This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V24", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
As the time is drawing near for starting our early graperies, I wish to relate to the profession and horticulturists, my experience of last season with grape growing under glass. For some years back I have been very much annoyed by the aphis or the so-called light brown thrip, which has been a great deal of vexation to most grape growers, at the latter part of growth destroying the foliage and also leaving a filth on the fruit. Fumigating destroys them somewhat, but is not effectual; fumigation also leaves a taste on the fruit which gentlemen of refined taste dislike, and is a discredit to the grower. I have asked some of our best chemists to give me a remedy for this pest without injury to foliage or fruit, but found none until last season. After thinning my early house of grapes, foliage being young and tender I did not wish to fumigate; it destroys many tender points. Finding Mr. Thrip making headway and having a large bale of tobacco stems on hand, I mulched the whole inside border or floor with it, which gave with the heat and moisture a strong gas of tobacco or what the chemist calls nicotine. This completely destroyed the thrip or drove them out, giving no injury to either fruit or foliage, and my vines ripened with a beautiful golden foliage.
I followed up the same remedy to the second house, then to the third, and all three houses gave me great satisfaction and relief, and it was a pleasure to look on both foliage and fruit. I renewed the mulching in all the three houses about three times during the season, adding a little fresh stems to keep up the so called nicotine. I also found that the wasps and flies did not injure my ripe fruit or care to come in the houses. Since I made this discovery I have also used the same mulching on roses, and find it destroys the green fly. I have no doubt if it was applied to the rose beds outside in the summer, it would have the same effect if the outside evaporation is not too much. Outside I have not tested the effect, but will guarantee the inside. I have no doubt your readers will be satisfied with this plan and would like to hear from some of them through your columns after testing.