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.
As houses get cleared of the fruit, we would reiterate former directions, and urge the necessity of keeping the foliage healthy and active as long as possible. Red-spider must be prevented by keeping the house cool by frequent vigorous syringings, and by preventing the borders from suffering for want of moisture. Grapes intended to hang through the winter should be carefully examined, and if the berries are at all likely to be too thick when they attain their full size, thin them a little more, taking the berries that are smallest, and those that crowd the centres of the bunches. When they are too thick, it is difficult to prevent them from moulding during damp winter weather. If this month should be dry, all Vines swelling and ripening their crops should be well watered two or three tiroes, and the borders mulched. We are convinced that if this were more general the ravages of spider would be less so, and Vines would better sustain their vigour. Muscats, even in the most favoured localities, should still be fired at night to keep the minimum night-heat from falling below 75°, and the atmosphere from becoming stagnant and unwholesome. Leave a little air on all vineries throughout the night, especially as soon as the Grapes show the first signs of colouring.
Remove all fresh lateral growths as they appear. Young Vines not yet in bearing, but intended to bear next year, should be stopped when they reach the top of the house, and their lateral growth confined to two leaves from each joint, one of which, may be removed when the wood begins to get brown. Care, however, must be exercised in so doing, that the main bud intended to bear next year's crop does not start. If there be any signs of this, let them make lateral growth to counteract it. Vines planted and intended to be cut down this year, should be allowed to make as much growth as there is room for, without crowding their foliage, as the more they grow this season, the more strongly rooted they become, and the finer their next year's growth. It is not yet too late to plant Vines struck from eyes this spring. If borders can be prepared for them any time this month, they will run the whole length of the roof, and make fine Vines next year. If pot Vines have been forwarded as directed in former Calendars, they will now be strong canes, with full buds, and their wood changing to a brownish hue.
Give them an increased circulation of air; do not allow them to make any fresh lateral growths, and see that they are fully exposed to the sun; for unless their growth be thoroughly hard and well ripened, no great success can be counted on in the way of fruit from them next year.
Early houses, where the wood is thoroughly ripened, may now have the lights removed off them where such are movable. If the wood and glass require painting and other repairs, these, and all alterations in the way of heating, should also be carried out forthwith. Should the weather be dry, late Grapes that are swelling off and about the colouring point should have copious waterings with manure-water, and a Blight mulching of some sort if it has not been applied before. This, of course, applies only to borders that are perfectly drained, and to dry seasons. Apply a little fire-heat on damp dull days, and always at night during such weather, with a little air on all night, which is conducive to good colouring. Take every precaution to keep wasps and flies from preying on ripe Grapes. Hexagon netting or perforated zinc fixed over the opening prevents these pests from getting into the vineries. Keep a constant eye to Vines in all stages, and see that red-spider does not get a footing. Where the fruit are all cut, an occasional syringing and a free circulation of air night and day will keep the foliage clean.
If any of the Vines from which fruit has just been cut have their roots further from the surface of the border than is desirable, remove the surface-soil entirely till the roots are reached, and replace the old soil with fresh turfy loam, with some horse-droppings and ½-inch bones mixed with it, and the roots will lay hold of it and be ready to work more upwards next summer, especially if some fermenting material be put on the border when forcing is commenced. It is astonishing how tractable Vine-roots are when enticed with fine fresh material. Pot-Vines intended to fruit early next season should, by this time, have their wood as brown and hard as a cane. Expose them to full sun and a free circulation of air. Should they show any disposition to make young lateral growths, remove them at once, inducing them to maturity and rest as soon as possible. Avoid exposing them outdoors in windy positions, which destroys the foliage before it has fully done its work.