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By Grafting

The principal advantages to be gained by this method are: 1st. The
facility by which new and rare kinds may be increased, by grafting them
on strong stocks of healthy varieties, when they will often grow from
ten to twenty feet the first season, producing an abundance of wood to
propagate. 2d. The short time in which fruit can be obtained from new
and untried varieties, as their grafts will generally bear the next
season. 3d. In every vineyard there are, in these days of many
varieties, vines which have proved inferior, yet by grafting into them
some superior variety, they may be made very valuable. 4th. The
facility by which vines can be forced under glass, by grafting on small
pieces of roots, and the certainty with which every bud can thus be
made to grow.

The vine, however, does not unite with the same facility as the pear
and apple, and, to ensure success, must be grafted under ground, which
makes the operation a difficult and disagreeable one. It will therefore
hardly become a general practice; but, for the purposes above named, is
of sufficient importance, to make it desirable that every vineyardist
should be able to perform it. I have generally had the best success in
grafting here about the middle of March, in the following manner: Dig
away the ground around the vine you wish to graft, until you come to a
smooth place to insert your scion; then cut off the vine with a sharp
knife, and insert one or two scions, as in common cleft-grafting,
taking care to cut the wedge on the scion very thin, with shoulders on
both sides, as shown in Figure 4, cutting your scion to two eyes, to
better insure success. Great care must be taken to insert the scion
properly, as the inner bark or liber of the vine is very thin, and the
success of the operation depends upon a perfect junction of the stock
and scion. If the vine is strong enough to hold the scion firmly, no
further bandage is necessary; if not, it should be wound firmly and
evenly with bass bark. Then press the soil firmly on the cut, and fill
up the hole with well pulverized earth, to the top of the scion.
Examine the stock from time to time, and remove all wild shoots and
suckers, which it may throw up, as they will rob the graft of
nourishment and enfeeble it.

Others prefer to graft in May, when the leaves have expanded, and the
most rapid flow of sap has ceased, keeping the scions in a cool place,
to prevent the buds from starting. The operation is performed in
precisely the same manner, and will be just as successful, I think, but
the grafts that have been put in early, have the advantage of several
weeks over the others, and the latter will seldom make as strong a
growth, or ripen their wood as well as those put in early.

Mr. A. S. FULLER performs the operation in the fall, preventing the
graft from freezing by inverting a flower-pot over it, and then
covering with straw or litter. He claims for this method--1st. That it
can be performed at a time when the ground is more dry, and in better
condition, and business not so pressing as in spring.--2d. That the
scion and stock have more time to unite, and will form their junction
completely during the winter, and will therefore start sooner, and make
a more rapid growth than in spring. It certainly looks feasible enough,
and is well worth trying, as, when the operation succeeds, it must
evidently have advantages over any of the other modes.

Vines I had grafted in March have sometimes made twenty to thirty feet
of growth, and produced a full crop the next season. This will show one
the advantage to be derived from it in propagating new and scarce
varieties, and in hastening the fruiting of them. Should a seedling,
for instance, look very promising in foliage and general appearance,
fruit may be obtained from it from one to two seasons sooner by
grafting some of the wood on strong stocks, than from the original
plant. Hence the vast importance of grafting, even to the practical

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Previous: By Layering

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