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.
We have received from S. Oscar Cboss, of Sandy Hill, Washington County, N. Y., a drawing and description of a patent.
"Adjustable and Elevating Grape Frame," which we think may prove to be a valuable contrivance. It would for one thing facilitate the protection of vines that require it, during the winter season; besides, and which is of greater importance, Mildew, the great enemy of the Grape in Europe and of all foreign Grapes in the open air in this country, may, it is thought by many cultivators and experimentalists, be prevented by horizontal training. How far this may prove true on a more extended trial, we cannot say, but we find, just at this moment, an article on this subject in the Gardener*1 Chronicle, of October, by Prof Berkley, one of the most learned and reliable of modern writers on vegetable physiology. He, it will be seen, has adopted the opinion that it is not the influence of contact with the soil, but the mode of training which produces the results. Why may it not be both ?
A notice was published in our volume for 1858, p. 740, respecting M. Roboam's report to the French Academy of the benefit of bringing vine-branches down to the ground, and we then called the attention of our correspondent to the fact, which appeared from evidence then adduced, not dependent on the contact with the soil but upon the horizontal position; at the fame time requesting information, provided any similar experience existed in this country. We have accordingly been favored with three letters on the subject by Mr. William PrestoN, all tending to show that much benefit is to be derived from horizontal training. He has never had a mildewed leaf or fruit on those vines, some twenty in number, which he has trained horizontally, while the produce has been singularly good. In an adjoining house, however, in which the more ordinary mode of training was adopted, the vines have been severely attacked, and when the first evil had been subdued, the disease broke out a second time with equal virulence.
It is not difficult to explain the increased fruitralness arising from this method of training, which delays the descent of returning sap, to the presence of which, in an unusually concentrated form, the production of fruit is principally due, as is proved by the process of ringing; while the liability of Plums and Apricots to gum, whose branches are trained in a perfectly horizontal direction, depends upon the same abnormal accumulation of sap. This, however, has no necessary connection with the production of the fungi, which, on the contrary, are generally the more prevalent in exact proportion to the luxuriant appearance of a crop. IF for instance, the leaves of a potato crop present a peculiarly rich green tint, it is almost sure to suffer from mildew, and an attentive search will most probably detect unequivocal signs of the evil, while a crop with a yellowish and apparently sickly appearance will entirely escape. It does not, however, follow that the habits of every parasite should be the same; and inasmuch as it does really appear that vines in which the branches are horizontal do not suffer, or at least do not suffer so much from mildew, the horizontal method, though it would be unwise to expect any complete exemption from the practice, is well worth the cultivator's consideration, especially when it is considered that on the continent the vines, which are kept low, without any attempt at horizontal training, suffer far less than those which grow on trellises.
Mr. CRoss will no doubt furnish oheerfully any desired information in regard to his patent.