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.
THOSE beds which have done yielding their fruit should now be carefully overhauled and thoroughly cleaned out, old leaves should be clipped off, weeds pulled out, and the ground made clean, clear and mellow ; the success of next year's crops depends entirely upon (he care of this year's plants from now until October. If neglected the fruit will fail. If any are too skeptical about the efficacy of removal of all the leaves from the tops of their plants, let them try but a few plants this year. Select a dozen and clip off all leaves, old and new, cover them with a moderate sprinkling of mulch, so as to keep off the hot sun, and let the mulch remain for a couple of months until the new leaves have been formed. If this plan should prove a success on first trial, the cultivator can thereafter extend the systen to his entire bed. The philosophy of the practice is simple, being to clear off all incubus and draft upon the plant, such as old leaves, stems, Ac, and to permit the roots to form a new top or breathing vent and new and more healthy and vigorous fruit sets. We have yet to learn of a single failure where the work has been properly done.
The mulching is indispensable to perfect success.