If grape-cuttings are planted in the fall, at time of pruning of the vines, a good stand at the North is rarely secured on account of rotting of the buds in contact with the cold earth. In the South, and in all parts where very early spring-planting is possible, the cuttings are planted in the usual way. In such cases roots usually start in time to support ( the growth that starts from the top bud in May. But in such cases commercial growers usually mulch the cutting rows with spent tanbark, sawdust, or leaf-mould, to hold back the top buds while roots are forming. In the prairie States north of the 42d parallel it is usual with vine-growers to callus the cuttings in what is known as the "solar hot-bed" prior to planting. This consists in bundling the cuttings by tying with willow bands, taking care to make the lower ends even. It has been found best not to make large bundles. Fifty cuttings in one bundle will callus better than in larger packages. As made they are placed bottom end up in a pit about fourteen inches deep and as wide and long as needed. The bundles are set perpendicular, with earth packed tightly between. In case the bundles vary in length dirt is crowded under the short ones to give an even surface on top of the upturned cuttings. When all are in, cover with five inches of fine mellow earth and over all cover a foot or more of forest leaves or manure, with some sticks and pieces of boards to hold the covering in place. Quite early in the spring the leaves are taken off and the earth-covering raked. If dry weather follows water is needed with after-raking, the purpose being to favor the heating of the soil over the cuttings, giving favorable conditions for callusing and even starting roots while the tops of the cuttings in the colder soil below are dormant.
When the upturned cuttings begin to show roots starting quite freely the time has come for planting, which is often as late as early June. As taken out, place the cuttings in water, and in planting take them from a pail of water in placing, and after placing cover at once, firming the soil at the base (50. Propagation by Root-cuttings). In planting, the rootlets that have started are usually broken off, but the conditions are favorable for speedy emission of roots before the top starts.
Several other species not easy to root from cuttings are propagated in this way, such as Populus Bolleana, hack-berry, mulberry, and plum. Instead of planting in trench some growers stick the cuttings in well-prepared ground.