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tractable kinds, or for a propagation desired to be commenced after the vine has leaved out in the spring.
GRAFTING. Another mode of obtaining plants of any new variety, is by grafting a one year old vine. This is especially applicable to those varieties whose natural roots are feeble, and whose canes are small. Thus a Delaware bud whose roots are at first feeble, and early growth is slow, may be greatly pressed forward by grafting it on an Isabella stock one year old. Rebecca a slow growing variety can be made to grow rapidly if grafted on the rampant roots of the American Hamburg or the stock of a Kellog's Seedling, whose roots are large enough to draw nutriment from any soil. But this is rather an art of fruiting well, rather than multiplying vines by propagation; but is worthy the attention of any one who fancies a variety, that grows poorly. The best way to do ihis kind of grafting is to dig up the one year old vine in the spring, which for a short time suspends the overflow of sap. Let the roots dry a little, it won't do them any harm. Then graft it with the slow growing 'bud, and set it out, and the graft will be almost sure to grow, and make a stout plant.
Grafting the grape we are told in the books, and by some cultivators, is a very easy process, and so it is so far as the mere joining the bud or scion to the stock is concerned. But the making the grafts grow is practically quite another matter, unless the vine is dug up, which cannot be done with safety to old vines. The overflow of sap prevents the union of the scion to the stock of the old vine in most cases where a large root is grafted. We have tried a score of ways warranted not to fail and found none that we can recommend as at all worthy of comparison in success with other fruits. But the best plan we can name is, to dig up a root, or rather lay bare a root of an old vine, which it is desired to rejuvenate by a new variety, and split it as it lies in the earth, and put in quite a number of scions at right angles to the root. But even by this plan we practically are experienced in the failure of the whole of them, the vine contemptuously refusing to nurture our delightful new kind, and clings to its old late fruit bearing top, as if to spite our efforts.
With all that anybody can say, we advise every one to be very slow to trust a valuable bud of a new kind to an old stock. As before said, one or two year old vines, if dug up entirely out of ground, and suffered to lie in the shade twenty-four hours and then grafted, and set in a large pot, and put on the tank or propagating table, or over a common manure hot bed, are almost certain to grow. And, on the whole, having been so often snubber so rudely by grape vine grafts, we recommend no other way to graft, except the whip-grafting before alluded to. If, however, grafting an old vine is to be done, do it in the fall and cover with earth all winter, or early in February or March, so that union may take place before the sap flows.
Sun Boltom Heat. A certain amateur friend of mine sends me the following sketch, fig. 39, as an "item for your article on grape propagation.” “In it, (see fig. 39), (a) is the table, and (b) the low hot bed form glass cover, and (c) is an excavation made very tight, and heat by the glass front (d). But my friend and I differ. vI think it won't give heat enough, and he thinks it will, for sun propagation in May or June. I think a cold, rainy, sunless spell of ten days will defeat the plan; he thinks it won't. So there we are.
Another correspondent says: "Your herbaceous grafting last year did me the favor of securing a number of fine vines." So I thought once; but the very mischief of it is, I can't make the herbaceous, little darlings do as I want them to, so I have concluded to say nothing about them; for one year they grow, and the next not one little pesky thing of a bud will grow; and a large, fair bud will dry up with remarkable cool impudence, just as if I liked the fun of experiments for nothing. But, as they are now and then successful, it can be attempted with a lateral or side shoot cut off while yet green and tender, and only a few days old, two or three inches long, and grafting it in as if it were an August bud, put in a peach or apple, or other fruit tree, a process well understood everywhere. June and July are the best months to succeed. Sometimes they grow best when so tender : that they hardly are old enough to bear handling. We have had a Delaware lateral thus budded in, grow five feet the same season, it was put in an Isabella; and “then again it grew by not growing at all,” as the Irishman said.
Another letter asks: “What about your herbaceous buds on the tank? Do they grow ?" Yes, but not very well. “They are said to grow well near Rochester, N. Y., which is near you." Rochester is about a hundred miles off, and I cannot go there to learn their secrets, if they have any. I have heard that many thousand buds, when they have just formed, or little green cuttings an inch or two long, cut off when a few days or weeks old, have been forced to grow; and rumor says that others have had a fair suco cess in these green buds and cuttings. Mr. D. says the only secret is to set them, as in fig. 30, keep them shaded, and admit plenty of warm air. But the truth is, generally, these buds or cuttings do not succeed very well. Or, if they do, the plan is not very extensively known. We have tried them in various ways, and have never made more than one out of five cuttings of this kind grow.
Mr. asks “why can I not use manure beds for heat in propagating the grape ?" I reply you can; but the heat is uncertain, and at the best, will not be hot enough over three weeks, so that, at least two or three beds are to be made for each set of cuttings. If it is desired to have much labor and uncertain heat, then use manure hot bed heat, and see English books for manure heated houses. The manure boxes and pots, named so often in this article, contain manure enough for its ammonia and stimulus, and save all the laborious expense and trouble of these beds.
Mr. — was written to by me for valuable information, and replies by a letter full of darkness, and not one of the ideas I requested him to give. The following is a luminous passage, “I obscrve you are much in favor of propagating tanks. They form a very good medium for bottom heat when properly constructed, but it is not, perhaps, the best mode for propagating pits. About twenty years ago these tanks were very much in vogue with London nurserymen, but were not found to suit well, unless put up with considerable care. There not being one in for the purpose of grape
culture, would, in my opinion, argue the contrary, to a want of progress in our friends." There, in the darkness, he leaves me. The "progress" I or the public would make by such instructive letters, would be slow indeed. The tanks "twenty years ago,” were tanks to heat the air, and not the direct heating of the table. “Our friends” have found out lately that tanks are a progress. Pray tell us the “perhaps" “ best way," for I am not able to find it, either in hands, or anybody else's. The day for this mysterious, I know a wonderful secret that you do not, is past. If any one can instruct me, I will gladly receive it. The best I know the public are welcome to.
Another says, “An inch of two year old wood at the foot of a cutting, makes it almost sure to grow.” A very certain fact; but few out of thousands of such cuttings can be had.
Still another asks “what is the best plan for many hundreds of cuttings ?”
This reminds me that this article will not be complete unless I say that a little reflection will show any one that layers and other slow ways canpot multiply vines fast enough. That in loc lities where cuttings put out in vineyards fail, vineyards can be supplied with vines only by cuttings in beds out of doors, or there must be established a propagating house. And the propagating house will grow more and more in favor until it occupies the attention of every large vineyardist, and makes a specialty for a few in every locality for the favorable growth and dissemination of vines.
A friend asks “what is the cost of a propagating house, tank, and one of Weathered & Cherevoy's stoves, to heat the tank.” I reply, a house of the size and shape figured in figure 5, and roof similar to figure 6, was built near me for one hundred dollars, stove and pipe to connect with tank, forty dollars; common cheap glass used. Such a house can be built when lumber is fifteen dollars per thousand, for one hundred and fifty dollars, and well made at that.
Our city friends have a way of making green houses, graperies and con, servatories and propagating pits, very costly. And where lumber, work, and iron is costly, they must be so. Their country cousins” have a cheaper fashion. A house similar to fig. 4, cost with Hitchen & Co. stove $275, to $300. In cities would cost $500 to $700 probably, with but little if any more practical use. Cost of every thing of this sort is varied by so many mere relative contingents that I wish to say but little on the 'subject. If an architect is to have his twenty-five or thirty cents on every dollar expended, if the iron mechanic is allowed to take his bill of cost and double it, the carpenter double the cost of lumber, work and time, oni his, and so on, the cost can reach any figure that will be paid. And to a man in a large business and ample means, this may be the best way, for he gets a good house and has it built in the best manner, by the best men; thus it is a gain often to pay well for the talent he employs. And the citizen limited in his means, who counts carefully every dime, from necessity, must not feel that the figures set by all those more competent men, are his limit. He can get a rougher house, requiring more care, and not as well adapted to its end; but yet doing him good service, at the cost of much inconvenience, at a figure so small as to be thought impossible to do the