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.

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