could not be refuted. This doctrine was very unpopular with many growers at that time, but we have seen them since come over to our side one by one, until we think that very few doubt that Mr. Rogers has produced grapes which are the result of crossing our native varieties with the vitis vinifera of Europe. Within a few years, the so-called Rogers hybrids have been spread through the country, and some of them have acquired an enviable reputation. Probably the final verdict will be that the three or four best kinds should be preserved and cultivated, and that the less valuable numbers should be thrown aside. The best, and one already planted largely for wine, is the Salem, a noble grape, showing evident marks of both its foreign and native parentage, and with us this last year enduring the unfavorable changes of weather as well as any other out-door vine. Messrs. Underhill of Croton Point, and Moore of Rochester, N. Y., have each produced hybrid grapes, of which we are compelled to say that they seem almost too good. We mean by this that we fear they contain so large an amount of the foreign element in their composition as to make their success in our climate a matter of doubt. One of them at least, the Diana-Hamburg, a magnificent grape per se, is wholly unfit for this part of the country, losing in our garden every leaf by mildew before midsummer.

We used to think that the path to sure and immediate success in the production of new varieties of permanent value lay through hybridizing the native and the foreign grape ; but theoretical objections, as well as the great triumphs of experimenters like Mr. Bull and Dr. Grant, who have worked in a wholly different way, have led us to doubt the soundness of our former belief. The objection a priori to hybridizing is the strong probability that the hybrids produced will not only derive from their foreign parents those properties of flavor, richness, and size which make the fruit of the vitis vinifera se attractive, but also inherit a constitution which can never resist mildew and rot, and make headway against the sudden and violent atmospheric changes to which our climate is subject. The better the hybrid is, – that is, the more nearly it resem

, bles its foreign parent, — the more likely is it to have a tender constitution, unfitting it for our vineyards.

On the other hand, by direct breeding, or, in other words, by planting a vast number of seeds of some good grape, allowing the resulting seedlings to bear fruit, selecting the one in a thousand that gives signs of superior quality and shows no loss of vigor, planting its seeds, and so continuing, grapes have been obtained of the highest rank, and yet as hardy as their parents. The Concord, and, better still, the seedlings from it, are instructive instances of brilliant results obtained by direct breeding.

No one should infer from the praise we bestow upon certain excellent grapes that the end has been reached. We have not yet a perfect grape. No variety has been produced which has in the requisite degree the three prime qualities of hardiness, early ripening, and fruit of high character. We have many hardy grapes that are of poor quality, many excellent grapes that are tender, and many of the highest class that are both tender and tardy in ripening.

The production of new varieties of any fruit opens a tempting field for experiment, and the rarity of high success makes the prizes drawn all the more valuable. Whoever works by hybridizing, or by direct planting, procures for himself a fund of the purest enjoyment, and in some exceptional cases gains a large pecuniary reward. The man who shall create a grape as hardy as the Concord, ripening in Massachusetts without fail before the 10th of September, and at the same time of the best quality when tried by the highest standard, will have added to the absolute wealth of the country an amount incalculable. Major Adlum, who introduced the Catawba grape, was fond of saying that he had done his country better service than if he had paid off the national debt, - no idle boast, if we consider what the Catawba grape has done directly, and to what indirect results it has led.

To sum up, then, all the varieties of grapes we can recommend for out-door cultivation in this region may be counted on the fingers. The Concord and one or two of its seedlings, the Israella, Diana, and Delaware in very many localities, possibly the Adirondack, the Iona wherever it can be made to ripen, and - NO. 224.



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two or three of the most thoroughly proved Rogers hybrids, comprise all we can advise a beginner to try.

The Rebecca and Allen's Hybrid among light-colored grapes, and the Creveling and Union Village among purple kinds, will succeed in favored places ; but some of them are tender,

; and all are more or less subject to disease. The Isabella is almost discarded in New England. The Hartford Prolific, Clinton, and a number of all kinds hardly removed from the native grape, are not worth cultivating. Some will dissent

. from this opinion so far as it condemns the Hartford, but we feel sure that this kind must soon give way to varieties which are equally early and of greatly superior quality. The Dana and Nonantum grapes are two recent acquisitions of Massachusetts origin, but as yet are not well known. They give signs of being valuable kinds, and no pomologist has had greater success in producing new fruits than their originator, Mr. Francis Dana.

We do not know that any radical change of opinion in regard to soil and cultivation has taken place since we last discussed these subjects in this Review.

Success by a peculiar method or in a peculiar location too often blinds a vine-grower to the merits of a different system or a better soil. Hence there are almost as many methods and theories as there are vignerons. If any change has been wrought in grape-growing, we think it is in the matter of deep planting and high manuring. The school that taught us to trench the ground deep and stimulate the growth of the vine with strong manures has had its day, and more rational coun sels prevail. The results of deep trenching and high manur ing are, so immediate and striking, that the beginner is often led astray, and repents when too late. Whoever plants a vineyard should remember that present success may be bought by failure at no distant day, and should consider too that in planting a vine he is working, not for a year or for ten years, but for centuries. More vines have been ruined, we believe, in this cold climate of ours by being planted too deep and by subsequent over-stimulation than by all other causes combined. Vines should not be planted deep, because the soil in our short summer rarely gets warmed more than a foot below

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the surface; and they should not be overfed, because high manuring causes a rank growth of wood that ripens imperfectly and is as often winter-killed when protected in winter as when exposed.

Any moderately good soil, dry and not too rich, will give good crops of grapes, provided the location and aspect are favorable. The Delaware is perhaps the only variety that demands a deep, rich soil. In poor land it not only fails, but it can hardly be kept alive. On the other hand, we have Concord vines growing moderately well in the gravel of a dry side hill, where the white bean, the very pariah of vegetables, refuses to grow at all. The Rebecca does best in a clay soil of moderate richness; while the Diana needs a poor soil to check its rampant growth and enable it to ripen its wood. Enriching the soil will increase the size of the Concord grape, but at the same time the quality of the fruit will be impaired.

We have in mind as we write a vineyard of choice varieties, the owner of which made preparations for planting by trenching to the depth of two and a half feet, and enriching the soil with every conceivable fertilizer he could obtain. The result was immense growth of vine and enormous showy clusters for a few years, and then disease leading to a gradual failure both of vines and fruit.

It cannot be repeated too often, that the main object of the vigneron in our cold climate should be to get well-ripened, healthy wood that will stand the winter unprotected. No vine that is forced or over-stimulated can produce such wood, and this is why caution in the use of manures is necessary.

For established vines, the Delaware alone excepted, wood ashes and bonedust in moderate quantities are the strongest fertilizers we are disposed to employ. These contain all the inorganic food necessary for the growth of the grape, and do not stimulate the vine to excess. The insane policy of cutting off the upper tier of vine-roots, laid down in some foreign manuals as essential to success, has never been adopted here, and never will be. Any procedure that tempts the roots to go more than a foot below the surface is ill advised. The number of vines that should be grown upon an acre, and consequently the space that each vine shall cover, are still disputed points, and the consideration of these leads directly to the questions of training and pruning.

After reading almost everything that has been published of late years on these topics, and after testing carefully numerous methods of training with a great many varieties, we have come to have certain fixed ideas with regard to the proper distance between vines and the closeness with which they should be pruned. We believe that great mistakes are made in crowding too many vines into a given space, in cramping the growth of each individual vine, and in pruning too close. We do not belong to what may be called in a double sense the natural school of vignerons, who advocate allowing grape-vines to straggle at will over the tops of trees; but at the same time we do not think that the extremely close, systematic pruning laid down in many manuals will ever answer for most of our vigorous native kinds.

The number of vines planted on an acre in France varies from one thousand to more than thirty thousand. Here, the testimony of the most experienced growers assures us that the smaller of these numbers is too large. The growth of some of our vines strikes a foreigner with amazement, annual shoots sixteen feet long not being uncommon. This strong growth makes it necessary to give our vigorous vines room enough to spread. If the rows are six feet apart, the distance between the vines should not be less than twelve feet for the Concord, nor less than sixteen for vines so rampant as the Rogers No. 15.

Many cases are on record where every other vine in a vineyard has been removed, and a year or two later half the remaining vines taken away, with good effect. We have no space to discuss the various methods of training and pruning now in vogue. The simplest is generally the best, and the simplest and easiest is that of a horizontal arm near the ground, with upright canes, which are cut back to three or four buds every year after fruiting. We say three or four buds, not two, as most of the text-books teach ; for it is beginning to be known that in many vines the best clusters are produced from the third or fourth eye above the old wood. We believe this is especially true of the Diana and the Concord, and in pruning vines of these varieties we are careful to leave bearing wood enough.

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