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.
PRUNING the vine, and preparing the cuttings for sale, may be done in any moderate weather this month. As directed in a former article, the two best canes or branches of the young wood are selected, and the lower down on the spur or the bow the better; one is out down to two joints, as the spur, the other to eight to twelve joints, to form the bow. This spar and bow are to bear the crop next year; all the rest of the vine above them is out away.
The wood or branches cut from the vine are taken into a house or shed, and in the evenings or unfavorable weather for out-door work, are cut into lengths of twenty to tweuty-four inch cuttings, for planting in the vineyard or nursery in the spring. Mono but well ripened, sonnd branches are used for cuttings; the immature and weak branches are thrown away, or used to stop the washing in small ravines. If part of the old wood can be left on the cutting, it will strike root with greater certainty. The cuttings are tied up with willow twigs, in bundles of one hundred, and kept in a cool, damp cellar,.or set on end in the ground, and buried to near the tops, until wanted for transportation to market. If intended for planting in the spring, bury them all over in the earth, laying the bundle on their sides. The purchaser of cuttings should do so at once, to keep them sound and fresh. In this month, stakes may be sharpened, and the lower ends slightly charred, or covered with a coating of coal-tar (if to be had), to make them last longer in the ground. Trenching for new vineyards may also be done this month, and any other work that may lessen the labors that crowd upon the vine-dresser with the opening of spring.
Examine the wine weekly: look out for leaks, and keep the casks' bung full.