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.
Trenched one piece of land three feet deep, and the vines planted upon it made wood beautifully, but bore very little fruit. Tried planting the vines twelve feet apart each way, and found that they were too far apart Tried eight feet apart, and found that they were too near. Tried eight by ten feet apart, and likes it best. Ringing the vines causes the fruit to ripen from two to three weeks earlier, and the grapes to be much larger than natural; but this earliness and size are gained at the expense of the flavor of the fruit.
Mr. Holmes, of Syracuse, had found the Clinton better than any other sort with him for wine purposes. The chief fertilizer which he uses is hard wood ashes, (and some soap suds,) which causes the fruit to ripen from two to three weeks earlier, and in much greater perfection than other grapes near by, and not treated in the same way. Considered perfect underdraining of very great advantage to vines. As to winter protection, would lay upon surface of ground and cover with loose earth.
Mr. Haywood had found that a barrel of ashes to each vine, would, under favorable circumstances, cause even the Catawba to ripen its fruit; while Mr. Moody had never yet seen a ripe Catawba in Western New York. Mr. Moody would recommend Delaware, ana Concord, and Diana for family use.
Dr. Sylvester would advise for family use the Delaware, Diana, Concord, and Union Village, which is a fine large grape, and ripens at same time as Rebecca; Isabella, which usually ripens by the 25th of September; Hartford Prolific, and Rebecca. For vineyard, the Oporto, which ripens by the 15th of September, and the Clinton. Has found the Diana to ripen as early as the Delaware. Clinton are not in perfection until the frost' touches them a little, and then they are the richest in wine-making qualities of any except the Cincinnati-ripened Catawba. Clinton keeps until February in perfection, and is the best of any grape we know of for keeping. Oporto produces three gallons of pure juice to the bushel of fruit, and from the residue we make a second quality wine by adding sugar and water. Oporto is perfectly hardy, and needs no laying down; but for winter protection Dr. S. buries all his sorts of vines a little if possible.
Geo. Ellwanger referred to adding sugar and water to grapes, stating that the mixture thus produced was a cordial and not a wine. Wine is the juice of the grape, and nothing else. Clinton is the grape for wine in this latitude, and Delaware, Diana, Concord, Hartford Prolific, Rebecca, and Isabella are our grapes for family use.
Wm. Brown Smith spoke favorably of Northern Muscadine, which this year with him did not fall from the bunch at all; and named Hartford Prolific, Delaware, Diana, Northern Muscadine, Isabella, and Concord as the best six grapes for family use.
P. Barry spoke of the Rebecca, when ripe, as being the highest flavored of all our native grapes; but the vine is rather delicate in its summer foliage, and requires a good situation with a warm soil and southern exposure.
C. L. Hoag from thirty sorts which he had fruited, could recommend Concord, Delaware, Diana, Hartford Prolific, Perkins, and To-Kalon for family use. As to the dropping of grapes from the bunches, where the Hartford Prolific vines were shaded, the berries dropped, and where not shaded did not drop.
F. W. Lay liked the Concord better the longer he kept it, and would recommend Concord, Delaware, Diana, Rebecca, Isabella, and Hartford prolific for family use.
Mr. Knox thought the Concord possessed all the good qualities of the Isabella, and more too. (Other remarks by other members).
Adjourned to meet at Rochester in June, 1862, at call of Council.
Vanda Suavis. (FragrartVarda).
For THE HORTICULTURIST.