George Washington Papers

[Diary entry: 5 March 1760]

Wednesday Mar. 5. High Wind from the West—the day clear & somewhat cold. Began plowing the field by the Garden for Lucern.

Put in the great bay mare (& horse) King. The latter coud not be prevaild upon to plow. The other did very well: but the Plows run very badly.

Finishd Plow Harness for my Chariot Horses.

lucern: alfalfa or lucerne, Medicago sativa. Although this perennial legume is widely grown in Virginia today as a hay crop, GW tried unsuccessfully for at least 35 years to raise it. On 12 Sept. 1795 Thomas Jefferson wrote to GW that he was giving it up because, even with manuring, he had experienced less success with it than with chicory. He probably would have fared better by using more limestone, and much better had he had available the inoculating bacteria in use today for such nitrogen-fixing crops.

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