Cato Maior | Chapter 2 | 2000 years of Latin Prose

Method of planting asparagus: Break up thoroughly ground that is moist, or is heavy soil. When it has been broken, lay off beds, so that you may hoe and weed them in both directions without trampling the beds. In laying off the beds, leave a path a half-foot wide between the beds on each side. Then plant along a line, dropping two or three seeds together in a hole made with a stick, and cover with the same stick. After planting, cover the beds thickly with manure; plant after the vernal equinox. When the shoots push up, weed often, being careful not to uproot the asparagus with the weed. The year it is planted, cover the bed with straw through the winter, so that it will not be frostbitten. Then in the early spring uncover, hoe, and weed. The third year after planting burn it over in the early spring; after this do not work it before the shoots appear, so as not to injure the roots by hoeing. In the third or fourth year you may pull asparagus from the roots; for if you break it off, sprouts will start and die off. You may continue pulling until you see it going to seed. The seed ripens in autumn; when you have gathered it, burn over the bed, and when the asparagus begins to grow, hoe and manure. After eight or nine years, when it is now old, dig it up, after having thoroughly worked and manured the ground to which you are to transplant it, and made small ditches to receive the roots. The interval between the roots of the asparagus should be not less than a foot. In digging, loosen the earth around the roots so that you can dig them easily, and be careful not to break them. Cover them very deep with sheep dung; this is the best for this purpose, as other manure produces weeds. Translated by W. D. Hooper and H. B. Ash (1934).

2 Replies to “Cato Maior | Chapter 2 | 2000 years of Latin Prose

  1. Vir rectus et gravis fuit certe, sed semper credo quod —partim—, per intolerantiam suam ad punicos, perdidimus multos libros et multam culturam in lingua punica! Est enim, solum unus scriptor punicus cognitus cum certitudine hodie: Mago, quod librum famosum de agricultura scripsit, et hic liber solum in aliquibus fragmentis latinis/grecis permanet. Vae!
    Obiter, magnam produxisti pelliculam, sophos!

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