This section is from the book "The Gardener V3", 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.
Attend to Grapes still hanging as directed last month. Prune all Vines as soon as the fruit is cut from them, and dress all cuts made after this season with styptic to prevent any chance of their being weakened by bleeding in spring. Wash and otherwise clean and dress vineries and Vines as described in Calendar for January. Thin the bunches and berries of advancing crops as soon as they are ready. This is an operation often deferred too late, and the crop and Vines suffer in consequence. The superfluous bunches should be removed from all free-setting sorts as soon as ever it is apparent which are best to leave; shy-setting sorts are best left till it is easily seen which are set most perfectly. In leaving bunches to come to maturity select the most compact and symmetrical, with short strong stalks, in preference to long straggling bunches, which are not so likely to swell such fine berries, and are more likely to shank than the smaller and more compact ones. Should the weather be cold, avoid hard forcing, which in dull sunless weather only debilitates and defeats the end in view. Vines in bloom should be kept steadily about 65° at night, with a rather dry atmosphere.
Shy-setting sorts may be impregnated by drawing a dry clean hand over the bunches and tapping the Vine stems at mid-day, or a bunch of some free pollen-making variety may be rubbed or shaken among the blooms of shy sorts. Take advantage of forcing on bright sunny days if time is important, shutting up with sun-heat at 80°. Where the early crop is from pot Vines, and now swelling off freely, water regularly with manure-water, and the heat for such may be a few degrees more than is desirable for permanent Vines. Air-giving should be carefully attended to wherever Vines are started, and in all progressive stages a close stagnant atmosphere is ruinous to Vines: the growths become weak, the leaves thin and warty, when kept too close and moist. Stop the growths as directed last month, leaving only one leaf to each lateral, and not allowing them to make long growths, and then remove them. While we thus direct in the case of laterals in fruit-bearing shoots, we are opposed to the close stopping of these shoots themselves.
In our opinion, whether Vines are grown on the one rod or the three or four rod 3ystem to one Vine, the rods should never be closer than 3½ to 4 feet apart; and the lateral shoots should be allowed to grow three or four joints beyond the bunch, or till they meet the shoots from their neighbour rods right and left. Start succession vineries in the manner directed in January, and see that all Vines now started have their roots, if outside, properly protected from heavy falls of snow and rain, if not covered with litter and leaves to try and warm them. We think this old-fashioned practice is perhaps attended with more good and less evil than some have recently saddled it with. It may perhaps not throw much heat into the border, but if put on sufficiently early in autumn it prevents at least the escape of heat and throws off rains, while, if the surface of the border be first loosened and dressed with 2 or 3 inches of open soil, such a warm covering has a tendency to entice the roots nearer the top, which is desirable.
Put Vine-eyes into heat, and start them gradually, as in the case of Vines themselves.