Waikato Times, Volume XVII, Issue 1407, 9 July 1881, Page 4
(By S. J.)
As this country is well adapted for -.'rape growing, and their culture is voiy simple, I think there should be more interest taken in them, a:id more grown than uppenis to be the case. For si considerable number ot yo.ns thoio woie oxteiibive viueyards in England; .iu<l wine mad" thero was noarly as yood a- that ot France. How much bettor then oußht they to succeed in this country, whore the climate i< tar bette- suiti'd m their sriowth. In Waikato I have seen vines doing reui.irkably well, and souice of profit to the grower. Very little attention is required, if they .ire piopeiiy trained and pruned in season. In planting a viney.ird, it is irapoitnnt th.it the soil should be thoroughly worked and in rich condition, as the grape is a very gross, feeder. It is propagated from cuttings or layers. A layer is a shoot fiora the vine, laid into the ground in one pint of it with a little stooping cut on the uudor side tho fore part of the shoot is then tacked to the wall, or a stake is driven into tho ground to tie it to. A cutting is a piece of wood of last year's growth, and is all the better if an inch or two of the previous year's can be got with it. The cutting should have four or five buds or joints. Plant the cuttings about sixteen feet apart, putting in two or three in each Bpot, bo that) out of the threo there is a probability of one of them doing well. Leave above ground only two joints or buds. From these cuttings two shoots generally come the top one should berubbedolf but if the top one is the strongest then let that remain to go on, rubbing off the lower one, The object is to get one good shoot coining out as near the ground as possible, when the wintei comes, cut this shoot dow n to the bud neatest the ground, the next year another, and a much stionger shoot will come out; and when tho leaves aie otf, m the fall, this i-hoot will be eight or ten feet long, (cite being taken to tie to a stake). In the winter pump the vine, leaving eight bhoots 01 joints. Thc&e eight shoots will run out hon/ontally, &o that sttong stakes must be dm en into the giound to support them, to which they must be tied with matting 01 something soit. The -whole vine, both ways included, is supposed to go sixteen feet that is eight feet cacli Hide of the trunk, but if the tillage is good, it Mill go much fiuthei, and then the ends must be cut off in wintei ()ue tlnng to be borne in maul, is, that little or no fimt comes on a gi.ipe- me, except on young bhoots that comes out of the Mood of last year. All the last yeai's wood would send out beaier&, but it this is allowed, there will be a gieat quantity of small wood, and little or no fuut the next year. Therefoie cut off four of the last years shoots, leaving one bud, that is two alternate shoots each bide, the four shoots lelt will send a shoot out fiom every one of their buds, and, if the me is strong, there will be two bunches of grapes on each of these young shoots. Duimg the summei foiu .shoots will be coining out from were they weie pruned the previous winter. As they advance they should be tied to the stakes they will be the beareis foi the following year. In winter cut out tlie shoots that boie fruit, leaving one bud, to again send out shoots the next summer. It may bo roniJiked that the butt hen it is cut oil the second time, will be longei by a bud, but, by the the thud ye.ir the vine will be so strong, that it may be .safe by cutting within nix inches of the main trunk, leaving the new shoots to come out wheio they will, caie being taken to let but one grow during the summer. If shoots htait out of tho main tiunk hiegul.uly, rub them off ns <-oon v-, they appear, and never suffer a vine to have any inoie than its regular number of shoots. Dm ing the .summer thiiie aio two things to bo observed as to pinning. Kaoh ot the last years' shoots has thiify-two buds, and tends out nearlj a*, many shoots with grapes on, foi the giapcs come out of the first fair buds of tin -.c shoots, »o that thoie would be an cnoi mous quantity ot wood, if it -were .ill lutt until the end "f summer. AVhen the gi.ipeo get as big as peas, cut oft the guon .shoots that bear them, at two buds distance fiom the fiuit. Tins is nocesj.'u yin ouler to clear the vine tiom contusion of bunches, aud also tf> keep the sap back fui the Mipply of the fruit These new sho ts that hve the bunches on, must be n< d to the stakes, so as to pi event tli wind doing damage. If tlieie are any side shoots coming out of thohc left to beai nextjc t, ciopthem oil as boon as they appcu, leaving nothing but the clear, (lean shoot. In leleicnee to tiaimng against a Mall 01 liou.sj, oi under glass in a gieenhousu It against a Mali, pioeeed to taise the me in pieci.soly the same mainiet a-> befoie directed, but in place of carrying the tiuuk upnght, in oi del to have beating shoots come out ot tho side of it, cut it doM n to witlim two eyes of the bottom. Imlc.ul of bunging out fiom it two shoots fiom a side, bung out only the two bottom ones, cutting off the top ol the branch close down to the highest of the two fiist shoots horn the bottom. These two shoots may be suftpied to beat the fust year nftei they come out, but they arc then to remain, to form limbs foi the boat ing shoots to come out ot these beaung shoots are to go up the Mall pcipcudu ulaily, instead ol hon/ontally, as they do on the stakes. All that applies to tho cutting out the .shoots alternately an- the same m this case as the othci. The vine may bo trained hoii/ontally as against the tielhs- Mork, but it would not lie so convenient, for the two horizontal limbs left at the bottom may be earned to .my length against a Mall, so that one vine m ould, in time, be sufficient for a Mali of considerable extent. Limbs have been known to extend fifty feet, giving an abundance of beai ing wood to cover the wall. A good plan is to cause those bottom limbs to touch the giound at eveiy tour or five yardb,aud,if pegged dow n and coveied with earth, they will stuke loot theie. The upright bearing shoots should be tacked to the wall in a serpentine manner, which checks the flow of sap, and tho vine thiives much better Vnder glass the training and pruning are precisely the same as against the wall two limbs running along at the bottom of the glass, aud shoots coming out, pruned, and tied up in the manner directed in the case of the wall. Against a house, you want a trunk. You carry it to the height that the situation requires, and train by the side shoots, just in the same manner as directed for the Espalier. A roof is only a wall lying in a sloping direction, i>nd training and pruning as those directed for the wall. Pruning as above is what is called longpruning but thero is another method very different, called the- short-pruning. Instead of alternate beai ing shoots brought out of the trunk as in the Espalier form, being cut back, allow them to remain. They send out annually side-shoots. These should be cut of within one or two eyes of the limb, and out of these artifical spurs come, the next year shoots to bear the fruit. The vine bears only on shoots that come out of last year's wood, and therefore, these spurs would become to long in a very short time so that they mu«t be cut out close to the limb, at the end of a y^ar or two, and others will bo coming gut to supply their place. And notf-'m reference to the management of the fruit When the grapes get to be about the hize oi a pea, they should be thinned in the branch with a shat p pointed scissors. More> than half of them, an'd those the' smallest should bo cut out, other- Wise they will not be bo fine j and in ssme
cat-ea the fiuit will be so closely together "ori th'o branch as to oa'uae "moulding and rotting. Tbipninjr the grapes adds to the weight of the buuch find to the quality of the fruit. The vino is a very heavy bearer, if pioperly attended to, many have been known to bear upwards of a ton of grapes in a aoas>on.