This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V22", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
The impression has gone abroad that the Catawba grape, like the old favorite, White Doyenne pear, " has played out" in the West, unless grown in some favorite spot like unto "Kelly's Island." But it is a mistake. As fine Catawba grapes can be grown to-day in any locality where the Concord will flourish. The conditions are simply these - the fruit to be cultivated at least ten feet from the ground. I have one vine that is twenty years old that never fails to give me a full crop of delicious fruit every season, entirely free from rot. In another part of the premises is a vine that has been cultivated for the past fifteen years, but has never yet produced a perfect crop of grapes. This season the vine was raised up ten feet from the ground. The result has been as fine a lot of grapes as any one could wish - no rot or mildew. The Rev. Dr. Little, who is one of the oldest and most intelligent horiculturists in this State, never allows his vines to fruit near the earth. Some of his vines extend over the top of his house. He never has a failure. Is it not possible we cultivate all of our grapes too near the earth? I have often observed the lower tier of vines on a trellis almost entirely fail, while the tier above was almost perfect.
It is to be hoped that others may be induced to try the tall cultivation and report the result.