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.

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