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dung; other in water mixed with pigeon-dung; other in urine of man; other in water mixed with chalk powdered; other in water mixed with soot; other in water mixed with ashes; other in water mixed with bay-salt; other in claret wine; other in malmsey; other in spirit of wine. The proportion of the mixture was a fourth part of the ingredients to the water; save that there was not of the salt above, an eighth part. The urine, and wines, and spirit of wine, were simple without mixture of water. The time of the
steeping was twelve hours. The time of the year, October. There was also other wheat sown unsteeped, but watered twice a day with warm water. There was also other wheat sown simple, to compare it with the rest. The event was; that those that were in the mixture of dung, and urine, and soot, chalk, ashes, and salt, came up within six days: and those that afterwards proved the highest, thickest, and most lusty, were first the urine; and then the dungs; next the chalk; next the soot; next the ashes; next the salt; next the wheat simple of itself, unsteeped and unwatered; next the watered twice a day with warm water; next the claret wine. So that these three last were slower than the ordinary wheat of itself; and this culture did rather retard than advance. As for those that were steeped in malmsey, and spirit of wine, they came not up at all. This is a rich experiment for profit; for the most of the steepings are cheap things; and the goodness of the crop is a great matter of gain; if the goodness of the crop answer the earliness of the coming up; as it is like it will; both being from the vigour of the seed; which also partly appeared in the former experiments, as bath been said. This experiment would be tried in other grains, seeds, and kernels: for it may be some steeping will agree best with some seeds. It would be tried also with roots steeped as before, but for longer time. It would be tried also in several seasons of the year, especially the spring.
403. STRAWBERRIES watered now and then, as once in three days, with water wherein hath been
steeped sheep's-dung or pigeons'-dung, will prevent and come early. And it is like the same effect would follow in other berries, herbs, flowers, grains, or trees. And therefore it is an experiment, though vulgar in strawberries, yet not brought into use generally: for it is usual to help the ground with muck; and likewise to recomfort it sometimes with muck put to the roots; but to water it with muck-water, which is like to be more forcible, is not practised.
404. DUNG, or chalk, or blood, applied in substance, seasonably, to the roots of trees, doth set them forwards. But to do it unto herbs, without mixture of water or earth, it may be these helps are too hot.
405. THE former means of helping germination, are either by the goodness and strength of the nourishment; or by the comforting and exciting the spirits in the plant, to draw the nourishment better. And of this latter kind, concerning the comforting of the spirits of the plant, are also the experiments that follow; though they be not applications to the root or seed. The planting of trees warm upon a wall against the south, or south-east sun, doth hasten their coming on and ripening; and the south-east is found to be better than the south-west, though the southwest be the hotter coast. But the cause is chiefly, for that the heat of the morning succeedeth the cold of the night and partly, because many times the south-west sun is too parching. So likewise the planting of them upon the back of a chimney where a fire is kept, doth hasten their coming on and ripening: nay more, the drawing of the boughs into the inside of a room where a fire is continually kept, worketh the same effect; which hath been tried with grapes; insomuch as they will come a month earlier than the grapes abroad.
406. BESIDES the two means of accelerating germination formerly described; that is to say, the mending of the nourishment; and comforting of the spirit of the plant; there is a third, which is the making way for the easy coming to the nourishment, and drawing it. And therefore gentle digging and loosening of the earth about the roots of trees; and the re
moving herbs and flowers into new earth once in two years, which is the same thing, for the new earth is ever looser, doth greatly further the prospering and earliness of plants.
407. BUT the most admirable acceleration by facilitating the nourishment is that of water. For a standard of a damask rose with the root on, was set in a chamber where no fire was, upright in an earthen pan, full of fair water, without any mixture, half a foot under the water, the standard being more than two foot high above the water: within the space of ten days the standard did put forth a fair green leaf, and some other little buds, which stood at a stay, without any show of decay or withering, more than seven days. But afterwards that leaf faded, but the young buds did sprout on; which afterwards opened into fair leaves in the space of three months; and continued so a while after, till upon removal we left the trial. But note, that the leaves were somewhat paler and lighter-coloured than the leaves used to be abroad. Note, that the first buds were in the end of October; and it is likely that if it had been in the spring time, it would have put forth with greater strength, and, it may be, to have grown on to bear flowers. By this means you may have as it seemeth, roses set in the midst of a pool, being supported with some stay; which is matter of rareness and pleasure, though of small use. This is the more strange, for that the like rose-standard was put at the same time into water mixed with horse-dung, the horse-dung about the fourth part to the water, and in four months space, while it was observed, put not forth any leaf, though divers buds at the first, as the other.
408. A DUTCH flower that had a bulbous root, was likewise put at the same time all under water, some two or three fingers deep; and within seven days sprouted, and continued long after further growing. There were also put in, a beet-root; a borageroot, and a radish-root, which had all their leaves cut almost close to the roots; and within six weeks had fair leaves; and so continued till the end of November.
409. NOTE, that if roots, or peas, or flowers, may
be accelerated in their coming and ripening, there is a double profit; the one in the high price that those things bear when they come early: the other in the swiftness of their returns: for in some grounds which are strong, you shall have a radish, etc. come in a month, that in other grounds will not come in two, and so make double returns.
410. WHEAT also was put into the water, and came not forth at all; so as it seemeth there must be some strength and bulk in the body put into the water, as it is in roots; for grains, or seeds, the cold of the water will mortify. But casually some wheat lay under the pan, which was somewhat moistened by the suing of the pan; which in six weeks, as aforesaid, looked mouldy to the eye, but it was sprouted forth half a finger's length.
411. IT seemeth by these instances of water, that for nourishment the water is almost all in all, and that the earth doth but keep the plant upright, and save it from over-heat and over-cold; and therefore is a comfortable experiment for good drinkers. It proveth also that our former opinion, that drink incorporate with flesh or roots, as in capon-beer, etc. will nourish more easily, than meat and drink taken severally.
412. THE housing of plants, I conceive, will both accelerate germination, and bring forth flowers and plants in the colder seasons: and as we house hotcountry plants, as lemons, oranges, myrtles, to save them; so we may house our own country plants, to forward them, and make them come in the cold sea, sons; in such sort, that you may have violets, strawberries, peas, all winter so that you sow or remove them at fit times. This experiment is to be referred unto the comforting of the spirit of the plant by warmth, as well as housing their boughs, etc. So then the means to accelerate germination, are in particular eight, in general three.
Experiments in consort touching the putting back or retardation of germination.
413. To make, roses, or other flowers come late, it is an experiment of pleasure. For the ancients
esteemed much of rosa sera. And indeed the November rose is the sweetest, having been less exhaled by the sun. The means are these. First, the cutting off their tops immediately after they have done bearing; and then they will come again the same year about November: but they will not come just on the tops where they were cut, but out of those shoots which were, as it were, water boughs. The cause is, for that the sap, which otherwise would have fed the top, though after bearing, will, by the discharge of that, divert unto the side sprouts; and they will come to bear, but later.
-414. THE Second is the pulling off the buds of the rose, when they are newly knotted; for then the side branches will bear. The cause is the same with the former; for cutting off the tops, and pulling off the buds, work the same effect, in retention of the sap for a time, and diversion of it to the sprouts that were not so forward.
415. THE third is the cutting off some few of the top boughs in the spring time, but suffering the lower boughs to grow on. The cause is, for that the boughs do help to draw up the sap more strongly; and we see that in polling of trees, many do use to leave a bough or two on the top, to help to draw up the sap. And it is reported also, that if you graft upon the bough of a tree, and cut off some of the old boughs, the new cions will perish.
416. THE fourth is by laying the roots bare about Christmas some days. The cause is plain, for that it doth arrest the sap from going upwards for a time; which arrest is afterwards released by the covering of the root again with earth; and then the sap getteth up, but later.
417. THE fifth is the removing of the tree some month before it buddeth. The cause is, for that some time will be required after the remove for the resettling, before it can draw the juice; and that time being lost, the blossom must needs come forth later.
418. THE sixth is the grafting of roses in May, which commonly gardeners do not till July; and then