Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

trouble-we were more solicitous about the welfare of the plants—but merely for the above object. Consequently, the border was made only fourteen feet wide, and two and a half deep, and as the conservatory was set well up with a view to have a fine gravelled terrace, the border was eighteen inches above the level of the lawn. The border was formed by carting in sods and good loam from an old pasture, and mixing with them about one quarter of well decomposed manure from the stable yard, and from old hotbeds. This was done in July and August at leisure time. In the fall, the whole was trenched over in a rough manner, and about thirty bushels of ground bones added. In this way the soil lay till the next spring, when it was again trenched over and ready for planting. We are not thus particular in order to show how a border should be made, but merely that it may be seen that a fine crop of grapes can be obtained without all the quackery so often recommended in their formation, such as a bed of oyster shells or boiled bones, dead horses, cattle, and dogs, slaughter-house manure, blood, soot, &c. All that is necessary, in our opinion, to produce the very best grapes, is a good, rich, loamy soil, well top-dressed, every year, with old stable manure and guano, in order to bring the roots to the surface, rather than that they should go to the bottom after the dead carcases.

PLANTING THE VINES.

Owing to the delay in trenching the border, it had not become sufficiently settled to plant the vines before July. They were young plants one year old, and had been prepared by heading them down early in the spring, and training up one shoot which had now attained the height of six or eight feet. Holes were opened about four inches deep, and two feet broad, and the roots, after the tops had been drawn very carefully through the holes in the sill, so as not to injure the leaves, well spread out, shaking the ball completely free from soil. A good watering was then given to settle the earth, and the shoots tied up. If the work is well done, though as late as July, the vines will not receive the least injury. We do not advise late planting when it can be done earlier in the season, but even August is much better than to lose a year, as the vines will then make a shoot from ten to twenty feet long

GENERAL MANAGEMENT.

After the vines are planted, it is only necessary to see that the roots are well watered, should the weather prove dry, and the surface mulched with a little coarse stable manure. The leaves should also be well syringed every evening after the house is closed for the night, which should be rather earlier than usual. No other care is required but to keep the shoots tied up, looking after them every few days, and nipping off all laterals at the base of the first leaf. If duly attended to, they will reach the top of an ordinary grapery by the end of the season.

It will have been noticed that our conservatory was so constructed that the sides are ten feet high ; in consequence of this, it required a longer time to get a good shoot up to the rafters; and, as no good grapes could be expected until they reached them, the vines in December were headed down to within two feet of the floor.

SECOND SEASON.--About the 1st of March, the vines began to break their eyes: as soon as fully out, all were nipped off but two; these were allowed to grow until they attained the length of two or three feet, for fear one might, by accident or carelessness, be broken off: at the end of that time, the weakest one was cut quite out, and the remaining one grew rapidly, reaching the top of the house early in the season, and making a thick and vigorous cane. The same treatment was followed as the last year: all the laterals were nipped off at the first leaf, and this repeated every time the remaining one pushed, until the wood was fully ripe, when they were cut clean off to the main eye: if done too early, it will cause the eye to push, but if at the proper season, which can only be told by the vigor of the shoots, and the ripeness of the wood, it greatly strengthens the eye at the base. Syringing should be well attended to before the plants are brought into the house, and, in September, it should be thoroughly aired to ripen the wood, on which much depends. In December, the

vines were pruned, and cut back to three good eyes from the bottom of the rafter; these were left to produce fruit.

Third Season.—From this period our diary commences; but, as it was not kept with the accuracy of the following year, and as there was but a few grapes, it would only occupy time and space to give it entire; we shall therefore only quote some of the remarks which were casually noted down, showing the progress of the vines, that the amateur, who wishes to follow our practice, may know how far he is successful.

March 4th.-Vines in the middle of the house have burst their eyes : those at each end much swollen.

12th.Some of the earliest vines are so far advanced as to show their fruit buds.

22d.-Vines most advanced have shoots about twelve inches long; those which started latest about two inches. (It may be proper to remark, that a flue run across the centre of the house and returned again).

April 5th.Vines most advanced have made shoots two -feet long, and the largest bunches of buds are one inch long : the latest now show fruit buds.

19th.-The most forward vines have shoots now about five feet long. The two side shoots, (there being one main and two side ones), have had the ends nipped off two eyes above the fruit buds.

May 3d.The most forward vines now begin to open their flower buds: longest shoots about eight feet. The conservatory up to this time, since the vines began to push, has been syringed every night in favorable weather,—both plants and vines.

16th.During the last week, the temperature has been kept higher, and rather closer than usual. The most forward vines have now their fruit well set: the latest just coming into flower. The most rapid growing vines have already reached the top of the house, twelve feet.

26th.–Vines very vigorous, so much so, that the leading shoots have to be turned and trained along the ridge, and the laterals lest at full length to prevent the main eyes from breaking

31st.—The most forward vines have swelled their berries so fast that thinning has already been commenced. They are the size of large peas. All the vines now having their fruit well set, syringing has been commenced again. During the whole of May, the conservatory has been well aired, and the plants are in the best condition.

June 7th.—Nearly all the plants have been removed from the house.

14th.—The grapes have swelled up rapidly, and a few of the clusters, not having been sufficiently thinned, have been looked over again: house opened early, and closed in good season, and well damped and syringed.

28th.During the past fortnight, the vines have grown well, and the fruit continues to swell freely. The house kept well damped.

July 12th.—Vines continue to grow finely, and copious supplies of water are thrown over the walks at noon and night. The wood now beginning to ripen, some of the lowest laterals, which were left to prevent the breaking of the eyes, were now cut off to within two buds of the main shoot.

August 1st.— The berries of the Black Hanıburgh begin to color, and the Muscadine appears to be approaching maturity. The house closed early, and the walks damped, -wood ripening well.

16th.The Hamburghs have now all attained an even dark color. The house is closed early, but damping the walks to any extent is now discontinued. The Muscadine grape nearly ripe.

31st.--Some of the Hamburghs have swelled to a fine size. The wood has ripened exceedingly well, and the vines appear in fine condition.

This ends our Diary for this season. The grapes were cut in September, and, though only from two to five bunches were allowed on each vine, they were of superior quality.

DIARY OF THE FOURTH SEASON.

Before commencing our Diary, we should remark, that the vines were very strong, and 'were pruned back to half their length, about six feet. This was done in December. The shoots were then bent down, and nailed horizontally along the front in order to keep them back as much as possible. This is always necessary, as the heat is so much greater on the roof that they would start too early.

By the 25th of February, the eyes began to swell, and, on the 28th, they were so much pushed that they were immediately loosened from their places, and tied loosely to the trellis. From this period our Diary commences :

TEMPERATURE.

1 42 7260 Some of the vines have burst a few of their

eyes. 2 39 60 47 3 40 72 50 4 41 72 60 5 43 75 55 6 4360 52 7 49 62 48 Weather warm during the week, and the eyes

have swelled rapidly. 8 43 60 50 9 4970 57 10 47 72 53 11 49 75 55 12 41 75 56 Weather warm for the season. 13 54 70 56 Vines breaking well: since they were tied to

the trellis, they have been freely syringed, both morning and evening, in good weather. Some of the eyes about one inch long, and

show their fruit buds. 14 58 68 57 15 54 72 56 16 52 56 50 17 44 54 50 Very cool morning, with considerable frost. 18 44 62 50 19 46 70 50 Nearly all the eyes are so far pushed as to show

fruit. A few vines which do not appear to

« AnteriorContinuar »