This section is from the book "The Gardener V1", by William Thomson. Also available from Amazon: The New Organic Grower: A Master's Manual of Tools and Techniques for the Home and Market Gardener.
We received the morsel of the root of one of your Vines you sent us last month, but from it we cannot say what is the matter with your Vines - a patient might as well expect a physician to tell him what his disease was by sending him a hair out of his head. The bit of root seemed dead, but we could not detect fungi. We think it likely, seeing your borders are nearly all inside, that you allowed the roots to get too dry during the hot autumn of last year. You should take off as much of the surface-soil of the borders as possible, and add some fresh loam, dung, and bones; and keep the border well watered, seeing your drainage is so good. This, and attention to the foliage, may restore the Vines to their previous good health.