« ForrigeFortsett »
is, at the extremities of those shoots that are not killed by the winter's frosts.
«« These small ones, and those that only appear in the spring, are the most certain to ripen ; for those which are pretty large in the autumn are liable to be killed in the winter ; but if any of them live, they ripen the earliest the following summer, and are the best fruit.
“ Those which appear the largest at the time of the trees shedding their leaves, were such as put out earliest upon the new made shoots, but few of which ripen in this nation the first year, except some particular kinds, as the catalogue mentions, though I don't doubt but there are many which do in more southern climates, as in Barbary, Spain, and Italy, where I am informed they are in great perfection.
“I cannot think it proper to take off the live end of a branch in the spring, for that part is most certain to produce ripe fruit ; neither do I approve the ending of young shoots in June, though it is practised by some people to procure a great number of branches, but they may be obtained by laying strong ones horizontally; and if they are old, make nicks on their upper sides, which will cause young ones to come through the rind. The spring, or what may be called winter pruning, I think the properest time for taking out large branches, which I generally do about the middle of March, when the weather is dry; then should all dead fruit be pulled off, and the young shoots that are left should be
chosen with live ends, if possible ; if not, the dead ends must be taken off, and the branches nailed up, at least the breadth of a full grown leaf from each other.
“ As in the summer time there will be more branches put out than can be placed at the distance from each other required, let them be taken off at their first appearance, and the others kept close to the wall in the summer, by nailing them as they advance in length. This method will prevent their being injured by the winds, as they are subject to be, by reason of their large leaves. If at any time there be more branches put out from the horizontals than can be nailed upright at proper distances from each other, let them be taken off at their first appearance.
“ As the upright branches advance in height, take all from the middle branches that would intercept them before they reach the top of the wall, and suffer no collaterals to remain upon them (at winter pruning) above two inches long
“The wood of one year old in the uprights produces no leaves, which gives room for an annual succession of branches, admitting there be no long collaterals left on.
“ I know there are many practitioners that only nail the strongest parts of a tree, and leave the collateral loose, though of a great length, and have many times plenty of fruit upon them. “ But they never ripen so early as those that
are near the wall, and if they do at all, it is only such as would ripen on dwarfs or espaliers ; and I think it wrong to bestow a wall upon such trees as would produce as much good fruit without it."
CURRANT AND GOOSEBERRY.
RANTS and Gooseberries, although of inferior consequence to most other garden fruits, are still of sufficient importance to claim attention ; and notwithstanding those fruits are grown on bushes, which may appear to require but little care or art in their management, their produce as much depends on this as other fruits, and is in every respect as much influenced by the mode of cultivation, training, pruning, &c.
Currants and Gooseberries are easily raised from cuttings, which, if planted in the month of November, will seldom fail to take root, and form strong plants the following year.
When the plants are intended to grow ornamentally round borders, &c., they will have a more handsome appearance if raised on a single stem six or eight inches from the ground; in this state they are less incommodious to the gardener in working the borders, &c. round them; and they are easily raised of this form, by taking off all the buds the full length of the cuttings, below where the branches are desired, previous to planting.
But if plants are wanted for beds, to be grown for culinary purposes, the better way is to let them bush, or throw out their stems under or close to the ground, as in this state they are less liable to accident; and when injuries are occasioned, they are more readily made good.
The general management of Currants and Gooseberries, or the mode of pruning, &c. commonly practised, is opposed to Nature, and much time is lost in bringing them to a productive state.
The disposition of the branches being left to chance, from the random and promiscuous manner in which they are commonly cut, it is generally so irregular and confused, as to render it difficult to reduce them to a proper and uniform shape without much cutting out; and when this is resorted to, the young shoots often grow so luxuriant, as to be much larger than the old branches that produced them; and in this state they are so liable to be broken off by every slight motion or pressure, as seldom to have enough left at the winter pruning to form a handsome head. When properly attended to from their first planting, by regulating their branches, and placing them in such positions that they may advance in their growth without crossing and obstructing each other, those bushes will seldom require cutting back; and their branches being suffered to grow their full length, will not be so liable to accident, and will produce more fruit in two or three years after planting, than they can