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Grapes Under Glass

Grape-growing under glass is on the decline in America. Forty or fifty
years ago the industry was a considerable one, grapes being rather
commonly grown near all large cities for the market, and nearly every
large estate possessing a range of glass had a grapery. But grapes are
better and more cheaply grown in Europe than in America, and the
advent of quick transportation permits English, French and Belgian
grape-growers to send their wares to American markets more cheaply
than they can be grown at home. For the present, the world war has
stopped the importation of luxuries from Europe, and American
gardeners ought to find the culture of grapes under glass profitable;
they may expect also to be able to hold the markets for many years to
come because of the destruction of Belgian houses and the shortage of
labor in Europe resulting from the war.

Amateur gardeners ought never to let the culture of grapes under glass
wane, since the hot-house grape is the consummation of the gardener's
skill. Certainly the forcing of no other fruit yields such generous
rewards. Grapes grown under glass are handsomer in appearance and
better in quality than those grown out-of-doors. The clusters often
attain enormous size, a weight of twenty to thirty pounds being not
uncommon. The impression prevails that to grow grapes under glass, one
must have expensive houses; this is not necessary, and "hot-house
grapes" is a misnomer, the fruit really being grown in cold or
relatively cool houses which need not be expensive. Grapes are grown
under glass with greater ease and certainty than is imagined by those
who form the opinion from buying the fruit at high prices in
delicatessen stores. A grapery need not be an expensive luxury, and
the culture of grapes under glass can be recommended to persons of
moderate means who are looking for a horticultural hobby.

Next: The Grapery

Previous: European Grapes At The New York Experiment Station

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