This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V23", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
G. S., Brocton, New York, writes: "So far as I have been able to ascertain, no material damage had been done to the grapes and peaches in Portland up to the first week in February, and why? Because the sky had been constantly cloudy, the temperature of the atmosphere severely cold but remarkably still. The latter part of February and through March, keen winds and bright sunny days prevailed, and in consequence our grapevines and peaches in the full bright light of the snowy glare have suffered severely by evaporation. So far I am able to follow you, according to your teachings, but now comes what is to me enshrouded in darkness, and I wish you would try to enlighten me upon it. All our young vines in the vineyards, covered since the 20th of November last continually up to to-day with more or less snow, and at present writing with four to six inches, are, all over the town of Portland, wherever we examined, more injured than those exposed. To what cause do you think is such to be laid? It could not have been the cold, neither evaporation, in my opinion. Is it possible that plant life can be destroyed by smothering with snow? Often have we had a covering four or five feet deep for six weeks at a time.
I wish, Mr. Meehan, you would enlighten me on that point."
[So many circumstances are involved in a case like this that it is not possible to give any definite reply. It is so well known that grape branches or other branches can be laid down and covered with earth or snow through the winter with advantage, that one may be safe in saying that it was something else and not that which killed them. It is likely that they were injured in some way before the 20th of November. If that be not so then we may look for something else. At any rate only those cognizant of all the facts could give anything more than mere guesses. - Ed. G. M.]