CHAP. 35.—THE TURNIP.
of Amiternum, which is pretty nearly of the
same nature as the rape, thrives equally well in a cold soil.
It is sown just before the calends of March,2
four sextarii of
seed to the jugerum. The more careful growers recommend
that the ground should be turned up five times before putting
in the turnip, and four for rape, care being taken, in both
cases, to manure it well. Rape, they say, will thrive all the
better, if it is sown together with some chaff. They will
have it, too, that the sower ought to be stripped, and that he
should offer up a prayer while sowing, and say: "I sow this
for myself and for my neighbours." The proper time for sowing both kinds is the period that intervenes between the festivals3
of the two divinities, Neptune and Vulcan. It is said,
too—and it is the result of very careful observation—that
these plants will thrive wonderfully well, if they are sown as
many days after the festival of Neptune as the moon was old
when the first snow fell the previous winter. They are sown
in spring as well, in warm and humid localities.