Columella, On Agriculture

LCL 407: 96-97

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Book V

hazel without its shell, and then cover it over with earth. Do this before March 1st or between March 7th and 15th. You should at the same time plant the walnut, the pinenut and the chestnut.

It is correct to plant the pomegranate in the spring15 up to April 1st. But if it bears fruit which is bitter and not sweet, this will be remedied by the following method: moisten the roots with sow-dung and human ordure and stale urine. This will both render the tree fertile and during the first years cause the fruit to have a vinous taste; after five years it makes it sweet and its kernels soft. We ourselves have mixed just a little juice of silphiuma with wine and smeared the uppermost tops of the tree. This has remedied the tartness of the fruit. To prevent16 pomegranates from bursting on the tree, the remedy is to place three stones at the very root of the tree when you plant it; if, however, you have already planted it sow a squill near the root of the tree. According to another method, when the fruit is already ripe and before it bursts, you should twist the little boughs on which it hangs. By the same method the fruit will keep without decaying for a whole year.

Plant the pear-tree in the autumn before winter17 comes, so that at least twenty-five days remain before mid-winter. In order that the tree may be fruitful when it has come to maturity, trench deeply round it and split the trunk close to the very root and into the fissure insert a wedge of pitch-pine and leave it there; then, when the loosened soil has been filled in, throw ashes over the ground. We must take18 care to plant our orchards with the most excellent

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.columella-agriculture.1941