There are various ways in which planting can be badly done. The soil may be made too "fat" with manure, and the Vines put in loosely. Further, they may be planted late and pruned back, so that bleeding ensues. In this connection the reader is referred to what has been said on preceding pages about these dangers.
Ground vineries are often the precious possession of people who are away from home all day, and have no one on the place on whom to rely for giving any necessary attention. In the morning the sky is cloudy, and storms threaten. The grower has visions of fierce gusts and heavy showers blowing through his ventilators, and shuts the latter down. The weather changes after he has got into the train, as the weather has always persisted in doing since business people first took to gardening, and the sun comes out fiercely. Then those unhappy Vines are scorched up. I am afraid there is no certain road here, for the most careful weather expert may be deceived sometimes; but in a general way the forecasts in the morning papers are good, and may be followed. Beyond this, it may be suggested that provision should be made for ventilators on each side of all span-roof structures, and in doubtful weather those on the lee side should be opened a little, while those on the windward side are kept shut. Further, the sternest resolution must be come to, and not only come to but adhered to, for early morning ventilation.
Circumstances must rule to some extent in this matter, and one very important consideration is the form of the vinery. In the long, low structures usually associated with the name of ground vinery, the best plan - indeed, the only practicable one - is to plant the Vine in such a way that the rod can run along in a horizontal position under the light, and fruiting laterals be trained on it at right angles. I have seen a Vine planted in the centre of such a structure, shortened hard in the winter, two buds selected, and shoots taken from them in opposite directions towards the ends of the house. Another plan is to put a Vine in at one end, and let the rod run towards the other end; or put one in at each end, and let them meet in the middle. It is not very material which plan is adopted, so long as this point is kept in mind: The rod must be at least 1 foot from the glass, and the laterals shall not be nearer to each other on opposite sides of the rod than 9 inches, or on the same side of the rod than 18 inches. It may, however, happen to be necessary to keep the fruiting shoots all on one side of the rod, in which case they may be 1 foot apart. Particulars of spur pruning, which is the system that ought to be adopted, have been given in previous pages. Careful attention to stopping is necessary. Without it, the shoots may easily become so tangled a mass that the fruit has no chance.
There is one consideration which the person who wants to indulge in a ground vinery must always keep in view, and it is this: Owing to the very limited room, routine work, particularly tying the shoots and thinning the bunches, has to be carried on under difficulties; therefore have a structure made in sections that can be opened so easily and completely that any part of the Vine may be got at without trouble. Really, every section ought to open freely. The figures given herewith show both a lean-to and a span.
In the former case a low back wall or fence may be utilised, and the lights sloped from it to a still lower wall in front. The span-roof is independent of existing walls. It is made of wood and glass throughout, for the sides are of woodwork, and the lights, which are hinged to a ridge board, rest on them. These wooden sides should have a foundation of a layer of loose, i.e. unmortared, bricks, in order to preserve them from damp. The structure should be in a sunny spot, the ends running north and south, and the pitch of the lights rather sharp, to bring them plane to the sun's rays.