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Training The Vines On Arbors And Walls

This is altogether different from the treatment in vineyards; the first
has for its object to grow the most perfect fruit, and to bring the
vine, with all its parts, within the easy reach and control of the
operator; in the latter, our object is to cover a large space with
foliage, for ornament and shade, fruit being but a secondary
consideration. However, if the vine is treated judiciously, it will
also produce a large quantity of fruit, although not of as good quality
as in the vineyard.

Our first object must be to grow very strong plants, to cover a very
large space. Prepare a border by digging a trench two feet deep and
four feet wide. Fill with rich soil, decomposed leaves, burnt bones,
ashes, etc. Into this plant the strongest plants you have, pruned as
for vineyard planting. Leave but one shoot to grow on them during the
first summer, which, if properly treated, will get very strong. Cut
back to three buds the coming fall. These will each throw out a strong
shoot, which should be tied to the arbor they are designed to cover, as
shown in Figure 14, and allowed to grow unchecked. In the fall
following cut each shoot back to three buds, as our first object must
be to get a good basis for our vines. These will give us nine canes the
third summer; and as the vine is now thoroughly established and strong,
we can begin to work in good earnest. It will be perceived that the
vine has three different sections or principal branches, each with
three canes. Cut one of these back to two eyes, and the other two to
six or eight buds each, according to the strength of the vine, as shown
in Figure 15. The next spring tie these neatly to the trellis, and when
the young shoots appear thin out the weakest, and leave the others to
grow unchecked. The next fall cut back as indicated by the black cross
lines, the weakest to be cut back to one or two eyes, and the stronger
ones to three or four, the spurs at the bottom to come in as a reserve,
should any of the branches become diseased. Figure 16 shows the manner
of pruning.

In this manner a vine can be made, in course of time, to cover a large
space, and get very old. The great vine at Windsor Palace was planted
more than sixty years ago, and in 1850 it produced two thousand large
bunches of magnificent grapes. The space covered by the branches was
one hundred and thirty-eight feet long, and sixteen feet wide, and it
had a stem two feet nine inches in circumference. This is one of the
largest vines on record. They should, however, be strongly manured to
come to full perfection.

Other authorities prefer the Thomery system of training, but I think it
much more complicated and difficult to follow. Those wishing to follow
it will find full directions in DR. GRANT'S and FULLER'S books, which
are very explicit on this method.

Next: Other Methods Of Training The Vine

Previous: Treatment Of The Vine The Fourth Summer

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