This section is from "The Horticulturist, And Journal Of Rural Art And Rural Taste", by P. Barry, A. J. Downing, J. Jay Smith, Peter B. Mead, F. W. Woodward, Henry T. Williams. Also available from Amazon: Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste.
Cauliflower and other plants in frames, should be carefully aired at every favorable opportunity; unless this is properly attended to now, the plants will be likely to suffer when severe colds overtake them. Induce a hardiness- of constitution by keeping them dry and exposed, and do not cover up during the night until actual freezing weather. Loose straw or hay is the best of all material for covering, from the quantity of air it contains. A close-fitting canvas cover, elevated a few inches above the glass, is a very efficient protection.
Raspberries should be laid down, and covered with soil; even although they are reputed hardy varieties, they will fruit better from being thus protected. The hardiness of these as well as all other plants, depends much upon the soil in which they are growing, as it hastens or retards the ripening of the wood. Strawberries should also be protected. A covering of cornstalks, shavings, tan-bark - anything that will modify the injurious effects of freezing and thawing - will be more than repaid by the increased production. Shelter is a subject which will in a few years be deemed much more important than it is at present considered.
Gooseberries and currants may be pruned now. The former fruit best on the young wood, and it has been observed that they are more exempt from mildew than when fruited on spurs. Thin out the bushes, but do not shorten back all the young wood indiscriminately, only where an additional quantity of wood is required. Black currants are pruned on the same principle. Red and white currants fruit on spurs from old wood; therefore, the young wood may be well out out.
Hardy grapes may now be pruned, and, where it is practicable, they may be laid down and covered over with soil. Drying, frosty winds do much injury, frequently causing a great portion of the young wood to shrivel, and rendering the buds abortive. In preparing ground for young plantations, it is of much importance to trench thoroughly and drain, particularly when the subsoil is retentive. There is abundant evidence that the rot so prevalent in some seasons is induced by superfluous water in the soil. The Catawba will not be regularly productive in strong lands, unless they are laid dry by draining.