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Cato1 speaks of three2 methods of grafting the vine. The first consists in piercing the stock to the pith, and then inserting the grafts, sharpened at the end, in manner already mentioned, care being taken to bring the pith of the two in contact. The second is adopted in case the two vines are near one another, the sides of them both being cut in a slanting direction where they face each other; after which the pith of the two trees is united by tying them together. In employing the third method, the vine is pierced obliquely to the pith, and grafts are inserted a couple of feet in length; they are then tied down and covered over with prepared earth, care being taken to keep them in an upright position. In our time, however, this method has been greatly improved by making use of the Gallic angler.3 which pierces the tree with- out scorching it; it being the fact, that everything that burns the tree weakens its powers. Care, too, is taken to select a graft that is just beginning to germinate, and not to leave more than a couple of the buds protruding from the stock. The vine, too, should be carefully bound with withes of elm, incisions being made in it on either side, in order that the slimy juices may exude through them in preference, which are so particularly injurious to the vine. After this, when the graft has grown a couple of feet, the withe by which it is fastened should be cut, and the graft left to increase of its own natural vigour.

The proper time4 for grafting the vine has been fixed as from the autumnal equinox to the beginning of the budding season. The cultivated plants are generally grafted on the roots of wild ones, where these last are of a drier nature. But if a cultivated tree should be grafted on a wild one, it will very soon degenerate and become wild.5 The rest depends entirely on the weather. Dry weather is the best suited for grafting; an excellent remedy for any evil effects that may possibly be caused by the drought, being a few pots of earth placed near the stock and filled with ashes; through which a little water is slowly filtered. Light dews are extremely favourable to grafting by inoculation.

1 De Re Rust. 41.

2 The first of these methods is now the only one at all employed with the vine; indeed, it is more generally reproduced by means of layers and suckers.

3 It is not accurately known what was the form or particular merit of this auger or wimble.

4 Fée remarks, that the period here named is very indefinite. May and the early part of June are the periods now selected for grafting the vine.

5 This is borrowed from Varro, De Re Rust. B. i. c 40. In reality, it makes no difference whether the stock is that of a wild tree or of the cultivated species.

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