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.
A correspondent who sent us the query in our last, writes:
"I do not wish to trouble you to make another reply to a question that you understood me to ask in December last; but I may explain that you misunderstood the character of the question. It was in the last week of December, 1880, that I wrote; my gardener was then, I think, scraping his vines and painting them with a sulphur wash, preparatory to wrapping them with straw and laying them down. I expressed surprise that this work had not been done earlier in the season and he replied that the object of wrapping the vines and laying them down was to shield them from the sun and not from cold, and that he was all right as to time. I desired then, avoiding reference to the particular case, to have the opinion of the Editor of the Monthly on the rationale of the operation."
[We are always glad to have questions of public interest for the Gardener's Monthly, and never regard it as any trouble to say all we may know about them. In the present aspect of the question, it is still one of much interest to greenhouse grape growers. There are three objects gained by laying down grapes. First, they sometimes are injured in a cold grapery by frost; secondly, where they are not required very early the sun in winter will sometimes advance the buds, only to have them injured by a severe night frost; thirdly, when the vine pushes into leaf in an upright position, the upper buds often burst before the lower ones, in which case the lower ones push weak; by bending down the cane till after the buds have burst, a much more regular growth is insured. There was therefore an abundance of time for good results from the two last reasons, - and as for the first, it is seldom that frosts injure vines under glass till the warm suns of January excite the sap. We are glad that these house grape questions are coming up.
House culture of the grape has been neglected of late years, but there are few departments of amateur gardening that give more real pleasure. - Ed. G. M.]