This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V29", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
This has been an unusually good year for grapes, and a small vineyard of 150 vines comprising 34 varieties, planted in the spring of 1885, largely for experimental purposes, has given so much interest and satisfaction to the writer that it is thought a few notes in reference to the better varieties, may be of interest to others.
At the same time a lean-to-vinery with heating apparatus was erected for the cultivation of the foreign varieties, which was extended the following year. It is 114 feet long, divided into three apartments, has 32 vines and 17 varieties.
It has been very successful, some bunches the present year weighing as high as four pounds, and fond hopes are entertained of a bunch or two next year at least twice as heavy.
The first hardy grapes to ripen this year were Moore's Early, which was ripe and gone early in August. It was followed soon by the Herbert, Worden, Brighton, Empire State, Lindley, and by the first week in September at least a dozen kinds were in good eating condition. The long warm season since has ripened the latest of them, of which Goethe and Lady Washington, now, October 3, bring up the rear. These are two of the most beautiful kinds, almost as good in quality as the foreigners, some clusters of the Lady Washington, weighing over a pound.
Catawba and Iona are perfectly ripened, though not as fine in quality as I have seen them on Seneca Lake. But no matter how well ripened, either of these varieties, there is always a slight astringency when the seeds are removed, not pleasant to every one.
The Delaware alone of the 34. varieties planted has not yet fruited. The vines have made a strong growth; perhaps the ground was too rich, plenty of manure, ground bone, and wood ashes were used. For the purpose of comparing a few of the best of the early varieties of hardy grapes a small gathering of amateur horticulturists were assembled about the 15th of September, all of whom were enthusiastic over grape culture. The varieties presented were of: