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Cato1 has treated so well of the precautions that are necessary in cultivating the olive, that we cannot do better than employ his own words on the subject. "Let the slips of olive," says he, "which you are about to plant in the hole, be three feet long, and be very careful in your treatment of them, so as not to injure the bark when you are smoothing or cutting them. Those that you are going to plant in the nursery, should be a foot in length; and you should plant them the following way: let the spot be turned up with the mattock, and the soil be well loosened. When you put the cutting in the ground, press it down with the foot only. If there is any difficulty in making it descend, drive it down with a mallet or the handle of the dibble, but be careful not to break the bark in doing so. Take care, too, not to make a hole first with the dibble, for the slip will have the better chance of surviving the other way. When the slip is three years old, due care must be taken to observe the direction in which each side of the bark is situate. If you are planting in holes or furrows, you must put in the cuttings by threes, but be careful to keep them separate. Above ground, however, they should not be more than four fingers distant from one another, and each of them must have a bud or eye above ground. In taking up the olive for transplanting, you must use the greatest caution, and see that there is as much earth left about the roots as possible. When you have covered the roots well up, tread down the earth with the foot, so that nothing may injure the plant."

1 De Re Rust. 45. The method of planting here described is still the one most generally approved of for the olive.

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