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the reader will find some account of it under the head of Propagation.
In the quarters where the young bushes have established themselves, and made some vigorous shoots, the best placed of those should be selected to form the head : four shoots will be sufficient to begin with; these should be pruned back to six or nine inches, according to their strength and line of direction, from each of which three or four may be expected for another year. When these are pruned at the end of the second year, two of the best placed shoots from each must be selected, and pruned back to six or nine inches as before, cutting the others out close to the mother branch, thereby preventing the production of an unnecessary and useless number of shoots.
In the third winter, according to this method, each young bush will have eight shoots when pruned, which will be sufficient to form the principal limbs of the full
In the fourth winter's pruning, the strongest and best placed shoot only should be retained from each branch, and that one pointing the most directly outwards, shortening it to six or nine inches as before, and cutting off close all the rest : this will give much more room to the branches, and produce a more open and handsome head, than if two shoots had been retained to each branch as before.
In the fifth pruning, should the head require a greater supply of branches, two shoots may be left, in the same manner as in the second and third
year; tice may be continued, leaving either one or two shoots to each branch, as occasion may require, so long as the bush stands.
It must, however, be observed, that the older the bushes are, the smaller will be their leading shoots : these, of course, must be shortened in proportion accord
and this prac.
ingly; so that a bush of fifteen or twenty years' standing will rarely require its extreme shoot to be left more than six inches in length.
It is also necessary to bear in mind that the large Lancashire Gooseberries, and which are chiefly pendent growers, require to have much more space between their branches than the Champagne, and other upright growers: the former, therefore, ought not to have them much less than a foot apart, nor the latter nearer than nine inches, when the winter pruning is finished.
In the annual prunings, there will always be a number of shoots, and some, perhaps, of the most vigorous, produced from various parts of the head, particularly from the upper side of the diverging limbs: these must be cut off quite close and smooth, so as to remove entirely their bottom eyes, to prevent a succession of still stronger shoots, which would otherwise be produced ; thus keeping the heads open, and consisting of fruit-bearing branches only.
When the spurs of gooseberries have borne fruit for two or three years, and become numerous, they should be thinned out, leaving the young ones only: by this means the fruit will have more room to swell, and its flavour consequently improved.
CURRANTS, as was observed at the commencement of this article, when planted as open bushes, require a management but little differing from that of the gooseberry: this consists, chiefly, in leaving their shoots at a greater length in the annual prunings. In the dessert, the largest bunches have always the best appearance, and it rarely happens that they are not the best.
To obtain these, the bushes must be kept very thin of wood, clearing away all young shoots from the middle, as they are produced, and thinning out the spurs, leaving those only which are young, and at a few inches' distance from each other. The large white crystal
Currant, thus managed, will sometimes produce bunches containing from twenty-five to thirty berries each.
Currants trained against walls are of the most easy management : when planted to fill up intermediate spaces between young trees, till the latter have made a more advanced progress, they should be trained perpendicularly, preparing as many shoots at the beginning as may be required for the space to be occupied. These should be allowed a space of six inches between one shoot and another, training each at full length, till they have reached the top of the wall ; shortening such others as may be produced to half an inch, which will form fruit spurs round the base of each. When a plant has been completed in this
may be kept in full bearing for several years, from its spurs alone, the best of which, it must be remembered, furnish the finest fruit.
Where a large space of wall is allotted for Currants, I should recommend this mode of training in preference to any other; planting them at three, or not more than four feet apart. The plants can always be replenished with young wood when it is wanted, by cutting down within a few inches of the ground every alternate limb; and when these have again reached the top of the wall, or before, if necessary, the others may be cut down in like manner: thus keeping up a succession of good, healthy, fruit-bearing branches for years, and preserving an uniformity of appearance, without at any time exhibiting a blank space on any part of the wall.
Sect. I.-Black or blue fruited.
1. ALICANT, Miller, No. 31.
Bunches very long without shoulders. Berries of a moderate size, somewhat oval. Skin thick, of a black colour. Flesh soft, juicy, of an agreeable flavour. Seeds uncommonly large.
Requires a vinery.
The leaves in the autumn are beautifully variegated with red, green, and yellow.
2. BLACK CORINTH. Langley, p. 114. t. 46. fig. 1. Miller, No. 3.
Black Ascalon. Hort. Soc. Cat. No. 49.
Bunches short and rather small. Berries small, roundish, about the size of a pea, with a few much larger ones intermixed, generally without stones, and much clustered on the bunches.
Skin thin, of a deep black colour. Juice sugary, but without perfume.
The fruit of this is brought to the extent of 6000 tons annually from the Ionian Islands, and sold in the shops under the name of Currants.
The Prince Cornato sent twenty plants of this grape from Zante, in 1817, to Sir Herbert Taylor, for the
Queen ; it had, however, been cultivated by Langley above a century ago.
Requires a vinery or stove.
This grape ripened at Twickenham, in 1727, on a south-east wall, August 24. O. S., or September 4. N. S.
3. Black Damascus. Speechly, No. 2. Worksop Manor Grape, of some gardens.
Bunches middle sized. Berries large, globular. Skin thin, of a fine black colour. Flesh delicate. Juice rich, and of an exquisite flavour. The bunches generally consist of berries of different sizes ; the small berries being without stones, and the large ones with only
As the berries do not set closely on the bunches, if the small ones are properly thinned out the large ones will acquire additional size and flavour, and will thus be the finest and best black grape that can be brought to table.
The blossoms of this should be fertilised with those of some hardy kind, which has always the effect of improving the branches. Imported from Damascus by Edward, ninth duke of Norfolk, and cultivated at Welbeck, many years prior to his decease in 1777.
Requires a hothouse, or pine stove.
* It derives its name from Frontignan, a town of France, in the department of the Herault, celebrated for its excellent Muscadine wine, generally called Frontignac. It is situated on the lake Meguleone, four leagues S.S.W of Montpellier. John Rea in 1702 mentions the Muscat of Frontignan.