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Treatment Of The Vine The Fourth Summer

We may now consider the vine as established, able to bear a full crop,
and when tied to the trellis in spring, to present the appearance, as
shown in Fig. 13. The operations to be performed are precisely the same
as in its third year.

In addition, I will here remark, that in wet seasons the soil of the
vineyard should be stirred as little as possible, as it will bake and
clog, and in dry seasons it should be deeply worked and stirred, as
this loose surface-soil will retain moisture much better than a hard
surface. Should the vines show a decrease in vigor, they may be manured
with ashes or compost, or still better, with surface-soil from the
woods. This will serve to replenish the soil which may have been washed
off and is much more beneficial than stable manure. When the latter is
applied, a small trench should be dug just above the vine, the manure
laid in, and covered with soil. But an abundance of fresh soil, drawn
up well around the vine, is certainly the best of all manures.

Where a vine has failed to grow the first season, replant with extra
strong vines, as they will find it difficult to catch up with the
others; or the vacancy can be filled up the next season, by a layer
from a neighboring vine, made in the following manner: Dig a trench
from the vine to the empty place, about eight to ten inches deep, and
bend into it one of the canes of the vine, left to grow unchecked for
that purpose, and pruned to the proper length. Let the end of it come
out to the surface of the ground with one or two eyes above it, at the
place where the vine is to be, and fill up with good, well pulverized
earth. It will strike roots at almost every joint, and grow rapidly,
but, as it takes a good deal of nourishment from the parent vine, that
must be pruned much shorter the first year. When the layer has become
well established, it is cut from the parent vine; generally the second

Pruning is best done in the fall, but it can be done on mild days all
through the winter months, even as late as the middle of March.
Fall-pruning will prevent all flow of sap, and the cuttings are also
better if made in the fall, and buried in the ground during winter. All
the sound, well-ripened wood of last season's growth may be made into
cuttings, which may be either planted, as directed in a former chapter,
or sold; and are an accession to the product of the vineyard not to be
despised, for they will generally defray all expenses of cultivation.

Next: Training The Vines On Arbors And Walls

Previous: Treatment Of The Vine The Third Season

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