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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 shew of decay or withering, more than seven days. But afterwards that leaf faded, but the young buds did sprout on; which afterward 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 some what 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 grow. ing. 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 savę them; so we may house our own country plants, to forward them, and make them come in the cold seasons; 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 re-settling, 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
they bear not till the next year; but if you graft them in May, they will bear the same year, but late.
419. THE seventh is the girding of the body of the tree about with some pack-thread; for that also in a degree restraineth the sap, and maketh it come up more late and more slowly.
420. THE eighth is the planting of them in a shade, or in a hedge; the cause is, partly the keeping out of the sun, which hasteneth the sap to rise; and partly the robbing of them of nourishment by the stuff in the hedge. These means may be practised upon other, both trees and flowers, mutatis mutandis.
421. MEN have entertained a conceit that sheweth prettily; namely, that if you graft a late-coming fruit upon a stock of a fruit-tree that cometh early, the graft will bear fruit early; as a peach upon a cherry; and contrariwise, if an early-coming fruit upon a stock of a fruit-tree that cometh late, the graft will bear fruit late; as a cherry upon a peach. But these are but imaginations, and untrue. The cause is, for that the cion over-ruleth the stock quite; and the stock is but passive only, and giveth aliment, but no motion to the graft.
Experiments in consort touching the melioration of fruits, trees, and plants.
WE will speak now, how to make fruits, flowers, and roots larger, in more plenty, and sweeter than they use to be; and how to make the trees themselves more tall, more spread, and more hasty and sudden than they use to be. Wherein there is no doubt but the former experiments of acceleration will serve much to these purposes. And again, that these experiments, which we shall now set down, do serve also for acceleration, because both effects proceed from the increase of vigour in the tree; but yet to avoid confusion, and because some of the means are more proper for the one effect, and some for the other, we will handle them apart.
422. It is an assured experience, that an heap of flint or stone, laid about the bottom of a wild tree, as an oak, elm, ash, etc. upon the first planting, doth
make it prosper double as much as without it. The cause is, for that it retaineth the moisture which falleth at any time upon the tree, and suffereth it not to be exhaled by the sun. Again, it keepeth the tree warm from cold blasts and frosts, as it were in an house. It may be also there is somewhat in the keeping of it steady at the first. Query, If laying of straw some height about the body of a tree, will not make the tree forwards. For though the root giveth the sap, yet it is the body that draweth it. But you must note, that if you lay stones about the stalk of lettuce, or other plants that are more soft, it will over-moisten the roots, so as the worms will eat them.
423. A TREE, at the first setting, should not be shaken, until it hath taken root fully and therefore some have put two little forks about the bottom of their trees to keep them upright; but after a year's rooting, then shaking doth the tree good, by loosening of the earth, and, perhaps, by exercising, as it were, and stirring the sap of the tree.
424. GENERALLY the cutting away of boughs and suckers at the root and body doth make trees grow high; and contrariwise, the polling and cutting of the top maketh them grow spread and bushy. As we see in pollards, etc.
425. IT is reported, that to make hasty-growing coppice woods, the way is, to take willow, sallow, poplar, alder, of some seven years growth; and to set them, not upright, but aslope, a reasonable depth under the ground; and then instead of one root they will put forth many, and so carry more shoots upon
426. WHEN you would have many new roots of fruit trees, take a low tree and bow it, and lay all his branches aflat upon the ground, and cast earth upon them; and every twig will take root. And this is a very profitable experiment for costly trees, for the boughs will make stocks without charge; such as are apricots, peaches, almonds, cornelians, mulberries, figs, etc. The like is continually practised with vines, roses, musk-roses, etc.