but do little or no service to hot 

These substances, as they are purchased for manure, usually 
occur in two'forms, the large and the small. The latter are re- 
garded as the cheapest, weight for weight, because they go 
much further by lying closer together, and also covering more 
ground. They are generally allowed to agree best with grav- 
els and dry, sandy and stony loams, because, as they are of a 
spongy nature and receive and retain moisture, they will so 
continue in the ground for a long time, and nourish the crops 
in the driest seasons. And besides, being of a tough nature, 
the hungry quality of sharp and stony gravels or sands cannot 
so quickly waste their substance as they do guano, stable dungs, 
and powdered manures. But let it be remembered that not so 
much is to be expected from horn shavings the first year, as 
they will yield afterwards, because they will not become much 
rotted till the second, and even the third and fourth years after, 
when they add exceedingly to the fertility of the land, with an 
increased yield of crops. 

Horn shavings, like hair, bristles, and wool are well adapted 
for fertilising most of our staple crops. They may be applied 
at the rate of 20 to 30 bushels to an acre, spread broadcast 
over the surface after the first plowing is completed, when they 


may be covered with the earth with the seed, as shallow as may 
be, with a cultivator or three-snare plow. 

Horn piths, in the state they are usually obtained from the 
tanneries, soap works, glue factories, &c., partake much of the 
nature and properties of boiled bones, and like them, may be 
ground or crushed by mills, or may be reduced to a powder 
by calcination or by steam. They are rich in phosphate of 
lime, and may be applied to the same crops, and in similar 
quantities as bone dust, described under the head of BONES. 

Hoofs, Sheep Trotters, <J-c. The hoofs of animals are stated 
by one of the old authors above mentioned, to be " of the na- 
ture of hair and horn for the dressing of land, if chopped to 
pieces and sow^d on dry land, which makes it fruitful for three 
years, and does vast service, and so on, if repeated." Ellis, in 
his " Modern Husbandman," published in 174*2, says, that, ac- 
cording to the old way of management, hoofs are chopped into 
small pieces and scattered over the land at the rate of 15 bush- 
els to an acre on the last plowing but one, and then immedi- 
ately plowed in, either with or without the seed ; but, by the 
new way of managing them, as he terms it, as soon as the 
wheat is sown and harrowed or plowed in, he recommends that 
the whole hoofs be forced into the ground erect, with a stick, 
12 inches apart, so that the broad part may remain uppermost, 
just covered with earth, for the rain to fill them; and then, in 
time, they will rot and diffuse the best dressing to the land, by 
the running over of the water, which proceeds from the putre- 
faction of the hoofs, that will soak in and moisten a 11 the root? 
of the plants. 


INSECTS of all kinds, known under the names ot worms, snails, 
grubs, slugs, bugs, beetles, &c., &c., exist more or less abun- 
dantly in the ground, particularly where the soil is already rich, 
and tend in many instances to increase its fertility. Their food, 
most undoubtedly, must be either fresh vegetables or decaying 


or decayed vegetable matter. In the forme* case, such insects 
prove extremely desti uctive ; whilst in the latter, they may be 
of service to the vegetable kingdom, by rendering the decayed 
or decaying vegetables, eaten by them, more soluble by the 
process of digestion. In this class, are to be included the com- 
mon earth worms, which are only to be found in great numbers 
in ground containing a large proportion of vegetable or animal 
matters. Worms of this kind feed only on rich earths ; and as 
they are never found on sterile ground, their nourishment must 
necessarily depend on the before-mentioned substances con- 
tained in the soil. 

The excrements of these worms appear on the surface in 
great abundance ; particularly in moist weather, succeeding 
a long drought ; or at the season of the year when the dews 
fall heavily. On these occasions, the worms rise to the surface, 
for the purposes of engendering, supplying themselves with 
moisture, and of voiding their excrements. These excrements, 
from the astonishing numbers of worms contained in rich 
ground, cannot but promote vegetation, though a temporary 
inconvenience may sometimes be incurred, by preventing the 
cattle from freely depasturing, when the surface is too much 
covered therewith. 

All insects or worms in the ground, as well as those which 
apparently are of disservice, as those that are known to be 
noxious and destructive to the roots, stems, and leaves of veg- 
etables, may be destroyed by alkaline salts and hot lime ; 
which substances have the power of dissolving the continuity 
or texture of organic bodies, and are particularly fatal to the 
soft bodies of living insects. Insects are likewise to be destroy- 
ed by neutral salts, and by saline bituminous substances. The 
bodies of these insects, when dissolved by putrefaction, become, 
like other animal matters, serviceable to vegetation. The sul- 
phuric acid will also act in destroying insects and other ani- 
mal substances, in a manner somewhat similar to alkaline salts, 
with this difference only, that the one forms an acid, the other 
un alkaline soap. This acid, diluted with a due proportion of 


water, ond superacidulated vitriolic salts, may likewise be used 
with a double effect, in the destruction of insects, in ground 
long under cultivation, and which contains much animal and 
vegetable matter, in the state of phosphate and oxalate of lime. 
In this case, not only the insects will be killed, but the sul- 
phuric acid will, by superior affinity, combine with the calca- 
reous matter of the phosphate and oxalate of lime, whose dis- 
engaged acids will form new soluble, fertilising saline, combi- 
nations with the ammonia, or volatile alkali, and magnesia that 
may be contained in the soil. 

Sea salt is found to destroy snails, slugs, grubs, worms, &c., 
by making them void the contents of their bodies, evacuations 
too powerful for them to withstand. By these means, not only 
their bodies, but their evacuations soon become food for veg- 
etables. Dundonald. 


IVORY dust, from the similarity of its composition to that ol 
bones, wherever it can be economically obtained, is applicable 
to the same purposes as a manure. A sample analysed by 
Professor Norton, of Yale College, yielded, in 100 parts, the 
following ingredients : 

Phosphate of lime, 56.960 

Carbonate of lime, 3.875 

Carbonate of magnesia, 1.453 

Organic matter, 37.652 

Loss, 0.060 


In comparing this analysis with that of the bones of an ox, 
by Thompson, it will be seen that ivory dust contains about 
8i per cent, more of phosphate of lime, 1J per cent, more of 
magnesia, and 2 per cent, less of carbonate of lime, and 
nearly 11 per cent, less of organic matter. According to the 
analysis of M. Merat-Guillot, pure ivory contains 24 per cent, 
of gelatine, 64 per cent, of phosphate of lime, and ^th of ! 


per cent, of carbonate of lime. Ivory dust or turnings, there- 
fore, is more valuable as a manure than bones in any form, 
whether crude, burnt, or boiled. It may be applied, however, 
in the same manner, to the same kind of crops, and a similar 
character of soil, but in quantity, at least 10 per cent, less, to a 
given area of land. 


LEATHER, it is well known, consists of organised fibrous gela- 
tine, or the skins of animals, combiner with the proximate veg- 
etable principle, tannin, and probably also, pme vegetable 
extractive. In whatever form it is applied, it affords a most 
excellent and durable manure, as the gelatine and coagulated 
albumen it contains, convert, by gradual decomposition in 
moist earth, its fatty matter into ammonia, which, together 
with other ingredients, proves very nutritive to plants. 

This substance occurs more or less abundantly in almost 
every section of the country, in the form of old boots and 
shoes, curriers' and glovers' shavings, shoemakers', sadlers', 
and harness makers' parings, the waste of hatters, bookbind- 
ers, trunk makers, pocket-book makers, &c., &c. ; and where 
these are not sold for more valuable purposes to the manufac- 
turers of animal charcoal, Prussian blue, &c., they may be 
collected by the farmer, at a small expense, and applied as a 
manure. The most economical mode of using them is to chop 
them up into small pieces, and scatter them uniformly over the 
surface of the ground, at the rate of 20 to 30 bushels to an acre, 
and plow them in. If kept constantly covered with moist 
earth, they will impart their fertilising influence to most of our 
cultivated crops for six or seven years. If desirable to expend 
their virtues at once, they may be dissolved in strong solutions 
of potash or sulphuric acid, and administered in the form of a 
liquid manure. They are applicable to nearly every variety 
of soil, but appear to be best adapted to those that are sandy 
gravelly, or light. 



" B f the term ' night soil,' at London," says Arthur Young 
'is to be understood the collections there made of what a 
French marquis calls ' 1'espece de fumier que la politesse em- 
peche de nommer;' from which trait of him one would not 
have expected he should know so much of the value of it as 
he really did. An Englishman says, 'tis more decent and bet- 
ter to let it alone ; but as I conceive it perfectly decent and 
efficient, I shall consider human ordure as the very best manure 
that can be procured. But here, I shall first consider the far- 
mers conduct at home, where his great object is to raise as 
much manure as possible without being obliged to depend on 
purchases, which are only to be made in certain situations. If 
the farmer manages his necessary house in such a manner as to 
suffer nothing to run off from it, and frequently throws malt 
dust, saw dust, fine mould, or sand into it, he may, every year, 
manure from 1 to 2 acres of land." 

The history of the use of this substance, as a manure, is in- 
volved in obscurity, for its very nature has predisposed every 
early experimentalist to be silent as to his knowledge of its 
powers; and, in the earliest of all authorities, the Bible, it is 
mentioned with becoming reserve. The warmth of the climate 
of the East, however, it would appear, insured a regular re- 
moval or application of excrements of every kind. Thus, 
amongst the Jews, the dung of the bullock, slain in sacrifices, 
was directed to be burned, (Exodus, xxix. 14; Leviticus, iv. 11, 
viii. 17, xvi. 37 ; Numbers, xix. 5,) and used as fuel ; as, in periods 
of distress, even was human dung (Ezekiel, iv. 12, 15). Dung- 
hills, also, were evidently formed, and carried away to be 
spread on the surface of the earth ; and straw was spread to 
increase its quantity (Daniel, ii. 5, i. i. 29; Luke, xiv. 35 ; 1 Kings, 
i. 10 ; Psalms, Ixxxiii. 10 ; Jeremiah, viii. 2, xvi. 14, xxv. 33; 
Zephaniah, i. 17; Isaiah, xxv. 10). And even the holy city of 
Jerusalem had a gate called the "Dung Port" (Nehemiah, ii. 13, 
iii. 13, 14, xii. 31.) Similar customs of the Eastern nations in 


latter times are described by modern travellers, confirming in a 
remarkable degree these notices recorded in Holy Writ. 

At the present day, night soil is husbanded in almost every 
part of Europe, particularly on the continent, with a jealousy 
and care which proves how valuable it is considered by those 
who use it. In most of the cities of a second order, and the 
minor capitals, it is a source of profit, first, to the householder, 
second, to the nightman, who carts it away, and thirdly, to the 
farmer, who is the last purchaser, and who applies it to his 
land. In some parts, Flanders in particular, instead of using it in 
a dry or powdered state, they prefer to mix it with water, after 
the manner of the Chinese, and thus form a rich liquid manure- 
But, like the French of the present day, for the sake of easy 
and convenient transport, the Dutch have dried fecal substan- 
ces to powder, from time immemorial, now known under the 
name of" poudrette," which has been purchased at high prices, 
and employed by the farmers to apply to their crops. 

For a further account of the nature, preparation, and applica- 
tion of night soil, the reader is referred to the EXCREMENT OP MAN, 
POUDRETTE, and LIQUID MANURES, under their respective heads 


ALL the internal parts of animals, which may be obtained 
from the butcheries or slaughterhouses near all cities and the 
larger class of towns, such as the liver, lungs, brain, and heart, 
that are mixed more or less with blood, and the ofTiil of the en- 
trails, with the emptyings of intestines, afford another valuable 
source from which the farmer can often very profitally enrich 
his fields. 

These substances may be cut or hashed up as fine as possi- 
ble, and then mixed with earth, mould, pulverised peat, or 
swamp or pond muck, thoroughly dried, in the proportion of 6 
times'the bulk of the animal matter, well worked over with a 
shovel or hoe, and applied broadcast, a't the rate of 5 tons to 
an acre, and plowed under in a similar manner as guano or 


farmyard manure. Thus prepared, it is adapted tc all kind of 
crops, and to nearly every description of soil, and gives excel- 
lent results, particularly to wheat. If it cannot be applied im- 
mediately after the preparation, it should be preserved in 
trenches or pits ; or at any rate, piled up in heaps in the shade 
and covered with earth or loam, to prevent waste from evapo- 
ration or rains. 

The blood of slaughterhouses, which is more or less mixed 
with fecal matter, may be employed in the following man- 
ner : Some earth, free from clods, may be dried in an oven, 
care being taken from time to time to stir it with a shovel or 
rake. Taken hot from the oven, it may be sprinkled with the 
blood, in the proportion of 4 or 5 times the quantity in bulk of 
earth to one part of liquid blood, both incorporated together 
with a shovel or hoe. The mixture may then be baked over, 
and stirred with the rake till the dessication is complete, in 
which state, it may be put up in boxes or barrels, and sheltered 
from the rain, to be used when required. The earth in this 
preparation is especially useful to present the blood in a suit- 
able state of division, and to render its decomposition more 
regular and slow. It will enable the farmer, moreover, to 
know what extent of surface this mixture will cover as a ma- 
nure, by recollecting that about 3,000 Ibs. of liquid blood will 
give nearly 750 Ibs. of that which is coagulated and dried, a 
sufficient quantity to fertilise an acre of wheat. In this state, 
100 Ibs. of blood are nearly equal in effects to 300 Ibs. of 
crushed bones, or three loads of good horse dung, weighing 
7,200 Ibs. It is a manure considered as far superior to those 
known and designated by the names of" oil cake," " poudrette," 
&c. It is inferior only to the dried and powdered flesh, des- 
cribed under the head of FLESH, MUSCLES, ETC., OF DEAD ANIMALS. 


THE white fumes given off by phosphorus, or rather into 
which it is changed, when burned in the air or in oxygen gas, 


consist of phosphoric acid. This compound is solid and color- 
less, attracts moisture from the air with great rapidity, is ex- 
ceedingly soluble in water, has an intensely sour taste, and 
like sulphuric aciu, is capable of corroding and destroying 
animal and vegetable substances. According to Berzelius, 
when pure, it consists of 

Oxygen, 56 

Phosphorus, 44 

It does not exist in nature in a free state, and, therefore, is 
not directly influential upon vegetation. It unites, however, 
with potash, soda, lime, &c., to form compounds known by the 
names of phosphates. In these states of combination, it is al- 
most universally diffused throughout nature, and appears to be 
essentially necessary to the healthy growth of all living, cer- 
tainly of all cultivated vegetables. 

Phosphoric acid, although forming one of the constituents of 
many minerals, abounds in the animal system, being combined 
with lime to form the bones and teeth, as well as existing in the 
urine and other lluids ;uid solids, in union with the above- 
named alkaline bases, forming phosphates of soda, potash, lime, 
and of magnesia. 

This acid, also, has been found in all plants, the ashes of 
which have been examined by chemists, always, however, in 
combination with potash, soda, magnesia, or lime. Most seeds 
contain certain quantities of the phosphates formed by the 
union of phosphoric acid with some one or more of the alkalies 
just named. In the seeds of different kinds of grain, there is 
abundance of phosphate of magnesia. 

Phosphoric acid, in one or other of its combinations, plays 
indeed an important part in agriculture, and is an indispensa- 
ble constituent of all good land. The soil in which plants 
grow furnishes them with phosphoric acid, and they in turn 
yield it to animals, to be used in the formation of their bones, 
and of those constituents of the brain which contain phosphorus 


Much more phosphorus is thus afforded to the body than it re- 
quires, when flesh, bread, fruit, and husks of grain are used for 
food, and this excess in them is eliminated in the urine and the 
solid excrements. We may form an idea of the quantity of 
phosphate of magnesia contained in grain, when we consider 
that the concretions in the coecum of horses consist of phos- 
phate of magnesia and ammonia, which must have been ob- 
tained from the hay and oats consumed as food. Twenty-nine 
of these stones were taken after death from the rectum of a 
horse belonging to a miller in Eberstadt, Germany, the total 
weight of which amounted to 3 Ibs. ; and Dr. Simon describes 
a similar concretion found in the horse of a carrier, which 
weighed 1-J- Ibs. 

It is evident, therefore, that the seeds of all the cereal grains 
could not be formed without the phosphates of lime and mag- 
nesia, which is one of their invariable constituents ; the plants 
could not under such circumstances reach maturity. 


NIGHT soil, when dried and mixed with powdered charcoal, 
vlih gypsum, with lime, with pulverised peat, or vegetable 
mould, or simply avaporated to dryness in the air, is known un- 
der the general name of " poudrette." As the mode or process 
by which it is made is usually reserved by the patentee or 
manufacturer, with the view of preventing the farmer and 
others from preparing it for their own use, it has been thought 
advisable to detail the following methods of manufacturing this 
fertiliser, which have been derived from authentic and reliable 
cources : 

Flemish Method of Manufacture. The simple method of dry- 
ing night soil, or fecal matter, has long been carried on in 
Flanders, near the cities and larger class of towns, time out of 
mind. At a sufficient distance from town, to avoid sending too 
strong an odor into the dwellings, a series of basins are con- 
structed either in masonry or potter's clay, cf considerable 


breadth, with but little depth. Their total capacity is sufficient 
to contain the emptyings of six months, at least. They consist 
in number of four, five, or more, and are so arranged, one 
above the other, as to be emptied one into another with the least 
possible manual labor. The highest basin of the series receives 
all the emptyings each night, and when it is filled nearly to 
the brim, a gate is opened, which permits the liquid floating at 
the surface to tlow into the second basin. Several decantations 
take place successively, in tho same manner, and the liquid 
drawn off deposits in the second basin the very fine solid mat- 
ter which it held in suspension. When this basin is filled, the 
supernatant fluid is decanted in the same manner as above, by 
means of a gate into the third basin, where a new deposit takes 
place, and another decantation is effected in the same manner. 
Finally, at the issue of the fourth, fifth, or sixth basin, the su- 
pernatant fluid flows off, as the new matter arrives, and loses 
itself either in a current of water, in a cistern, or, as is more 
recently practised, in Artesian wells. 

As soon as the deposit is sufficiently abundant in the upper 
basin, it is left to drain as much as possible by opening the 
gate; and during this time, the nightly emptyings are poured 
into another scries of basins, arranged by the side of those just 
described. The drained matter, for a long time, maintains a 
pasty consistence, in which state, it is drawn out by means of 
drays, scoops, and iron ladles. It ts then spread upon a hard- 
beaten surface of ground, formed like a convex causeway or 
turnpike road, so that the rains cannot accumulate among it, 
but speedily run oft'. From time to time, this matter is turned 
over by means of shovels, in order to change the surface, and 
bring the lowermost portions in contact with the air, and there- 
by hasten the process of drying. This operation is continued 
in each of the basins till all the fecal matter has lost sufficient 
water by spontaneous evaporation to be easily reduced to 
poudrette (a powder). In this state, it is preserved as much as 
possible under sheds, to protect it from the rains ; or at least, 
it is raised in'o heaps of ci pyramidal form, well beaten, so thai 


the water or moisture of the atmosphere can peretrate but a 
little way, but rapidly run off. 

The operation above described is very simple, but is attended 
with serious inconveniences and a considerable loss. The des- 
sication, although irregularly effected, usually lasts from four 
to six years, according as the atmospheric circumstances are 
more or less favorable. During the same length of time, also, 
the contact of the air and moisture keep up a constant fermen- 
tation, which generate the most foul emanations through a dis- 
tance of one or two miles. Besides this disgusting stench, 
which fills the neighborhood, there is the disadvantage of a 
total loss to agriculture of a large share of the ammonia and 
other gases that should concur in the nutrition of plants. 

Method of Madame Vivert Duboul. Under the name of "alka- 
lino-vegitative powder," another preparation of night soil was 
ushered into notice in France, and generally adopted, under the 
auspices of an agricultural lady, Madame Vivert Duboul, to 
whom, in consequence, the Royal Society of Agriculture, in 
1814, awarded their gold medal. This lady obtained a patent 
of 15 years for her process, which consisted in promoting fer- 
mentation in the most liquid portion of the excrementitious 
substances, and treating them with slaked lime afterwards, so 
as to form a powder, which has been found to be very superior 
to poudrette upon cold, light, or moist soils. Its action is very 
powerful, and it extends its influence over the soil for several 
years without requiring, during that period, a repetition of the 
manuring process. 

Judging from the effect which lime has, when mixed with all 
ammoniacal manures, there is much reason to believe that the 
last-named process is not the most economical mode of using 
night soil. The lime certainly dissolves, and partially decom- 
poses it; but the fertilising effect of a given weight of this 
substance, mixed with lime is clearly not so great as when a 
similar quantity is used either by itself, or mixed with some 
absorbing or deodorising matter, as gypsum, charcoal dust, or 
pulverised peat. 


A correspondent, however, in the London Agricultural Ga. 
zette of May 17th, 1851, states that, "In a field of our own, con- 
taining a good deal of iron and clay, my father sowed Swedish 
turnips, after manuring with night soil and lime, both put on in 
the same day; it was one of the best crops we ever grew, and 
though very large, they were all planted for seed, and to prove 
that the plan had not exhausted the manure, the crop of seed 
was the heaviest I ever remember to have seen. Not to men- 
tion other instances, the only good crop in our neighborhood, 
last year, was on strong land, managed on the same plan. Now, 
every one knows that to mix fresh lime in a manure heap, or 
with a heap of guano, would be to injure it; but if, as Professor 
Way has proved, clay and iron have such an affinity for am- 
monia, where is the danger of placing fresh lime and manure 
in contact with them, as they would be in strong soils ; may it 
not be a good plan to render manure more immediately avail- 
able for the crops? Does not strong land require the manure 
to be so prepared, and is this not the reason? We have found 
bone earth of little or no use here, and yet dissolved bones have 
had the best effect on the same land. I think I have seen some- 
where stated, that a farmer found bones, dissolved in acid, of 
little use, unless the land had been previously limed. I believe 
the kind of land was not stated ; if strong, was it not from the 
raw, unprepared state of the manure, and was not lirne requir- 
ed to convey away the acid, and leave the phosphate in a state 
proper for the crop?" 

Manufacture of Urate. In 1818, a company was formed near 
Paris, (Messrs. Donat & Co..) for the manufacture of another 
kind of manure from night soil, called " urate," from the prin- 
cipal ingredient of which it was composed urine, mixed with 
powdered gypsum, and sometimes chalk or dry marl. This 
mixture is reported by a joint committee, including Vauquelin, 
Dubois. and others, appointed to investigate it by the Royal 
Agricultural Society of France, as being so powerful in its ef- 
fects upon the dullest soil, that they recommended it only to be 
employed by skilful and discriminating hands. 


The method that has usuall) been adopted in manufacturing 
urate, is, to collect the urine in cities and the larger class of 
towns, and adding to it 'th of its weight of powdered gypsum, 
allowing the whole to stand for some days, pouring off' the 
liquid, and drying the powder. Notwithstanding this manure 
has been highly extolled, it can contain only a small portion of 
what is really valuable in urine, say not more than 3 or 4 per 
cent, of dry fertilising matter, the remaining 96 or 97 per cent, 
being only water. Again, the liquid portion poured olf /nust 
contain most of the soluble ammoniacal and other salts, and 
even where the whole is evaporated to dryness, the gypsum 
does not act so rapidly in fixing the ammonia as to prevent a 
considerable escape of this compound as the fermentation of 
the urine proceeds. 

Method of Payen. Messrs. Payen and his associates, of Paris, 
are the patentees of a method of manufacturing a manure 
called " engrais animalize," or deodorised night soil, which 
combines, and successfully too, the great object of driving off 
the water of urine and the fecal matter by a gentle heat aftei 
all their gaseous portions have been absorbed, by mixing with 
a considerable quantity of recently-prepared charcoal, reduced 
to the finest possible powder, than which, no known substance 
has so great powers of absorption of all gaseous matters, like 
those that abound in night soil, and impart such disagreeable 
odors to the air wherever exposed. 

The presence of the carbon in the manure thus prepared, is 
valuable in two ways gradually it combines with the oxygen 
of the atmosphere, forming in the state of carbonic-acid gas 
the food of plants and, at the same time, all the gaseous mat- 
ters of putrefaction with which it is saturated, are thus pre- 
served, stored up, as it were, for the fut ire nourishment of the 
crops. Nothing is lost, the emission of the gases from the 
slow-decomposing charcoal being so gradual as to be almost, 
if not entirely, imperceptible to the senses. 

This manure, in appearance, somewhat resembles that of the 
friable, rich, vegetable mould of an old hot bed, having a verv 


dark color, and is totally devoid of smell. It \vas somewhat 
extensively introduced into England, a few years since, and 
from some comparative experiments with bones, turf ashes, and 
ordinary stable manure, made on a crop of turnips by Mr. 
Beach, of Oakley Hull, near Basingstoke, satisfactory results 
were obtained. 

American Poudrette. The largest establishment for the man- 
ufacture of poudretto in the United States, is situated on the 
banks of the Hackensack River, near the New-Jersey Railroad, 
about 3 miles from the city of New York. It is denominated 
"The Lodi Manufacturing Company," which was incorporated 
in 1840 by the legislature of New Jersey, for 30 years, with a 
capital of $75,000, with the privilege of increasing the same to 
$200,000. It has been in active operation, at the proper seasons 
of the year ever since. Its chief object is to remove into boats, 
from the city of New York, the contents of sinks and privies, 
dead animals, and other offensive matters, collected by the 
scavengers, from which, by a chemical process, they remove 
all the disagreeable smell emanating from them, and convert- 
ing them into a light, dry, inodorous poudrette. 

The establishment embraces 20 acres of land, with a wharf, 
containing a drying house, in which is a vat 168 feet long, and 
21 feet wide, with two large wings. There are also 14 drying 
floors, with moveable roofs, about 100 feet long, and 12 feet 
wide. It also has a machine house, with horse power, an of- 
fice, five dwelling houses for the workmen, and tools, tubs, and 
everything requisite to carry on an extensive manufacture in 
this line of business. 

The method by which this company manufacture their pou- 
drette is stated to differ very essentially from the old Chinese 
and European plan of destroying the offensive smell of the 
night soil by means of ashes or caustic lime, which deteriorate 
its strength. They profess to make use of vegetable substan- 
ces and chemical compounds, (manures in themselves,) which, 
instead of expelling, retain, or "fix," the ammonia, or fertilising 
principle, of the night soil, while, p v the same time, they de* 


compose or neutralise the effluvia, and present a dry powder, 
perfectly free from smell of any kind. 

The quantity of this manure requisite to fertilise an acre of 
each of our common grain crops on land of medium quality, 
is as follows, to be scattered broadcast, and harrowed in with 
the seed : 

Buckwheat, 16 bushels. 

Oats, 20 " 

Rye, 28 

Barley, 32 

Wheat, 40 " 

For Indian corn, on good sward land, or that in a fair con- 
dition, 8 bushels are sufficient to manure an acre in the hill. 
A handful may be sprinkled in the place where the seed has 
been, or is about to be dropped, and then covered with the 
hoe. On a very poor soil, however, if one application is not 
enough to carry the corn through its growth, a second handful 
may be spread around the plants at the last dressing, and cov- 
ered with a hoe. 

For potatoes, two handfuls to a hill is the quantity requisite, 
unless the land has been previously manured, when only one 
handful will cause the haulms, or vines, to grow vigorously, 
and produce large tubers. 

For cabbages, one handful to each plant is regarded as suf- 
ficient, which, it is stated, will produce a better head than any 
other manure. 

For turnips, if the lana be poor, the poudrette must be used 
liberally to secure success in producing a large bulb ; other- 
wise, the leaf will be large, and the bottom small. If used in 
small quantities, it is best to apply it with the seed in drills. 

For melons, cucumbers, pumpkins, squashes, beans, &c., 
hills may be made the usual way, and then mix the proudrette 
freely and thoroughly with the earth in the bottom of the hills 
before planting. 

For peas, beets, carrots, onions, and other garden vegetables 
vultivated in drills, the poudrette may be sown with the seed 


For grape vines, fruit trees, and flowering shrubs, of medium 
size, half a peck of poudretto has been employed with suc- 
cess in scattering it around each tree or vine, and well incor- 
porating it with the soil about the roots, by means of a spado 
or fork. 

The use of poudrette in agriculture, in general, does not pre- 
sent, in other respects, any difficulty. It powerfully stimulates 
the early progress of vegetation, and greatly develops the green 
parts ; but like all very active manures, it becomes too speedily 
exhausted, and has often been accused of failing at the moment 
of the flowering and filling out of the seed of most of our 
grains. Therefore, it would be advisable for the prudent far- 
mer not to rely wholly upon its virtues for fertilising his 
crops, but use it in connection with guano, bone dust, or farm- 
yard dung. 


THIS substance, which consists of the exhausted, greyish 
powder, left in the crucibles in the manufacture of Prussian 
blue, contains not a trace of organic matter, and cannot, there- 
fore be usefully employed as a manure, otherwise than as an 
amendment cabable of lightening the soil, and stimulating the 
vegetative forces by means of the small proportion of carbon 
and the salts of lime or potash it may retain. In this respect, 
the use of this residuum may be usefully employed as a fer- 
tiliser as well as an amendment of soils that are heavy and 
stiff, provided the transportation is not expensive, and the 
price merely nominal. 


IN many parts of the Atlantic States, particularly in the vi- 
cinity of the maritime cities and larger class of towns, or those 
situated near the banks of rivers, or on canals and railroads, 
leading inland from the coast, wherever they can be obtained 


without much cost, the farmer will find a valuable manure in 
procuring the shells of oysters, clams, and other shell fish, and 
reducing them to a powder by burning them in kilns, or grind- 
ing them in mills. 

In regard to their chemical composition, shells differ from 
bones in the predominance of carbonate of lime over the or- 
ganised matter, which scacely amounts to i of 1 per cent, and 
the phosphate of lime, which does not exceed 2 per cent. Ac- 
cording to Brand, oyster shells consist of 

Per cent. 

Organic matter resembling glue, 0.5 

Carbonate of lime, (chalk,) 98.3 

Phosphate and sulphate of lime, 1.2 


When ground to a powder, therefore, they form a manure re- 
sembling chalk, and have been used with good effects on 
\yheat, clover, turnips, and leguminous crops. When used in 
a powdered state, without having been burned, if possible, they 
should always be harrowed or drilled in with the seed ; for, by 
thus coming into close contact with the roots of the plants, all 
the volatile and earthy constituents of the decomposing shell are 
absorbed more readily by the rootlets and leaves. In this way, 
(hey have been found to answer an excellent purpose on light 
Bandy soils. They can be crushed with the common bark mill, 
or they may be ground in the same mill employed for grind- 
ing bones. 

But the most usual mode of preparing oyster shells for ma- 
nure, is, to burn them in open kilns, similar to those employed 
in making common lime. By this means, all the animal and 
volatile matters are driven off', and the best description of agri- 
cultural lime is formed. When thus burned, it is much milder 
than stone lime, even in its- caustic state ; but, on exposure to 
the air, it slacks in 10 or 15 days, and may then be used to a lim- 
ited extent in composts containing night soil, animal matter, or 
farmyard dung. It is beneficial to all kinds of soils deficient 


in lime, and is applicable to most of our cultivated crops. As 
it does not deprive land so rapidly of its humus as stone lime, 
it may be applied to soils exhausted by them ; or it may be re- 
peated. Its effects, however, are m< so quick, but more lasting. 

Lands which are wet stiff and deficient in calcareous mat- 
ter may receive from 100 to 600 bushels of oyster-shell lime to 
an acre: but lisjht, sandy or gravelly soils should receive much 
less. For hoed crops or grain, it should be incorporated with 
the soil near the surface by harrowing or otherwise ; but for 
grass lands or meadows, it may be sown broadcast as a top- 
dressing. It is of great service to fruit trees, particularly to 
grape vines, or the apple and pear, and may be added in doses 
of 4 to 8 quarts to the roots of each tree, either in connection 
with or without charcoal dust, wood ashes, swamp or pond 
muck, bone dust, urine, or soap suds. 

In numerous localities in the United States, beds or banks of 
marine shells occur in great abundance in a recent, as well as 
in a fossil state, which may be collected, reduced to a powder, 
and applied to the land at the rate of 100 to 120 bushels to an 
acre, with excellent results. Along the seaboard, where the 
Indians annually held their clam and oyster feasts from time 
immemorial, there still remain immense accumulations of shells, 
either entire, or in a partially-decomposed state, which would 
richly repay the farmers in their vicinity for collecting and 
applying to their crops as a manure. 

The drift, also, which lines the shores of many parts of our 
coast, is found in many instances to be composed entirely, or 
in large proportion, of the fragments of broken comminuted 
coral and shells. These form a calcareous sand, mixed occa- 
sionally with portions of animal matter, and, when freshly 
gathered, with more or less alkaline salts derived from the sea. 

On the coast of France, and especially in Brittany, shell sand 
is obtained in large quantity, and is in great demand. It is ap- 
plied to the clayey soils and marshy grass lands with much ad- 
vantage, an 1 is carried far inland for this purpose. It is there 
called trez. and is laid on the fields at the rate of 10 to 15 tons 


to an acre. On the .southern coast of France, where shell sand 
is met with, it is known by the name of langue. The shell sand 
of Cornwall, on the coast of England, contains from 40 to 70 
per cent, of carbonate of lime, with an equally variable mix- 
ture of small quantities of animal matter and sea salt. The re- 
maining portion is chiefly silicious sand. A specimen of tangue 
from the south of France, analysed by Vitalis, and one of shell 
sand from Isla, on the coast of England, analysed by Profes- 
sor Johnston, were composed of the following ingredients : 

Tangut. Shell sand, 

Sand, chiefly silicious, 20.3 > ,., _ 

Alumina and oxide of iron, 4.6 j ' 

Carbonate of lime, 6C.O 34.0 

Phosphate of lime, ? 3 

Water and loss, 9.1 

100.0 100.0 

The chief value of these sands consists of the carbonate of 
lime they contain. They act with more energy, when applied 
as a manure, when mixed with night soil or farmyard dung. 


IN the yards of the gluemaker and fellmonger, a substance 
accumulates to which is given the name of " scutch." It con- 
sists of a general mixture of hair, small fragments of hides, 
and other animal matters, with lime, occurring chiefly as car- 
bonate, but partly in a caustic state. It kas a smell, which is 
more or less offensive, according to the time it has lain decom- 
posing, and bears a price in proportion to its age. It is com- 
monly used as a manure in the state of a compost with peaty 
or earthy substances ; but sometimes it is employed to increase 
the powers of stable or farmyard dung. When plowed in with 
seed wheat, it his been found highly serviceable to deep loamy 
land, and to strcng soils which are not too wet From 30 to 40 
bushels are sufficient to mature an acre of wheat on land of * 
med : um quality. 


In two samples of scutch analysed by Mr. Ogston, as pub. 
lished in the Journal of the Royal Agricultural Society of Eng- 
land, the ingredients were as follows: 

JVu. 1. JVj. 

Water, 26.48 24.30 

Animal matter and salts of ammonia, 12.42 32.43 

Sand, &.C., 18.00 6.10 

Carbonate of lime, 33.19 29.98 

Sulphate of lime, 7.25 3.79 

Phosphate of lime, 0.50 1.84 

Magnesia, trace 0.56 

Per-oxide of iron and aluminum, . . .. 1.87 0.77 

99.71 99.76 

When examined for nitrogen, No. 1 gave/^ths of 1 percent., 
equivalent to l T ^ths of ammonia, and No. 2 gave ! T 5 ff 7 ff ths per 
cent, of nitrogen, equal to l T V ns of ammonia. It will be seen 
that the o-nly ingredients in this case, to which any monied 
value can fairly be attached, are the ammonia and the phos- 
phate of lime. Estimating No. 2 after the mode of determining 
the value of guano, we find the following to be the result: 

1.9 per cent, of ammonia is equal to 38 Ibs. in a ton of ( ~, ~, 
2,000 Ib.o., at 12J cents, { ** 

1.84 per cent, of phosphate of limo is equal to 36.8 Ibs. > , 
in a ton, at ! cents, \ 

Value of a ton of scutch, $5.30 

The skins of nearly all animals find their way ultimately into 
the soil as manure, in a more or less changed state. The re- 
fuse parings from the tan yards, and from the curriers' shops, 
though usually employed for the manufacture of glue, are 
sometimes used as a manure, and with great advantage. They 
may either be plowed in sufficiently deep to prevent the escape 
of volatile matter when they begin to decay, or they may be 
made into a compost, by which their entire virtues will be more 
effectually retained. 

Skin differs considerably in its constitution from flesh and 
blood. It contains, in the recent state, about 58 per cent, of 


water, and leaves, when burned, only 1 per cent, of ash. The 
combustible or organic part consists of 

Carbon, 50.90 

HytL ogen, -. 7.07 

Nitrogen, 18.72 

Oxygen, 23.22 


It contains, therefore, 3| per cent, more nitrogen than flesh 
or blood. So far as the fertilising action of these substances 
depends upon the proportion of this constituent glue, the par- 
ings of skins, and all gelatinous substances, will consequently 
exhibit a greater efficacy than flesh or blood. Johnston. 


URINE, the fluid excrement of mammalia, is produced by the 
action of the kidneys on the blood, and is a kind of caput mortu- 
um which these glands throw into the bladder. In birds and 
reptiles, it is solid, and is voided in their dung. All urine con- 
tains the essential elements of vegetables in a state of solution ; 
but the various species of urine from different animals differ 
in their constituents ; and the urine of the same animal alters 
when any material change is made in its food, as well as when 
there is an increased flow of milk. For instance, a cow in milk, 
when fed on rich food, yields less urine than one which is dry ; 
and the urine varies in quantity in proportion to the amount of 
milk she gives. 

Urine contains the greater portion of the nitrogenised mat- 
ter of the excrement of animals, and is therefore the most im- 
portant part of the manure with which it is mixed. Its efficacy 
as a fertiliser depends upon the quantity of solid matter which 
it holds in solution, upon the nature of said matter, ?.nd espe- 
cially upon the rapid changes which the organic part of it is 
known to undergo. The followiig table exhibits the average 
proportion of watei and of the solid organic and inorganic 



matters contained in tho urine of man and some other animal*, 
in their healthy state: 


Urine of PIT cent. 

Solid orstnn-i 
ic niiittiT. 

Bolid inor- 
;;inu- mutter. 

Man, . . . Hi.!) 



Sheep, Hi.O 



I lorst- M.O 



Cow, (not in milk,) U.O 

I pji; , !-.'() 


5 00 

1 81) 

From tin: above table, it will b<: MVII that the urine of the 
cow, estimated by the quantity of solid matter it contains, is 
more valuable than th;it of any other of our domestic animals, 
with the exception of the pig. But the quantity voided by the 
cow must, be so much greater than by the pig, that in annual 
value the urine of one cow must greatly exceed that of many 

The next step to be considered is, to examine more closely 
the composition of urine, the changes, which, by decomposition, 
it readily undergoes, and the effect of these changes upon its 
value as a manure. 

Human Urine. The rxtu-t composition of the urine of a 
healthy individual, analysed in its usual state, was found by 
Berzelius to be as follows : 

Urea, 3.01 

Uric acid 0.10 

Indeterminate animal matter, lactic acid, and lactate ) , 17 

of ammonia, $ 

Mucus of the bladder, 0.03 

Sulphate of potash, 0.37 

Sulphate of soJa, 0.32 

Phosphate of soda, 0.29 

Ohloride of sodium, 0.45 

Phosphate of ammonia, 0.17 

Chloro-hydrate of ammonia, 0.15 

Phosphate of lime and of magnesia, 0.10 

Silica, trace. 

Water, . . .93.30 



From what has been stated in other parts 01 the present 
work, in regard to the action upon living plants, of the several 
phosphates, sulphates, and other saline compounds named in the 
preceding analysis, it will be obvious that the fertilising action 
of urine would be considerable, did it contain no other solid 
constituents. But it is to another substanca, urea, which exists 
in it in a much larger proportion than any other solid ingredient 
that its immediate and marked action in promoting vegetatior 
is chiefly to be ascribed. Urea, which is a white, salt-like sub- 
stance, consists of 


Carbon, 20.0 

Hydrogen, 6.6 

Nitrogen, 46.7 

Oxygen, 26.7 


It is therefore, far richer in nitrogen than flesh, blood, or any 
of those highly fertilising substances, of which the main effi- 
cacy is believed to depend upon the large proportion of nitro- 
gen they contain. 

But urea possesses this further remarkable property, that, 
when urine begins to ferment, as it is known to do in a few 
days after it is voided, it changes entirely into carbonate of 
ammonia. Of the ammonia thus formed, a portion soon begins 
to escape into the air, and hence the strong ammoniacal odor 
of fermenting urine. This escape of ammonia continues for a 
long period, the liquid becoming weaker and weaker, and con- 
sequently less valuable as a manure every day that passes 
Experience has shown ".at recent urine exercises, in general, 
an unfavorable action upon growing plants, and that it acts 
most beneficially after fermentation has freely begun, but the 
longer time we suffer to elapse after it has reached the ripe 
state, the greater quantity of valuable manure we permit to go 
to waste. 

Urine of the Cow. The urine of a cow, not giving milk, has 



been analysed by Sprengel, in several states, with the follow 
ing results: 


Composition. Freshly 

Fermented for four weeks 
in the open air. 

No. 1. No. 2. 

Water, 92.62 





Urea, 4.00 

Mucus, 0.20 

Hippuric mid lactic acids, (Mil 

Potash, . fiG 

Soda, 0.55 

Sulphuric arid, 40 

Phosphoric acid 0.07 

Chlorine, 27 

Lime 0.06 

Alumina, oxide of iron, and ) ,.,, 
oxide of manganese, i 
Silica, 004 

100.00 99.8 2 99.90 

The first variety of fermented urine. No. 1, had stood four 
weeks in the open air in its natual state of dilution; and the 
second, No. '2, had been mixed while recent with an equal bulk 
of water, which is again deducted from it in the analysis, with 
the view of ascertaining how far such an admixture would tend 
to retain the volatile ammonia, produced by the natural decom- 
position of the urea. 

An inspection of the preceding analyses shows three facts of 
importance to the agriculturist, : First, that the quantity of 
urea in ilie urine of the cow is considerably greater than in 
that of man ; second, that, as the urine ferments, the quantity 
of urea diminishes, while that of ammonia increases, owing to 
a gradual decomposition of the urea, and its conversion into 
carbonate of ammonia; and thirdly, that, by dilution with an 
equal bulk of water, the loss of this carbonate of ammonia, 
which would otherwise naturally take place, is in a consider- 
able degree prevented. The quantity of ammonia retained by llus 
urine, after dilution, iva* in the same circumstances nearly three times 


as great as when it was allowed to ferment in the state in which it 
came from the cow. 

But even bv this dilution, the whole of the ammonia is not 
saved. One nundred parts of urea form by their decomposi- 
tion 56^ parts of ammonia, and as 36 parts of the urea in the 
urine No. 1, had disappeared, there ought to have been in its 
stead 19 parts of ammonia in addition to that which the urine 
contained in its recent state, or 21 parts in all; whereas, the 
table shows it to have contained only 16 parts. Even when 
diluted with its own bulk of water, therefore, the urine had lost 
by fermentation in the open air upwards of ith of the ammonia 
produced in it during that period. This shows the necessity 
of causing liquid manures to ferment in covered cisterns, or of 
adopting some other means by which the above serious loss of 
the most valuable constituents may be prevented. For, when 
left to ferment for 5 or 6 weeks, alone, and with the addition of 
an equal bulk of water, the urine of the cow loses a consider- 
able proportion of volatile matter; and in these several states, 
will yield in a year as follows : 

Solid matter. Yielding of ammonia. 

Recent urine, 900 Iba 2-26 Ibs. 

Mixed with water, after 6 weeks, 850 " 200 " 

Unmixed, after 6 weeks, 530 " 30 " 

Those who scrupuously collect in tanks, and preserve the 
liquid manure of their stables, cow houses, and fold yards, will 
see, from the great loss which it undergoes by natural fermen- 
tation, the propriety of occasionally washing out their cow 
houses with water, and by thus diluting the liquid of their 
tanks, of preserving the immediately-operating constituents of 
their liquid manure from escaping into the air. Even when 
thus diluted, it is desirable to convey it to the land without 
much loss of time, since even in this state, there is a constant. 
blow escape, by which its value is daily diminished. Gypsum, 
sulphate of iron, and sulphuric acid, are, by some, added for the 
purpose of 'Mixing" the ammonia, but in addition to diluting 
it, an admixture of rich vegetable soil, and especially of peat, 



will be m jch more e, onomical, and, except in so far as the 
gypsum and sulphuric acid themselves act as manures, nearly 
as effectual. 

Urine of the Horse, Sheep, and Pig. These have not been ex- 
amined so carefully as those of man and the cow. They con- 
sist essentially of the same constituents ; and the samples which 
have been analysed were found to contain three most impor- 
tant of these in the following proportions : 

Jforse. Sfieep. Pig. 

Water, 94.0 96.0 92.6 

Urea, 0.7V 2.8 5.6 

Saline substances, 5.3 1.2 1.8 




Some of the saline substances present in the urine, as above 
stated, contain nitrogen. This is especially the case in the 
urine of the horse, so that the quantity of urea above given is 
not to be considered as representing the true ammonia-produ- 
cing power of the urine of this animal. The urine of the pig. 
if the above analysis is to be relied upon as anything like an 
average result, is capable of producing more ammonia from 
the same quantity than that of any other domestic animal. 

From observations made by Boussingault, with every pre- 
caution to insure success, it appears that the average quantity 
of urine annually voided by man, the cow, and the horse, 
amounts to the following : 

of urine. 

Pounds of 
solid matter. 

of urea. 

Pounds of 







1 001) 







_ J 

It may appear surprising to some that the amount of urine 
voided by a horse .should not exceed that of a man, particular- 
ly, when the quantity of liquid taken into the stomach of earb 


considered, the horse often drinking 4 or 5 gallons of water in 
the 24 hours, while man seldom drinks more than 3 Ibs. The 
explanation of the cause of this difference is to be sought for 
in the extent of skin and lungs in the horse, capable of giving 
of Large quanties of water as insensible perspiration, while the functions in man seldom amounts to -J^th part of the 
liquid taken. On this subject, however, observers disagree in 

It appears, also from the experiments of Boussingault, that, 
when a cow is giving milk, a less amount of urine is voided. 
He found that a horse, which drank 35 Ibs. of water in 24 
hours, only gave 3 Ibs. of urine ; and a cow, which drank 
132 Ibs. of water in the same time, gave 18 Ibs. of urine and 
19 Ibs. of milk. But, besides the amount of water drunk, 
many other circumstances tend to modify this amount of nitro- 
genous and saline substances, contained in the urine, such as 
the quantity and quality of the food, the temperature of the 
air, and the amount of exercise. 

The use of urine, as a fertiliser, is of great antiquity. The 
ancient writers on agriculture and rural affairs advise the fre- 
quent use of it, and direct that it should be old, or long kept. 
Thus, Columella says: "Human urine which you have let. 
grow old for six months, is well fitted for the shoots of young 
trees. If you apply it to vines, or to young apple trees, there 
is nothing that contributes more to make them bear an abun- 
dance of fruit ; nor does this only produce a greater increase, 
but it also improves both the taste and the flavor of the wine, 
and of the apples;" which is confirmed by Conradus Heres- 
bachius, who says in his "Foore Bookes of Husbandrie," trans- 
lated by Googe, in 1578, "Man's urine, being three moneths 
kept and poured upon the rootes of apple trees and vines, 
bringeth greate fruitfulnesse to the trees, and yeeldethe a pleas- 
ante fruite." In Holland, urine has been employed for cen- 
turies, where they have found it to be one of the richest ma- 
nures in the world. When used, however, in its recent and 
unadulterated state, was regarded by Jethro Tull as very 


pernicious to seed wheat. He says : " If seed be soaked in 
urine, it will not grow ; or, if only sprinkled with it, it will 
most of it die, unless planted presently." But urine, in its natu- 
ral condition, is not so fatal to vegetation as is commonly sup- 
posed. If repeatedly thrown upon plants, doubtless it would 
kill them , but experience shows, that, after it has turned them 
yellow or brown, if no more be applied to them, they will not 
only recover, but grow much more luxuriantly than before. 
The late Arthur Young, as long since as 1787, proved the ad- 
vantages of urine when used as a top-dressing to potatoes. 
And Mr. Hannam, the same year, found that, by the use of 32 
gallons of putrid urine, mixed with about 200 Ibs. of gypsum, 
and 12 bushels of bones, his turnip crop was increased more 
than 2d tons. 

In its application, urine, if not mixed with solid compost, as 
gypsum, charcoal dust, dried peat, swamp or pond muck, char- 
red tan bark, saw dust, apple pomace, flax waste, chaff, linen 
and woollen rags, soot, coal ashes, shell or coral sand, or some 
other absorbent, it should be diluted with water, and applied in 
the form of a liquid manure ; for if not thus diluted, it contains 
too much animal matter to afford a proper fluid nutriment for 
absorption by the roots of plants. 


THE use of woollen rags, as a manure, was in vogue on the 
Chilton lands, in England, certainly as long ago as the year 
1669. For John Worlige, who was celebrated as an agricultu- 
ral author, at that time, makes mention of them in the follow- 
ing words: "In rags of all sorts, there is good vertue; they 
are carried far, and laid upon land, and have in them a warm- 
ing and improving temper ; one good load will go as far as a 
dozen or more of cow dung." 

William Ellis, in his "Modern Husbandman," published in 
1742, says : " These rags are a most excellent dressing for all 
chalks, chalky, sandy and gravelly loams, and such-like dry 


earths ; and the more so, as they come from places where they 
use much oil, or grease, in the woollen business ; for nothing 
gives a greater fertility to the earth than those things that 
abound with a nitrous o unctuous quality. For this reason 
it is that some of the better sort of farmers, in our parts, fetch 
their woollen rags from about Newport-Pagnel, in Northamp- 
tonshire, which lies about twelve miles from their own home, 
and think it good husbandry to go so far with a waggon and 
five or six horses." Again, he remarks, that several of the best 
husbandmen dress the dry, lean, loose and hungry soil about 
Ivinghoe Common Field, and in many other places, twice in 
the fallow season; "once by folding over all the land, and at 
sowing time, with rags. Others dress with the fold in the sum- 
mer, and with London soot in the spring time ; but nothing 
comes up to the woollen rags in this soil ; because the rag be- 
ing of a greasy, tough and spongy nature, it lodges and holds 
water a long time, keeps the roots of the corn, (wheat,) moist 
in dry land, warms them in cold weather, and causes them to 
"vithstand the wash of rains, that easily carry down some of the 
lighter dressings into the "hurlock," or rag. stone, to the great 

loss of much of their vertue." " But I must further write, 

that the most general way of using woollen rags is thus : 
When your chalk, chalky loam, sandy loam, or other dry soil, 
fit for the purpose, is harrowed plain, ready for sowing and 
plowing in wheat seed, then apply eight sacks of chopped rags 
on one broad acre, each sack containing fifty-six pounds' weight, 
and each sackful to lie in one heap, at some distance from 
another. When this is done, let a man fill a seed cot with 
them, and sow the rags broadcast with his hand over the 
ground, and so on till the surface of the acre is covered ; then 
let a man directly sow his wheat seed all over the same land, 
and plow both rags and wheat seed in together. * * * Thus 
one acre of land is finished; and in so doing, you will experi- 
ence that no manure suits those soils better than woollen rags ; 
for these will, in some degree, become so many watering pots 
to sue). Iry earths in the summer time ; and, in the winter, so 


warm the roots of the wheat, as to keep off the power of frosts 
and chills of vviters." 

Woollen rags are also well known to the farmers of the pres- 
ent day as a powerful manure. Owing to their slow decompo- 
sition, the}' are not so well fitted for root culture ; turnips and 
other plants of this kind, requiring more active arid readily- 
soluble manure to produce a rapid growth. In a sample of 
rags, analysed by Professor Way, taken in the ordinary condi- 
tion of dryness, consisting of the seams and other useless parts 
of old cloth garments, which, from the appearance of these 
remnants, had been cut up to be manufactured into cloth, in- 
cluding portions of the calico linings, together with the cotton 
or linen thread used in sewing them, the per-centage of nitro- 
gen amounted to lO/^-ths, which is equivalent to 12 T y a ths per 
cent, of ammonia. 

From recent experiments in England, woollen rags are applied 
with the best effects to wheat and hops. They are usually 
chopped up fine, and applied at the rate of half a ton to an 
acre, and arc greatly improved by thoroughly saturating them 
with urine before they are used. They will last 4 of 5 years, 
and during their decay, they become converted into carbonate 
of ammonia, in the same manner as horn, hair, and wool. 


''M^'HE construction of the best and most convenient form of a 
tank, and a suitable apparatus for the collection and applica- 
tion of liquid manure, in the most cleanly and economical 
manner, is a subject of great utility, and one which has more 
or less occupied the attention of the most eminent agricultur- 
ists in various ages, and in all civilised countries of the globe. 

The chief faults in the arrangements heretofore made for 
the purpose of collecting liquid manure appear to have been 
that, the tanks, in some instances, received the urine alone 
while the drainings of the barn yard and manure heaps were 
allowed to escape; or that they formed a receptacle for the 
rain water from the adjoining buildings, as well as the urine, 
by which the liquid manure was much diluted, and consequent- 
ly an increased expense in applying it ; while, in other instan- 
ces, the compost heap was at too great a distance from the tank, 
and hence, inconvenience was experienced in impregnating the 
compost when necessary. A mode by which these disadvan- 
tages would be obviated, and what appears to be an efficient 
system of collecting the drainage from the stables, farm yard, 
manure heaps, &c., is as follows : 

First, let a site be fixed upon for the manure tank, on the 
northerly side, if convenient, and behind the buildings of th^ 



yard; the tank being made of bricks, laid in cement or hy- 
draulic mortar, and covered over, as indicated in the following 
out. A scuttle, or "man hole," should be constructed in the 

I'V;. f>. 

top, to allow a person to niter to clear out the sediment which 
is liable to collect. The size should be regulated by the stock- 
usually kept in the stables or sheds. Into this tank, all the 
urine from the stables, stalls, &c., should be collected, by means 
of drains communicating with each, as well as with the barn 
yard, which should be made a little concave in its bed, so that 
no portion of the liquid manure may be allowed to escape. 
A channel should be made around the compost heap, which 
should be close by, so that the drainage from it may be col- 
lected in the tank. All the farm buildings should have gutters, 
or spouts, which should be so arranged that the water running 
from them may be conveyed away by a drain, or collected in 
cisterns for the purpose of irrigation, diluting the urine, or for 
domestic use. Lastly, let there be a pump fixed in the tank, 
by which its contents can at any time be transferred to a 
liquid-manure cart, or dischargee 1 on the compost heap, by the 
use of a hose. 

By an arrangement like the foregoing, all the urine from the 
stables or stalls, and most of the wash from the dung heaps 
and the yards would be effectually collected, which might either 
be allowed to ferment spontaneously, the ammonia generated 


oeing converted into a sulphate, from time to time, by the ad- 
dition of sulphuric acid, gypsum, or copperas, (sulphate of 
iron,) or it may be diluted with water, by which means, much 
of the ammonia would be retained in solution as a carbonate 
the former being the most effectual mode of securing the am- 
monia in the liquid. If nothing is used to fix the ammonia, it 
would be advisable to have the tank divided in the middle, al- 
lowing the urine or drainings to accumulate, diluted with 3 
times its bulk of water, until one division is full; this should 
be allowed to ferment for 6 weeks, when it will be fit to apply 
to the land as a top-dressing ; the water used to dilute it re- 
taining in solution most of the ammonia generated by the de- 
composition of the urea. If this arrangement be adopted, it 
will be necessary that the drains should be made to commu- 
nicate with either division of the tank at pleasure ; this may 
be effected by making the main drain divide into two branches 
near the partition in the tank, with a sluce placed in each 
branch of the drain leading to the separate divisions, so that 
the liquid may be discharged into either division; the pump, 
also, should have a moveable pipe, or should be moveable it- 
self, so that either division of the tank may be pumped out at 

In applying this manure, where the soil is light and not de- 
ficient in organic matter, loam, or mould, it would be advisable 
to administer it in a liquid form; but where the land is stiff 
and clayey, its application in the form of a compost will be 
found most serviceable, as it then renders the soil lighter, more 
porous, and of easy cultivation. To the farmer possessing light 
soils, liquid manure from the tank, with the ammonia properly 
converted into a sulphate by the use of gypsum or sulphuric 
acid, will be found of great value. It may be applied to the 
land with a liquid-manure cart or a hand tub, denoted by the 
succeeding cuts, just before the last plowing for the seed, or as 
a top-dressing for the young crops ; particularly, when they are 
looking yellow and s-ickly ; but let this important fact in re. 
gard to the applicati n of liquid manures always be borne in 



mind: That it is a waste to give it to plants before the formation 
of tlieir secondary leaves, which is true in all cases. If applied 
at other periods, it will have some effect, but not so much. 
When applied directly to the plants, it is preferable to use it 
in showery weather; for let it always be remembered, that, 
during warm and dry weather, plants absorb fluids faster than 

FIG. 7. 

when it is cool and dull, and that they perspire most in a dry, 
warm atmosphere. If the supply at the roots, therefore, is not 
kept up, then they become deteriorated in quality, and the pro- 
duce is considerably lessened. The practice of pouring ma- 
nure water immediately around the stem of a plant should be 

avoided, for two reasons ; first, the roots, which absorb most, 
are in or approaching the centres of the spaces between the 
drills or rows ; therefore, to be benefitted by it, the liquid should 
be distributed there. Another very important matter, common 



in vegetable culture, should not be lost sight of; that is, by ap- 
plying the liquid in a limited circle around the plants, individ- 
ually, as the roots have less inducement to travel in search of 
food; hence, they will be fewer in number. But if their food be 

placed at a greater, yet a reasonable dist;sniv : from them, they 
will seek it out by instinct, as it were, fresh roots will be emit- 
ted, and they will have a much larger pasture to feed in. 

When the liquid manure is to be used for watering the 
plants, a portion of it is pumped out of the tank into casks, 
fixed on watering carts, denoted by fig, 7 and fig. 8; and then 



diluted with 5 or 6 times its bulk of water, and allowed to flow 
gently over the surface of the hind between the plants, either 
by letting it run, when clear, through a tube perforated with 
hiles, or upon a plank, when thick or turbid. 


FIG. 11. 

A portable liquid-manure cart has lately been constructed in 
England, denoted by fig. 9. It is made of iron plates, securely 
cemented and bolted together, and contains 200 gallons. It is 
mounted on wheels, 4 feet 10 inches high, with a new pattern 
half-round tire, 4 inches wide. The tank body is fitted with 
a brass outlet valve, acted upon with an iron-lever rod, with 
which the driver opens and closes the valve whilst walking by 
the side of the horse. The pendulum-spreading apparatus, 
witli regulating slide front, is adapted to water uneven land 6 
feet, broadcast. A partition, running lengthwise the inside of 
the tank, prevents the surge and overflow of its contents when 
upon rough land or bad roads. A simple contrivance, also, 
consisting of a box trough, and four flexible India-rubber tubes, 
is made to water four rows or ridges of turnips any required 
width at a time; two lads, with a handle in each hand, guide 
the delivering tubes in applying the liquid manure, guano 
water, dissolved bones, bleacher's ley, soap suds, diluted night 
soil, fec. 

Meadows just mown, or fields sown with grain, may also be 


thus watered, as the vegetative force, imparted by this liquid 
manure, although of short duration, may have a great influ- 
ence ; for, once covered with green young plants, the ground is 
protected from drought : and, moreover, the plants themselves, 
hy this means, rapidly acquire the necessary strength to resist 
various adverse influences, and to draw from the soil and at- 
mosphere their quota of nourishment. 

Another mode of spreading this manure, as has long been 
practised in Flanders, is, to take it from the tank without dilu- 
ting, convey it to the fields in casks, and pour it into a tub, fig. 11, 
from which it is made to flow over the ground ; or it is distrib- 
uted directly from the tank in a hand cart, denoted by fig. 10. 

It is a question which has not been satisfactorily determined, 
whether means may not yet be devised of completely, easily, and 
cheaply separating the fertilising ingredients of urine and tank 
stuffs from the water in which they are dissolved. It is well 
known that alum, green vitrol, (sulphate of iron.) Epsom salts, 
(sulphatt. of magnesia.) and the sulphate of zinc, when mixed 
with fermenting urine or tank stuff, cause a precipitate to fall 
to the bottom, more or less dense, which will contain the phos- 
phates and a portion of the other saline, and even of the or- 
ganic constituents of the liquid. This precipitate, therefore, 
when dried to a powder, may be used as a manure, either by 
itself, or what is better, in admixture with other fermenting 
manure; but all these substances leave most of the valuable 
salts in the water behind them, and, therefore, besides their 
cost, are open to the objection that they do not perform the 
purpose for which they have been employed. 

The method which would seem to be the most rational, and 
is generally within the reach of the farmer, without' much ex- 
pense in the outlay, is, to absorb the whole liquid manure by 
partially-dried peat or swamp or pond muck, and thus add to its 
bulk, the fertilising matter contained in it. A method which has 
been extensively employed both in Ireland and Scotland, is, to 
use the peat in a half-charred state, instead of using it raw. 
fn local it'es where peat does not abound, charred saw dust, tan 


bark, apple pomace, or bagasse may be substituted with equal- 
ly good effects. The waters of barn yards, common sewers, of 
gas houses, bone boilers, glue makers, bleacheries, flannel man- 
ufactories, &c.,&c.,may all be applied with the forenamed ap- 
apparatus, or they may be absorbed by peat, &c., as recom- 
mended in the preceding page. 


IN the bleacheries of cotton, linen, and woollen goods, paper 
mills, &c., it is usually the custom to throw away the residuum 
of the stills or vats, as worthless articles ; but from various 
experiments made in Great Britain and elsewhere, it has been 
found that these substances, whether used in a liquid or dried 
state, possess considerable agricultural value. A portion of 
this lime refuse taken from the large waste heap of a bleachery, 
analysed by Fromberg, after drying, consisted of 

Per tent. 

Organic matter and a little water, 18.57 

Sulphate of soda and sulphurct of sodium, 14.23 

Oxide of iron and alumina, 5.07 

Carbonate of lime, 55.18 

Silicious matter, 6.60 


Considering the large proportion of alkaline matter, as well 
as lime, it contained, it is evident that it might be used with ad- 
vantage in preparing land for green crops, or as a top-dressing 
for grass, and especially for clover. Mixed with a moderate 
quantity of night soil, it serves 'as an excellent dressing for 

Besides the lime refuse of bleacheries, there are considerable 
quantities of waste leys, containing alkalies, as well as chlo- 
ride and sulphate of lime, which daily run off, that would be 
valuable to the farmers in the vicinity, if collected in casks or 
manure carts, and applied to young growing oats and other 
crops as a liquid manure. 



OLD brine, in which meat or fish has been salted, contains 
more or less salt, blood, oil, scales, &c., and when saved and 
composted with farmyard dung, pulverised peat, and dried 
swamp or pond muck, forms an admirable manure for almost 
every cultivated crop. 

It may be obtained in considerable quantities at a small ex- 
pense, at most of our meat markets, the packing establish- 
ments of beef, pork, and fish, and generally at retail groceries, 
in all of our cities and larger class of towns. 


CRENIC acid is a comparatively new substance, found in all 
soils, and in many mineral waters, and in the juices of plants. 
It was first discovered in the Porla Spring, in Germany, by Ber- 
zelius, and was named by him ''crenic acid," from the Greek 
word signifying a fountain, or spring. It abounds more in sub- 
soils than on the surface, owing to the solubility of some of its 
combinations, particularly those with lime and the alkalies. It 
possesses highly fertilising properties, when neutralised by 
bases forming soluble salts. 

Apo-crenic acid is also one of the new acids, first discovered 
in the waters of Porla Spring, by Berzelius. Its name signifies 
"from the crenic," as it is always found with that acid. It is 
one of the constant ingredients of the organic matter, or mould, 
of soils, and is an active fertilising agent, being highly charged 
with nitrogen. It is found combined with per-oxide of iron, 
forming bog-iron ore. Its combinations with bases are called 
apo-crenates. Some of them are highly soluble ; as for instance, 
apo-crenates of the alkalies, potash, soda, and ammonia; others 
are difficultly soluble ; such as apo-crenates of lime, alumina, 
manganese, and per-oxide of iron. Alkalies decompose all 
the insoluble apo-crenates and form with the acid, fertilising 
manures. Jackson. 



THE ammoniacal liquor, (so called from the quantity of car- 
bonate and acetate of ammonia it contains,) being absolved by 
the water employed in purifying the gas from these salts, it is 
too powerful to be applied as a manure in the liquid form with- 
out being previously diluted with water. One hundred gallons, 
it is stated, contain in solution 25 los. of carbonate, muriate, 
and sulphuret of ammonia and other impurities. It may be 
applied in this form, at the rate of 4 gallons of water to 1 gal- 
lon of the gas liquor, by means of a watering cart, 250 gallons 
of the latter being sufficient for an acre of grass and other 
green crops. 

Gas liquor may also be used in saturating composts of peat, 
swamp or pond muck, saw dust, and other absorbent matter, 
by means of which, it will hasten decomposition, and will add 
greatly to the virtues of the compost, resembling very much 
in its action the liquid manure of the farm yard. 

Gas tar, or coal tar, from the amount of ammonia it contains, 
like all other matter in which ammonia is present, must be rich 
as a manure, whether dUuted with water and applied in a liquid 
form, or is composted with peat or other absorbent matter. 

As this substance is produced in rather limited quantities, and 
employed very commonly as a paint for posts, fences, farm 
buildings, &c., it has not been much used as a fertiliser on ac- 
count of the expense attending its purchase; but wherever it 
can be obtained at a small cost, it is an article well worthy of 
the farmer's notice. It is composed entirely of ingredients 
which enter into the composition of all plants, is gradually de- 
composed in the soil, and is powerful in its effects ; hence, it 
is preferable to apply it in a compost made of pulverised peat, 
swamp or pond muck, loam, mould, or any of the absorbents 
treated of in other parts of this work. It may be applied as a 
top-dressing for most kinds of crops of grass, turnips, or grain; 
or it may be employed in the hills or drills of most of our gar- 
den vegetables, Indian corn and other hoed crops. 



IRRIGATION, in a general sense, is applied to the watering of 
the earth by inundation, by sprinkling its surface, or moisten 
ing it by infiltration, by means of rills or streams to increase 
its productiveness. The term, however, is usually confined to 
the operation of causing water to flow over lands for nourish- 
ing plants. 

The artificial watering of the earth, chiefly to produce in- 
creased crops of grass, has been in use from a very early pe- 
riod. Frequent allusion is made to it in the Old Testament, and 
on the veracity of historians, we are led to believe that it has 
been practised by the Chinese and other oriental nations, as 
well as by the Mexicans and Peruvians, from time immemorial. 
In Italy, especially on the banks of the Po, the cultivators have 
certainly employed this process for a period previous to the 
days of Virgil, and it is still carried on with a zeal and care 
worthy of the art they practise. Cato, the earliest of the Ro- 
mon writers upon agriculture, (150 years before Christ,) en- 
joined upon the ancient farmers "to make water meadows, if 
you have water, and if you have no water, have dry meadows." 
The directions of Columella, also, who wrote more than 1,800 
years ago, seem to have all the freshness about them of a mod- 
dern age. He was the first who noticed the inferior nutrition 
afforded by the hay from water meadows. " Land," says he, 
" that is naturally rich, and is in good heart, does not need to 
have water let over it ; and it is better hay which nature, of its 
own accord, produces in a juicy soil, than what water draws 
from a soil that is overflowed. This, however, is a necessary 
practice when the poverty of the soil requires it; and a mead- 
ow may be formed either upon a stiff' or free soil though poor 
at the time, water may be let over it ; neither a low field, with 
hollows, nor a field broken with steep rising ground is proper; 
the former, because it retains the water collected in the hol- 
lows too long ; the latter, because it makes the water run too 
quickly over it. A field, however, that has a moderate descent, 


may be made a meadow, wlie her it be rich, or so situated us 
to be watered ; but the best situation is where the surface is 
smooth, and the descent so gentle as to prevent either showers 
or the rivers that overflow it, remaining too long; and, on the 
other hand, to allow the wale." that comes over it quickly to 
glide off; therefore, if in any part of the field intended for the 
meadow, a pool of water should stand, it must be let off by 
draining ; for the loss is equal either from too much water or 
too little grass." 

The question of extending the practice of irrigation has re. 
cently received an additional impetus, in consequence of itg 
having formed a prominent subject of examination at a late 
meeting of the Royal Agricultural Society of England. Anoth. 
er matter, and possibly of greater ultimate importance, has 
also been introduced to the. notice of agriculturists, within a 
short period, by Professor Way and II. S. Thompson, Esquire 
iiamely, " the absorbent power of soil in fixing salts of ammo- 
nia, potash," &c. The subject last mentioned appears to ac- 
count, in a great measure, for a number of circumstances hith- 
erto unexplained, and doubtful in reference to the sources from 
whence the fertilising effects of irrigation are derived. These 
experiments are interesting from their novelty, and also, in 
some degree, for subverting many previous opinions which 
have heretofore been considered as well established. The 
practical utility of their application is beyond question. 

Mr. Thompson's experiments were made in the summer of 
1845, and were instituted in consequence of the then very gen- 
eral endeavor ti'fit was made to prevent the escape of ammonia 
from tanks, manure heaps, by means of sulphuric acid, gyp- 
sum, sulphate of iron, &c., and also in consequence of observ- 
ing its escape in ordinary farm practice, by casting manure 
into large heaps some months before applying it to the land 
it being desirable to ascertain whether the manure might be 
plowed into the soil any time during the winter without loss, 
and immediately on its removal from ihe yard. 

In the experiments made by Professor W;>v. it was invari- 


ably found that the salts of ammonia became fixed in the soil 
wherever clay was present, which gives scientific evidence of 
the correctness of the practice <>f placing layers of clay in 
manure heaps, and under cattle, fur the purpose of absorbing 
und fixing the valuable con.stituentG of manure. 

The whole art of irrigation may be deduced from the three 
following simple rules : 

1. To free the land to be irrigated thoroughly of water, by 

2. To give a sufficient supply of water during all the time 
the plants are growing. 

3. Never to allow the water to accumulate and remain suffi- 
ciently long on the land to stagnate. 

The general principles of irrigation, however, may be de- 
scribed as the supplying of every portion of the surface of the 
ground with an abundance of water, and taking it rapidly off 
again. In many localities, the great difficulty in irrigation 
arises from the want of a supply of water ; but even then, a 
partial irrigation may be effected, which, although not perfect, 
will have its advantages. A small rill, which is often quite dry 
in summer, by judicious management, may still be made to im- 
prove a considerable portion of land. Its waters may be col- 
lected and allowed to accumulate in a pond or reservoir, and 
let out occasionally, so that none be lost or run to waste. If 
there is water only at particular seasons of the year, and at a 
time when it would not be of much use to the land, it may be 
thus kept in ponds, and will lose none of its qualities by expo- 
sure to the air. If animal or vegetable matter, in a partial state 
of decomposition, be added to this water, it will much improve 
its quality, and by a propel distribution of it over the land, a 
great benefit will follow. 

The supply of wat^r must come from natural lakes and 
streams, or from artificial wells and ponds, in which it is col- 
lected in sufficient quantity to disperse itself over a given sur- 
face. As it must flow over the land, or in channels through it, 
the supply of water must be above the level of the land to be 


irrigated. This is one of the principal objects to be considered. 
If no water can be conducted to a reservoir above the level of 
the land, it cannot be self-irrigated; but there must also be a 
ready declivity, or descent, for the water to"escape, and there- 
fore, the land must not be so low as the natural level of the 
final receptacle, whether it be a lake, river, or sea. 

Along the banks of running steams, nature points out the de- 
clivity. A channel that receives the water at a point higher 
than that to which the stream flows, may be dug with a gentler 
declivity than that of the bed of the stream, and made to con- 
vey the water much higher along the sides of the valley, than 
the natural banks. It may thence be distributed so as to de- 
scend slowly, and water a considerable extent of ground on its 
way to rejoin the stream below the fall. This is by far the 
most common mode of irrigation, and the form, size, and direc- 
tion of the channels are regulated by the nature of the surface 
And other circumstances, which vary in almost every situation. 
Let us suppose, for instance, that a river running with a rapid 
current between two distant hills, as denoted in rig. 12. At the 
point A, of its course, a dam is constructed, and a portion of 
the water diverted into the feeders //, dug along the hill sides, 
with a slight declivity. The water in these canals will flow 
with less rapidity than that in the stream, but will maintain 
nearly the same level as that part of the river directly abovo 
the dam, at A. Thus the water may be carried over lands 
which are situated considerably above the bed of the stream, 
further down, and it is obvious that all the places between these 
canals and the river, may be irrigated, if there be a sufficient 
supply of water. 

With a given quantity of water at command, it may be con- 
ducted from these canals, or feeders, to smaller channels, lower 
down the sides of the valley, so as to irrigate the whole equal- 
ly. These lower channels, b c, b c d, should be nearly hori- 
zontal, in order that the water may overflow their sides, and be 
equally distributed over the land directly below them. Each 
channel should have a corresponding drain below it, running 



nearly parallel, to carry off the water; otherwise it might stop 
and stagnate. When the water has run 20 or more feet, ac- 


cording to the declivity over the land situated below the feed- 
er, or the channel which brings the water from above the dam, 


it should be collected in a drain to be carried off, unless it can 
be used to irrigate lands that lie still lower down, and finally 



discharge itself into the river from whk h it was taken at a 
lower point of its course. 


Instances may occur, however, where there is not sufficient 
fall, or declivity, in the river or stream in enable the water to 


flow to any Considerable elevation along the sides of the val- 
ley or hills. In such oases, if a f;;!l of a few feet is at com- 


mand, a portion of the stream can be elevated at a proper height 
and distance to irrigate the intervening lands along the banks, 
by means of a hydraulic ram. 

Again, there are other instances where broad dales or glens 
occur, through which descend brooks or rills, fed by living 
springs on the more elevated ground, that may be made to ir- 
rigate the parts of the declivity below. Or, if circumstances 
warrant the expense, in situations where no such streams are 
to be found, a well may be bored or sunk at or near the sum- 
mit of the hill, the water raised by wind, steam, or animal pow- 
er, and distributed by means of a series of horizontal chan- 
nels, situated one below the other, in a manner that the second 
may collect the water the first or uppermost has supplied, and 
in turn becomes a feeder to the third, and so on to the fourth, 
thus irrigating the lower parts of the declivity, until the last 
discharges itself into a river or waste ditch, and is of no fur- 
ther use. 

In illustration of what is stated above, let R, fig. 14, denote 
a reservoir or well, situated on elevated ground, at a convenient 
point on the side of a dale or glen ; //, feeders, running hori- 
zontally around the upper part of the declivity, as far as the 
nature of the surface will allow ; a b c, horizontal channels, 
situated one below the other, for catching the water, as it flows 
over the whole length of their margins, or sides, across the ter- 
races or inclined planes into the " waste ditch" w, at the lower- 
most part of the glen ; R w, a " water way," having " stops," 
or gates, at the lower margin of each channel, for the expedi- 
tious conveyance of the water to every part of the ground, and 
also for the final discharge of what water might remain in the 
channels to prevent it f ^m becoming stagnant. 

With proper attention to levelling or grading the slopes, the 
construction of the channels, water ways, aqueducts, gates, 
hatches, waste drains, &c., the foregoing embrace the general 
modes of irrigation, as practised by the most enlightened na- 
tions of the present day. 

Sometimes, situations occur at the foot of hills, or along the 



borders of streams, where the land is flat, or nearly level, and 
the modes just described for distributing the water, cannot be 
applied, for the \v;i;it <:{';>. snlncient declivity to allow the water 
!o puss rapidly OV<T : he sui-fir.". In siieh cases, the whole field 

GROUND PLAN. Fit;, in. 

should be laid out into broad beds, 60 or 80 feet wide, undula- 
ting, as it were, like the waves of the sea. The central or 


upper p-irt of these beds, or panes, should be made quite level 
from end to end, through each of which a channel, or "float," 
a a, should be cut for conducting the water from the feeder f. 
at the higher side of tr 3 meadow, as indicated by fig. 16. 



Prom the edge of these channels, the surface of the g,ound 
should be made to slope, from 1 to 2 feet, both ways from 
the centre, and ditches, or drains d d d, cut at the bottom, be- 
tween the beds, parallel with the floats. These beds should 
not be curved like the ridges of a plowed field, but form in- 
clined planes from the centre to each side. The floats are sup- 
plied by a main channel, or feeder /, at right angles to the 
beds, elevated somewhat above them, and all the ditches, or 
drains d d d, should be made to run into another main ditch, 
or waste drain w, at the lower side of tho field, parallel to the 
feeder /. By this arrangement, the course of the water will be 



very regular. As soon as the " stops," or flood gates, arc opened, 
it flows into floats, or upper channels, until they are full to the 
brim, when they will overflow the whole of their length, and 
the sloping sides of the beds covered with a thin sheet of run- 
ning water, which the lower drains will collect, and carry off 
in the waste drain w. 

There are other cases, also, which occur along the borders 
of streams, where the land is level, and too low to be irrigated 
by any means, except by inundation. As a familiar instance 
of this, let , fig. 18. denote a dam thrown across a river or 
brook, when 1 there is a fall of four or more feet ; b b, &c., a 
ditch running along the base of a hill, or the upland, ad join- 


ing a level, swampy piece of ground, kept constantly wet by 
a number of springs, which this ditch will cut off, and give 
the low, boggy ground a chance to dry; c c, &c., are lesser 
ditches, running nearly at right angles with the main ditch, 
b b, &c., to carry off the spring water, and aid, also, in drain- 
ing the meadow, on either side. An embankment is thrown up 
along the margin of the stream, to prevent its overflowing, ex- 
cept at very high water. Gates are constructed at each end of 
the lateral ditches, as at b l>, &c., and c c, &c., which can be 
opened or closed, at pleasure. When it is required to draw off 
the water from the meadow, the gates at c c, &c., are kept 
open ; but when it is wished to inundate, or irigate it, they are 
shut, and the gates at a and b b, &c., are opened. 

Fertilising Qualities of Water. As a general rule, there is no 
water too bright, nor too full of impurities, if kept in motion, 
to be useless for the purpose of irrigation, as is evinced by the 
brilliant, chalky waters of the south of England, and the still 
greater fertilising effects of those surcharged with organic 
matter, in the Craigintinny Meadows, near Edinburgh. Hence 
it is, that some of the most sagacious cultivators have come to 
the conclusion that the chief advantages of irrigation are at- 
tributable to the foreign substances, whether organic or inor- 
ganic, with which the water is impregnated. " The surest 
proofs," says Mr. Exeter, " of the good quality of water, as a 
manure, are the verdure of the margin of its streams and the 
growth of the strong cresses in the stream itself; and wherever 
these appearances are found, though the water be perfectly 
transparent, the occupier of the soil through which it flows, 
may depend, in general, on having a treasure." Again, those 
waters which breed the best fish are regarded by some, as the 
best adapted for watering meadows, while others are of the 
opinion, and among them, Sir Humphrey Davy, that most of 
the benefits of irrigation may be derived from water of any 
kind. The fertilising properties of spring or river water are 
often owing to the crenic and apo-crenic acids they contain. 

The witer of several natural springs, in Aberd. Denshire, Scot- 


land, which had been employed with great s\ recess in irriga- 
ting the surface of a piece of almost worthless land, when 
evaporated to dryness, left 5^th grains of solid matter to an im- 
perial gallon. On analysis, by Dr. Voelckler, this solid matter 
gave of 


Alkaline salts, (chiefly comtnc n salt,) 1.14 

Sulphate of lime, (containing 0.28 grains of water,) 1.66 

Carbonate of lime, 0.26 

Carbonate of magnesia, 0.46 

Organic matter, 0.76 

Silica, 0.92 


The result of this analysis is very interesting. It shows, 
that, what we are in the habit of considering the purest natural 
spring water, containing the smallest proportions of mineral 
matter, may be used with advantage for the purposes of irriga- 
tion, in supplying the requisite wants of the growing herbage. 
The silica, the gypsum, the lime, the magnesia, and the alkaline 
salts are all the food of plants, and are required in the produc- 
tion of grass. 

Melted snow, or rain water, it is well known, is a true ma- 
nure, containing carbonic acid, a little ammonia, and a small 
amount of salts. Common river water usually contains more 
or less of the constituents of vegetable and animal bodies; and 
after rains, there is generally a greater proportion of these con- 
stituents than at other times, which is habitually largest when 
the source of the stream is in a cultivated country. Whenever 
the water has flowed over or through a calcareous or limy bed, 
it is generally found impregnated with carbonate of lime; and 
such water tends, in that respect, to amelior ate a soil in pro- 
portion, as any of the modifications of lime and charcoal 
are deficient ; but where these are already in excess, wa- 
ter, charged with a limy sediment, should be withheld; while 
that impregnated with sand, clay plaster of Paris, or particle* 
of iron, would be benefnial. 


But most, of the benefits of irrigation, as before intimated, 
may be derived from any kind of water, (salt water excepted,) 
provided the soil be not already overcharged with the prevail- 
ing ingredients in the deposit, or sediment, left by the water; 
and provided or) the other hand, that the ingredients of the 
soil and the ingredients of the deposit, are not pernicious when 
conbined. For instance, water containing ferruginous impreg- 
nations, (particles of iron,) tends to fertilise a calcareous or 
limy soil, while on a soil that does not effervesce with acids, 
which is one of the tests of the presence of lime, it is injurious. 
Again, calcareous waters, which are known by the earthy de- 
posits they afford, when boiled, are of most benefit on silicious 
or flinty soils, containing no appreciable amount of carbonate 
of lime. 

Quality and Preparation of the Soil. The best soil for a water 
meadow is a good gravel, though the richest herbage is some- 
times found where there is scarcely any soil at all; as, on the 
meadows on the river Avon, in Wiltshire, England, which con- 
sist of beds of shingle and pebble stones, matted together by 
the roots of the grass. From good authority, it seems essential 
to the formation of a good water meadow, that the bottom be 
porous, and free from stagnant water. Hence, under-draining 
is often indispensable before a meadow can be established; 
and a marsh or peat bog, if drained and consolidated, may 
have water carried over its surface, and produce very good 

If the soil is a very stiff clay, draining is indispensable 
where a water meadow is to be made. It is found, also, that 
the more porous the soil, the less depth of water is required, 
which may not be obvious at first ; but clayey soils let the 
water run over the surface without soaking into the roots, 
whereas, the porous soil is soon soaked to a considerable depth. 
The water, therefore, must be longer on clay than on sand or 
gravel, to produce the same effect If the water is properly 
applied, however, almost all kinds of soils may be converted 
into fertile mea lows. On very stiff clays, a coat of sand G<" 


gravel, where it can-, easily be obtained, will greatly improve 
the herbage. The gravel should not be plowed in, but spread 
on the surface 2 or 3 inches thick. Soils, also, containing clay 
in an unburnt state, on account of their aluminous salts, have 
the property of fixing the ammonia contained in the water, an 
important fact to be observed in regard to the distance it has 
to flow before suffered to waste. 


THE wash of the kitchen, soap suds, &c., are replete with the 
prepared food of plants, and are excellent for watering gar- 
dens, particularly for cucumbers, grape vines, fruit trees, &c., 
in hot dry weather. They should never be applied to plants 
above blood heat, and if the water is greasy or oily, it should 
not be made to touch the leaves. 

If the garden be very wet, or is situated at too great a distance 
from the house, the wash may be poured on the compost heap 
in the barn yard, or it may be absorbed by a heap of dried peat, 
swamp or pond muck, leaf mould, saw dust, wood shavings, &c.i 
which, in the course of a summer, will be converted into a rich 
manure, suitable for most of our cultivated crops. 


NITRIC acid, or aquafortis, when pure, consists of a colorless, 
corrosive liquid, possessing powerful acid properties. At a spe- 
cific gravity of 1.5, it contains from 20 T 3 ff ths to 25 per cent, of 
water, freezes when exposed to extreme cold, and boils at a 
temperature of 248 F. It rapidly oxidises the metals, and 
unites with them and with other bases, forming salts called 
nitrates The nitric acid of commerce usually contains more 
or less chlorine, muriatic and sulphuric acids, and sometimes 

Although nitrogen and oxygen do not unite at once, when di- 
rectly brought into contact, yet they are capable of combin- 


ing under certain circumstances ; and there is no doubt but he 
great, if not the only source of the nitric acid of nature, is ;he 
union of the nitrogen and oxygen of the atmosphere. Rain 
water, particularly that which falls after a thunder storm, 
contains a certain quantity of nitrate of ammonia ; the light- 
ning forming nitric acid in passing through the air, and this 
uniting with the ammonia, which is always present in our at- 
mosphere, produced by the decomposing animal remains of 
our globe. 

In warm climates, where an abundance of organic matter 
and its rapid decomposition pour into the atmosphere a copious 
supply of ammonia, the formation of nitric acid proceeds with 
extraordinary energy, and the nitrate of ammonia being wash- 
ed down by the rains into the porous limestone soils, the am- 
monia is given off, while the ground becomes coated with an 
efflorescence of earthy nitrates when it dries on the cessation 
of the rain. A small quantity of nitrate of potash, (saltpetre,) 
is also thus produced, but the nitrate of lime, of which the 
crude produce of nitre principally consists, is converted into 
saltpetre by means of carbonate of potash. 

In regard to the existence of nitric acid, it is not known to 
form a necessary constituent of any of the solid rocks of which 
the crust of the globe is compssed, but is diffused almost uni- 
versally through the soil which overspreads the surface. In 
the hotter regions of the earth, in India, in Africa, and in South 
America, in many places it accumulates in sufficient quantity 
to form incrustations of considerable thickness over very large 
areas, and in many more, it can be separated by washing the 
soil. Even in the climates of high latitudes, it is rarely ab- 
sent from the water of artificial wells, into which the rains, 
after filtering through the surface, are permitted to make their 
way. On the whole, nitric acid and its compounds appear to 
exist, ready formed in nature, in larger quantity thin either 
ammonia or any of its compounds. 

In reference to ttie action of nitric acid upon vegetation, it is 
known that, when, in the form of nitrates of soda, potash, &c.. 


it is spread upon the soil, it greatly promotes the growth and 
luxuriance of the crop, and increases its produce; and that 
when other Circumstances are favorable to vegetation, as in 
certain districts in India, the presence of an appreciable quan- 
tity of these nitrates adds largely to the fertility of the soil. 
The same effects are unquestionably produced by the addition 
of ammonia or by its natural presence in the soil. The ben- 
eficial influence of both compounds, then, being recognised, 
the relative extent to which each operates upon the general 
vegetation of the globe will be mainly determined by the cir- 
cumstances and the quantity in which they respectively exist 
or are reproduced. Johnston. 


PHOSPHORIC acid properly exists only in solution ; for, by the 
process of digesting calcined bones in water, washing the re- 
sidual matter with hot water, and adding ammonia thereto, it 
is converted into meta-phosphoric acid, but by solution in water 
and ebullition for a few minutes, it is reconverted into phos- 
phoric acid, which, in this state, is a colorless, sour, corrosive 
liquid, having a specific gravity of 1.064. By the application of 
heat, it yields " glacial phosphoric acid," which solidifies on 
cooling, and forms a colorless glass. It has so great an affinity 
for water, that it combines with it under some circumstances 
almost explosively. It may form three distinct compounds, or 
phosphates of water, in each of which t is susceptible of forming 
a series of salts. 

The most common form in which phosphoric acid is applied, 
as a liquid manure, is, when bone earth or the phosphate of lime 
is dissolved by sulphuric acid, strong leys, or by digesting it in 
water, under a high pressure of steam. As these processes 
have been described at length under the head of BONES, a repe- 
tition is unnecessary here. When applied to crops in this 
form, the same apparatus may be employed as with urine, 
guano water, or ai v other kind of liquid manure. 



StTLpmraic acid, or oil of vitrol, when pure, has an oily ap 
pearance, is transparent, colorless, inodorous, and extremely 
acid and corrosive, having a specific gravity of 1.845. It ab- 
sorbs water rapidly from the atmosphere, and combines with 
it in all proportions; 1 part of water mixed with 5 parts of acid 
raises the temperature from 50 to 300 F. One part of ice and 
1 of acid cause the temperature to increase to 212, but 4 parts 
of ice and 1 part of acid cause it to fall below zero! Strong 
sulphuric acid freezes at 15; but when diluted with water, so 
as to have a specWic gravity of 1.78, it crystallises in large 
crystals, (if the mixture be kept cool,) and will remain in that 
state when the temperature does not increase above 44 F. 

The sulphuric acid met with in the shops is an exceedingly 
sour, corrosive liquid, which decomposes, chars, and destroys 
all animal and vegetable substances, and, except when very 
dilute, is destructive to life in every form. It is rarely met 
with in nature in an uncombined state, though, according to 
Boussingauit, some of the streams which issue from the vol- 
canic regions of the Andes are rendered sour by the presence 
of a quantity of this acid. It combines with potash, soda, lime, 
magnesia, &c., and forms sulphates, which exist abundantly in 
nature, and have often been beneficially and profitably em- 
ployed as manures. Where the soil contains lime or magnesia, 
the acid may often be applied directly to the land, in a very di- 
lute state, with advantage to clover and other similar crops, 
say at the rate of 500 parts of water to 1 part of the acid ; but 
is not better in its effects than gypsum, and is much more ex- 
pensive, as well as more difficult to manage. The chief use 
in agriculture to which sulphuric acid is now applied, is to 
dissolve bones, or phosphate of lime, but it is far inferior for 
this purpose to muriatic acid. One hundred pounds of good 
sulphuric acid will dissolve 200 Ibs. of fine bone dust, convert, 
ing it. in part, into a sulphate of lime, (gypsum,) and in'o a 
super-phosphate of lime, which is soluble, as described in the 


article on BONES, under the head of " Animal Manures." This 
solution may be applied to the land as a top-dressing, by any 
of the appafatus described at the commencement of the sub- 
ject of liquid manures. 


WATER, when pure, is a perfectly colorless transparent fluid, 
destitute both of taste and smell, evaporates without residue, 
or even without leaving a stain behind, and >s incapable of 
putrefaction ; but in an ordinary state, it contains a small quan- 
tity of organic as well as of mineral matter, which more or 
less speedly undergoes decomposition, even when confined in 
close vessels. It is more universally diffused throughout nature 
than any other chemical compound with which we are ac- 
quainted, performs most important functions in reference to 
animal and vegetable lite, and possesses properties by which 
it is wonderfully adapted to the existing condition of things. 

We are familiar with water in three several states of cohe- 
sion in the solid or congealed form, as. ice, hail, frost, and 
snow in the fluid state, as water, rain, dew and in the gaseous 
state, as in atmospheric vapor, fog, clouds, and steam. If agi- 
tated, at 32 F., it solidifies, and continues solid at all tempera- 
tures below that point ; but if preserved quiescent, it may be 
cooled much lower without freezing ; if it be then touched or 
shaken, a portion of it is immediately converted into spiculse 
of ice, and the temperature of the whole is raised to 32. It 
evaporates at all temperatures, but at 212, near the level of 
the sea, this takes place so rapidly, that it boils, and is con- 
verted into vapor, (steam,) the bulk of which is about 1,700 
times greater than that of water at 62. It also changes its 
volume with the temperature, its greatest density being at about 
39, and its specific gravity decreases from this point either 
way. One cubic inch of perfectly pure water at 62 F., the 
barometer standing at 30 inches near the level of the sea, 
weighs aSS^Vhs grains; by which, it will be ioen that it is 


815 times heavier than atmospheric air. Its spec ific gravity in 
1, being made the standard by which the dens-ities of other 
bodies are compared. The specific gravity of frozen water, 
(ice,) is 0.92 ; in other words, a cubic foot of solid ice weighs 
920 ounces avoirdupois, while a cubic foot of water, at 62 F.> 
would weigh 1,000 ounces. 

Water, or the prot-oxide of hydrogen, consists of hydrogen 
and oxygen combined, in the proportions of 2 volumes of the 
former gas to 1 volume of the latter; and by weight of 1 part 
of hydrogen united to 8 parts of oxygen, or of 

Per cent. 

Hydrofoil, 11.1 

Oxygen, 88.9 


Water enters largely into the constitution of all living am- 
mals and plants, and upwards of -J of the weight of all the 
newly-gathered vegetable substances collected or cultivated for 
the use of man. Not only does it enter thus largely into the 
constitution of rill animals and plants, but in the existing 
economy of nature its presence in large quantities is absolute- 
ly necessary to the persistence of animal and vegetable life. 
In the midst of abundant springs and showers, plants shoot 
forth with an amazing rapidity, while they wither, droop, and 
die when water is withheld. How much the manifestation of 
life is dependent upon its presence is beautifully illustrated by 
some of the humbler tribes of plants. Certain mosses can be 
kept long in the herbarium, and yet will revive again when the 
dried specimens are immersed in water. At Manilla, a species 
of lycopodium grows upon the rocks, which, though kept for 
years in a dried state, revives and expands its foliage when 
placed in water. The Spaniards call it " triste de corazon" 
(sorrow of the heart). Thus life lingers as it were, unwilling 
to depart, and rejoicing to display itself again, when the mois- 
ture returns. 

Those properties of water, however, which are in a high de- 
gree interesting in themselves, and important to the practical 


agriculturist, are as follows. 1. Its solvent power; 2. Its afhn 
'ity for certain substances with which it combines ; 3. The de- 
gree of affinity by which its own elements are held together; 
4. Its disintegrating power on rocks and soils. 

When pure bailed water is exposed to the air, it gradually 
absorbs a quantity of the several gases of which the atmos- 
phere is composed, and acquires more or less of a sparkling 
appearance and an agreeable taste. The air which it thus ab- 
sorbs amounts to about ^gth of its own bulk, and is entirely 
expelled by boiling. When thus expelled, this air, like that 
obtained from snow, is found on examination to contain the 
oxygen, nitrogen, and carbonic acid in proportions very differ- 
ent from those in which they exist in the atmosphere. In the 
latter, oxgen is present to the amount of only 21 per cent, by 
volume, while the air absorbed by water contains 30 to 32 per 
cent, of the same gas. In like manner, the mean quantity of 
carbonic acid in the air does not exceed -n^^ths parts, ( T f ff ths 
of 1 per cent.,) of its bulk, while that expelled from water, 
which has been long exposed to the air, varies from T ( J VVo t 'h s 

to TzrW ths P arts OroV tns to TTf tns f * P er cent). 

Thus, when water falls in rain, or trickles along the surface 
of the land, it absorbs these gaseous substances, carries them 
with it wherever it goes, conveys them to the roots, and into 
the circulation of plants, and thus makes them all minister to 
the growth and nourishment of living vegetables. 

Again, water possesses the power of dissolving many solid 
substances. If sugar or salt be mixed with it in certain quan- 
tities, they speedily disappear. In like manner, many other 
bodies, both simple and compound, are taken up by this liquid 
in greater or less quantity, and can only be recovered by driv- 
ing off the water, through the aid of heat. Hence, it happens 
that the water of rivers and springs is never pure, but holds in 
solution more or less of certain solid substances. Even rain 
water, washing and purifying the atmosphere as it descends, 
brings down portions of solid matter which had previously 
risen into the air in the form of vapor, and as it afterwards 


flows along or sinks into the surface of the soil, i. meets with 
and dissolves other solid substances, the greater portion of 
which, in certain soils, it carries with it wherever it enters. In 
this way, solid substances are conveyed to the roots of plants 
in a fluid form, which enables them to ascend with the sap ; 
and the supply of these naturally solid substances is constantly 
renewed, by the successive passage of new portions of flow- 
ing water. 

Nor is it merely earthy and saline substances which the 
water dissolves, as it thus percolates through the soil. It takes 
up also substances of organic origin, especially portions of 
decayed animal and vegetable matter, such as are supposed to 
be capable of ministering to the growth of plants, and brings 
thorn within reach of the roots. This solvent power of water 
over solid substances is increased by an elevation of tempera- 
1 ture. Warm water, for instance, will dissolve Epsom salts, 
(sulphate of magnesia,) or oxalic acid in much larger quantity 
than cold water will, and the same is true of nearly all solid 
substances, (lime excepted,) which this fluid is capable of hold- 
ing in solution. To this increased solvent power of the water 
they absorb, is ascribed, among other causes, the peculiar char- 
acter of the vegetable productions, as well as their extraordi- 
nary luxuriance in many tropical countries. 

But the affinity which water exhibits for many solid sub- 
stances is little less important and remarkable. When newly- 
burned lime is thrown into a limited quantity of water, the 
latter is absorbed, while the lime heats, cracks, swells, and 
finally falls to a white powder. When thus perfectly slaked, 
it is found to be -J-d heavier than before every 3 tons having ab- 
sorbed about 1 ton of water. This water is retained in a solid 
form, more solid than water is when in the state of ice, and it 
cannot be entirely separated from the lime without the appli- 
cation of a red heat. When the farmer lays upon his land, 
therefore, 4 tons of slaked lime, he mixes with his soil 1 ton 
of water, which the lime afterwards gradually gives up, either 
in whole or in part, as it combines uith other substances. 


For clay, also, water has a considerable affinity, though by 
no means equal to that which it displays for quicklime. Hence, 
even in well-drained clay lands, the hottest summer does not 
entirely rob it of its water. It cracks, contracts, and becomes 
hard, yet still retains water enough to keep its wheat crops 
green and flourishing, when the herbage on lighter soils is 
drooping or burned up. 

A similar affinity for water is one source of the advantages 
which are known to follow from the admixture of a certain 
amount of vegetable matter with the soil ; though, as in the 
case of charcoal, its porosity is probably more influential in 
retaining moisture near the roots of the plants. The degree 
of affinity by which the elements of water are held together, 
exercises a material influence on the growth and production 
of all vegetable substances. By burning a jet of hydrogen 
gas in the air, water is formed, by the union of the hydrogen 
with the oxygen of the atmosphere, for which it manifests on 
many occasions an apparently powerful affinity. But if into 
a vessel of water, a piece of iron or zinc be put, and then sul- 
phuric acid added, the water is decomposed, and the hydrogen 
set free, while the metal combines with the oxygen. 

So in the interior of plants and animals, water undergoes con- 
tinual ofe-composition and re-composition. In its fluid state, it 
finds its way and exists in every vessel and in every tissue. And 
so slight, it would appear, in such situations, is the hold which 
its elements have upon each other; or so strong their tendency 
to combine with other substances, that they are ready to sepa- 
rate from each other at every impulse, yielding now oxygen to 
one, and hydrogen to another, as th<_ production of the several 
compounds with which each organ is destined to elaborate re- 
spectively demands. Yet, with the same readiness c^o they 
again re-attach themselves and cling together, when new meta- 
morphoses require it. It is in the form of water, indeed, that 
nature introduces the greater portion of the oxygen and hydre- 
gen which perform so important a part in the numerous and 
diversified changes which *ske place in the interior of plants 


and animals. Few things are really more wonderful in chc til- 
cal physiology, than the vast variety of transmutations which 
are continually going on, through the agency of the elements 
of water. 

In freezing, it is well known that water expands very con- 
siderably, and exerts therein so great a force as to burst the 
strongest vessels in which it is contained. It is thus that the 
surfaces of the hardest rocks are gradually disintegrated, or 
crumbled into soils fit for vegetable life; the water percolating 
into the minute crevices and fissures during the warmer months, 
and, when frozen in winter, breaking down by repeated and in- 
creasing expansive efforts of succeeding years, the substance 
of masses which would otherwise appear from compactness 
and hardness, suited to withstand the severest effects of time 
and climate. In like manner, in countries where the ground is 
bound up in frost or ice any considerable portion of the year, 
as in the Canadas and the northern parts of the United States, 
the frosts of winter penetrate to a depth of 12 inches to 4 feet, 
causing the earth to expand, and even in some instances to 
crack or burst for miles ; and, in thawing in the spring, it 
heaves up the surface of the earth, renders the soil mellow and 
light, and almost ready to sow wheat and other grain, as soon 
as the frost is out actually aiding and preparing the land for 
the succeeding crops, and making the work of the plowman 
easier than it would have been had not the freezing occured. 
Thus it is that Nature sometimes is far kinder to short-sighted 
man than he is usually aware ; and that, while she is binding 
up the earth in icy chains, as it were, she is preparing it the 
better for use during the congenial influences of spring and 
the summer's sun. 

Such, then, are a few of the well-ascertained fac.s with re- 
gard to the influence of water on vegetation uses which are 
so valuable to the farmer when properly understood. In all 
his operations, this mineral fluid will be found to benefit his 
arrangements; and in a due and regular supply of it to his 
crops consists, in fact, the success of most of his efforts. 


Water, as a fertiliser, it will be seen then, exists i i several 
varieties of form, and in numerous combinations with other 
substances, some of them natural, while others are artificially 
prepared, the most important of which to the practical agricul- 
turist may be described and treated of as follows: 

Aqueous Vapor of the Atmosphere. This has already been des- 
cribed in the article WATERY VAPOR OF THE ATMOSPHERE, under 
the head of "Gaseous and Imponderable Manures." 

Brewer's and Distiller's Steep Water. It is well known to 
makers of malt, whether for the purpose's of brewing or of 
distilling, that the water in which barley is steeped, preparatory 
to its being made to sprout, extracts a considerable quantity 
of matter from the grain, and often becomes very dark in color. 

A sample of this steep, obtained from a maltster of Edinburgh, 
and examined under the direction of the Agricultural Chemis- 
try Society of Scotland, on evaporating to dryness, left a resi- 
duum amounting to 413|ths grains in an imperial gallon. On 
analysing this solid matter, it was found to consist of 

Grains in a gallon. Per cent. 

Organic matter, gum, sugar, protein compounds, &.C., 106.40 40.23 

Alkalies and alkaline sulphates and chlorides, 198.84 48.07 

Phosphoric acid in the state of alkaline phosphates,.. 8.52 2.06 

Phosphate of lime and magnesia, 23.20 5.61 

Carbonate of lime, 15.30 3.48 

Loss, 1.28 0.55 

413.60 100.00 

Thus it appears that the steep water of barley contains much 
valuable matter of a kind likely to promote the growth of 
plants. The organic matter is capable of supplying organic 
food the inorganic matter, alkaline salts, and phosphates are 
in a state in which they can readily make their way into the 
young roots of oats and wheat. Therefore, it ought not to be 
allowed to run to waste, as its value is of too much importance 
to the fanners in the neighborhood, who can collect it at a small 
cost, and apply it in the form of a liquid manure, or absorb it 
MJ peat. &c., and employ it as a top-dressing to their land. 


It w 11 be understood that the preceding inalysis can show 
only the kind of substances which barley-stt-ep water is likely 
to contain. The proportion will vary with the sample of the 
grain, with the purity of the water, perhaps, and with the 
length of time during which the barley has been steeped. 

The steep water of Indian corn, wheat, rye, &c., employed 
in our breweries and distilleries, doubtless would be attended 
with marked effects were it applied to our grass and grain 
crops as a liquid manure. 

Dung water. The rich water which runs from the compost 
heap or dunghill, or that which collects in the hollows of the 
barn yard, instead of being suffered to soak into the earth or 
evaporate by the sun or drying winds, should be taken up by 
a " mulch," or some other absorbent material ; or it may be 
conveyed to the garden or field in a liquid-manure cart, and ap- 
plied to the land as directed in the iirst article on "Liquid Ma- 
nures." This water, when properly diluted, is excellent to 
apply to cucumber, squash and other vines of a similar nature, 
which will not only add much to their luxuriance, but destroy, 
or drive away the striped bug. Green cow dung may also be 
diluted with water, and applied to the vines with equally good 

Flax Water. By an examination of the article on FLAX 
SHIVES AND LEAVES, under the head of "Vegetable Manures," 
it will be seen that the ingredients of a sample of flax straw, 
before steeping, and the constituents of a portion of the same 
after undergoing that process, a difference, or loss, is manifest 
of about fths of the whole mineral ingredients of this portion 
of the plant. 

Therefore it is needless t o repeat the importance of preserv- 
ing the steep water of flax, and applying it as far as it is profit- 
able as a liquid manure. 

Guano Water. Peruvian guano is unquestionably the best 
possible manure for all plants that require manure at all, pro- 
vided the soil is kept open by digging in leaves, vegetable rub- 
bish, &c., from time to time. If the weather be dry, the best 


way of using it, is, to dilute it with water, and apply the solu- 
tion thus obtained. A quart of the best guano may be dis- 
solved in a barrel of water, and applied in quantity as circum- 
stances may require, by means of a liquid-manure cart. In 
this state of dilution, it can do no harm to the plants, not even 
to the more delicate kinds of flowers. 

Lake, River and Spring Water. The water of lakes, ponds, 
rivers, springs, or wells is more or less impure, according to the 
nature of the rocks or soil into which it comes in contact. It 
originates from the clouds, and as it falls in the form of rain, 
it trickles along the surface of the earth, absorbs mineral and 
gaseous substances, and usually carries more or less of them 
with it wherever it goes. Thus it happens that the water of 
lakes, rivers, and springs is never pure, but holds in solution a 
greater or less abundance of certain solid substances. 

River water is tisually less pure than good spring water ; and 
well water less so than either of the preceding. Lake water 
aad marsh water resemble river water, but contain more or- 
ganic matter in a state of decomposition. 

Potato Water from Starch Manufactories. The first washings 
of the pulp of the potato, in the manufacture of starch, or the 
water in which the potatoes are grated, is very rich in saline 
matter, and in substances, (protein compounds,) capable of 
yielding nitrogen to the growing plants ; and hence, is capable 
of useful application as a manure. 

Being derived from the potato, one would naturally sup- 
pose that this liquor would promote the growth of 
the potato crop. This idea was tested in Scotland on the 
potato in 1843. The liquor was run into drills, and potatoes 
afterwards planted in these drills without any other manure. 
The crop is stated to have come up well, and was equal in its 
yield to those of other parts of the field to which the ordinary 
kinds of manure had been applied. It may also be employed 
to water or irrigate grass and other herbage in the form of 
liquid manure. 

Rain Water, Dew, Melted Snmr Hail, tf-c. Rain is a very pure 


kind of natural water, but contains minute quantities of air 
carbonic and nitric acids, carbonate of ammonif , &c. 

The rain which falls upon the earth, it seems almost unne- 
cessary to repeat, is due to the condensation cf the aqueous 
vapor previously existing in the atmosphere, and which is sup- 
plied in great part by evaporation from the surface of the sea. 
This water, as is well known, is fresh and nearly pure, the 
saline constituents of the ocean having no sensible degree of 
volatility at the temperature at which vapor is usually raised. 
It has been proved by a variety of experiments that a some- 
what greater quantity of rain falls at the surface of the ground 
on valleys or plains, or near the level of the lakes or seas, than 
on elevated positions in the vicinity, as the tops of mountains, 
hills, &c., which may be partly owing to the vapor, contained 
in the lower region of the atmosphere, being more dense, and 
joining the drops by the attraction of cohesion in their descent. 
This is a wise provision of Nature, as the action of the sun's 
heat is proportionably greater in valleys than on the summits 
of hills, and a happy equilibrium is maintained between heal 
and rain on all parts of the surface of the earth. Were it 
otherwise, an increased evaporation would necessarily occur 
on mountains and hills, and consequently an increased depres- 
sion of temperature, and more of the fine earth or mould would 
be washed down into the valleys or hollows, or perhaps into 
rivers and the sea itself, and deeper channels and gulleys would 
be made in the soil by the running water, thereby causing 
great inconvenience and loss. The gentlest rains are gen- 
erally most conducive to the growth of plants and the fruitful- 
ness of the soil, as all parts are more uniformly soaked ; but 
it is due to the frequent rains that the earth is rendered fruitful, 
as 1o some soils, like stiff clays and loose sands, they are more 
needful than to others. The former imbibe the water more 
slowly the latter part with it too speedily. Cloudy weather, 
before rain, also, helps predispose the earth, and its vegetation 
receives the greater advantage of the water that falls. 

The deposition of water from the atmosphere during the 


night upon the ground, the leaves of trees and plants, the bl.ides 
of grass, and other objects near the surface of the earth is 
called liw. This substance, so celebrated through all times 
and in every tongue for its sweet influence, presents the most 
beautiful and striking illustration of the agency of water in 
the economy of nature, and exhibits one of those wise and 
bountiful adaptations, by which the whole system of things, 
animate and inanimate, is fitted and bound together. 

All bodies on the surface of the earth radiate, or throw out 
rays of heat, in straight lines every warmer body to every 
colder ; and the entire surface is itself continually sending 
rays upwards through the clear air into free space. Thus, on 
the earth's surface, all bodies strive, as it were, for an equal 
temperature, (an equilibrium of heat,) while the surface as a 
whole tends gradually towards a cooler state. But while the 
sun shines, this cooling will not take place ; for the earth then 
receives in general more heat than it gives off', and if the clear 
sky be shut out by a canopy of clouds, these will arrest, and 
again throw back a portion of the heat, and prevent it from 
being so speedily dissipated. At night, then, when the sun is 
absent, the earth will cool the most ; on clear nights, also, more 
titan when it is cloudy, and when clouds only partially obscure 
the sky, those parts will become eoolest which look towards 
the clearest portions of the heavens. 

Now when the surface cools, the air in contact with it must 
cool also; and like the warm currents on the mountain side, 
must forsake a portion of the watery vapor it has hitherto re- 
tained. This water, like the floating mist on the hills, descends 
in particles almost infinitely minute, which collect on every 
leaflet, and suspend themselves from every blade of grass in 
drops of" pearly dew." And mark here a beautiful adaptation: 
Different substances are endowed with the property of radia- 
ting their heat, and of thus becoming cool with different de- 
grees of rapidity, and those substances which in the air be- 
come cool first, also attract first and most abundantly the 
particles of falling dew. Thus, in the cool of a summer's 


evening, the grass plot is wet, while the gravel walk is dry 
and the thirsty pasture and every green leaf are drinking in 
the descending moisture, while the naked land and the barren 
highway are still unconscious of its fall. How beautiful is the 
contrivance by which water is thus evaporated or distilled, as 
it were, into the atmosphere largely perhaps from some par- 
ticular spots, then diffused equably through the wide and rest- 
less air, and afterwards precipitated again in refreshing show- 
ers or in long mysterious dews! But how much more beauti- 
ful the contrivance, one might say the instinctive tendency, by 
which the dew selects the objects on which it delights to fall 
descending first on every living plant, copiously ministering to 
the wants of each, and expending its superfluity only on the 
unproductive waste. 

Dew does not fall, then, from the atmosphere like rain as 
was formerly supposed, but forms in very different quantities; 
thus, on metals, it is sparingly deposited ; on glass, it forms 
abundantly, as it does also on straw, grass, cloth, paper, and 
other similar substances. Animal substances are among those 
which attract dew in the greatest quantity. The temperature 
of grass covered with dew is always lower than that of the 
surrounding air. This important agent, in the promotion of 
vegetable life, has been supposed by some to rise from the 
ground, while the phrase "falling dew." common in all lan- 
guages, would seem to imply an almost universal belief that 
dew falls from the air, similar to the finest rain or mist. These 
general impressions have, however, been demonstated to be in- 
correct, by the experiments of Dr. Wells, whose explanation of 
the causes operating in the production of dew is as simple as 
it is satisfactory. When substances, lot perfectly transparent, 
are exposed to the sun, they gain more or less heat; but when 
the sun goes down, they part with their heat, and become cold. 
The surrounding air, however, with its invisible vapor, or mois- 
ture, being transparent, does not radiate, or shoot off its heat, 
and consequently remains comparatively warmer than bodies 
not transparent. Hence, grass, leaves, wood, or stone, by grow. 


ing cold in the absence of the sun, have moisture to settle on 
them precisely for the same reason that it is deposited on the 
outside of a pitcher or glass containing very cold water. The 
dew, therefore, is a deposit from that portion of vapor which 
enters into the composition of common air, and which is swept 
in contact with substances at or near the surface of the earth, 
like breath thrown upon the blade of a knife or other polished 
surface. When the sky is clear, as in starry and moonlight 
nights, then do grass, leaves, and other objects, throw off their 
heat most rapidly, and become cooler than the air immediately 
above them, and the colder they get, the more dew is condensed 
upon them. Different substances part with their heat more or 
less rapidly, and this explains the cause why different propor- 
tions of dew are observed on objects similiarly exposed to the 
atmosphere. A gravel walk will have little or no dew upon it, 
whilst the grass on each side will be reeking wet ; because the 
grass does not only radiate its heat more rapidly than the walk, 
but does not derive warmth from below to compensate for the 
loss. Besides, the moisture falling upon the gravel walk is ab- 
sorbed more rapidly than the dew deposited upon plants. 

The composition of dew is similar in its character to that of 
rain; and, although attributed to a modern discovery, its fertil- 
ising influence has been known to be owing in part to the ni- 
trogen it contains, certainly for more than 100 years, as Ellis, 
says in his "Modern Husbandman," published in 1742, in dis- 
coursing on the advantages of getting heavy land into a loose 
hollow condition, that it -gives the plow share an easy en- 
trance, bringing the surly glebe into such a porous fine body, 
as obliges it to receive and lodge great quantities of the most 
fertile dressing in the world, the nitrous dews." 

Snow is nothing more nor less than the union of a great num- 
ber of minute frozen particles of watery vapor floating in mid 
air, which collect together in their descent, and before they 
reach the surface of the earth, are converted into flnkes. When 
clouds are formed at an elevation where the temperature is be- 
low 32 C F,. the nar'ioles of moisture become concealed, and fall 


downward in the form of snow or hail. It often happens, how- 
ever, that the temperature of the lower regions of the atmos- 
phere is somewhat higher than the freezing point, and the snow 
again dissolves before it reaches the earth, and accumulates 
into drops of ruin. 

One of the chief uses ol this substance, is, to .screen the 
plants and herbage from winter's chilling blasts ; for snow, 
from its lightness, is a poor conductor of heat, which does not 
readily pass through it nor into it from any body contiguous. 
There is an old and true saying: '-In northern countries, snow 
is sent by Providence as a great coat to the earth." The great 
scene of Nature's operations, during winter, is below the surface 
of the ground, where she is preparing the germs and roots 
about to shoot forth, elaborating juices and consolidating parts 
previous to the active vegetation of spring. Were the ground 
to be left bare, in cold climates, it would be hard frozen to a 
considerable depth ; vegetable lite would either be suspended 
or destroyed, and the spring would be far advanced before the 
earth could be thawed. Hence, to prevent these ill effects, a 
soft and warm covering of snow has been provided to prevent 
the internal warmth of the earth from being dissipated, the 
offspring of the very cold which is to be guarded against, there- 
by making the evil work its own remedy. The plants being 
thus sheltered, shoot forth with renewed vigor in the spring; 
and cherished by the genial warmth of the sun, put forth with 
increased luxuriance. 

Ammonia, and other fertilising substances, are also contained 
in snow, even when taken from the glaciers of Mont Blanc, 
which likewise cherish vegetation by their invigorating in 

The water produced from hail is similar in its composition to 
rain, this substance being produced only during violent winds, 
which carry a great deal of moisture into the colder regions of 
the atmosphere, where it becomes solidified, and is precipitated 
to the earth in the form of grains or masses of ice of greater of 
less size. It is altogether ditferer t from snow, in occurring dur 


ing the holiest months of summer, and in partaking of the char- 
acter of ice, formed on the surface of the earth. 

Sea Water, Salt Springs, cf-c. The chief characteristic of 
this clsss of waters is their saltness. The density of sea water 
is about 1.0274, as compared with distilled water, and it freezes 
at 28^ F. ; the average amount, of saline matter it contains is 
about 3i per cent. According to the analysis by Schweitzer, 
the water of the English Channel contained of 

Per cent. 

Pure water, ." 90.474 

Chloride of sodium, 2.706 

Chloride of potassium 0.077 

Chloride of maguesiua 0.367 

Bromide of magnesium, 0.003 

Sulphate of lime, 0.141 

Sulphate of magnesia, 0.229 

Carbonate of lime.... 0.003 


In addition to the above, it may be remarked that traces of 
iodine and hydriodic acid have been detected in sea water, 
which are of no appreciable account either in agriculture or 
in the arts. 

Farmers and others residing in the vicinity of the sea, may 
avail themselves of their situations, and procure the water of 
the ocean either to mix with dung, or for applying directly to 
certain species of plants ; or it may be raised by steam, horse 
power, or wind to such a height as will allow it to flow inland 
over a level country through small open canals or earthen or 
metallic pipes to a considerable distance interior, each farmer 
or proprietor receiving a r-upply as it passes along. 

Sea water, when empuyed as a manure, is usually applied 
by sprinkling it over compost heaps containing lime, or it is 
used in slaking quicklime, in both of which cases, it greatly 
improves the fertilising effects. The principal plants to which 
it may be directly applied, without injury, are asparagus and 
lowland rice Both of these it is well known are cultivated in 
beds or fiel.' subject to inundations from the salt water tides. 



In many parts of the world, salt springs abound, the waters 
of which resemble those of the ocean, and may be employed 
in their vicinity with beneficial results, when composted with 
lime and dung, or they may be applied to asparagus in a liquid 
state. Several of Hit; waters of these; springs or wells of the 
state of New York have been analysed by Professor Lewis 
Beck, of Albany, which gave the following ingredients as pub- 
lished in the " Natural IIi<torv " of this stale : 

_ . ^ '~ 
Composition. d .H ~ 5 

?1 . 

IS C 5 7. 


Wt-11 at 

Carbonic acid. 0.06 0.07 


4 7-' 



Oxide of iron and silica, wiih J 004 0() .> 
a trace of carbonate of lime, i 
Carbonate of lime, 0.10 0.14 

Chloride of macne^imn. 0.7'' 4(i 


Chloride of calcium, iJ-03 ().ri:l 

Chlorid.- of sodium. .. . KilMiG 13i3i) 

Water, with a trace of organic ( siil '19 80040 

Total amount in 1,000 grains f 13^55 H9 33 

1415.50 101.20 

Sewer Water. The sewers of most of our large cities re- 
ceive, besides a considerable portion of the solid and liquid 
excrements of the population, the soap suds and other waste of 
ihe houses, as well as the waste liquors of various kinds of 
manufactories, which could be turned to profitable account if 
collected by absorbent materials, and employed by the farm- 
ers in the vicinity to manure their fields. 

In order to show what a loss agriculture sustains by the 
present arrangement of sewerage in most of our cities and 
larger class of towns, I give below the analysis of a specimen 
of London sewer water, made by Professor Way, chemist to 
the Royal Agricultural Society of England. The liquid was 
tetid, and offensive to the smell, t nd of a dirty black color, 
giving off sulphureted hydrogen gas in sensible quantity. 


The matter in suspension and that in solution were separately 
analysed. An imperial gallon contained 109 grains of sub- 
stances in solution, and 100-, 7 ff ths grains of matter insoluble. 
The latter consisted partly of sand and the dust of the granite 
or other paving. The organic portion contained the cells of 
different vegetables, hair, fragments of paper, &c. The com- 
position of the liquid and solid matter, contained in an imperial 
gallon, consisted of 

Grains of Grains of 

matter soluble, ntatter insoluble. 

Organic mailer and salts of ammonia, 57.'.i'i 23.00 

Sand, detritus, &c., from the street* 0.78 44.50 

Soluble silica, 1.16 12.09 

Phosphoric acid. 2.53 164 

Sulphuric uci.l, 0.'J8 3.63 

Carbonic acid, 10.58 1.99 

Lime, 7.40 8.37 

Magnesia, 0.07 trace. 

Per-oxide of iron and alumina, trace 2.G6 

Potash,. 2.60 0.72 

Chloride of sodium, 27.27 2.10 

109.00 100.70 

The amount of ammonia in a soluble state was 15-jWhs 
grains ; that to be formed from the insoluble matter, 2^ths 
grains to an imperial gallon. Other samples of sewer water, 
analysed by the same chemist, yielded more than double the 
above-named ingredients. 



- Y the term *' barnyard or farmyard manure" is meant the 
dunir of cattle and horses which is dropped or thrown into the 
burn yard, and mixed more or less with other vegetable and 
animal matter, and there allowed to remain for some time, in 
heaps or otherwise, to ferment and decompose before it is used. 
Straw, litter, and various kinds of hard, fibrous substances .ire 
carried out of the stables into the yards with the dung, arid 
often the refuse of vegetables or animals are mixed or com- 
posted with it, as well as peat, swamp or pond muck, weeds, tne 
leaves of trees, sods, loam, road scrapings, &c., &c. 

In the management of cattle and horses, at least three gen- 
eral methods appear to have been adopted, in reference to 
economy of feeding and husbanding their manure. One class 
of farmers keep them in stables, supply them with hay and roots, 
and use their straw, if they have any, for litter ; whilst another 
class consume the whole produce of hay and straw from their 
farms in feeding and maintaining their animals, causing them to 
stand on a platform, sufficiently inclined or open to allow them 
to be kept clean and dry, without any bedding of hay or straw; 
whereas, a third class allow their cattle to remain in open 
yards or sheds during a large portion or all of the year, giving 
them litter or not, according to the climate or season, and the 


peculiar custom which in the neighborhood may prevail. The 
second method admits a greater number of cattle to be main- 
tained, and a greater quantity of real dung to be procured, than 
when a less number of well-littered stock are kept, or where 
the cattle are allowed *o rest at night or other times in an open 
fold or yard. 

Food, it is well known, in its passage through the bodies of 
animals, becomes mixed with anirnalised matter, and conse- 
quently is more rich and more valuable, weight for weight, 
as a manure, than dung procured by littering cattle, although 
there must necessarily be much less in bulk or quantity, 
from the large proportion of the digesting food which goes 
off' by breathing and insensible perspiration ; beside which, 
without the utmost care, it is extremely difficult to prevent the 
urine and the valuable juices of the dung from sinking through 
the floors of cow houses and stables, or the soil of farm yards. 
Could these inconveniences be effectually provided against by a 
proper flooring of clay, clalk, or gypsum, a preference appears 
due to the consumption of the whole of the produce by cat- 
tle, provided that attention be paid to mixing daily a sufficient 
quantity of peat or other absorbents with the dung and urine, so 
as completely to take up whatever may remain of these matters 
in a fluid state. By this process, there cuu be no doubt that a 
greater quantity, and a still more valuable dung may be ob- 
tained than by the other practice of keeping a less number of 
cattle, and littering them with straw. 

Those are not to be considered as theoretical statements, but 
the result of actual experiments, attentively made in Europe 
and elsewhere. The quantity of manure made in the same 
given time was much greater than if litter had been used ; and 
the manure procured was infinitely more rich and valuable. 
These experiments were not conlined to the dung and urine of 
cattle, but the chamber slops of the family were carefully pre- 
served, and mixed also with a due proportion of oxygenated 
peat, which was found to produce a greater effect in dissolving 
the peat tlii'H iht; urine from the cattle. 


Many farmers differ : i opinion as to the propriety or the ad- 
vantages which attend jsing long or fresh dung, or that which 
is completely rotted. This disputed point seems capable of 
adjustment. Were the views of the farmer to promote only 
the next immediate crop of grass or grain, the dung, when ap- 
plied, should be fully and completely rotted ; but if his inten- 
tions extend to subsequent crops, or the soil be of a nature to- 
receive benefit by the fermentation and heat produced by the 
application of fresh dung, preference should undoubtedly be 
given to dung in a long state, provided it is immediately plowed 
in, and totally covered, which is not easily accomplished with 
dung of this description. Long dung is always to be preferred 
in the culture of potatoes ; for that completely rotted frequently 
causes this crop to be watery and worm eaten. Many farmers 
only apply coarse straw or litter; whence it might be imagined, 
that the benefit arising from such an application, must be more 
dependent on the straw mechanically keeping the ground open 
or loose, than in contributing, by much if any part of its own 
substance, to the growth of the potatoes, which cannot well be 
supposed ; as the straw, in digging up the tubers, is generally 
found in an undecayed state. It is highly probable, that the 
atmospheric air contained in the intervals of the soil, thus 
made by the straw, may suffer a degree of separation, or de- 
composition in its imprisoned state, as it were, by which means 
the pure air or oxygen may combine wiih the straw and in- 
flammable or vegetable matter in the soil ; whilst the nitrogen 
or ammonia will contribute to the growth of the plants. This 
explanation of the beneficial effects arising to vegetation by 
stagnated air, will also account for the benefit that plants of a 
certain construction of stem and leaf, and which very much 
overshadow and cover the ground, ultimately receive, by pre- 
venting a free circulation of air. The application )f long or 
short dung to ground must appear too material to the practical 
farmer to be overlooked. The preference, in many cases, is 
undoubtedly to be given tc such dung as has most completely 
undergone the putrefactive process. Under th is head, it is 


necessary to notice, that dung and urine newly voided, (unless 
when animals are diseased,) are not in a putrescent stale. The 
time of retention in the body of animals is of too short a con- 
tinuance to allow that effect to take place. Such excrements 
are in a state advancing towards putridity, or in a small de- 
gree only putrid ; a process which, to a certain extent, is ne- 
cessary to stimulate the intestines to discharge the faeces. 

In the management of dunghills and farmyard manure, three 
things should always be kept in view, namely the promotion 
of putrefaction, or decomposition, in order to convert the nitro- 
gen into ammonia the prevention of the volatile parts from 
escaping into the air and the washing away of the fertilising 
salts contained in the manure by means of rains or melting 
snows. For, in the way a common dung heap is made, we 
have, in fact, exactly the conditions necessary to occasion the 
loss of its most valuable constituents. It is exposed to a more 
or less free current of air, which facilitates the volatilisation of 
the ammonia as it is formed ; and it is exposed to the falling 
rain, which washes out the soluble salts, and what ammonia 
the winds have spared, into the adjacent soil. 

In order to promote decomposition, the situation of the dung- 
hill or barn yard should be comparatively dry, and the dung 
laid together as thick as circumstances will allow. Decompo- 
sition, however, cannot be hastened without water ; but the 
quantity that unavoidably becomes mixed with it from rains, 
&c., with the natural moisture of the dung, is usually sufficient 
for the purpose. Too much water prevents that fermentation 
which carries on the process of decomposition most quickly. 
If there is any part of a dunghill saturated with water, it will 
be observed that the straw or other fibrous matter contained 
in it, for a long time after, will remain quite sound, while in 
other parts that are dry, it will be comepletely rotten. There- 
fore, to promote putrefaction, the dung should be laid thick *. 
together, by means of which, heat is sooner generated and the 
natural moisture is the better preserved, which prevents the 
aung from being burned. 


When the natural moisture of the dung is exhaled, a J the 
heap is afterwards covered, the heat is in danger of rising to 
such a height as to cause it to burn, which should be carefully 
guarded against ; for, when the dung is thus burned, its virtues 
are exhausted, and it is rendered thereby almost useless. Dung, 
which in this state is white and dry, in common parlance, is 
said to be " fire-fanged." To prevent it from being reduced to 
this condition, when it is carried out of the stable or cow 
house, particularly if it contain much straw, it must not be laid 
in heaps, which causes it to dry too fast, but carefully incorpo- 
rate it in the compost heap, or spread it upon the top of the 
dunghill. This will prevent the moisture from being carried 
off by the wind, and the heat from being raised to such a height 
as to burn the dung. 

In order to prevent the soluble parts of farmyard manure 
from being conveyed away, no more foreign water should be 
allowed to run into it than can be helped ; and the situation 
of the dunghill or barn yard, if possible, should be high at the 
sides, with a hollow in the middle. For, when foreign water 
is suffered to run into a dunghill, the fermentation is not only 
checked, but, it is often necessary to allow the water a passage 
from it. and mucil of the soluble parts of the manure is car- 
ried away. When the bottom of the yard is quite level, or 
consists of an inclined plain, the rain, which sometimes falls 
in heavy showers, easily h'nds its way off. This, it is obvious, 
is prevented by making the site of the dunghill or barn yard 
high at the edges, with a hollow in the middle. The bottom of 
this basin, let it be remembered, must be impervious to wet 

An excellent way to. prevent the volatile parts of the dung 
from being exhaled by the sun, or carried off by the wind, is, 
to cover the heap with a layer of tenacious clay, loam, marl, 
peat, swamp or pond muck, mixed more or less with gypsum 
or powdered charcoal, which will " fix" the amm nia produced 
by the nitrogen present in the manure, and thereby prevent 
its escape. When thus covered, fermentation, or decomposi- 
tion, M U progress more slowly and more uni!<rinly, and con- 


sequently the ammonia will be more gradually evolved and 

Another method which has been recommended, and prac- 
tised to a limited extent, is, to preserve the manure under cover 
by erecting a roof over the barn yard or dung pit, which, it 
must be conceded, would retain the natural moisture in the 
manure, promote decomposition, and prevent loss from exhala- 
tion from the wind or sun, and from the washings of rains. 
But this method is so expensive that only a few will adopt it, 
unless the benefits are more obvious than the assertions of those 
wno recommend it. And besides the expense, it must likewise 
be attended with more or less inconvenience ; for instance, in 
some situations, it would be difficult to prevent too much water 
from running into the pit, and quite as difficult to carry out the 

In all cases, however, where this plan is adopted, tht dung 
pit or barn yard should have a firm water-proof bottom, roofed 
over sufficiently to ward off the sun, rain, and snows, and be 
amply ventilated at the sides, in order to afford fresh air to the 
stock. For, it has been found by experiments, that, animals 
thrive quite as well under cover, thus ventilated, resting on 
their own excrement, muck, straw, &c., as when confined in a 
yard or fold in the open air. 

The size and construction of a " stercorary," or covered barn 
yard, may vary, according to the number of cattle it is 'to con- 
tain, and the taste and means of the owner. As a general rule, 
the space allotted to each animal should not contain less than 
70 square feet, with a bed of littei and muck 3 fe'et deep. The 
plan I would prefer to adopt is shown by figs. 19 and 20, be- 
ing 20 feet wide, and allowing 7 feet in length for each pair of 
animals. First, a pit may be dug, 20 feet wide, varying in 
length, according to the number of the herd, and from 2 fret 
to 2$ feet deep, the bottom of which may be covered with 
small stones, laid in mortar or cement, similar to tliose used 
in paving streets. Next, a row of posts, 10 or 12 feet long ana 
8 inches in diameter, may be set in the ground, 10 feet a pun. 



on each side of the pit, with their top ends rising 8 feet above 
the pavement, or about 6 feet above the surface of the ground, 
for the purpose of supporting the roof. Then, a water-tight 
wall or curb may be constructed entirely around the sides and 
ends of the pit, formed of masonry or wood work, rising about 
3 feet above the pavement, or 1 foot above the ground, with the 
exception of the gateways, which should be left a little higher 
than the surface, in order to admit the free passage of animals 
and carts. To the top of each row of posts, there should be 
spiked or framed, a plate of wood, 6 by 8 inches, just 20 feet 
apart, from outside to outside, for supporting the end^ of the 

FIG. 19. 

rafters. The pitch of the roof may be 7 feet, requiring rafters 
4 by 6 inches, and 12 feet in length, a pair of which should 
be spiked to the plates, once in every 10 feet. To the top 
of the rafters, there should be confined a ridge pole, 3 by 3 
inches; and one small purlin on each side of the roof. The 
latter may be covered with rough boards, 13 feet in length, with 
their ends projecting 6 inches at the eaves, and the cracks cov- 
ered with battens 3 inches in width. The gable ends should 
also be covered with boards, which may be perforated with 
holes for the passage 1 of pigeons into and out of cotes hull: 



for their use. The roof should likewise be provided with sad- 
dle boards on the top, weather boards at the gable ends, and 
gutters at the eaves, for the better security of the manure from 
washing by rains. 

At each end of the stercorary, there should be a gate suf- 
ficiently wide to admit the passage of a cart load of muck or 
manure ; and around the remainder of the ends and the sides, 
narrow strips of plank or rails should be nailed to the posts, 
so as to form a substantial barrier, or fence, in order to keep 
the cattle within. The whole building may be covered with 
coal tar, paint, or any other material ; or it may be otherwise 
preserved and ornamented, in such a manner as the caprice or 
ingenuity of the owner may invent or devise. 

FIG. 20. 

On the sunny side of the stercorary. about 5 feet from the 
posts, fruit trees may be planted, which will not only prove or- 
namental, but afford both fruit and shade. 

If the system of soiling, or stall-feeding, is wished to be pur- 
sued, racks and mangers can be constructed at the sides of the 
inclosure, and the cattle can be confined the principal part of 
the day, as well as at night, and thus effect a saving of almost 
a double quantity of manure. The pit, when empty, should be 
filled with dried peat, muck, or swamp mud, and littered with 
straw, refuse hay, weeds, or fallen leaves. As ihcso substances 
become decomposed and mixed with tin; uriii'' ;md < xci-emcnl 


of the animals, more may be added, from lime to time, in a dry 
or pulverised state, with occasionally a sp -inkling of powdered 
plaster, or charcoal dust, but never of iiod ashes nor caustic lime. 

Those who are unable to incur the expense of a sterco'-ary 
like the foregoing, can form a pit 3 feet deep with a dry bot- 
tom, which may be covered by a roof of rough poles, supported 
by posts set in the ground, thatched with straw, refuse hay, 
corn stalks, or the boughs of trees. 

With proper management, in the course of a year, if kept un- 
der cover, a consolidated mass of manure, 3 or 4 feet in thickness, 
may be accumulated, which will cut out like a good dung heap, 
and be fit to apply to the land at once; whereas, in open yards, 
a great proportion of the fertilising salts wash out by rains, 
and evaporate by the sun. There is economy and comfort, also, 
in keeping everything dry ; and besides, it does away with the 
necessity of removing the manure into heaps, and the expense 
of water carts and tanks; for the liquid portions of the manure 
are just sufficient to moisten and decompose the muck, straw, 
weeds, and other absorbent materials, with which they are 
mixed. By this means, the whole of the excrement may be 
applied to the land, and experience has shown that the crops 
will grow better than when the manure has been washed. 


IN many parts of the country, where wood is much used as 
fuel, fragments of bark, chips, saw dust, &c., accumulate in 
considerable quantities, and, while undergoing the process of 
decomposition, absorb or become mixed with more or less ni- 
trogen and other fertilising matter, and form an excellent ma- 
nure for all kinds of soil. 

In some parts of New England, this substance and the 
scrapings of back yards are collected and applied in the hill for 
manuring the white bean. It is also used as a top-dressing for 
old grass lands, at the rate of 2,000 to 3.000 bushels to the acre, 
for which it answer? un admir.uiie :>u 'i'o ; <'. 



THE ditches and hollows along road sides, as well as those in 
the neighborhood of farm buildings, and the holes and hollows 
at the foot of hills are generally partially or entirely filled with 
rich loam, which will amply compensate the farmer, if he will 
cart it to his barn or pig yards, where it will soon become 
mixed with the urine and dung of the animals, and thereby 
form an excellent manure for almost all kind of crops. 

Road scrapings, also, which consist of the dung dropped by 
horses and teams in the high ways, and washed into the ditches 
and hollows by rains and melted snows, as well as the leaves 
and rubbish scraped out of the paths or alleys of gardens, and 
the sods or turf of road sides, or the corners of fields are ex- 
cellent materials for making composts; and if they are rich 
in animal or vegetable matter, they may be collected into 
heaps, allowed to ferment and rot, and applied as a top-dress- 
ing to grass lands, at the rate of 3,000 bushels to an acre. 


MUD is a well-known black or dark-colored sediment, found 
at the bottom of ponds, rivers, ditches, and sunken places, and 
diners from " muck," (which is understood to mean a mass of 
decaying or putrified matter in a moist state,) in consisting 
chiefly of a fine vegetable mould, mixed with the substance of 
perished vegetables ; and, therefore, contains much of the 
natural food of plants. There are several varieties of mud, 
which may be classified and described as follows : 

Dock Mud. The richest mud, perhaps, that can be found, is 
that which is taken from docks, and from the sides of wharves 
in cities and populous towns. For it has been greatly enriched 
by the scouring of foul streets, and from common sewers, as 
well as from an unknown quantity of animal and vegetable 
substances, accidentally or intentionally thrown into the place-? 
where it is found 


When newly taken out, this mud may be spread upon grass 
lands as a top-dressing, at the rate of 2,000 bushels to an acre ; 
but if it is to be plowed into the soil, it should first lie exposed 
to the frost of one winter, or it may be worked over by the an- 
imals in the barn or pig yards a few weeks before it is used. 
This will destroy its tenacity, and reduce i. to a fine powder, 
after which, it may be spread or applied like ashes. But if it 
be plowed into the soil before it has been mellowed by frost, 
it will often remain in lumps or clods for some months, and 
consequently be of little advantage to the crops. 

River and Pond Mud. In ponds and rivers, the mud, or sedi- 
ment, is often made up of fine dust, together with a rich vari- 
ety of other substances which have been wafted in the air, and 
have fallen into the water, and with the most subtile particles 
of the neighboring soils that have been washed down into 
them by rains. The mud supposed to be the richest is that 
which is at or near the margins, and which has been alter- 
nately flooded and fermented in consequence of the rise and 
fall of the waters. 

In rivers, brooks, and in long ditches, which have currents, 
there is a greater proportion of soil in the mud which has 
been brought down from the sort mellow lands adjacent ; and 
in some cases from beds of marl that are often found on the 
banks of rivers, and which easily dissolve, and are washed 
away by rains. 

Some ponds are partially or totally dried up at certain sea- 
sons of the year, and most ponds and rivers are so diminished 
in hot, dry summers by copious evaporation as to leave part 
of their beds uncovered, which are generally found to contain 
a rich mud, extending in some cases to a considerable depth, 
especially where there has been no rapid current to carry it 
away. This mud, although taken from fresh water, has often 
been found to be a valuable manure, especially for dry sandy 
and gravelly soils. A sample of mud, however, taken from a 
pond by Col. Robert W. Williams, of Tallahasse, in Florida, 
from which the water haJ been evaporated, and analysed by 


Dr. Thomas Antisell, of Now York, gave the following re- 
suits : 

Per cent. 

Moisture, 6.75 

Vegetable matter, 17.15 

Silica and fine white sand, 06.40 

Alumina, 7.75 

Carbonate of lime, 0.93 

Magnesia, 0.53 

Saline matter, soluble in water, as common salt and ) n , n 
sulphate of lime, j u - 4a 


When dry, this mud consisted of a dark-colored substance, 
readily crumbling under the finger, and containing a small 
quantity of undecomposed rootlets scattered throughout. Not- 
withstanding fds of its weight were composed of fine white 
silicious sand, darkened by vegetable matter, it is stated by 
Col. Williams that he has used i't with considerable advantage 
as an absorbent in his cattle yards and pens, and also as a 
foundation to his compost heaps. It derives its fertilising prin- 
ciples from the vegetable and some other matters of value, 
which amount in the aggregate to about 19 per cent. It would 
otherwise be serviceable to stiff clayey lands in rendering them 
more porous, but to light sandy soils in which silica abounds, 
it would be of no avail. 

The mud from frog ponds, or "sink holes," as they are some- 
times called, which have no visible outlets, is oftentimes very 
rich in fertilising salts, derived from the excrement and exuviae 
of the frogs and other reptues that have been bred, lived, and 
died in these places. 

When a dry autumn happens, the prudent farmer will be in- 
dustrious in carting the mud from these evaporated ponds or 
other sunken places on his farm, and lay it upon his light soils, 
more especially upon high gravelly knolls. But the best 
method of managing all sorts of mud, were it not for increasing 
the labor, would be to bring it to the farm and pig yards, and 
let it be thoroughly mixed with the dung and urine of the ani- 


mals. When thus managed, the compost is excellent, and is 
adapted to almost every class of soils, though best for light 
ones. Perhaps the advantage of it would be sufficiently great 
to pay for the increased expense of twice carting; for it will 
absorb the urine of the cattle, and retain it better than straw 
or refuse hay. 

Salt-Marsh and Sea Mud. But with respect to using mud as 
a manure, the maritime farmers have the advantage over all 
others. For the sea ooze, or slimy matter, which occurs on the 
flats or in the creeks and harbors along the sea shore, possesses 
most, if not all, the virtues of fresh-water mud, with the addi- 
tion of the common salt it contains, which is one of the most 
important ingredients in the best of manures. It abounds, also, 
more than any other mud, perhaps, with putrid animal sub- 
stances, some of which are contained in the sea itself; and in- 
numerable are the fishes and fowls that have perished upon 
these flats, from time immemorial, and the component parts of 
their remains have been sealed down by the supervenient slime. 

Mud taken from flats and the borders of creeks, where there 
are an abundance of shell fish, or even where they have for- 
merly lived, is better for manure than that which appears to be 
more unmixed. The fragments or remains that exist among 
it are a valuable part of its composition ; and if it abound 
much in mussels or shells, it becomes a general manure, fit to 
be applied to almost every kind of soil. 

The mud, also, taken from the ditches in salt marshes, as 
well as that cut or excavated from the marsh itself, are other 
sources from which the farmer often times can obtain an abun- 
dance of materials lor fertilising his land. Salt mud, of all 
kinds, may be taken up at any season of the year, and if it 
does not contain much vegetable remains, it may be employed 
as a top-dressing for grass lands, at once, without any further 
preparation ; but if it is to be applied to tillage or hoed crops, 
it should be composted in the farm yards, or exposed for one 
winter to the action of frost. The quantity, to be appropriated 
to an acre may vary from 2,000 to 3,000 bushels. If it contaip 


much vegetable matter, it may be composted with uicklime. 
and applied to the soil or to the crops after an interval of a few 
weeks, or as soon as it is sufficiently decomposed. 


IN the construction of a piggery, three important requisites 
are to be observed, namely, convenience, cleanliness, and econ- 
omy or facility of making manure. In the selection of a site 
for such an establishment, it should be located, if possible, on 
a gentle declivity, in order that one side of the yard may be 
kept free from moisture or excess of water from rains or melt- 
ing snows. On the lower side of the yard, a shed may be 
erected for a day sty, or " eating house," facing a northerly 
point of the horizon, with the roof sloping towards the south, 
so that the rain may not run into the yard among the manure; 
and directly opposite, on the other side of the yard, another 
shed may be built, facing the south, for a night sty, or " lodging 
house," with the roof leaned back from the yard towards the 
north, in order to prevent the rain, as much as possible, from 
running into the manure. 

The yard should be well paved, so that nothing can soak into 
the ground, in order that the dung, urine, and water from the 
clouds may mix with whatever may be thrown in, and would 
thus form one grand slope, the lower side and ends of which 
should have a tight wall or barrier, to prevent the loss of ma- 
nure from the washing of rains, &c. 

Thus, in fig. 21 and fig. 22, A, A, denote the " lodging house," 
12 feet by 20 feet; s, s, &c., the sleeping apartments, 5 feet by 
5 feet each; d, a door leading into the walk, or passage way A, 
through which a person can enter to examine the hogs, change 
their litter, &c.; e, a door for the egress of the hogs from their 
lodgings into the pasture, eating apartment, or yard ; c, a 
wooden platform, or bridge, leading from the more elevated 
ground into the "eating house," for the convenience of carry- 
ing in food ; d, a door leading into the walk, or pnssnge way h. 



communicating with the spouts of the troughs ; t, l, &c., he 
troughs, near which is a grated or latticed floor, sufficiently 
open to be kept dry, sweet, and clean, and allowing all the ex- 
crement and filth to fall into the yard beneath ; e, a door for 
the egress of the hogs from their eating apartment into the 
pasture, lodging apartments, or yard, over a bridge or inclined 

FIG. 21. 

plane, to the mure elevated ground ; y, the yard, with a paved 
bottom sloping from the lodging house to the wall w, under the 
lower side of the eating house ; P, a pasture, orchard, or pad- 
dock, communicating with the eating and lodging apartments, 
or with the yard. 

p F .e. 




FIG. 22. 

Whatever be the mode of construction of the sty, it should 
have one part close and warm, with a tight roof over it; and 
the other part, containing their troughs, more or less open tc 
let in the light and air; for swine will not bear to be wholly 
excluded from the weather and sunshine ; and it is equally 
hurtful to them to be constantly exposed to the wet and cold, 
as well as to the intense heat from the sun. They should be 


allowed to run at large in a pasture, paddock, or orchard dur- 
ing a portion of the year. To prepare a pasture for them, let 
the ground be broken up, tilled, and manured, and then laid 
down with clover. For swine are more fond of this grass than 
of any other. Let the quantity of land be so proportioned to 
the number of hogs, that they may keep the grass from run- 
ning to seed. For this will prevent waste ; and the shorter the 
feed, the sweeter the herbage, and the more tender and agree- 
able to their taste. One acre of rich land is considered suffi- 
cient to support 20 or more swine through the summer, say 
from the first of May till the last of October. 

It should also be remembered, that the pasturing with swine 
will enrich the land more than by pasturing or soiling with 
other stock, and by this means, the profit of the farmer will be 
increased. When it can with convenience be so ordered, it 
is an excellent plan to make a hog pasture of an orchard. For, 
the shade of the trees will be very grateful and comfortable 
to them in summer ; their dung is allowed to be one of the best 
of manures for the apple ; and besides, they will keep the 
ground around the roots very light and loose, and they will 
destroy many insects that infest the trees or their fruit. It will 
also be of great advantage to a hog pasture to have plenty of 
water in it during the summer ; and that which is running 
is best, as it will afford the swine the most wholesome drink 
and at the same time will serve as well as any other for them 
to wallow in; and it will keep them clean, which is no small 
advantage. But the most dirty puddle is better than none, as 
they can cool themselves in it in hot weather, which is very 
refreshing to them, and conducive to health. 

A piggery constructed according to the foregoing plan will 
form a safe and economical receptacle for the dung and urine 
of the animals, together with whatever may be thrown in 
among them. The refuse of the garden, or other waste matter, 
as bean stalks, the cods of beans and peas, weeds, dried plants, 
as well as dried peat, swamp or pond muck, loam, and other 
earthy materials, thrown in from time to tim?, will please the 


hogs, which they will work over, and produce a quantity of 
manure many times greater than naturally would be made 
from the same number of swine. This may be cleared away 
as often as may be necessary, aru' used as an excellent dress- 
ing for the land, as there may be occasion, throwing in fresh 
matter in return. 


THE nature and properties of this substance are similar to 
DOCK MUD, described in a preceding page. 


THIS consists of a mixture of animal, vegetable and earthy 
matters, accumulated from the dung and urine of horses and 
other animals, the dtbris of the pave stones, the rubbish of old 
buildings, the garbage and sweepings of dwellings, stores, 
warehouses, soot, coal ashes, &.c., &c. Therefore, it necessarily 
must vary in its fertilising ingredients according to the part of 
the city or town from which it is taken, and the circumstances 
under which it is accumulated. 

The manure, for instance, collected in the lower part of the 
city of New York, where the streets have been paved for a 
number of years, and where the manure is derived principally 
from the excrement of horses, the sweepings of stores and 
warehouses, the ashes and soot of coal, and the fine-worn par- 
ticles of the pave is far richer in fertilising ingredients than 
that taken from the more recently graded street's in the upper 
parts of the same city, where it often consists of little else 
than fine particles of common earth or ordinary sand, that had 
been employed in grading the streets. 

Street manure is often used to lighten stiff lands, but it is 
found to have excellent effects on the loamy and sandy soils 
of Long Island, when applied at the rate of 10 to 20 cords to 
an acre, and appears to be fitted for almost any kind of field 
or garden crop. It may be employed as a top-dressing, or may 
be buried in the soil 



Ji Y the term " special manures," is meant those substances, 
which, when applied to a soil, tend to promote the growth and 
perfection of plants, in supplying them with such nutriment as 
that soil may be deficient, and, on the removal of crops, or ro- 
tation of crops, to leave it in the same normal state of fertility 
as it was previous to the application of the manure or the sow- 
ing of the seed. 

It has long been known that plants, besides the organic mat- 
ter of which their bulk is composed, contain a small per-cent- 
age of mineral matter, that remains as an ash when the veg- 
etable part of the plant is burned. From the constant and 
universal existence of this mineral matter in all plants, it is 
now conceded by all intelligent agriculturists, that it is essen- 
tial to their growth, and has convinced them of the truth of the 
following axiom : 

That the theory of manures consists in applying to the soil those 
inorganic constituents which are contained in the ashes of the plants 
intended to be cultivated ; and that nitrogen or nitrogenous substan- 
ces, in the form of nitrates or ammonia and its salts, is indispensable 
to insure permanent fertility, assimilation, and perfect growth. 

For, careful experiments have demonstrated the fact, that, 
whilst differen' plants, and oven the several parts of the same 


plant, afford, when burned, variable proportions of ash, in the 
same parts of the same species, the quantity of ash does not 
vary to any extent, or at all events, that the difference is by no 
means so great as that occurring in different plants or other 
parts of the same plant. Thus, for instance, in two samples of 
wheat, the quantity of ash 3 r ielded by the straw, the grain, and 
the chaff of each might be somewhat dissimilar, but the differ- 
ences would be trifling as compared with those which would 
be found to exist between the ash of these parts in wheat and 
that of the corresponding parts of barley. 

Furthermore, not only has the quantity of inorganic matter 
been found to be nearly constant in the same plant, but its 
quality, or chemical composition, although widely varying in 
different plants, has been proved to be exceedingly similar for 
the same part of the same species of plants. 

The ashes of all our cultivated crops always contain the fol- 
lowing chemical ingredients; 


Phosphoric acid, 
Sulphuric acid, 
Li mo, 
Oxide of iron, 

In addition to the above-named substances, the ashes of plants 
frequently contain carbonic acid united with bases, sometimes 
the oxide of manganese, and according to some authors, alu- 
mina; but on the latter point, chemists do not agree. It is cer- 
tain that the substances stated to be alumina by the older an- 
alysts, and found in the course of their analyses of the ashes 
of plants, was in reality nothing but the phosphate of lime. 

The opinion that potash, in many cases soda, lime, magnesia, 
pnosphoric acid, sulphuric acid, iron, and alkaline silicates are 
ingredients of a fertile soil, when applied for the production 
of the cereals, or that these substances, alone, with certain con- 
stituents, which exist more or less abundantly in the a 


phere. constitute the food of plants, and are as essential to them 
as bread and meat is to man, or ha^ and grain to horses, is not 
the expression of a mere theory, but of a natural law, or uni- 
versal fact. For, to such persons as thoroughly understand the 
scope and bearing of such a law of nature, another indisputable 
axiom is apparent as a matter of course : 

That a man must be reduced to poverty, who consumes his capital 
instead of the interest, which coincides with the familiar truth, 
that " a purse of money becomes empty when the money is 
taken out of it, and not returned." Plants, therefore, must ob- 
tain from a soil, or the manures applied to it, as well as from 
the atmosphere, a certain number of elements, if they are to 
be developed and to thrive upon that soil. 

The volatile parts of plants thrown off by combustion or de- 
composition consist of 







Their carbon is probably derived from the atmosphere, which 
always contains carbonic acid ; from water, which reaches the 
plant in the form of rain, dew, frost, snow, &c., as, in their de- 
scent from the clouds to the earth, the rain drops and snow 
flakes always brings down portions of the carbonic acid of 
the atmosphere ; from the seed after it is sown, which also con 
tains carbon in itself; and lastly, from the soil and manure 
in which it is grown, in the form of carbonate of lime, mag- 
nesia, and the alkalies in the form of decaying vegetable and 
animal matter, as well as of free carbonic acid. 

The hydrogen of plants is probably derived from the atmos- 
phere, which always contains more or less watery vapor ; from 
water, which is conveyed to the plants in numerous ways; from 
the seed, after it is sown, which contains hydrogen in itself; 
and from the soil and manure, which contain many minerals 
that hold water of crystallisation or in a state of chemical com- 


The oxygen of plants is probably derived from the atmos- 
phere, in a free state, in combination with carbon, as carbonic 
acid, and in combination with hydrogen, as water; from water; 
from the seed after sowing ; and from the soil and manure in 
which they grow. 

The nitrogen of the plants is probably derived from the at- 
mosphere, which contains it in a free state, as well as a small 
proportion of the carbonate of ammonia; from water, which 
always contains more or less both of carbonate and nitrate of 
ammonia, derived from the atmosphere ; from the seed after it 
is sown ; and from the soil and manure, which often, if not al- 
ways, contain ammonia, that they have absorbed from the 
atmosphere, and also ammonia, which has been derived from 
decomposition of nitrogenous substances, as the breath, efflu- 
via, and excrements of animals, as well as other decaying veg- 
etable and animal remains, which are more or less dispersed 
over the surface of the globe. 

The sulphur and phosphorus of the plants are also probably 
derived from the atmosphere, which contains traces of sulphur- 
eted and phosphoretcd hydrogen ; from water, which indi- 
rectly supplies sulphur, by decomposing the sulphurets of the 
metals; from the seed after sowing, which also contains both 
sulphur and phosphorus; and lastly, from the soil and ma- 
nures, which usually, if not always, contain sulphur in the 
form of sulphates and sulphurets, and phosphorus, in the form 
of phosphates. 

The amount of inorganic matter, in pounds and hundredths 
of a pound, removed from the soil of an acre by the staple 
crops of the United States, is denoted in the following tables, 
deduced principally from the labors of Professors Way and 
Ogston, of the Royal Agricultural Society of England, Mr. 
John C. Morton, editor of the London "Agricultural Gazette," 
and of the "Cyclopedia of Agriculture," Professor J. F. W. 
Johnston, of England, Professor Emmons, in the " Natural His- 
tory of the State of New York," and of Professor Shephard, o' 
the University of South Carolina : 



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is P 




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i ' P 

of |sf 












i 1 

1 Potato. 




1 Sweet Potato. 
1 Tubers. 
Leaves and stems, 

' Total, 

White Turnip. 


1 Drum-head Cabbage. 
Whole plant, 

1 Timothy. 
Whole plant, 


1 Meadow Hay.* 
First crop, 
i Second crop 


1* Composed principally ( 
ley grass, (Hordcum pratcn 



From an inspection of the preceding tables, it will be obvi- 
ous why it is that so much manure is required for the growth 
of some of our cultivated plants, a heavy crop of potatoes, for 
instance, by whieli the alkaline and earthy bases, as well as 
phosphoric and sulphuric acids, are largely abstracted from the 
soil, and which, it is evident, must be replaced, if the land is 
to be retained in its fertility. In a like manner, these tables 
may be made serviceable to the farmer by showing him how 
many pounds of inorganic or mineral matter has been drawn 
from an acre of land by each crop cultivated upon it. He 
should not rest satisfied, however, with calculations made on 
average crops, but apply them to individual cases on his own 

In order to make an economical and judicious use of manure, 
as especially applied to crops, three things are requisite to be 

1. The amount of inorganic or mineral ingredients abstracted 
from an acre by an average yield of the class of plants designed 
to be grown, as determined by chemical analysis 

2. Accurate analyses to be made of the soil and subsoil, tak- 
en from several parts of the field on which the crop is to be 
planted or sown, so that one may be enabled to determine in 
what ingredients the soil is deficient, and what quantity of such 
ingredients is necessary to be added, in the form of a manure, 
to produce an average yield of the crop or rotation of crops 
intended to be cultivated. 

3. The amount of fertilising matter contained in a given 
quantity of the class of manures purposed to be employed, 
determined by chemical analysis, and the quantity of such 
manure that experience has pointed out as producing the most 
economical and satisfactory results. 

It must always be borne in mind, however, that the replace- 
ment of mineral food, in the form of manure, must not be made 
exactly in the form and quantity of the ingredients expressed 
in the analysis. For, in the present state of science, it would 
be premature to specify the exact manner in which the alkalies 


and acids are combined in the plant. In the s .atements in the 
tables deduced from chemical analysis, they are given sepa- 
rately, though they never so exist in the natvral state of the 
crops. Hence, the chemistry of Nature and of art are so differ- 
ent, that a relationship can hardly be said to exist between 
them; and in the processes of combustion and decomposition 
Nature holds in scorn the attempts of man to follow her steps 
by his utmost investigations, into the operations of the grand 
laboratory of the universe. It has been said that the highest 
excellence of art is to imitate the beautiful productions of Na- 
ture ; but the chemist can only watch and slowly understand 
the wonderful modes of her operations ; he can reduce the 
materials, but not combine them ; and after the most minute 
investigations, he remains comparatively in ignorance of the 
ivondrous powers and means by which the vast variety of or- 
ganic substances is produced. Recombination of the elements 
exceeds the power of short-sighted. man. Sugar, for instance, 
is a combination of charcoal and water, but the chemist cannot 
form sugar from these elements, because he is unable to com- 
mand the circumstances under which the materials come into 
contact in the growth and maturity of the sugar cane. 

Again, in examining the ash of different samples of wheat, 
we find that there is an entire absence of some substances, or 
that there are deviations in the proportions of the several in- 
gredients, which, although they do not destroy the principle of 
uniformity of composition upon which the whole interest of the 
subject depends, but tend very materially to interfere with its 
simplicity. If wheat, then, requires certain inorganic or min- 
eral substances for its growth and perfection, why, it may be 
asked, should it not always take up these bodies in the same 
proportion and to the same amount? Why should one sample, 
of wheat give an ash containing 40, and another an ash con- 
taining 50 per cent, of phosphoric acid ? Why should the pot- 
ash differ in two samples from 27 to 37 per cent. ? One. cer- 
tainly, would not expect to find such an amount of difference 
n th;> composition of the ash of tl e same kind of plants; o>\ at 


all events, he would naturally have looked for some evident 
connection between the mineral matter and the variety of the 
particular sample, which would appear, in the case of wheat 
grain, to be absolutely without influence on the composition 
of the ash. 

On the other hand, the character of the soil does not much 
affect the compositon of the ash; that is to say, the predomi- 
nance of any particular substance in the soil does not cause it 
to be present in greater amount in the ash. In one sample, for 
instance, grown on magnesian limestone, the quantity of mag 
nesia will be but a very little above the average, and by no 
means so great as in several other specimens. Nor does the 
ash of samples of wheat grown on chalk contain more lime 
than when it has been the produce of a clayey or sandy soil. 
It is a curious fact, too, that the larger the crop in any instance, 
the smaller, in general, is the per-centage of ash in the grain. 

In assigning a cause for this want of correspondence in the 
composition of the ash of the same kind of plants, the follow- 
ing arguments have been offered as affording a clue to it: 
" The grain of wheat is not homogeneous, but consists of tw . 
mechanically distinct parts the skin, or bran, and the flour; 
and these two, again, are not themselves elementary vegetable 
principles the flour contains starch and gluten, sugar and 
gum the bran, woody fibre and nitrogenised bodies allied to 
gluten. Now, it is quite possible that each one of these bodies 
has an ash peculiar to itself, both in quantity and composition ; 
and accordingly, as they exist, to a greater or less extent in the 
grain, so will its mineral composition differ. As the bran con- 
tains more mineral matter than the flour, a thick-skinned wheat 
will give a greater quantity of ash than one having less bran. 
And again, if gluten and starch have a different mineral con- 
stitution, the flour of two wheats will be influenced in respect 
to its ash by the relative proportion of gluten and starch which 
it contains." 

Thus it will be seen that we are comparatively in the dark 
as to the best form in which to present the inorganic const it- 


uents of a plant as food to that plant ; and to what extent that 
food must be modified to meet the continued warmth of the sun 
of the south, or of the cold short summers of the north, as well 
as the great local differences in the quantity of rain, or in the va- 
riations in our soil. It is obvious that the same manure will not 
be equally adapted, as to quantity and the mode of applying it, to 
Louisiana and Texas and to Canada and New England ; for a dif- 
ference certainly must be made in the solubility and stimulating 
natur <cf the ingredients of a manure intended to be used in each 
of thewj sections. And lastly, we are in want of more minute in- 
formal J OB more actual -\nd well-tried experiments than we at 
present possess, as to the influence of special manures upon the 
nature c the constituents >f all our cultivated plants. It is to be 
regrettec therefore, that ihe limited knowledge I have at my dis- 
posal presents me from entering into the subject at length ; but 
all that I <8m do for the present, is, to offer the following remarks 
and formula, or recipes, as applicable to several of our staple 
crops, some af which are based upon strictly scientific principles, 
while others have been derived from experience, or have proved 
satisfactory ir their results, without the aid of modern science or 
speciality of design : 


From the investigations of Professors Way and Ogston, of 
the Royal Agricultural Society of England, it seems that silicia, 
the first named substance in the tables, constitutes, on an average, 
out of 28 samples of wheat, only S^ths per cent of ash, varying 
between the limits of l^ths and 9 T 7 5 'jths per cent.' 

Phosphoric acid, the next body in the tables, is certainly the 
most important of all the mineral ingredients of wheat, both 
on account of the large proportion of it which exists in the 
ash, and the very limited extent to which it usually is present 
in soils. The ash of the grain of wheat contains a quantity 


of this substance, varying between 35 and 50 per cent, of its 
weight. The largest amount removed in any crop examined 
by the chemists before mentioned, was 22 Ibs., 5 oz. 

Sulphuric acid is generally present in the ash of wheat, 
though in small proportion. It does not exceed in any in- 
stance 2 per cent., and is usually much less than this, the mean 
quantity in the ash of the grain being fWhs of 1 per cent, 
and the largest amount removed by an acre of wheat only 
about i Ib. 

Carbonic acid is an ingredient of the ashes of many plants ; 
but in the composition of the ashes of the grain of wheat, it is 
seldom met with. The presence of this acid in an ash indi- 
cates the existence of organic acids combined with lime, &c., 
in the plant. 

Lime is the next ingredient under consideration. The mean 
quantity in the ash of the grain of wheat is S^-^ths per cent, 
varying between 1-J- and 8 per cent. The largest amount re- 
moved from an acre was rather more than 3^ Ibs. 

Magnesia is a highly important constituent in the ash of the 
grain of wheat, varying between 9 and 14 per cent. The larg- 
est quantity of this substance in any crop examined was G Ibs., 
13 oz. to an acre. 

Per-oxide of iron exists to a small extent in the ash of the 
grain of wheat, its quantity varying between ^th of 1 per cent 
and 3i per cent. The average proportion is yVVths of 1 per 
cent , and the largest amount removed from an acre by the 
grain, 1 Ib., 6 oz. 

Next to phosphoric acid, is potash, the most considerable and 
important of all the substances which exist in the ash of wheat. 
In quantity, it varies between 27 and 37 per cent, the mean 
of 26 samples being Sloths per cent. The largest quantity 
removed by the grain of an acre was 14 Ibs. 

Soda is an alkali scarcely ever entirely absent from wheat 
but present only in small quantity. When compared with 
potash, it usually varies between 1 and 5 per cent, but in one 
instance, it reached as high as 9 per cent. 


With regard to the conjecture that one alkali may be substituted 
for another, s-uch an opinion certainly cannot be subst;u*ittted by 
facts. At all events, it does not appear to be of usual occurrence, 
If it be indifferent to the plant, whether the alkali furnished it 
be potash, why should the quantity of the latter seldom ex- 
ceed th part of the former ? Again, in guano, we always have 
an abundance of chloride of sodium, (common salt,) and other 
salts of soda, and yet, in cases where guano has been applied 
as a manure for wheat, the proportion of soda did not exceed 
tho mean, which is 2 T 7 6 2 ff ths per cent. 

Chlorine, in combination with sodium, (as common salt,) was 
found by Professors Way and Ogston to be present only in 
some two or three instances, and then in very minute quantity ; 
and it is remarkable that, in the cases where it occurred, an un- 
usually large proportion of oxide of iron was also present, as 
if the same circumstances had led to the peculiarity in both 

The absence of soda in any quantity, either as soda or as 
common salt, both from the grain and straw, would seem in- 
Compatible with the belief that common salt is a natural ma- 
nure for wheat ; or rather, perhaps, it might be adduced as an 
argument in favor of the theory which supposes the existence 
of two distinct classes of manures one serving as the food of 
plants the other assisting in preparing that food, or in effect- 
ing some other desirable object in the amelioration of the soil. 
In the first of these suppositions, common suit certainly can 
have but little or no influence at all on wheat it cannot serve 
as food for the crop, because it is not required ; and the little 
eoda existing in the ash, if essential, is always abundantly sup- 
plied by the soil. Common salt probably owes its eincacy in 
oart to the power which it possesses of absorbing and retain- 
ing moisture a tendency which would insure a certain, though 
small supply of moisture to the roots in the diyest seasons. It 
is also poisonous to the wire worm, and other depredators of 
the crop. 

From the pr>ced\ng observ uions, it may fair'iy be concluded, 


that in whole numbers an average crop of wheat would remove 
from the soil of an acre, in straw, chaff, and grain, 

lb , 

Silica, 84 

Phosphoric acid, 20 

Sulphuric acid, 4 

Lime, 8 

Magnesia, 6 

Per-oxide of iron, 1 

Potash,... 23 

Soda, H 

Azotised matter, 386 

Carbonised substances, as starch, 1,758 

Of these substances, four may be considered as non-essentiala 
in a practical point of view, namely, lime, per-oxide of iron, 
soda, and carbonised matter, all of which, if the plant requires 
them, it may readily obtain from almost any soil, with the ex- 
ception of the latter, which, in part, may be derived from the 
atmosphere and, unless the soil is purely calcareous, the silica 
may be dispensed with, as it would always exist in sufficient 
quantity in the soil. In order to supply the other ingredients 
we must employ a salt of potash, and one of magnesia, a phos- 
phate and a sulphate of lime, and a due proportion of nitrogen 
-r ammonia, in a state capable of being assimilated by the 
plants, purely calcareous soils excepted, which would require 
a alkaline silicate. The silica and potash can be most eco- 
nomically supplied Vy means of unleached wood ashes., the 
ashes of wood from soaper's waste, the silicate of potash, as it 
is manufactured for agricultural purposes, and by New-Jersey 
green-sand marl ; the phosphoric acid, by horn shavings, ivory 
dust, the various formt of bone manure, either calcined or un- 
burned, or by the new miweral phosphorite ; the sulphuric acid, 
oy gypsum, the sulpha; es of potash, and magnesia, or sulphatea 
bones (bones dissolved in sulphuric acid) ; the magnesia, if it 
does not already exist in sufficiency in the soil, by magnesian 
lime or marls, or sulphate of magnesia (Epsom salts) ; and the 
azotised matter from nitrogen or ammonia, in their various 
forms, as the nitrate of lime ind of soda, gas lime, the ammo 


niacal liquor of gas works, bituminous coal dust, and from many 
of the animal and homestead manures treated of in other parts of 
the present work. 

The next grand object to be attained, is to substitute for guano 
or farmyard manure, both of which contain the universal food of 
plants, their elements, from the above-named sources, retaining at 
the same time their full efficacy ; but this can only be done when 
we shall have learned, what as yet, we know but imperfectly that 
is, how to give an arificial mixture of the individual ingredients 
the mechanical form and chemical qualities essential to their recep- 
tion, and to their nutritive action on the plant ; for, without this 
form, they cannot perfectly supply the place of Peruvian guano> 
nor of farm yard manure. 

Considering this subject, then, in its various bearings, the fol- 
lowing formulae, or recipes, are offered, together with such direc- 
tions and explanatory remarks as may be necessary for afford- 
ing the requisite nutriment to an acre of wheat, the land u eing 
of fair quality, and in good condition as regards its aspect to 
the sun, state of tilth, drainage, &., &c. 

RECIPE No. 1. 

(To be applied as a top-dressing.) 


Take of Silicate of soda, '-J24 

Bones, crushed or broken, 112 

Oil of vitriol, (sulphuric acid,) 56 

Sulphate of magnesia, 40 

Carbonate of potash, 35 

The bones should be dissolved in the oil of vitriol, previously 
diluted with an equal measure of water. When they become 
thoroughly broken down, the sulphate of magnesia and car- 
bonate of potash should be added, and the whole well stirred, 
and left at rest for 24 hours. ^At the end of this time, the mix- 
ture would probably be found sufficiently dry, when broken 
up, to be distributed on the land; or, it might otherwise be 
mixed with ashes or mould, in order to obtain a proper con- 
dition to be sown. Two thirds of the silicate of soda, and id' 


of the last-named mixture may be applied as a top dressing to the 
young wheat plants very early in the spring ; but the remainder 
of both should be reserved, and applied as late as practicable, in 
order that they may be at the command of the plants as the ears 
fill, and as the straw and chaff strengthen. 

In many soils, such as stiiT silieious clays, and in all local- 
ities where the soil is formed from granitic or other primitive 
rocks, the addition of silicates would be an unnecessary outlay of 
money ; but the other mixture is comparatively cheap, and would 
in many cases more than remunerate the farmer, if not in the 
crop of wheat which would follow, at least at some other period 
of rotation. 

RECIPE No. 2. 

(To be applied as a top-dressing.) 


Take of Bonedust, 200 

Magnesian lime, (air-slacked,) 100 

Wood ashes, (uuleached,) 900 

Mix the three substances well together with an equal measurc 
of coal ashes, powdered charcoal, fine loam, or common dry 
earth, and sow uniformly over the field of young wheat in the 
spring. In place of the unleached ashes, 400 Ibs. of leached may 
be employed, or if more economical, 400 Ibs. of New-Jersey 
green-sand marl. 

RECIPE No. 8. 

(To be applied to a neich/-ploiced grass sward or c clover ley.) 


Take of Peruvian guano, 200 

Gypsum, ground or burnt, 100 

Common salt, 200 

Mix the three well together with an equal quantity, by meas- 
ure, of coal ashes, fine loam, or common dry earth. If more 
convenient to the farmer, a bushel of powdered charcoal may 
be substituted for the gypsum, the whole to be uniformly scat- 
tered over the suiface of the field, just before plowing under or 
harrowing ir the wheat seed. The spring and summer follow. 


ing, a top-dressing may be added to the growing crops, prepared 
agreeably to Receipes No. 1 or No. 2. 

RECIPE No. 4. 

To 'be applied to land not in grass, and somewhat worn.) 


Take of Peruvian guano, 300 

Gypsum, ground or burnt, 150 

Common salt, 100 

Incorporate tlie three ingredients well together 2i cords of 
mould, or swamp or pond mack, to be lightly plowed in previous 
to sowing the seed, after which the young wheat plants should be 
top-dressed as directed in Recipe No. 3. 

RECIPE No. 5. 
(To be plowed in previous to towing the seed.) 


Take of Peruvian guano, 100 

Gypsum, ground or burnt, 100 

Common salt, 100 

First mix the gypsum and salt well together with 10 bushels 
of nleached ashes, or with 20 bushels that are leached, and 5 
cords of mould direct from the woods ; let them remain in a 
heap for 2 or 3 weeks ; then incorporate the guano with the 
mixture, and spread it upon a field in tolerable condition, and 
lightly plow it in before sowing the wheat seed. If more con- 
venient or economical to the farmer, 1,000 Ibs. of New-Jersey 
green-sand marl may be substituted for the ashes ; or instead 
of the gypsum, a bushel of powdered charcoal may be used. 

RECIPE No. 6. 

(To be plowed in previous to sowing :he seed.) 


Take of Peruvian guano, 100 

Bonedust, 100 

Gypsum, powdered or burnt, , 100 

Common salt, MO 

Soot, 100 

Mix the whole well together with 20 bushel? of leached ashes? 
and a cord of dried river or pond mud, and lightly plow it ii> 


previous to sowing the seed. If more convenient, a busliel of 
powdered charcoal may be applied instead of the gypsum ; or, 
for the leached ashes l,0001bs. of New Jersey green-sand irarl 
may be used. 

RECIPE No. 7. 

(To be plowed in previous to sowing the feed.) 


Take of Peruvian guano, IOC 

Boned ust, 100 

Gypsum, ground or burnt, 200 

Salt bitterns, powdered, 100 

Mix them well with a cord of dried river or pond mud, anu 
lightly plow it under just before sowing the seed. 

RECIPE No. 8. 

(To prepare wheat seed for an acre a remedy for smut.) 

Take of Seed wheat, 1J to 2 bush. 

Common salt, i pint. 

Caustic lime, 1 quart. 

On the evening previous to sowing, put the wheat into a tub 
of a convenient size ; pour on a sufficient quantity of rain 
water to cover the wheat 2 or more inches deep ; immediately 
stir it with a large spatula or spade, and skim off the seeds of 
weeds and light kernels of wheat as long as they rise to the 
surface ; after which, the wheat should be carefully turned 
out on the floor or some other suitable place, in order that the 
water may be drained off. When this is done, pour another 
or fresh parcel of clean water into the tub with the salt and 
lime, which, by stirring, will soon dissolve ; then gradually 
stir into the liquid the wheat seed with the spatula or spade, 
and in this condition let all remain till the next morning, (say 
12 hours,) when the watery part should be poured off, and the 
wheat spread on the floor to drain dry, and immediately after 
sown. If the kernels do not appear of a whitish color, or 
coated with the lime, more of that material may be sifted upon 
them, and the wheat stirred or worked over with a spade or a 
hoe until sufficiently covered with it 


Another remedy for the smut in wheat, is, after it is cleaned, 
to form a brine by a mixture of salt and barnyard water, 
strong enough to bear up an egg, in which the wheat seed 
should be soaked from 12 to 24 hours ; then drain off the brine, 
spread the wheat on the barn floor, scatter over it air-slacked 
lime, and work the heap over with a shovel or hoe, until each 
grain is covered with a white coat. The seed may then be 

In either of the two last-named methods, no more seed should 
be prepared than can be sown the same day ; otherwise, it 
would heat and spoil. 

RECIPE No. 9. 

(j3 remedy for slug-* on toUHat.) 


Take of Common salt, 1J 

Wood ashes, (unleached,) 6 

Mix and sow broadcast on the young wheat in the spring. 


THIS crop is generally consigned by the farmer to the poorer 
class of soils of his fields, with the impression that it will grow 
almost anywhere, in consequence of its sometimes producing 
a fair yield on thin, light, sandy lands ; but rye, like all other 
grain-bearing plants, depends upon the earth, not to the atmos- 
phere, for most of its nutriment after the kernel begins to 
form ; and if that nutriment does not already exist in the soil, 
it must be artificially supplied. Yet, such soils as are dry and 
musky, and consist of chalky, sandy or gravelly loams, which are 
not able to maintain a crop of wheat, will produce a good crop 
of rye. 

Thus, by inspecting the tables, it will be seen that the pro- 
portions of lime, potash, and phosphoric acid are not compara- 
tively large, but that, from the great quantity of straw in a rye 
crop, a considerable proportion of other ingredients are taken 


away from the soil. Therefore, set it down as an established 
principle, that rye cannot be grown except on a fertile soil, or 
a poor one that has been manured. The amount of azotised 
matter taken up by an acre of rye is estimated to be 243 Ibs. ; 
that of carbonised substances, l,9i)4 Ibs. 

The following methods of manuring an acre of this crop 
have been adopted in various places, and have been attended 
with satisfactory results: 

RECIPE No. 10. 

(To lie plowed or harrowed in with the seed.) 


Take of Peruvian guano, 900 

New -Jersey green-sand marl, 1,000 

r ,.-:;> 1 1 "ii salt, 50 

Charcoal dust, 100 

Mix the whole well together with double their bulk of fine 
mould or dried mud, and scatter it broadcast over the field, and 
lightly plow or harrow it in with the seed. If the green-sand 
marl cannot conveniently be obtained, 10 bushels of ?mleached 
Wood ashes, or 20 bushels of leached may be applied as a top- 
dressing after harrowing in the seed. 

RECIPE No. 11. 

(To be plowed and harrowed in at the time of sowing,} 


Take of Bonedust, 100 

Common salt, 50 

Gypsum, ground or burnt, 100 

Cubic nitre, 100 

Incorporate the bone dust and salt with 8 bushels of unleached 
wood ashes, and lightly plow them in previous to sowing ; then 
mix the gypsum and nitre with two bushels of ashes, sow it broad- 
cast, as a top-dressing, and harrow it in with the seed. 

RECIPE No. 12. 

(To be plowed in previous to sowing the teed.) 


Take of Menhaden, 1,000 

Gypsum, ground or burnt, 100 

Green-sand marl, 600 

Incorporate thorn with a cord of rich loam, dried peat, 


swamp or pond muck, and, either plow in the mixture at 
16 or 20 days before sowing the seed, or let it lie in a heap for 
the same length of time, and then spread it broadcast on the 
field, and plow it in a day or two before sowing. 

RECIPE No. 13. 

(To prepare seed rye for an acre.) 


Take of Saltpetre, 3 

Air-slaked lime, (powdered,) 10 

Put the saltpetre into 3 quarts of scalding water, and stir it 
till dissolved, which will require less than 15 minutes ; let it 
remain until it is cold ; sprinkle it over from 1 to 2 bushels of 
rye, in a tub of a suitable size ; directly after, pour over as 
much barnyard water, (an infusion of cow dung,) as will lie 
above the seed 4 inches deep ; let it soak 4 hours ; then drain 
off the liquor ; gradually stir in the lime until the kernels are 
veil coated, and immediately sow. 


It will be seen from the tables that, in total inorganic ingre- 
dients, oats abstract comparatively a large quantity from the 
soil. The amount of phosphoric acid, however, is rather 
smaller than that of wheat and barley, but in alkalies they are 
nearly as rich. They also require less azotized matter as well as 
carbonized substances to perfect their growth, the amount of 
the former being about 298 Ibs. to an acre, and that of the latter, 
1,675 Ibs. 

A manure, or amendment, which has been found congenial 
to this crop may be prepared and applied agreeably to the fol- 
lowing directions . 

RECIPE No. 14. 

(To lie plowed in previous to sowing the seed.) 


Take of Bonedust, 100 

Gypsum, ground or burnt, 1 W 

Comma; salt, , 50 



Incorporate the whole well together with 10 bushels of UH- 
leached wood ashes ; spread the mixture b ;oadcast over the 
field, and harrow it in with the seed. If more "-onveninent, 
500 Ibs. of New-Jersey green-sand marl may be sul Uituted for 
the wood ashe- 


BY comparing the results in the tables, it will be seen that a 
crop of barley removes more mineral matter from the soil than 
a corresponding crop of wheat, with the exception of silica, 
phosphoric acid, and magnesia, the potash and soda being 
about the same. The amount of azotised matter taken up by the 
crop is also rather more than that of wheat, and the carbonised 
substances require more than double, the quantity of azotised 
matter removed by an acre of barley being 397 Ibs., and that 
of the carbonised substances 3,726 Ibs. 

In Great Britain, it appears that the proper place for a crop 
of barley, in a course of rotation, is after turnips, and before 
rye grass and clover; and any departure from this mode upon 
such soils as are especially adapted for its growth, (that is a 
andy or gravelly loam,) is thought to be bad economy. On 
light soils, where the previous crop of turnips has been grown 
solely by the aid of special manures, such as guano, bones, or 
Buper-phosphate of lime, the practice has, for a long time, been 
to consume either the whole or a portion of the crop on the 
field, as a preparation for barley and grass seed ; and it is one 
which serves the purpose so fully in that country, as yet, that 
no other mode has been pointed out by which the light-land 
farmer can keep up the fertility of his soil so easily and at so 
small an expense ; but in the United States, where the turnip 
is usually considered a precarious crop, in consequence of the 
fly. with a different climate, as well as a different system of econ- 
omy to be pursued, barley necessarily has to occupy a different 
place in a course of rotation. 


Farmyard manure was long held in high repute for its pecu- 
liar adaptation to the barley crop, before folding and artificial 
manures were in vogue ; and the Scottish farmers long ago re- 
corded their opinion of its merits in the pithy proverb : "Dirt 
makes here grow." The practice of dunging for barley direct- 
ly from the barnyard is n.^w nearly absolete. 

Pigeon dung, however, ii countries where these birds abound, 
is still used at the rate of about 20 bushels to the acre, sowed 
and harrowed in with the seed. 

Guano, also, has frequently been applied to this crop, and in 
many cases with the best possible results. Its action, however, 
has, in general, been found too forcing increasing the bulk 
of straw to such an extent as to endanger the quality of the 
grain, and the safety of the succeeding crops of clover and rye 
grass. On naturally weak soils, when sown with barley, it has 
been found to encourage an inordinate premature growth, which, 
however, ceases when the ear is about half filled. When this 
occurs, " whitening " takes place before ripening ; the straw 
becomes soft and feeble, and the grain proves husky and shriv- 
elled. But on good hard land, which will carry a bulky crop, 
without being laid, (lodged,) guano may be used with great 

The manures suitable for an acre of barley may be compounded 
agreeably to the following directions : 

EECIPE No. 15. 

(To 'be applied to land previously cultivated with potatoes, wheat or Indian 


Take of Peruvian Guano, 100 

Nitrate of soda, 50 

Epsom salts, 50 

Common salt, 200 

The guano should be harrowed or lightly plowed in with the 
seed, which may be done without damage to its vitality, and the 
saline substance can afterwards be applied as a top-dressing, with 
most effect when the plants have made some little progress above 


RECIPE No. 16. 

(To be harrowed in with the seed.) 


Take of Peruvian guano, , . . , ,8tt 

Bonedust, 10u 

Gypsum, ground or burnt, 3Q& 

Common salt, 108 

Incorporate the bonedust and salt well together with fi 
els of wnleached wood ashes, or with 10 that have been leached^ 
into one heap, and the guano and gypsum with 10 bushels of 
mould or common earth into another heap ; then, mix the whole, 
and apply it broadcast on the field, and harrow it in immedi- 
ately with the seed. If more convenient to the farmer, instead 
of the ashes, 500 Ibs. of New- Jersey green-sand marl may 
be used. 

RECIPE No. 17. 
(To be plowed in before sowing the teed.) 


Take of Menhaden, 8,000 

Gypsum, ground or burnt, 100 

Common salt, 100 

Incorporate the whole well together with 6 bushels of un* 
leached wood ashes, or 10 bushels of leached, and 2 cords of 
swamp or pond muck, and lightly plow the mixture into the 
land a few days before sowing the seed. If more economical, 
500 Ibs. of New-Jersey green-sand marl may be employed in- 
stead of the ashes. 

RECIPE No. 18. 

(To prepare seed barley for an acre.) 

Take of Barley, 1J to 3 bush. 

Common salt, 1 pint. 

Caustic lime, 1 quart. 

If the kernels of the barley are thick-skinned, proceed precisely 
as directed in Recipe No. 8 ; but if it be of a thin-skinned variety, 
one half of the time as therein given will be sufficient for it to 



BY an inspection of the tables, it will be seen that Indian corn 
may be ranked among the most exhausting crops. It is evident 
that poor, thin soils will scarcely remunerate the farmer for 
its cultivation ; and that, unlike other cereals, there is but little 
danger of using too much manure in its product; nor is it liable 
to run to foliage, and thereby fail to produce grain ; neither will 
it lodge, or fall down, by its own excessive disproportion of or- 
ganic to the inorganic matter of which it is composed. 

There is one remarkable feature in regard to the amount of 
mineral matter extracted from the soil by this crop, which it is 
hoped, will dispel the popular notion that phosphate of lime, 
(bone earth,) is sufficient to supply the food of a corn crop; 
or in other words, that bonedust or phosphorite will furnish 
the necessary elements of the whole plant without the aid of 
much, if any other manure. But, in order to perfect the crop, 
it is as necessary that the stalks, silks, and tassels be supplied 
with their appropriate food, as the kernel ; for it is not to be 
doubted but that the grain itself depends upon the full develop- 
ment of all the parts which precede it. Supply them with 
matter suitable for their increase and perfection, and the grain 
will also be supplied. For, it must not be forgotten that these, 
or similar parts of plants, very frequently contain elements 
which are not found, except in very small proportions in the 
seed or grain ; yet it is obvious that, in some way or other, 
these elements are quite essential to their perfection. 

Those who desire to raise large crops of this grain, may be 
guided by the following directions : 

RECIPE No. 19. 

(To be plowed or harrowed in previous to planting the seed.) 


Take of Peruvian guano, 400 

Gypsum, ground or burnt, 100 

Incorporate them well together with 2 cords of rich mould, 


road scrapings, or decomposed peat ; scatter them broadcast 
over the field, and lightly plow or harrow them in, as fast as 
the mixture is spread, just before planting the seed. Then, at 
the first or second hoeing, scatter close to the plants, i pint of 
unleached wood ashes, or a pint leached, to every four hills, 
(6 or 10 bushels,) previous to drawing up the earth. 

RECIPE No. 20. 

(To be applied to an acre, of light sandy land.) 

Taki of Half-decomposed stable dung, 3 cords. 

Gypsum, 100 Ibs. 

Mix them well together, and apply about 5| pints in each 
hill at the time of planting the seed ; then, just previous to the 
first hoeing, or weeding, scatter broadcast between the hills, 10 
bushels of wnleached wood ashes, or 20 bushels leached, and at 
the second hoeing, or moulding, bury midway between each 
hill 1 menhaden, or some other kind offish of a corresponding 

RECIPE No. 21. 

(To be applied the hill with the seed.) 

Take of American vr-idrette, 10 bush. 

w^nedust, 900 Ibs. 

Incorporate them well together, and sprinkle the mixture in 
the places where the seed has been, or is about to be dropped, 
at the rate of a pint to every 4 hills. If the land is light, and 
naturally rather poor, i pint of leached ashes may be buried 
around every 4 hills at the moulding, or second hoeing. 

RECIPE No. 22. 
(To prepare a tteep for an acre of seed corn.) 


Take of Saltpetre, 1 

Copperas, (sulphate of iron,) 8 

Dissolve each of them in separate vessels, in 6 quarts of 
water (rain water is best) ; p Jt 8 quarts of shelled seed, (eight- 
rowed yellow,) into a tub of a convenient size, over which pour 


the two liquids ; stir the whole well together, and allow it to 
remain for 24 to 36 hours just before planting. Seed prepared 
in this manner will be less liable to the attacks of birds and 
worms, and will give the young plants an early start, a vigor- 
ous growth, and an early maturity of the whole crop. ^ 

RECIPE No. 23. 

(To make a soak for seed corn.) 

Take of Saltpetre, 2 Ibs. 

Flour of sulphur, i " 

Tar, Ipint. 

Inclose the sulphur in a bag, which, together with the sail, 
petre, put into 10 gallons of hot water ; pour this over the corn 
in a tub, and allow it to soak for 6 to 12 hours. Then, stir and 
dissolve the tar in 2 gallons of boiling water ; drain the other 
liquid from as much of the seed corn as you wish to plant in 
a day; stir it around in the tar water until it becomes well 
coated with the tar ; drain off the tar water, and dry the corn 
by rolling it in a mixture of equal parts of powdered gypsum 
and wood ashes. No more seed should be taken from the solu- 
tion of sulphur and saltpetre than can be planted in a day. 
The germinating power of the corn will not be injured for 
several days, if kept constantly covered with the steep. 


FROM an inspection of the tables, it will be apparent why it 
is, as is found to be the case in practice, that so much manure 
is required for a heavy crop of potatoes. The alkaline and 
earthy bases, and both phosphoric and sulphuric acids are ab- 
stracted largely from the soil by this crop, and must be re- 
placed, if the land is to be retained in its fertility. More than 
one half of the amount of ash produced by the entire plant 
consists of potash and soda, and it is evident that it requires 
the use of such substances for manuring the crop as are rich 
m these elements. 


The amount of azotised matter required for an acre of pota- 
toes, as far as ascertained, is 615 Ibs. ; and that of carbon sed 
substances, 4,000 Ibs. 

The modes of manuring, which have been practised with 
success in the cultivation of the potato, are conformable to the 
following dirsctions : 

RECIPE No. 24. 
(To be applied in the hill at the time of planting.) 

Take of Horse dung, unfermented, 6 cords. 

Gypsum, ground or burnt, 3 bush. 

Wood ashes, (unleached,) 10 " 

Common salt, 100 Ibs. 

First mix well together the ashes, gypsum, and salt; then 
incorporate them with the horse dung, and apply nearly half a 
peck to each hill with the potatoes at the time of planting. If 
more convenient to the farmer, instead of the unleached ashes 
20 bushels of leached ones, or 1,000 Ibs. of New-Jersey green- 
sand marl may be used. 

RECIPE No. 25. 

(To be applied in the hill at the time of planting-.") 

Take of Long barnyard manure, 6 cords. 

Gypsum, ground or burnt, 3 biinh. 

Wood ashes, (imleachJ,) 15 " 

Common sail, 100 Ibs. 

Mix and apply as in Recipe No. 24. For the wood ashes, 
],500 Ibs. of green-sand marl may be substituted. 

RECIPE No. 26. 

(To be applied to an acre of newly-broken sod.) 


Take of Bonedust, 11 

Gypsum, ground or burnt, 3 

Oyster-shell lime, 3 

"Wood ashes, (unleached,) 24 

Mix the whole well together, and apply about 3^ pints to 
each hill, on top of the potatoes at the time of planting. If 
more convenient, 48 bushels of leached ashes, or 2,400 Ibs. of 
green sand marl i jay be substituted for the ashes unleached. 



THE preceding recipes and directions will sum'ce to show the 
manner in which the analyses of 'he ashes of plants may be 
made serviceable to the farmer by instructing him what mate- 
rials he has abstracted from the soil of various crops that he 
may have cultivated upon it. He should not rest satisfied, 
however, with calculations made on individual varieties of 
plants, and what may be considered as more than an average 
yield, but apply them to actual causes on his own farm, making 
use of such manures, and in such quantities, as will best suit 
his economy or convenience, in affording. a due proportion of 
organic and inorganic food to his crops, without impoverishing 
the normal fertility of the soil. For, it is assumed in most of 
the foregoing recipes that the land is in good heart at the onset, 
and that the quantities of manures or fertilisers recommended 
will chiefly be abstracted by the respective crops succeeding. 
A proper regard should also be paid to the rotations, and due 
care observed that allowances be made for the excess of min- 
eral matter not removed by the preceding harvest, always 
bearing In mind that those parts of the plants which are left 
to decay on the field, will return their quota of mineral ingre- 
dients to the soil, and consequently will not have to be supplied 
by other means. 

It is to be regretted that the recipes and directions cannot be 
extended to all of our cultivated plants, garden vegetables, 
fruits, and trees, but owing to the limited space allotted to this 
treatise, I am compelled to suspend operations for the present, 
and leave the task to the inquiring and intelligent agriculturist 
to study and perform for himself. In order to aid him in his 
operations in calculating the approximate amount of chemical 
ingredients that certain manures or fertilisers will impart to 
his crops, the following list of substances is offered as affording 
the chief ingredients that the plants will require : 

100 Ibs. of common farmyard manure, in its ordinary state, 
contains about 3f Ibs. of potash, and 3J Ibs. of phosphoric acid- 


100 Ibs. of good Peruvian guano will yield about 17 Ibs. of 
ammonia; 10 Ibs. of phosphoric acid; and 8 Ibs. of alkaline 

100 Ibs. of American unleached wood ashes contain about 
7 Ibs. of phosphoric acid ; 3 Ibs. 01 sulphuric acid ; 12 Ibs. of 
potash ; 9 Ibs, of soda ; 25 Ibs. of lime, and 6 Ibs. of magnesia. 

100 Ibs. of leached or washed ashes are estimated to contain 
about one half as much potash, magnesia, and soda as those 
which have not been leached, and nearly as much lime, and 
sulphuric and phosphoric acids. 

100 Ibs. of gypsum, (plaster,) contain 46 Ibs. of sulphuric 
acid, and 64 Ibs. of lime. 

100 Ibs. of New-Jersey green-sand marl contain about 6 Ibs. 
of potash, and 24 Ibs. of prot-oxide of iron. 

100 Ibs. of common salt contain about 39 Ibs. of sodium. 

100 Ibs. of salt bitterns contain 28 Ibs. of sodium; 5 Ibs. of 
sulphuric acid ; and 8 Ibs. of lime. 

100 Ibs. of bonedust contain about 25 Ibs. of phosphoric acid. 

100 Ibs. of phosphorite, or native phosphate of lime, Contain 
about 40 Ibs. of phosphoric acid. 


THE experience of husbandmen, from the earliest times, haa 
shown that the same kinds of plants, with some exceptions, 
cannot be cultivated advantageously in continued succession 
on the same soil. The same or similar species have a tendency 
to grow feebly, degenerate, or become more subject to diseases, 
when cultivated consecutively upon the same ground ; and 
hence the rule which forms the basis of a system of regular 
alternation of crops is, that plants of the same or allied species 
are not to be grown in immediate succession ; and furthermore, 
the same rule would imply that similar kinds of crops should 
recur at as distant intervals of the course as circumstances will 

As no particular sys ems of rotation have as yet been estab- 



.ished in the Uni- 
ted States, those in 
the following ta- 
bles are offered for 
the consideration of 
the cultivator, until 
better ones can be 
found. It is to be 
understood, how- 
ever, that they are 
adapted only to 
strong virgin soils, 
or to older ones, 
maintained in good 
tilth by the aid of 

When tobacco, 
hemp, cotton, or 
sugar cane is to be 
cultivated, a place 
should be assigned 
for it, according as 
it is raised as a 
green crop, for its 
fibre, or for its 
seeds. Thus, in the 
following tables, 
cotton or hemp, 
cultivated for their 
seeds, may take the 
place of wheat or 
Indian corn ; and 
tobacco may fol- 
low either by again 
restoring the s~>il 
\viih manure. 

1 11 

S "3 g 







j= 33 






^5 o 

o . 


1 g 

^ d 4 

O !>. 

5 ^ 

o E d 


J= 5 




~ 3 

i . s 

Hi I 


^ 5 

o> g 

a a o 
&' 5 

C3 >. 
O O 

c. x 

t_ ~ 


3'5 5 

^o o 


P5 &-i 

"o ^ 

i, 3 


3 * 


f -^ 

X D - 

to .2 


It la =s. 

-g g ^ -g* -g 

^T^ !>,3 S>>S 
>,- K H PH H 




L E i- S i- P 



O o ^ O O 

O .-a 


4 ^1 4 


>. i_ 

1 !- 



ax, It ta cot 

mat to BOW 


I ^3 ; 

"2 ' 'S 2 fe 3 


2 S.2- 
| || 

to g 5 | .& o 

* O 

f a 

1 ill 


"3 "5 c 6 



02 S 5 ' g 

O m S 3 

5 H 





Sf o " 



EH o *< 






"2 ?8 


S ,- 


O P il 







rt e 2 3 * 

i a 

"O CO 


lis g.i 

~oo cdH 


"H ^~ 

s . i s 

g ^ g 3 2m 

. .* 



C "c ^ ^ 


| | 

JS "2 



>> >: 



a (4 

rf ^ ^ 

S , 

' c ' '? 


a 3 d a a - 

1"! 1 =^ o 


1 >f S 

a JH 1 




1 i 83 

3 J"| 5 5 

Cu ^H w p. 

Oats or 




CS ot 


i * & 
I 1 ! 1 




S 3 o * o i.2- 




| ||| i| 







fe a 





I" 2 

.1 Second. 


s> C 







ri O 


o o 


a o S 











*3^"X 3 3} 

O.g > 








PH u y 









* a 

S | 







3 3H 






pa ^n 








Wheat or In- 
dian Corn. 


Rye and Tur- 
nips, Wheat, or 
Indian Corn. 

Rape and Tur- 

' 0?^ 

a Sf 



re to be sown in 








|.| || 






?,i ^3 


1 a> 





_g 0> 


"s s- 

* | 

Wheat or 
Indian Corn. 

c o, 


* | 

o o c 
^ O <u 

05 rt C 
<D 3 
J5.S 3 


ted with any 
avesting the < 

u S 

^ ? 


d - 

O i. 


"trt ^ 


*j c3 


oj 3 .B* 

a ^ 






0.3 o 







1.13 . 





Carrots, o 
Barley an 

O 3 2 

oTaf 3 

I M 





2 'o "3 

OCL, ^ q O. 

tierever tm 

>> s 

^ i . * 










ll ^ 5 ;? 


o S 






c 3 


Jft 1 1 












By the preceding tables, there is exhibited, at one view, the 
crops that may succeed each other for ten consecutive years on 
three general classes of soil. For instance, to commence with 
flax, clover, or carrots, in the first table, wheat, Indian corn, 
oats, or barley and turnips may be cultivated the second year ; 
rye and turnips may be cultivated after wheat or Indian corn 
the third year ; rye, carrots, or barley and turnips after oats, 
the th'rd year; and rye or carrots after barley arid turnips the 
third year. Rye, or barley and turnips may be cultivated after 
rye and turnips the fourth year; and potatoes after rye, car- 
rots, barley and turnips, and rye or carrots the fourth year. 

In like manner, proceed in the other tables, continuing hori- 
zontally in a direct line across the tables until the tenth year i* 
"cached, when the course of rotation is commenced anew, &c 

All the Hooks on this Catalogue sent ly Mail, to any part of the 
free of postage, upon receipt of Price. 





-A., o. ivdcoor^E &c ao., 

(Late C. M. Saxton &? Co.,) 





Work is superior to auy other. It contains Reliable Information for the Cultivation of 
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Grasses, Grains, Animals, Implements, Insects, &c., &c. By GOUVERXECR EMERSON OF 



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Grape Vine, embracing its History, with Directions for its Treatment in the United 
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BLAKE'S (REV. JOHN L.) FARMER AT HOME, - - - - 1 25 

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OR, AMERICAN MUCK BOOK ; Treating of the Nature, Properties, 

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IN THREE PARTS ; Containing Catalogues of Garden and Flower 

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Different Species and Varieties of Culinary Vegetables, with their Botanical, English, 
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FLINT ON GRASSES, - - - - 1 25 

prising their Natural History, Comparative Nutritive Value, Methods of Cultivation, Cut- 
ting, Curing and the Management of Grass Lands. By CHARLES L. FLLNT, A. M. , Secre- 
tary of the Mass, buxti: Board of Agriculture. 


A TREATISE ON MILCH Cows, whereby the Quality and Quantity of 

Milk Which any Cow will give mny be accurately determined by observing Natural 
Marks or External Indications alone ; the length of time she will continue to give Milk, 
&c., &c. By M. FRAXCH GUEXOX, of Libourne, Franco. Translated by NICHOLAS P. 

eatly done up in paper 
covers, 37 cts. 








And Chanters on Mules and Ponies. By the late HEXRY WILLIAM HERHERT (FRAXK 
FORRE.-JTER) ; with additions, including RAREY'S METHOD OF HORSK TAMING, and BAUCIIER'S 
SYSTEM OF HORSEMANSHIP ; also, giving directions for the Selection aud Care of Carriages 
and Harness of every description, from the City " Turn Out" to the Farmer's " Gear," 
and a Biography of the eccentric Author. Jlluttrate.l throughout. 


A FEW LOOSE CHAPTERS ON SHOOTING, among which will be 

found Boim Anecdotes and Incidents ; also Instructions for Dog Breaking, and interest- 
ing letters from Sportsmen. By A BAD SHOT. 



tho Sugar, &e. ; with Reports of its success in- different parts of the United States. 

6 JSooks published by A. O. MOORE & Co. 



Agriculture. Now Kdition, with an Appendix, containing the Author's Experiments in 
Practical Agriculture. 



American Preface. By Hon. SIMON BROWN, Editor of the " New England Farmer." 


BY JAMES F. W. JOHNSTON, Honorary Member of the Royal 

Agricultural Society of England, and author of " Lectures on Agricultural Chemistry 
and Geology.-' With an Introduction by JOHN PITKIN NORTON' , M. A., late Professor of 
Scientific Agriculture in Yale College. With Notes and Additions by the Author, pre- 
pared expressly for this edition, and an Appendix compiled by the Superintendent of 
Education in Nova Scotia. Adapted to the use of Schools. 



edition, enlarged and illustrated with numerous engravings. This Work is, without a 
doubt, the best work on the Bee published in any language, whether wo consider its 
scientific accuracy, the practical instructions it contains, or the beauty and completeness 
of its illustrations. 



Ventilation of Hothouses, including Conservatories, Greenhouses, Graperies and other 
kinds of Horticultural Structures ; with Practical Directions for their Management, in 
regard to Light, Heat and Air. Illustrated with numerous engravings. By P. B. 
LEUCHARS, Garden Architect. 


Edited by JOHN GARDEN, M. !)., 




FIRST SERIES, containing Treatises on 



SECOND SERIES, containing 1 25 



THIRD SERIES, containing 1 25 




FOURTH SERIES, containing - 1 25 




Jlooks published by A. O. MOORE & Co. 



Economy of the Honey Bue, embracing a Full Illustration of the whole subject, with 
the Most Approved Methods of Managing this Insect, through every branch of its 
Culture ; the result of many years' experience. Illustrated with many engravings 
By T. B. MIXER. 


ing valuable Hints on Shoeing ami Stable Management, in Health and in Disease, By 

By M. M. MILBURN, and revised by II . 1). RICHARDSON and AMBROSE 

STEVENS. With illustrations. 

BEING A TREATISE ox DRAINING LAND, in which the Most Ap- 
proved Systems of Drainage are Explained, and their Differences and Comparative 
Merits Discussed ; with fall Directions for the Cutting and Making of Drains, with 
Remark? unon the various materials of which they may be constructed. With many 
illustrations. By B. MUNN, Landscape Gardener. 



ology of Agriculture, on Plants and Animals, Manures and Soils, applied to Practical 
Agriculture ; with a Catechism of .Scientific and Practical Agriculture. By J. A. NASH. 


WITH A CALENDAR. By PATRICK NEILL, Secretary of the Royal 

Caledonian Horticultural Society. Adapted to the United States from the fourth 
edition, revised and improved by the Author. Kdited by G. EMERSON, M. D., Editor of 
" The American Fanner's Encyclopedia." With Xotes and Additions by R. G. PARDEB, 
author of " Manual of the Strawberry Culture." With illustrations. 



Farming. Prize Essay of the New York State Agricultural Society. By JOHN P. NOR- 
TON, M. A., Professor of Scientific Agriculture in Yale College. Adapted to the use of 




and Uses, their value as a Forage Crop, and Directions for making Sugar, Molasses, 
Alcohol, Sparkling and Still Wines, Beer, Cider, Vinegar, Paper, Starch and Dye Stuffs. 
Fully illustrated with Drawings of Approved Machinery ; with an Appendix by LEONARD 
WRAY, of Caffraria, and a Description of his Patented Process of Crystallizing the Juice 
of the Imphee ; with the latest American Experiments. By HENRY S. OLCOTT. 



with a Description of the Best Varieties. 

Also notices of the Raspberry, Blackberry, Currant, Gooseberry and Grape ; with 
Directions for their Cultivation, and the Selection of the Best Varieties. " Every process 
here recommended has been proved, the plans of others tried, and the result is here 
given." With a Valuable Appendix, containing the observations and experience of some 
of the most successful cultivators of these fruits in our country. 


OR POCKET COMPANION ; Showing at one view the Contents of 

any Piece of Land, from Dimensions taken in Yards. With a Set of Useful Agricultural 

8 Bouka published by A. O. MOORE & Co. 


fessor of the Faculty of SLMOLICUS of Strasbourg ; Directing Professor of ttio School of Phar- 
macy of the same city. Translated by J. O'C. BARCLAY, Surgeon U. S. N. 


Management of the Honey Bee, in all its various branches, the result of many years' 
practical experience, whereby the author has been enabled to divest the subject of 
much that has been considered mysterious and difficult to overcome, and render it 
more sure, profitable and interesting to every one, than it has heretofore been. By E. 



of the Natural History of Bees ; Directions for obtaining the Greatest Amount of Pure 
Surplus Honey with the least possible expense ; Remedies for Losses Given, and the 
Science of Luck fully illustrated ; the result of more than twenty years' experience in 
extensive Apiaries. By M.QtriXBY. 


tions in regard to Summer and Winter Management, Breeding and the Treatment of 
Diseases, with Portraits and other engravings. By HENRY S. RANDALL, 



containing full Instructions as to Location and Soil, Preparation of Ground, Selection and 
Propagation of Vines, the Treatment of Young Vineyards, Trimming and Training tba 
Vines, Manures and the Slaking of Wine. 





Income from this branch of Rural Economy ; also, an Account of the Diseases of Bees 
and their Remedies, and Remarks as to their Enemies, and the best mode of protecting 
the Hives from their attacks. By H. I). RICHARDSON. With illustrations. 



Management. By H. I). RICHARDSON. With illustrations. 

Breeding, Rearing and General Management, with Instructions as to the Treatment of 
Disease. Handsomely illustrated^ By H. 1). RICHARDSON. 



Plain Directions for the Certain Destruction of every description of Vermin. With 
numerous illustrations on Wood. 



Original Anecdotes. Also, Complete Instructions as to Treatment under Disease. By H. 
D. RICHARDSON. Illustrated with numerous wood engravings. 
This is not only a cheap, but one of the best works ever published on the Dog. 



of thfl Kitchen Garden . (lie Culture and Use of Vegetables, Fruits and Medicinal I!?.-!*. 

Books published by A. O. MOORE & Co. 



agement of Shocp, and General Directions in regard to Summer and Winter Management, 
Breeding and the Treatment of Diseases ; with illustrative engravings by YOUATT & 
RANDALL ; embracing Skinner's Notes on the Breed and Management of Sheep in the 
United States, and on the Culture of Fine Wool. 



Stabling, Grooming, Feeding, Watering and Working, Construction of Stables, Ventila- 
tion, Appendages of Stables, Management of the Feet, and of Diseased and Defective 
Horses. By JOHN- STEWART, Veterinary Surgeon. Witli Notes and Additions, adapting 
it to American Food and Climate. By A. B. ALLEN, Editor of the American Agriculturist. 












Economy, embracing 059 Recipes pertaining to House-hold Duties, the Care of Health , 
Gardening, Birds, Education of Children, >^e.. &c. By Mrs. L. G. AUELL. 






Parks and Gardens. By CIIARI.KS II. J. SMITH, Landscape Gardener and Garden Arthi 
tect. With Notes and Additions by LEWIS F. AI.LKN, author of" Rural Architecture.'' 


lated by WILLIAM SHAW and CUTIIDERT W. JOHNSON, Ksq., F. R. S. With a Memoir of 
the Author. 1 vol. 8vo. 

This work is regarded, by those who. arc competent to judge, as one of the most 
valuable works that has ever appeared on the subject of Agriculture. At the same time 
that it is eminently practical, it is philosophical, and, even to the general reader, re- 
markably entertaining. 



mentary and familiar Treatise on Mechanics and Natural Philosophy, as applied to this 
ordinary p.-uetL- s of Agriculture. With 200 illustrations. 



Fattening of Cattle ; with Remarks on the Food of Man. Based upon Experiments under- 
taken by order of thn British Government, by KODKRT PUNDAS TIIOMI'SOX. M. D., 
I/ecturer on Practical Chemistry, University of Glasgow. 

10 JJooks published by A. O. MOORE & Co. 



and Management of tho Rose in all seasons ; with a List of Choice and Approved Varie- 
ties, adapted to the Climate of the United States ; to which is added full directions for 
the Treatment of the Dahlia. Illustrated by engravings. 





the Culture of Cotton, its Natural History, Chemical Analysis, Trade and Consumption, 
and embracing a History of Cotton and the Cotton Giu. By J. A. TURNER. 


agement of all Hants suitable for American Hedging, especially tho Maclura or Osage 
Orange. Fully illustrated with engravings of plants, implements and processes. To 
which is added a Treatise on Evergreens, their different Varieties, their propagation, 
transplanting and Culture in tho United States. 






able manner to their Owner ; with Infallible Rules to Prevent their Destruction by tho 
Moth. With an Appendix, by WOOSTER A. FI.AXI>I:IW. 



for their Cultivation ; together with Hints upon landscape and Flower Gardening ; con- 
taining Modes of Culture and Descriptions of the Species and Varieties of the Culinary 
Vegetables, Fruit Trees and Fruits, and a Select List of Ornamental Trees and Plants, 
Adapted to the States of the Union South of Pennsylvania, with Gardening Calendars for 
the same. By WM. X. WHITE, of Athens, Georgia. 



comprising a Full History of the Various Races ; their Origin, Breeding and Merits ; 
their capacity for Beef and Milk. By W. YOUATT and W. C. L. MARTIN. Tho whole form- 
inga Complete Guide for the Farmer, the Amateur and the Veterinary Surgeon, with 100 
illustrations. Edited by AMIIROSE STEVENS. 



their Remedies ; also, Practical Rules for Buyers, Breeders, Smiths, &c. Edited by W. 
C. Spooner, M.R.C.V.S. With an Account of the Breeds in the United States, by HKNRY 


gravings ; to which are added Remarks on the Breeds and Management of Sheep iu tho 
United States, and on the Culture of Fine Wool in Silesia. By WM. YODATT. 



ment of Swine, with Directions for Salting Pork and Curing Bacon and Hams. By WM. 
YOUATT, V. S.,and W. C. L. MARTIN. Edited by AMBROSE STEVENS. Illustrated with 
engravings drawn from life. 

Books published by A. O. MOOKK & Co. 11 

Moore's Hand Books of Rural and Domestic Economy, 


Pice 35 Cents Each. 

fit and Treatment under Disease ; also, Plain Directions relative to tlie Most Approved 
Modes of Preserving their Flesh. By H. I). RICHARDSON. With illustrations 



Income from this branch of Rural Economy ; also, an Account of the Diseases of Bees 
and their Remedies, and Remarks as to their Enemies, and the best mode of protecting 
the Hives from their attacks. By H. D. RICHARDSON. With illustrations. 



Management. By H. D. RICHARDSON. With illustrations. 



Breeding, Rearing and General Management ; with instructions as to the Treatment of 
Disease Handsomely illustrated. By II. D. RICHARDSON. 


THE AMERICAN KOSE CULTURIST ; being a Practical Treatise on the 

Propagation, Cultivation and Management in all Seasons, &c. ; with full directions for 
the treatment of the Dahlia. 



Plain Directions for the Certain Destruction of every description of Vermin. With 
numerous illustrations on wood. 



Promoting Agriculture, for their Premium. By SAMUEL H. OANA. 


ing, Management and Peculiarities of Caga and House Birds. Illustrated with Engrav- 
ings. By D. JAY BROWNE. 



TRANSLATED FROM THE FRENCH, and Adapted to the use of American 

Farmers. By F. G. SKINNER. 

WITH CUTS, illustrating the Anatomy of the Foot, and containing 

valuable Hints on .Shoeing and Stable Management, both in Health and Disease. By War. 




Economy, embracing 650 Recipes pertaining to Household Duties, the Caro of Health, 
Gardening, Birds, Education of Children, &c., &c. By Mrs. L. G. ABBLL. 



Garden Fruits. By T. G. FESSENDEN. 

Books intUished lj A. O. MOOUE & Co. 



and Economy of tin; I'uited States, with a:i Account of Various Processes of Manufactur- 
ing Sugar. Drawn from authentic sources by CIIAUI.ES F. STASSBURY, A. M., late Conl- 


fessor of tlie Faculty of Sciences of Strasbourg ; Directing Professor of t.ho School of 
Pharmacy of the same city. Translated by J. O'C. BARCLAY, Surgeon, U. S. N. 



Management of the Hon. >y Bee, in all its various branches, the result of many years' 
practical experience, whereby the, author has been enabled to divest the subject of 
much that has been considered mysterious and difficult to overcome, and render it 
Inore sure, profitable and interesting to every one, than it has heretofore been. By E. 




Simple and Practical Directions for Cultivating Plants and Flowers ; also, Hints for tho 
Management of Mowers in Rooms, with Uriel' Botanical Descriptions of Plants and 
Flowers. The whole in Plain and simple language. By LOUISA Jonxsox. 



.\Mi:i:a<K STKVKXS. With illustrations. 



the Xew York State Agricultural Society, at tho Annual Fair at Saratoga, in September 
last, by JOHN WILKOX, late President of tho Koyal Agricultural College at Cirencoster 



manner to their owner, with Infallible Rules to Prevent their Destruction by tho Moth ; 
with an Appendix by WOOSTKK A. FI.AMIKKS. 


tion of Ground ; Selection and Propagation of Vines ; The Treatment of a Young Vino- 
yard ; Trimming and Training the Vines ; Manures and tho Making of Wine. Every 
department illustrated. 



Sugar, &c. ; with Reports of its success in different parts of the United States. 



Management of Rabbits, with Remarks upon their Diseases and Remedies ; to which 
are added Full Directions for the Construction of Hutches, Rabbitries, &c., together with 
Recipes for cooking and dressing for the table. 



Original Anecdotes : also, Complete Instructions as to Treatment under Disease. By H. 
D. RICHARDSON. Illustrated with numerous wood engravings. 

This is not only a cheap, but one of tin- best works ever published on tho Dog. 



Edited by .loiiv <;.u:m:M-:r<. M. l>. 

A FEW LOOSK CHAPTERS ON SHOOTING, among which will be found 

some Anecdotes and Incident? ; also. Instructions for Dog Breaking, and interesting let 
ters from Sport.- UK".!. Jty A SHOT. 




Agric Browne, D. J 

Soil The field book of manures