is especially the case in single glazing, where extra fires
must be kept up to keep out the frost. It is not
necessary for me to say here that frost has a material
16 THE FORCING GARDEN.
and additional influence upon everything exposed to
it, when wet or damp more than when it is dry. The
practical man will know at once how to appreciate the
double glazing above the single, on account of the
under glazing being preserved dry, which no single
method can do.
Single glazing may be employed for all cool
orchard houses, vineries, cool plant houses, &c. ; but
I recommend all forcing houses and tender exotic
plant houses to be double-glazed on one of the plans
illustrated and described in this work.
PLANTING VINES. PREPARATION OF THE BORDER.
IT is very necessary to make a good preparation before
planting vines in the first instance ; but the way it
is to be done is a matter on which great diversity of
opinion exists. I have known many vines ruined by
packing strong stimulants upon their roots. It is
quite a mistake to plant young vines, in the first in-
stance, in undecomposed animal matter. It is another
mistake, too, merely to make a vine border of only
about six or eight feet in width and then to confine the
roots to that limited space, composed, it may be, of very
fatty matter, burying it five or six feet deep. Let any
man examine the roots of vines so treated and he will
find that they are mere fibreless channels except at
the extremities, which possess a few spongioles of a
healthy nature simply because they have saved them-
selves from the surcharge of the acid compounds and
were buried so deep that some purifying influences
could reach them and render them sufficiently nutritious
for the real benefit of the vines. On examination of
the roots of vines of five or more years so situated, it
will be seen that the young fibrous roots the life of the
whole plant, and on which are found the spongioles or
feeders have made their way to those parts of the bed
where less of the superabounding fatty matter is to
18 THE FORCING GARDEN.
be found, such parts being of a more intermediate con-
dition, and where the sun and air exert their influence.
It will be found on examination that the roots of a
vine planted inside a house where the bed of the house
is made of the best material from the front to the
back, if the vines are planted at the front the roots will
crowd and cling to the front wall, and creep along the
wall in search of a way out and out they will get if
possible. And why ? Because they love the sun and
free air. Now go outside and carefully search the sur-
face of the ground an inch or two deep, and if the vines
have been planted, say, five, seven, or ten years, you
will find the fibrous roots twenty or thirty feet from
the main stem, a little under the surface ; and if there
should by any means be a common sewer, foul ditch,
pool, or anything of that sort near, it will be found that
the spongioles have dipped their mouths only, into the
contents just at the edges, unless they are half dry, or
nearly so, then they may be further advanced but, as
a rule, it will be observed that no really sound roots of
a hard and durable kind can exist in a deep mass of
rich fatty matter where no sun, heat, or oxidising air
can get to them.
Moisture is absolutely necessary for the well-being
of the vine ; but to surcharge the tender fibre with it
will ultimately be its death. Besides, the mischief
will show itself in various forms such as mildewy
shanking of the berries, and, finally, general weakness.
I have lately had to do with some fine vines, twenty or
more years old, which are planted on a hill facing the
south. The soil is naturally poor, with a narrow vine-
border of about six feet or so wide. They are planted
outside, and next to the border comes a broad carriage
PLANTING VINES. 19
road, and beyond that nothing but a poor, half-kept
grass lawn fifty or sixty feet wide ; yet more healthy
and vigorous vines, bearing as fine fruit as can be
wished for, cannot be found. They are free from mil-
dew or any kind of disease, notwithstanding a most
unfavourable season. I attribute all this, not to a richly
prepared border, but to the influence of the sun upon the
roots lying under the gravel road immediately in front
of the vinery, thus preserving a healthy and sound
fibre ; and it is impossible to come to any other con-
Now I think it will be evident that what is wanted
before planting vines, is a good preparation on a broad
scale. From' my own experience I do not find a deep
and superabundantly rich fatty matter confined to a
limited space answer best ; but that the ground for an
unlimited space should be made good by manuring it
well with cow-dung (not horse-dung, for that will
generate fungi of various kinds according to what the
natural soil is composed of), a good proportion of it, with
some bones broken up and well mixed with the soil
for a foot deep. This should cover a space well ex-
posed to the sun; and this space, be it what it may,
should not be shaded by trees or shrubs. Grass lawns
will not much prevent the sunshine, and I am fully
convinced that a gravel drive in front of a vinery is
not an impediment to the success of vines, but, on the
contrary, beneficial, because gravel wards off the wet
and attracts the rays of the sun in a manner altogether
different from mere garden soil.
If such a method is employed in connection with
the ramifying roots of vines after the soil has been pre-
pared according to the above directions, and the gravel
20 THE FORCING GARDEN.
well rolled, it will form a most beneficial medium for
conducting heat to the roots. Of course there may be
a border of, say, six or eight feet, immediately in front
of the house and from the main stems of the vines ;
although I once had a vinery which produced fine
healthy crops of fruit where no such border existed
and with nothing in front of it but a broad gravel
walk and a lawn. The direct influence of the sun
upon the roots of the vine is no doubt one (if not
the chief) cause of their doing well and producing good
sound wood with fine coloured fruit free from dis-
ease ; hence the advantage of my vine-border or pro-
tector. (See illustration.)
On examination we find that all creeping or climb-
ing plants live near to the surface of the ground, i.e.
the roots run under the surface not many inches deep,
and the vine is one of these. Let this fact suffice.
The vine border should be fairly drained, but the vine
should have some sure means of getting a sufficient
supply of liquid food, and this should be of a nutritious
character. Now cow-dung worked into the soil will
supply this by being surrounded with the water which
the rains give, this being more retentive of moisture than
stable manure. Again, if vines are watered once or
twice, during the early spring and summer, with cow-
dung diluted with water so as .to form a liquid, it will
prove a source of great benefit to them. I am of
opinion that guano proves a frequent cause of
The planting of the vine inside the house has
elicited many advocates, with volumes of arguments
both for and against it. In some cases it succeeds,
and in some it does not ; but I have known only one or
PLANTING VINES. 21
two really good instances of success by planting inside
the house, while I have known several failures.
Now, some may ask, what difference is there be-
tween planting vines inside a vinery, and covering the
outside border with glass as I recommend in my ' pro-
tector ' ? A great deal, is my reply ; and, first of all, a
deeply prepared bed must of necessity be made, con-
sisting of a rich fatty matter, or rather it is so generally,
which I can prove is not necessary, for the vine, like all
fast creepers and climbers, does not run deep into
the soil unless the roots cannot otherwise get the
nourishment which they prefer ; and if they are
compelled to go deep for it, the result is a defect in the
state of the fibre ; hence so many failures. Secondly,
no direct rays of the sun can get at the roots, nor
any fertilising air to harden and solidify those chan-
nels attached to the stem which are necessary for the
present and future health and longevity of the vine.
I am able to prove this by a multitude of facts within
my own experience, extending over a period of forty
years. It is unquestionably the effect of the sun and
air playing directly upon the roots of vines that
develops a healthy state in them, and when these
organs are in a healthy state the branches will be so
too. As I have already said, and also proved, when
the roots are buried deep in a mass of rich and fatty
matter, where no direct rays of the sun can come to
them, they will be spongy instead of solid, clean, and
firm. Thirdly, no proper method of applying or
regulating the necessary supply of liquid moisture to
the roots according to their wants can be adopted.
But when vines are planted so that their roots can
run outside into soil prepared as I have described, they
22 THE FORCING GARDEN.
get both sun and air and moisture as they require it.
Then the ' protector ' will form the desideratum for
regulating the superfluous moisture during the winter,
and possesses the advantage that it can be removed
when the spring comes, so that the roots can get all
the benefits arising from the full play of all three
elements. Here then can be seen the difference
between planting vines inside the house and pre-
venting the roots getting outside by walls. I have
known several failures of young vineries caused solely
through this, and where they do not immediately fail,
it is by reason of a great deal of labour in watering
and artificial manure, or else failure would prove in-
evitable. Those who intend planting vineries for
forcing houses should plant them inside the houses, or
rather, let the stems be inside of the front wall and the
roots outside. This is easily done by small arches
turned in the front wall under the surface of the bed
WINTER PRUNING- THE VINE.
The manner of pruning the vine depends chiefly
upon the constitution of the plant. Some prune on
the long-spur and some upon the short-spur, whilst
others do so on the long-rod plan, and each of these
may be equally good. The long-rod pruning can only
be adopted when the vines are very strong, and it
is known that this method can be safely employed
annually without deterioration, or ultimately causing
a failure of the vines.
Either of the two former methods may be adopted
annually, and some experienced gardeners always
prune on the short-spur and get good crops, while
PRUNING THE VINE.
others adopt the long-spur with similar results. But
the secret of success in both cases lies in the strength
of the vines, and the management of them during the
formation of the young wood the preceding summer.
In some cases close cutting the spur or the young
wood to one eye will, to some extent, prove a loss as
regards fruit the following season. This will happen
in cases where the vines are too thick, and where,
during the previous summer, there was an insufficient
supply of light and air for the young and early growth,
and where the laterals were stopped too soon. The
FIG. 10. FIG. 11.
SECTION OF GRAPE VINES, WINTER AND SUMMER PRUNED.
References to vines. No. 10, alternate long-rod pruning. No. 11, long-spur pruning,
a a ; B B, rod short-spur pruning ; c c, laterals that have borne fruit, to be cut at
d ; E, successioual lateral to c , to be cut off at line /.
cause of failure in such cases arises from the imperfect
development of the bud or eye. The long-spur method
is attended with more certainty as regards the crop,
from the fact that under all circumstances the second
and third eyes from the base of the last year's growth
are the proper fruit buds ; and while the base-bud will
give fruit, the others will give finer and a greater num-
ber of bunches to each eye.
24 THE FORCING GARDEN.
Now a difficulty will present itself to the novice, in
this way. If I prune this lateral, leaving two or three
eyes this season, where shall I be next year from the
leader? Well, you see, here is a base-eye left. Now,
as soon as the fruit is formed, and you have selected
the best developed bunch of the two or three upon the
second or third eye (and it can be easily distinguished
which will be the finest bunch as soon as they are in
flower), divest the spur of all after-growth as soon as
the flowering is over, and leave none upon the spur
but what are really wanted for the following season,
and encourage the base-bud growth as much as possible.
Do not stop it till it is a foot in length, then this will
be just in the same position to give fruit spurs as was
the one preceding it and which is bearing fruit, and so
it goes on successively year after year. It will always
be found that the first bud or eye is less prominent
than the one above it, and that the third one will be
even more developed than either of the other two.
This one and those above it are the best fruit eyes.
The time for pruning the vine is a matter of im-
portance. It may be done as soon as the leaf turns
yellow and begins to fall, but no pruning should be
done to a vine in a house much after Christmas ; while
for vines which have to be forced, the pruning must be
done before that time. In all vine-pruning the weak
spray stuff should be cut out clean, or to one eye if
necessary, to reserve that one for a supply of wood for
the coming season. Never allow too much young growth
to remain on young vines to fruit at one time ; judg-
ment must be exercised, and an acquaintance with the
constitution of the vine is necessary to understand this.
I have known young vines ruined by allowing too much
PRUNING THE VINE. 25
of the preceding year's wood to remain on the leaders.
If it is, say, three years old and has made vigorous
growth, which is generally the case the first five or six
years after planting, not more than three or four feet
of young wood should be left to fruit on the leaders at
a time, from two years after planting till the vine is five
or six years old, or until it has been planted so long ;
and the laterals must be allowed to bear only one
bunch of fruit each up to that age. In these days of
advanced horticulture I find vines frequently trained
just one half too thick in most houses. The conse-
quence of this is premature or unripe wood, which
results in a partial or complete failure of the crops,
mildew, &c. .
No vine leaders should be trained thicker or closer
together than two feet and a half, then the ripening and
oxidising influences of the sun and air can get at the
young wood and ripen it to perfection. To know when
this is the case, examine the cut when the winter prun-
ing is done, and if the wood is matured and as it should
be, to ensure a good crop of fruit next season, it will be
solid and pithless ; but if not properly ripened, it will
then be brown in the centre and possess some pith.
Always use a keen-edged, thin pruning-knife, and make
the cut at right angles, or as nearly so as you can, and
cut half an inch above the eye.
SUMMER PRUNING THE VINE.
This is frequently done in an indifferent manner,
but I am of opinion that success depends more upon
the summer than upon the winter pruning ; for, if vines
are not judiciously handled during the summer growth,
26 THE FORCING GARDEN.
the wood will not mature itself, as I have before re-
marked, and then, let the winter pruning be what it may,
and let it be done ever so well, the results will be
either a partial or an entire failure in what might have
been a prime crop of well-grown fruit.
As soon as the fruit shows itself sufficiently to
select the bunches for ripening, divest the vine of all
the laterals, and stop such as are left on for fruiting,
at one eye above the bunch ; but never stop the
leaders till they have advanced to the limits of the
house, nor even then if it can be possibly avoided. It
is bad policy in Grape growing to stop the young wood
too soon, and also to allow it to grow too thick. A vine
should be one leaf thick above the fruit and no more.
This is all that is required for a shade to the fruit, and
no more must be allowed if you want well matured
wood for fruiting next year.
All laterals arising after the first stopping should
be frequently removed, and no young wood allowed to
remain but what is absolutely useful for the ensuing
season for fruiting. It is far better to remove old
leaders after the third season than to let them remain,
and to substitute a new leader. In cases where the
vines are strong a new leader can be well trained inter-
mediately, in two seasons, the whole length of a roof
sixteen or twenty feet upwards. A leader will do this
in one season if the vine is strong ; it is not how-
ever advisable to allow it to remain the whole length
made in one season, but to cut it back one half at
least, and the next season it may remain the whole
length of the roof, when the old leader may be cut
out clean to the bottom.
THE GRAPE VINE. 27
FORCING THE VINE.
The Grape vine is a subject that will bear a high
degree of heat, but to apply it properly requires some
little care. In its natural habitats it has the advan-
tage of a progressive heat advancing gradually from
50 to 100, and even above that temperature. Now if
a vine is suddenly introduced from, say, 30 or 40 into
a heat of 70 or 80, the probability is that some of the
eyes will prove abortive, some of them will prematurely
burst, while others -the less matured ones will not
break at all. In forcing the vine, commence with a
temperature of, say, 50 for a week, then raise it 5, and
advance 5 more till it is 75, and when the berries
begin to swell 80 may be maintained during the day-
time till the fruit is full grown, when a fall of a few
degrees will not matter.
As soon as the berries begin to colour, admit air
both day and night, keeping up a temperature of 75
or 80 by day, and one of 55 or 60 by night. The
sudden fall of 20 by night will materially promote the
colouring of the fruit ; in fact, you cannot colour Grapes
well unless the night air as well as the day air is
admitted. This brings down the temperature, and the
low temperature thickens the juices, which get oxi-
dised by virtue of it playing well round the fruit,
through the agency of the tire-heat, thus giving a
vitality to it which is constantly supplied and quick-
ened by the heat during the day and night. Many
people are afraid of admitting the night air, and think
the fruit will get a chill, but it is not so. If the fire-
heat is kept up, that is, a good heat, with an abundance
28 THE FORCING GARDEN.
of air both night and day, it will be found the only
sure way of colouring Grapes.
THINNING OUT THE BERRIES.
There is no doubt that frequently too much of this
is done. In thinning out the berries care must be
taken so as not to maim the limbs too much, for if this
should happen the bunch will suffer from the check to
the free circulation of the sap to those berries left for
perfection. I think that some of the defects which
manifest themselves in various ways may be attributed
to this thinning out too much. There is no doubt
whatever but this is the chief cause why Grapes do not
colour so well as people frequently look for.
There are some circumstances connected with Grape
growing under which too much thinning out of the
berries will conduce very much to a want of colour ; for
instance, through injudicious management of the early
forcing of the Grape, an imperfect admission of air or
bad air, insufficient light, an uncongenial state of the
roots, a want of moisture during the perfecting of the
berries, or a want of the sun's influence upon the
border or ground in which the vines are growing, &c.
where any or all of these circumstances meet together,
combined with too much handling and maiming of the
limbs of the bunch, the result will certainly be defect
in colour, shanking off, &c.
The thinning out of the berries should take place
as soon as they are about the size of a Sweet Pea, not
before, nor much after ; and all the thinning out should
be done at once.
THE GRAPE VINE. 29
ON THE USE OF LIQUID MANURE.
Liquid manure may in most cases be given to vines
once or twice during the summer, but I am of opinion
that the kind to be used is very clearly indicated. I
consider that guano is not good, as it may cause mildew.
There is nothing better, if so good, as diluted cow-dung
or sheep-dung. This should be given to weak vines
as soon as they have made enough wood to show the
bunch, and if they are strong it may be given to them
as soon as the fruit is thinned out. One or two good
soakings with this may be given during the advance of
the fruit to maturity, but not after it begins to colour.
The whole of the ground containing the roots of the
vines should be saturated with this liquid manure.
THE LATE VINERY.
Plate 12 shows the roof of a good late vinery at
an angle of 45, which may or may not be double-
glazed ; but for keeping late Grapes through the winter
I advise to double-glaze such houses. The advantages
are obvious : first, double-glazing prevents condensation
of the vapour arising from the warmer air of the
interior upon the glass below, and consequently upon
the fruit ; and secondly, the double glass maintains a
more even temperature, for, by a free circulation of
fresh air, and a little fire heat to warm the pipes G,
no mildew can settle upon the bunches, nor other ill
effects arise from long keeping.
In this case, as in that of the early vinery, the
border protector, c, will be quite necessary from
November until March, when the glass may be removed
THE FORCING GARDEN.
for the summer, at which time the border and roots of
the vines will get all the genial influences of the
summer rains aild oxidising influences of the air,
which is of some importance, though little is thought
about this matter. This is one of the chief causes why
vines planted outside and where the ground is acted
upon by the full rays of the sun thrive so much better
than they do inside. As I have said before, the full
influence of the Sun upon the roots- is as essential for
FIG. 12. SECTION OF LATE VTNEHY, FACING WEST, AT AN ANGLE OF 45.
[Reference to plan. a, the back wall ; B, the roof ; c. the border protector ; d, the
openings along the front to admit air (these consist of my sliding shutters) ; E,
the ventilation of same sliding shutters as the front, but larger ; //, the vine
border and ground prepared under the house ; G, one flow-and-return hot-water
the well-being of the vine as it is for the branches ; in
other words the warmth of the sun for the ground
where the roots are is absolutely necessary, and when
planted inside the house it can never come to them
well. I have seen and have before mentioned the good
effects of the sun's influence upon the roots of the
The late vinery should be provided with means of
applying heat when it is wanted, for sometimes our
THE GRAPE VINE. 31
summer weather, and generally the autumn weather,
is so uncongenial that in some parts it is doubtful if a
crop of late Grapes can be ripened without some arti-
ficial means; and almost invariably a little fire is
necessary from the month of November till they are
cut, to prevent black mildew and to preserve the fruit
The thinning-out, summer and winter pruning, &c. ?
are the same as for other vineries.
GROWING GRAPES IN POTS.
THIS is a convenient and pretty method of growing
Grapes. It is a charming sight to see a pot of Grapes
on the table actually growing, when the leaf is healthy,
and the fruit is in its prime with all the beautiful
bloom upon it.
The Grape will accommodate itself to all persons
who possess glass of any kind for growing it in pots, i.e.
it can be so grown in any kind of hot-house, cold-house,
or frame. The well-known Mr. Thomas Rivers experi-
mented on Grape-growing many years ago, and found
that it could be done in comparatively small pots for
many successive years, and be made to bear fine fruit.
The difference between getting Grapes early and late
depends upon what sort of treatment they receive.
The Grape seems to flourish for successive years by
annual forcing, provided that the roots can obtain the
nutriment required by the fruit and branches. This
may be effected by weekly waterings with strong liquid