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.





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