CLEANING THE GROUND

This applies to virgin ground or a neglected plot, and means preparing it for cultivation by skimming off the grass, clearing off the surface weeds, digging out and burning the roots of the deeper, perennial weeds, removing and burning every possible runner of couch grass, collecting stones, etc., and in this way getting it ready for rough digging over. Do all this in the autumn if possible so as to get the help of the winter frosts and rains in maturing the ground by breaking up clods, killing off insects and generally purifying the earth preparatory to the work of hoeing off fresh weeds, re-digging in the early spring and raking to a suitable tilth for sowing. A first crop on cleared ground is often potatoes. Where the need for use is not urgent for food crops, and the plot poor, it can be sown with lupins from own seed, of which there is usually a big surplus, and the plants dug in in the autumn nourish the ground, as they are rich in nitrogen. The potatoes can then follow.

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