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The reed1 requires a soil still moister even than that employed for the willow. It is planted by placing the bulb of the root, that part which some people call the "eye,"2 in a trench three quarters of a foot in depth, at intervals of two feet and a half. A reed-bed will renew itself spontaneously after the old one has been rooted up, a circumstance which it has been found more beneficial to take advantage of than merely to thin them, as was formerly the practice; the roots being in the habit of creeping and becoming interlaced, a thing that ends eventually in the destruction of the bed. The proper time for planting reeds is before the eyes begin to swell, or, in other words, before the calends of March.3 The reed continues to increase until the winter solstice but ceases to do so when it begins to grow hard, a sign that it is fit for cutting. It is generally thought, too, that the reed requires to be trenched round as often as the vine.

The reed also is planted in a horizontal position,4 and then covered with earth to a very great depth; by this method as many plants spring up as there are eyes. It is propagated, also, by planting out in trenches a foot in depth, care being taken to cover up two of the eyes, while a third knot is left just on a level with the ground; the head, too, is bent downwards, that it may not become charged with dew. The reed is usually cut when the moon is on the wane.5 When required for the vineyard, it is better dried for a year than used in a green state.

1 The Arundo donax of Linnæus. This account is mostly from Columella, B. iv. c. 32.

2 B. xvi. c. 67.

3 First of March.

4 This method is condemned by Columella, De Arbor. 29, as the pro- duce is poor, meagre, and weak. It is but little practised at the present day.

5 A mere superstition, of course.

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