Cattle Ranges of the Southwest Page: 21 of 32
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Bermuda grass was grown and lawn mowers were used. There was an
old-fashioned look of vigor and variety about this grass that was pleasing.
The owner explained that he had used a mixture of grass seeds
secured from a seed dealer, and hence had many different varieties
of grasses growing. The next year his lawn was not so attractive
as when first noticed. He again explained that while the seed sown
by him had apparently all germinated, and had, during an unusually
wet spring and summer, grown nicely, the hard winter that followed
had killed the roots of some, and the succeeding summer, which
was dry and hot, had pretty well finished the others. Here was an
object lesson which emphasized the suggestion that native grasses
are by far the best for home use; they are suited to the climate and the
climate is suited to them. If those interested will watch the habits of
the native grasses carefully, they will soon be able to select the several
varieties that will form the best combination for pasture purposes on
the one hand and for hay on the other. In selecting those for pasturage
the purpose should be to intermix the seed so as to secure the
grasses that mature consecutively through the season. An early spring
grass, such as the large needle grass (Aristida fasciculata), or the
smaller needle grass (Aristida arizonica), to be followed by those that
green out later, would prove a good combination, as it would secure a
succession of grasses maturing at different times. But where the purpose
is to cut the grass for hay the plan should be to sow together the
seeds of those maturing at the same time. These questions will not be
difficult to determine if those interested will watch their ranges and
the habits of the grasses growing thereon, their time of flowering, and
the ripening of the seed.
PROMISING GRASSES AND ]FORAGE PLANTS NATIVE IN TflE
There are 350 kinds of grasses in the State of Texas. Some of these
are woodland and pine-land species from the eastern agricultural portion
of the State. It is safe to say that the grazing part of the State possesses
more kinds of nutritious grasses than any similar region in any
Of these a dozen require some brief characterization. They are the
best of the grasses and forage plants, the ones which may profitably
be brought into cultivation, and are the ones on which the ranchers
will depend when they begin to collect seeds of the native grasses to
cover the bare places in their pastures.
Bermuda grass (Cynodon daxctylon) (fig. 1).-This native of the tropical
and subtropical regions of the world was introduced into southern Texas
sixty or more years ago, having been first planted near the mouth of
the Brazos River. It has been distributed along the streams, and now
covers many square miles of the best gazing lands of southern Texas.
Its value is too well known to require further mention. However,
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Bentley, Henry Lewis. Cattle Ranges of the Southwest, book, 1898; Washington D.C.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth2412/m1/21/: accessed March 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .