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.
Under this head we propose to give, in a condensed form, the proceedings of Horticultural Societies. The Brooklyn Society has set them an example which they might well follow with advantage to themselves and society at large. The following are the proceedings of the Brooklyn Society, at the meeting held October 15, 1861, somewhat condensed:
President Degrauw in the chair.
Opened by Mr. Mead.
[As these proceedings have got somewhat ahead of us, we take some liberties with oar reporter by condensing our own remarks, and saving a couple of pages. We will simply say, that we commended Mr. Burgess's seedling Dahlia and Daphne cneorum; praised the fine seedling Carnations of Dailledouze and Zeller, besides presenting them a handsome silver cup in behalf of the Society; spoke of the Pears from Mr. Skeele; pointed out the beauties of the rare plants presented by Mr. Hamlyn; explained the mode of girdling Mr. Hite's vine to produce early fruit; expatiated on the fine collection of grapes from Mr. Caywood, of Modena, such as the Concord, Diana, Union Village, Montgomery, etc., during which we gave the history of the Montgomery for thirty years past, spoke of its fitness for cultivation in yards, and called upon Mr. Caywood to state the conditions under which he grew it, to which he responded as follows:]
Mr. Caywood stated that the preparation of the soil made for it was good ground, trenched two feet deep, and applied what manure was necessary; is about as late as the Isabella, or later; agrees with Mr. Mead that city yards is the proper place for it. But in Poughkeepsie they are setting it out by hundreds. It is growing there and producing good fruit.
The large Grape from Mr. Trowbridge's grounds, was from an Isabella vine that had first been layered eight feet; next year 8 feet more; and the third year it would not reach, but was brought up in the passage way, and but one bud above ground. The adjoining vines grow common fruit, while this crows large size fruit: its leaves are not lobed or pointed like the Isabella; suppose it to be a freak of nature.
Mr. Mead - Mr. Caywood has now told us about these grapes, and those present can judge for themselves. In protected city yards, the Montgomery Grape can be grown; but all should be satisfied that Grapes are hardy before planting them, since they are to last a hundred years or more; advises Mr. Caywood to sell it for yards or glass. The Golden Chasselas exhibited by Mr. Wells is like it If we can find a foreign vine hardy, and that will ripen its fruit. we shall have made an acquisition. Has tried to grow foreign Grapes in open air, and succeeded well with young vines, but when older, the mildew killed them; and others have had the same experience. In city yards, where protected, and stones and brick become heated, it does well; that is somewhat like a house. Reflected heat from walls is also beneficial Will now take up the regular discussion for the evening: "The cultivation of the Grape in city yards." Propose to commence at the beginning; have not yet done so; can take up side issues again, and discuss the merits of the foreign and native. It remains with you, Mr. Chairman, to call us to order.
Called on Mr. Fuller.
Mr. Fuller - As Mr. Mead calls up the subject of cultivating Grapes in city yards, I will confine my remarks to that I think the subject worthy of the attention of the Brooklyn Horticultural Society. There are thousands of vines planted every year, and not twenty per cent. of them succeed; but the success of the few encourages the masses. All should plant more vines, and encourage a luxury that no family ought to do without. The failures are generally from a bad selection of kinds, and bad training.
For one vine, dig a hole four feet square and two feet deep; put in three-fourths soil, and one fourth well-rotted manure, stirred well together; cover the roots four or five inches deep; can grow grapes in any city yard where there is room and the bud can get to them. The most pimple manner of training is that known as the horizontal arm system. The first year grow a strong large cane by pinching in the laterals; the second year cut down and start two canes about eighteen inches from the ground, rubbing off all other buds; grow two strong canes, and the third year cut them down to four feet in length, and bend one to the right, and the other to the left, horizontally; rub off the buds on the under side of the arms, and grow upright canes from the buds above, which will give from three to four bunches of grapes; on some short-jointed varieties like the Delaware, take out every other bud on the upper side, or the fruit will be crowded. The upright canes from the arms should be kept pinched in, that they may not exceed their limits; this ripens the wood and enlarges the fruit. Ihe fourth year cut these canes down to one strong bud each, from which get other fruiting canes. A vine like this is then considered established.
If we wish to fruit higher up on the trellis, grow the two arms above the first vine, or twine two vines together until the top of the first vine is reached; then, as before, train the horizontal arms, the vine trained above being planted midway between the two lower ones. Borders in city yards are generally too narrow, in which cases the earth underneath the walk should be enriched, or the vine may be planted on the other side of the walk and carried under it, and they will do as well as in a full-width border. Of varieties, the Delaware is the very best The Diana is very fine, and has a peculiar musky aroma, not liked by all The Hartford Prolific is the best early good black grape we have ever seen. Concord is better, but not quite so early. Rebecca is a fine white variety. Allen's Hybrid and Cuyahoga are new white grapes that promise well. These seven varieties will afford much better grapes than are usually eaten here.
Mr. Mead approved of Mr. F.'s remarks, but he did not say enough about the soil; called on Dr. Grant.