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.
There are several stocks (the commonest of which stocks are the "Mussel" and the "Brussel" Plum) upon which Plums are grafted or budded, and experience has shown the nurseryman which stock to use, for some varieties of Plum do best on one stock and some on another; it is therefore desirable to buy from one with a reputation to maintain.
Plums are very apt to throw suckers from the roots; these should be carefully taken away before they get large, with a suckering iron or mattock, and care must be taken not to injure the roots. It need not be pointed out that suckers, if left to grow, will, as their name implies, suck vitality from the tree.
The grower will be disappointed to discover that very few, if any, of the market varieties of plums are included in the Royal Horticultural Society list of dessert plums, but it will console him to reflect that it is for him to cater for the multitude, who may be able to appreciate, even for dessert, plums which the fastidious patrons of the Royal Horticultural Society would class as cooking plums. The rule seems to be, if a Plum bears with vulgar frequency, class it as a cooker; if in its esoteric superiority it bears but now and then, dignify it with the title of dessert.
The object of the market grower in selecting his Plums is to get as long a season as possible without getting too many varieties in at the same time; and it goes without saying that he requires sure croppers.
The "Victoria" has so captured popular favour that it is wellnigh impossible to get any other plum justice during its season, albeit the other plum may be much superior in quality. [w. G. L.]