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Treatment Of The Vine The Second Summer








We find the young vine at the commencement of this season pruned to
three buds of the last season's growth. From these we may expect from
two to three strong shoots or canes. Our first work will be to
cultivate the whole ground, say from four to six inches deep, ploughing
between the rows, and hoeing around the vines with a two-pronged German
hoe, or _karst_. Figure 7 shows one of these implements, of the best
form for that purpose. The ground should be completely inverted, but
never do it in wet weather, as this will make the ground hard and
cloggy.



Of the young shoots, if there are three, leave only the two strongest,
tying the best of them neatly to the trellis with bass, or pawpaw bark,
or rye straw. If a Catawba or Delaware, you may let them grow
unchecked, tying them along the uppermost wire, when they have grown
above it. The Concord, Herbemont, Norton's Virginia, and other
strong-growing varieties, I treat in the following manner: When the
young shoot has reached the second wire I pinch off its leader. This
has the tendency to force the laterals into stronger growth, each
forming a medium-sized cane. On these we intend to grow our fruit the
coming season, as the buds on these laterals will generally produce
more and finer fruit than the buds on the strong canes. Figure 8 will
show the manner of training the second summer, with one cane layered,
for the purpose of raising plants. This is done as described before;
only, as the vine will make a much stronger growth this season than the
first, the layering maybe done in June, as soon as the young shoots are
strong enough. Figure 9 shows the vine pruned and tied, at the end of
the second season. Figure 10 illustrates the manner of training and
tying the Catawba or Delaware.

The above is a combination of the single cane and bow system, and the
horizontal arm training, which I first tried on the Concord from sheer
necessity; when the results pleased me so much that I have adopted it
with all strong-growing varieties. The circumstances which led me to
the trial of this method were as follows: In the summer of 1862, when
my Concord vines were making their second season's growth, we had, in
the beginning of June, the most destructive hail storm I have ever seen
here. Every leaf was cut from the vines, and the young succulent shoots
were all cut off to about three to three and a half feet above the
ground. The vines, being young and vigorous, pushed out the laterals
vigorously, each of them making a fair-sized cane. In the fall, when I
came to prune them, the main cane was not long enough, and I merely
shortened in the laterals to from four to six buds each. On these I had
as fine a crop of grapes as I ever saw, fine, large, well-developed
bunches and berries, and a great many of them, as each had produced its
fruit-bearing shoot. Since that time I have followed this method
altogether, and obtained the most satisfactory results.

The ground should be kept even and mellow during the summer, and the
vines neatly tied to the trellis with bast or straw.

There are many other methods of training; for instance, the old bow and
stake training, which is followed to a great extent around Cincinnati,
and was followed to some extent here. But it crowds the whole mass of
fruit and leaves together so closely that mildew and rot will follow
almost as a natural consequence, and those who follow it are almost
ready to give up grape-culture in despair. Nor is this surprising. With
their tenacious adherence to so fickle a variety as the Catawba, and to
practices and methods of which experience ought to have taught them the
utter impracticability long ago, we need not be surprised that
grape-culture is with them a failure. We have a class of grape-growers
who never learn, nor ever forget, anything; these we cannot expect
should prosper. The grape-grower, of all others, should be a close
observer of nature in her various moods, a thinking and a reasoning
being; he should be trying and experimenting all the time, and be ready
always to throw aside his old methods, should he find that another will
more fully meet the wants of his plants. Only thus can he expect to
prosper.

There is also the arm system, of which we hear so much now-a-days, and
which certainly looks very pretty _on paper_. But paper is patient, and
while it cannot be denied that it has its advantages, if every spur and
shoot could be made to grow just as represented in drawings, with three
fine bunches to each shoot; yet, upon applying it practically, we find
that vines are stubborn, and some shoots will outgrow others; and
before we hardly know how, the whole beautiful system is out of order.
It may do to follow in gardens, on arbors and walls, with a few vines,
but I do not think that it will ever be successfully followed in
vineyard culture for a number of years, as it involves too much labor
in tying up, pruning, etc. I think the method described above will more
fully meet the wants of the vinyardist than any I have yet seen tried;
it is so simple that every intelligent person can soon become familiar
with it, and it gives us new, healthy wood for bearing every season.
Pruning may be done in the fall, as soon as the leaves have dropped.





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