[Illustration: KEFFEL’S GERMINATING APPARATUS.]
The apparatus consists of a cylindrical vessel containing water to the height of 0.07 m. Above the water is a germinating disk containing 100 apertures for the insertion of the seeds to be studied, the germinating end of the latter being directed toward the water. After the seeds are in place the disk is filled with damp sand up to the top of its rim, and the apparatus is closed with a cover which carries in its center a thermometer whose bulb nearly reaches the surface of the water.
The apparatus is then set in a place where the temperature is about 18 deg., and where there are no currents of air. An accurate result is reached at the end of about twenty or twenty-four hours. As the germinating disk contains 100 apertures for as many seeds, it is only necessary to count the number of seeds that have germinated in order to get the percentage of fresh and stale ones.
The aqueous vapor that continuously moistens all the seeds, under absolutely identical conditions for each, brings about their germination under good conditions for accuracy and comparison. If it be desired to observe the starting of the leaves, it is only necessary to remove the cover after the seeds have germinated.
This ingenious device is certainly capable of rendering services to brewers, distillers, seedsmen, millers, farmers, and gardeners, and it may prove useful to those who have horses to feed, and to amateur gardeners, since it permits of ascertaining the value and quality of seeds of every nature.—La Nature.
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The season is now at hand when farmers who have light lands, and who may possibly find themselves short of fodder for next winter feeding, should prepare for a crop of millet. This is a plant that rivals corn for enduring a drought, and for rapid growth. There are three popular varieties now before the public, besides others not yet sufficiently tested for full indorsement—the coarse, light colored millet, with a rough head, Hungarian millet, with a smooth, dark brown head, yielding seeds nearly black, and a newer, light colored, round seeded, and later variety, known as the golden millet.
Hungarian millet has been the popular variety with us for many years, although the light seeded, common millet is but slightly different in appearance or value for cultivation. They grow in a short time, eight weeks being amply sufficient for producing a forage crop, though a couple of weeks more would be required for maturing the seed. Millet should not be sown in early spring, when the weather and ground are both cold. It requires the hot weather of June and July to do well; then it will keep ahead of most weeds, while if sown in April the weeds on foul land would smother it.