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.
Having indicated the method of growing on the young rods we now come to the regular treatment of a fruiting vinery. As soon after the leaves have fallen as possible the Vines can be gone over with secateurs and all the laterals be cut off - leaving about three buds - and all leaves and rubbish be cleared out. The rods are then cut loose from the wires during the winter and carefully cleaned. On young rods especially a lot of loose bark is formed. This should be removed, and all of it that is fit to move will come away when the hand is rubbed round the rod. On no account must it be peeled or scraped off so that the green skin of the rod is exposed. Special attention should be paid to the eyes, for if any Red Spider has been present during the growing season, it is here that the dormant colonies will be found in little red masses under any loose bark there may be. When the rods have been gone over, the pruning may be finished off, using a sharp knife and cutting the spurs back to two buds as before directed. During this operation all pieces of dead spur left the previous season by disbudding should be removed and carefully cut off level, for it may be further explained that where two buds are left at pruning, and then the bud nearest the rod left to make the lateral the following season and the other rubbed out, the piece of bare spur so left dies back to the growing bud. When the pruning is done the rods should be gone over with a solution of Gishurst compound, or the common lime-and-sulphur wash may be used instead. An old paint brush is used for the application. The formula for the lime-and-sulphur wash is as follows: 3 lb. of lime, 3 lb. of sulphur, and 10 gall, of water. The lime is selected from good freshly burned lumps, and slaked with some of the water and mixed to a cream; the sulphur is then added, and the remainder of the water, and the whole boiled for a couple of hours. This dressing will be found deadly to any of the pests of the Vine it comes in contact with. While the rods are down the glass and woodwork should be thoroughly syringed and washed down, usually with a little carbolic or some similar preparation. At the same time the walls should be sprayed with hot limewash containing a little of the disinfectant used. The rods are then tied up, using tarred string and leaving so much of the upper part of the rods untied as will allow the tips to hang down as low as possible without obstructing the path. This is to ensure even breaking of the buds. Vines should not be forced till they have made their full growth, but when forcing is in contemplation there is a special method of tying down which is dealt with further on at p. 192.
Fig. 381. - Spur-pruned Three-year-old Vine Stem.