CHAP. 61.—WHEN TO SOW THE LEGUMINOUS PLANTS AND THE POPPY.Varro1 has given no other sign but this2 for our guidance in sowing the bean. Some persons are of opinion that it should be sown at full moon, the lentil between the twenty-fifth and thirtieth day of the moon, and the vetch on the same days of the moon; and they assure us that if this is done they will be exempt from the attacks of slugs. Some say, however, that if wanted for fodder, they may be sown at these periods, but if for seed, in the spring. There is another sign, more evident still, supplied us by the marvellous foresight of Nature, with reference to which we will give the words employed by Cicero3 himself:
"The lentisk, ever green and ever bent
Beneath its fruits, affords a threefold crop:
Thrice teeming, thrice it warns us when to plough." One of the periods here alluded to, is the same that is now under consideration, being the appropriate time also for sowing flax and the poppy.4 With reference to this last, Cato gives the following advice: "Burn, upon land where corn has been grown, the twigs and branches which are of no use to you, and when that is done, sow the poppy there." The wild poppy, which is of an utility that is quite marvellous, is boiled in honey as a remedy for diseases in the throat,5 while the cultivated kind is a powerful narcotic. Thus much in reference to winter sowing.