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latter part of June, or until fall as the requirement may be, to suit the desires of the propagator, as named in a former part of this article *
ESSENTIALS OF A COOD SINGLE EYE RLANT.
The size of the cane or wood is of less real value than the size and number and maturity of the roots. Though it looks well to see a stout cane in the fall a foot or two long, this is by no means a sure index to the roots, for often a short cane shows but little to the eye, when the same pot shaken out will agreeably surprise the propagator with a large mass of roots, laid in store beneath the soil for the rampant growth of the second year. Another thing that affects the cane and roots is the kind of grape. Thus the Delaware very often has a small cane and small roots in the fall of the first year; and Kellogg's seedling grape a moderate cane, with an excessive growth of roots and exaggerated spongioles. A fair plant is a growth of cane or wood from six inches to two feet, according to the nature of the kind, with at least one or two prominent buds on well ripened wood, and large spreading roots with many fine fibres. The average of kinds is perhaps a foot of cane ripened the first season, eight to fifteen inches length of roots full of fire rootlets. This is a fair success. We have in some extraordinary instances seen five feet growth of cane, and three feet of root, and the roots a mass of fibres. Another essential is the deep brown ripe state of the roots, showing them mature. These being had, the future growth of the plant is sure.
Among the minor arts of propagating, is that of potting plants. When a potted vine is to be repotted, invert it on two or three fingers with the young cane or sprout between the fingers, and gently tap the edge of the pot on the top of a stick stuck in the ground, or the edge of a bench, board or other convenient article at hand, and the young vine with the earth in a ball, the exact shape of the inside of the pot, will slide out of the pot, nnbroken, and rest on the supporting fingers. The new and larger pot being ready and filled to a suitable distance in the bottom with the frozen swamp muck compost, stands prepared to receive the plant, reverse it and put it gently in the large pot and fill in the spaces between the ball of earth and the pot with the frozen swamp muck compost, or other good soil. Do not crowd the added earth too firmly in the pot, nor water it for a few hours, as the water hardens the earth. This is a small item of gardening very essential to success in vines, and should be understood by everybody;
As to the compost or soil to be used on the hardening off tables, a good garden earth, made loose by coarse sand is usually recommended. But we believe that wherever good swamp muck can be had this makes the best material. And this plan in every Northern State is desirable. As soon as the ground is frozen hard in December, and if a fall of a few inches of snow has taken place so much the better, proceed to the muck swamps and dig out as many loads of muck as you think you will need. Draw it to a smooth piece of grass meadow or pasture and spread it over the frozen earth or snow about four or five inches thick. Let it thaw freeze, and be washed by the winter rains. By March 1st it can be used, and will be ready for the following root-growing compost: One third coarse sand, one third loam, and one third frozen swamp muck, to which add a little well rotted horse stable manure. No other mixture, that we have any knowledge of, will give as large roots and vines as this.
If swamp muck cannot be had, the black clay earth, out of a clay swale, dug up and frozen makes good mixture with sand and pulverized charcoal.
yet we have often seen a gentleman and lady puzzled how to get a plant out of one pot and into another, and after digging with much perspiration on a hot day, get it out almost completely torn to pieces. Fig. 35 shows at the right hand side, the upper hand ready to remove the pot and lower hand ready to receive the plant, while both hands are in the act of tapping the pot, edge, on the edge of the bench, and on the left hand (see fig. 35) side, the upper hand has removed the pot and the lower hand holds the plant; and on the bench stands a large pot filled with earth to the dotted line ready to receive the liberated plant into its more capacious cavity.
As to the time of repotting, if the thumb pot or two inch pot is changed April first, to a four inch pot, the middle of May or first of June will be a good time to repot into six inch pots. After that no repotting will pay for the trouble and space the larger pots occupy, if they are to remain in the pots all the season. If May fifteenth is the time of last potting, and they are at once to be set in the vineyard, then June the fifteenth is a good period to set the vines in the prepared ground of the vineyard. With this sug gestion as to time, any other variations can be easily made.
I again call attention to the injury that all vines usually receive from frost while in pots. The philosophy of why they are injured more in pots, than in their sites in the vineyard, will not be enquired into, but the fact admits no doubt. A hard frozen pot, loses most of its roots, and though they may survive, it is with a loss too serious to be "incurred if it can be avoided. Often they never recover from the shock. Hence it is that too many vines sent by the Office of the Agricultural Department and other sources are lost, but with no negligence on the part of those sending them, who despatch them in the best manner; and they arrive with admirable certainty and in good order. But on their arrival, they have been potted as very choice vines, and perhaps started by the fire heat of a kitchen or sitting room, before frosty nights were over, and by the sudden change of a cold north wind are frozen some cold morning, after which they never recover full vigor even if they live. And perhaps instead of being put out in a permanent site as soon as the weather is warm and frosts are over, they are kept in a large pot, all through the season, and the next winter, either frozen out of doors in the pot, to the death of fibre, root, and spongioles; or what is still worse, put into the cellar, there to dry up, get full of mildew at the roots, and if they survive, it is to the disgrace of the stupid old head that says: "Somehow a great many of these new kinds of grapes don't do very well. Perhaps these national distributions are not as profitable as they ought to be.” A decent respect for the least desirable common sense, should teach such recipients of agricultural favors, to pot the vines if received very early in the season; and even let them start by fire heat if they chose, but not lose them by frost; and as soon as frost is over plant the vines carefully in a permanent site, watch their growth and fruit, and report to the office or other suitable public channel the results. No better service can now be done, than for those who have room, and the disposition to set fifty, or one hundred, or more of new varieties in a row, and train on single stakes
about ten feet apart, and publish the result of such fruiting, that we may know which are valuable and which are not.
The reader will construe our wandering into a protest against the abuse of pots for vines. We repeat, if the vines are to stand in pots, trench them in the garden, as one would potatoes, or a row of cabbages. If the distributed vines, when received, or vines sent by friends or from nurseries, were covered deeply in the earth in the garden, so as not only to keep the frost out, but the sun heat out, and then planted with care at the time of setting trees and other plants, it would be found the best way to make them grow well.
SUPPLY OF WATER FOR THE TANK,
This should be ample, and by a stop cock, so that it can run into the tank. The tank saves the expense of the water reservoir, so requisite in green houses and other propagating houses without it; as a second faucet in the tank itself allows hot water to be drawn into the watering pot, to be reduced with cold water to the right temperature, that the plants may be watered with tepid water, which is another requisite of good propagation.
OTHER USES OF THE TANK.
It is apparent that the same tank, or the same kind of tank, may be used for tomato and other plants. In the northern states tomatoes need to be started March or April first, that they may be ready to transplant May or June first. In many sections of the country quite a business is done in supplying plants to farmers and other citizens. With a suitable house, 20 to 100,000 plants are started, and at the proper period are peddled out for thirty to sixty miles in the vicinity, much to the profit of the establishment. Such a retailing of the plants is quite a favor to all concerned; and at least one such establishment should be in each county of every northern state, to give a fair supply of this one fruit. Of roses and other plants of the nursery, we need make no remarks as suited to the tank.
DIFFICULT KINDS TO PROPAGATE.
By the hot flue of brick, by the hot water pipes and the Polmaise system, and other plans, few kinds of grape refuse to swell their buds,, and put out two or more leaves. But, from certain causes, they do not root well, and the leaves dry up and the shoot dies; or the leaves retain a freshness, while the bud shoot below the leaves becomes sodden with water and rots, and the dead shoot falls to the ground. This is one form of "damping off." Of the kinds thus difficult to germinate are the Delaware and Diana, types of the reputed valuable varieties, probably by a favor to them far beyoud a just estimation of their merits, though early and fine flavor. To these we may add the Oporto, American-Hamburg and Henshaw, valuable only for wine; and the Perkins, Dracut, Amber-Bartlett; &c., valuable for earliness. and being hardy.
Now, when a grape is difficult to be rooted, it has been customary to graft the buds on some vine roots, by any of the usual processes of whipgrafting, of which, probably the modes seen in fig. 36 are the best, (see fig. 36). The scion (a) is grafted on the piece of root (b) which has a few root fibres. When pressed together the tenon or tongue (x) slides into the slit, (y)