This section is from the book "Commercial Gardening Vol3", by John Weathers (the Editor). Also available from Amazon: Commercial Gardening, A Practical & Scientific Treatise For Market Gardeners.
The raising of Vines for planting is a simple matter. Good, strong, well-ripened laterals are selected from Vines which have shown good bunches, and have ripened their fruit well in previous years. From these, short pieces are cut out with a sharp knife, each piece being furnished with an eye, or the bud which will make the next season's growth. The cuts are made slanting and at about 3/4 in. above and below the eye, the knife being started on the side of the lateral beneath the eye, and carried through in a slanting direction away from the eye, so that when finished the eye is on the longest side of the short piece of lateral so cut off.
Fig. 388. - Grapes packed for Sea Transit.
The propagation is carried out in the spring, and the laterals saved for the purpose are heeled in under a wall, or in some sheltered position, until they are wanted for preparing the eyes.
For striking the eyes, boxes are filled with nice light soil and a layer of sharp sand is sprinkled over the surface; the eyes are pressed into the soil, lower end downwards, and well watered in, and when this operation is finished the little bud should be just showing above the surface of the sand. The boxes are stood in a Cucumber house, or propagating pit, where they will soon show signs of growth. Watering must be carefully done, but the eyes must never be allowed to suffer for want of it. As soon as roots are formed (fig. 389) pot into small 60s, and as soon as these pots are full of roots, pot on into 48's or 32's according to the growth made. When potting, care must be taken to have the pots and the soil warmed, and the watering must be done with warm water, so that no check may be given to the young Vines. A 4-ft. cane is put into each pot, and the young growths trained up them till they reach the top, when they are stopped. As soon as the plants are well rooted, liquid manure may be given every other time of watering. The soil for potting may consist of 2 parts good loam, 1 part short manure, a little sand and a little bone meal. The potting must be done firmly but carefully. After potting into these larger pots the young plants are stood in a vinery which has part of the roof still uncovered. Here they will get enough light and just the right conditions for growing. About the end of July or in August the pots can be stood outside, and are best plunged in the soil to economize the watering. Before very cold weather sets in the canes are pruned to three eyes, and the pots stood in a cold house. The following year the Vines are potted on into clean, well-crocked 16's, started in gentle heat, and grown on as before, all buds but the strongest one being rubbed out as soon as choice is possible. At the end of the growing season the pots are stood outside as before, and when pruning time comes the canes are cut down to about 1 ft., according to their strength.