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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 47

Value of these Soils

Value of these Soils.

The gravelly soil, found as above stated in various parts of the south of the island, is poor, from its inability to retain moisture. The rains are drained off into lagoons, and the sun dries up the surface. This soil produces large timber and coarse grass.

Wheat could no doubt be cultivated upon nearly all the other soils with proper culture.

The clay-vegetable soil, above-mentioned, is very valuable, particularly where it has been mixed with alluvium. With subsoil drainage this soil would carry the heaviest possible crops of wheat and other cereals.

The clay, when found by itself, would, like all heavy land, require special treatment.

The sandy and gravelly loams are eligible for barley, oats, rye, buckwheat beans, peas, root and leaf crops, &c., &c.

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The deep loamy soils everywhere are especially eligible for fruit culture. The alluvial deposits in the valleys are in many places very valuable. Mixed with the decayed, and the decaying, vegetable matter brought down by the numerous streams from watersheds, they form a rich black soil, many feet thick.

The brown earth, or "Humus," forms soils of great value, according to the materials with which it mixes. Though light and porous, many soils, so formed in the valleys and plains of the eastern coast, are well constituted for absorbing and retaining moisture as well as heat. The brown earth appears to be rich, when resting, with a depth of 2 to 3 feet, on a gravelly, or even sandy, subsoil, if we may judge from the successive crops of potatoes which the Indians have raised from such soil.

Hilly, partly wooded, grazing tracts are interspersed among the prairies and benches. Often, near arable farms, rocky hills rise 1000, 2000, and even 3000 feet—surface, craggy—patches of thin soil with grass. Sheep and cattle like these hills in summer.