A Botanical Study of Pasture Formation

E. Wyllie Fenton*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Where summer drought is liable to occur it is impossible to form a satisfactory turf in pasture without Wild White Clover. White or Dutch Clover cannot replace Wild White Clover except during the first year of grazing. Italian Rye Grass is of considerable value, not merely on account of its early growth, the shelter afforded slower‐growing species and helping to conserve surface moisture, but it greatly assists Wild White Clover by competing against Red Clover. The two most successful plots were those with Italian Rye Grass in the seeds mixture. The addition of Rough‐Staked Meadow Grass was a distinct success and it should be included in seeds mixtures for long leys or permanent pastures in South Devon. With sound mixed grazing, all the plots—except No. III—gradually developed a flora of very similar proportions, in spite of initial differences. The chief feature of the best plots was the Wild White Clover— Perennial Rye Grass association plus Cocksfoot, and in one case plus Rough‐Stalked Meadow Grass. Timothy was not successful in the pasture owing to severe grazing by sheep and the effect of summer drought. It was much more successful and permanent in the hay sub‐plots. Cocksfoot is a splendid drought resister and invaluable where summer drought is usual. Perennial Rye Grass, Wild White Clover, and Rough‐Stalked Meadow Grass tend to hold Cocksfoot in check and prevent any coarseness in its growth. The marked fluctuations in growth, as measured by the percentage ground covered, by the leading species in the plots is an annual occurrence of considerable regularity, the inter‐specific competition being well shown by the graphs. The close resemblance in results between the pastures and experimental pasture plots previously considered is a point of considerable importance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)334-351
Number of pages18
JournalAnnals of Applied Biology
Issue number3
Publication statusPrint publication - Aug 1931


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