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


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


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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