Imágenes de páginas

they would secure the necessary strength to be productive. This was the case with many of the vines that are now sold. Vines should have an abundance of fibrous roots and the buds on the canes should be strong and well developed when first set.

Mr. Floyd said that they were very successful in growing grapes in his section, but the birds were very troublesome; they had lost nearly all their Delawares for the last five years in this way. The trouble had become so great that some had dug up their vines. The bird that does the most mischief is a small, brown bird, very shy, but it is impossible to frighten it off with the gun, and their number is so great that it would be useless to try to kill them.

General Lund said that he had found the birds very troublesome; they would commence on the grapes as soon as they began to turn, and, if left alone, would destroy the whole crop. He found, too, that they had very good taste; would take the best every time, and would keep at them until they were gone, before molesting others; he was willing the birds should bave some, but as he raised fruit for family use and wanted it, and the birds wanted it too, the only way he could secure his part was to protect it. This he did by covering the portion of the vine where the clusters hung with mosquito netting, by fastening it to the trellis above and pinning together below, bending the leaves down over the fruit. The expense might be too great when the vineyard was very large, but if the netting was taken care of, it would last for a number of years; another benefit derived from this plan is, the fruit ripens sooner and better when covered by the leaves and protected from the direct rays of the sun. He had been very much pleased with the paper just read and agreed with it in the main; but did not think a southern slope the best aspect for a vineyard. His experience and observation had proved that a northern slope was much preferable. The direct rays of the sun, and the hot, dry winds striking directly upon the vine causes the leaves and tender shoots to wither and curl, and thus retards the maturing of the wood and the fruit; he should select a northern slope for all kinds of fruit; there will be sufficient heat for the growth and maturity of both fruit and wood, and much less risk of injury from drought and mildew. When we have showers in hot, sultry weather, vines are apt to mildew, unless there is a free circulation of cool air through them to dry up the moisture; and a northern aspect is much more favorable for these cool breezes; again on the southern slope, a portion of the day, the vines are exposed to the extreme heat of a tropical climate; this followed by our cool nights makes great changes in temperature, which are not favorable to strong and healthy growth. Some suppose that the grape is a tropical plant and requires a very warm location to grow to perfection, but this is a mistake; in the past season, although it was exceptionally cool, the fruit on all his vines except the Catawba, had ripened perfectly; other seasons he had usually ripened the Catawba on his grounds, where the slope was so much to the north that the sun did not shine directly on the vines until afternoon.

He believed in keeping the vines back in the spring as long as possible; many uncovered the vines early, under the mistaken idea that it was necessary to lengthen the season to secure ripe fruit, but keeping back in the spring does not retard growth; it tends to ripen the fruit earlier, because it keeps back the forces of the plant until all the conditions are favorable for growth, and then it pushes forward with increased vigor and strength; had measured the development of vines thus treated, and found that in thirty-six hours they had grown six inches; when uncovered early there is much danger of injury from frosts, and if the fruit-buds are not killed, the tender shoots are chilled and their growth checked, so that it takes some time to recover. He had often advised those who had uncovered early to re-cover and keep back as long as possible. His practice had been to keep the covering on until the second or third week in May. By examining the vines it can readily be determined when they should be uncovered; if the buds have commenced to swell and cannot be kept back any longer, then uncover and tie up to the trellises at once. Do not fear making the season too short by thus keeping back, as the vines are gathering force, and will push on to maturity with greater rapidity. In speaking of the pleasantness of the work of training and raising the grape, he remarked that he had always regarded it as a fitting and healthful employment for women, and alluded with much feeling to the great interest his departed wife had taken in caring for their vines the past season, and to the successful manner in which she had done the needed work.

He had learned by experience that much of the success in cultivating the grape depended upon getting strong, vigorous vines at the start. He had found it much better to throw away, even high priced vines, where wanting in vigor and strength, than to set them out, for much time and care would have to be expended to secure the needed vitality. Strong canes are far more productive than weak ones; one good, vigorous cane is worth more than a dozen small ones and the easiest and cheapest way to secure them is to start with good strong vines, with an abundance of fiberous roots,

and by care in pruning, concentrate their growth. He had found the solar hot-bed* invented by Mr. Greenman, very beneficial in securing good vines from cuttings; by its use he had


yearling vines with more roots and stronger canes than are usaally offered in market on two and three year old vines; he had gathered fruit the third season from vines propagated in this

(2) way; the roots being under glass had all the stimulating effect of the hot-house, while the tops having been exposed from the start to the open air were perfectly hardy. Some varieties, like the Delaware, could not be grown successfully from cuttings in the open air in any other way.

The first year, he let the vines grow unpruned, but on setting out the second season, he confined the growth to one


* SOLAR HOT-BED.-In the construction of these hot-beds, use strips of inch boards, four inches in width, setting them on the edge, and support by boarding up the ends; make the spaces covered with glass, eight or ten inches in width; five or six inches will be sufficient for the spaces where the cuttings are to be set. The glass may be fitted into narrow sash, and be laid over the wide spaces, or thin strips of lath may be tacked on the sides of the spaces to be covered with glass, just below the upper edge, and the panes be placed on these, either lapping or fitting close, end to end. For economy of space and material, it is better to regulate the width of the frame so as to have the outside spaces both covered with glass. Set two rows of cuttings in each open space, slanting them so that the lower end will be under the glass and the upper end just above the surface of the ground in the open spaces; be sure that the earth is in close contract with the lower end of the cuttings or they will fail to root. Fill in the open spaces with sawdust to the depth of three inches, covering the upper ends of the cutting. When they are well rooted and growth is well established, the frame may be removed, and the spaces covered with glass filled with straw, as shown in figure 2.

cane and

checked the laterals, so as to get a good cane, with strong, ripe buds. Some say, don't prune too much, by so doing you dwarf the vine and lessen the bearing surface; but he had found that by cutting back and pinching freely, he got more and better fruit; in this way the strength of the vine was developed right where it was needed for the production of fruit; but where the growth is distributed over a large space, the vines are weak and the buds imperfect and wanting in vigor. No matter what system of training you follow, it is essential to vigor and productiveness to concentrate growth.

Mr. Harney again affirmed his preference for a southern slope; in such locations the wood and fruit-buds ripened more perfectly, and the fruit matured earlier. He let the vines grow at random the first year; after that, practiced the renewal system, cutting back so as to have new wood each year. The laterals be pinched off, leaving two leaves, so as not to force the next season's fruit-bud.

The birds were a great drawback, and destroyed a great deal of the fruit. In some of the vineyards near Oshkosh, boys were kept among the vines to kill and frighten the birds; he did not favor killing the birds, but it was hard to have them take all the fruit.

General Lund recommended leaving only one leaf on the laterals; there was little danger in this way of starting the fruit-buds, as the extra growth was forced into the fruit and leaves, and these were so much increased in size as to furnish ample space for the expenditure of the vital force of the plant. In reply to an inquiry as to the time required to prune in this way, he said he never went near his vines in the summer without pinching them back; wherever he saw a new growth he pinched it. It was very easily and quickly done; each lateral would need to be clipped two or three times in the season, leaving a single leaf of the new growth each time. It was impossible to have a fixed rule as to length of vine above the bunches of fruit; you can not force the growth of Rogers No. 15 into the same space you can confine the Delaware. The character of the growth of the vine should regulate this, and experience and observation would soon enable us to determine how far to cut back.

President Tuttle had been compelled to change his opinion in regard to the best location for vineyards; at first he had favored a southern aspect, but practical experience had proved that it was the poorest. Concords will grow in almost any location, but many of our varieties can not endure the strong heat and dry winds of our summers. In

many locations, with a southern aspect, we have all the heat of the extreme south, which is detrimental to the vigor and productiveness of the grape. It is an erroneous opinion that the grape needs a tropical climate, it is a native of the temperate zone, and thrives best where the temperature is moderate. He had seen clusters of grapes, hanging on the north side of a fence or building, where they were partially shaded, which ripened earlier than those on the same vine which were exposed to the direct rays of the sun; this indicates that excessive heat is not necessary to secure mature fruit.

Mr. Clark remarked that he had set vines on a number of different slopes and could not determine which was best; they had done well in all positions, though the culture was very poor; he was really ashamed to receive such abundant crops in return for his neglect. His experience with apples had been very unsatisfactory; he had taken extra pains with his orchard; raised the trees from rootgrafts; thoroughly prepared the ground; set the trees qut with care, but all were gone except about one hundred and fifty Siberians, these had borne all the fruit, and were thrifty yet.

Mr. Lawrence said the best vineyards in Janesville were on ground sloping to the south and southeast; his own faced the southeast; was not troubled with mildew at all; whatever the slope, plenty of air is necessary; if we have this, there is no danger of mildew. He regarded the Lindley as a better grape than the Agawam or Salem, but the Delaware was, in his opinion, superior to all others; for a number of years he had advocated putting it first on the list, and now it was very gratifying to him to see that its merits were being acknowledged, and so many of his brethren were enthusiastic in its favor.

General Lund remarked, that he wished to change an opinion he had heretofore expressed as to the quality of the Sinawissa; he had regarded it as of poor quality; but it had ripened well with him the past season, and he must say that it was the most delicious grape he had ever tasted; would not recommend it for general cultivation, but thought it worthy of a place in the amateur list. He had not formed his opinion as to the respective advantages of a northern and southern aspect, from his vineyard alone, but had become convinced from what he had seen in other vineyards, that in hot, dry

« AnteriorContinuar »