The American Pictorial Home Book
or Housekeeper's Encyclopedia - online book

A reference manual of household management in Victorian times.

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To Prepare Nails for Wall TREES.--These should be of cast iron if they can be obtained. Before using, they should be heated redhot, and then thrown into cold linseed oil. This gives them a varnish which preserves them from rusting and prevents the mortar of the wall, from sticking to them when they are drawn.
Composition for Wounds on Rose Bushes.—5 parts pitch, 1 part each resin, beef tallow, beeswax. These should be mixed in a small boiler, and dissolved over a slow fire; apply it to the wounds with a brush, and it will heal them as well as prevent them from dying.
Average production of the grape per acre, 8,000 pounds.
Tendril of the Grape.—Its taste, while green, is a true index to what kind of fruit. The taste of the seedling may be used in the same way.
To protect Grapes from Wasps.—Plant near the grapes some yew trees, and the wasps will prefer the yew tree berries and will wholly neglect the grapes.
Bleeding in Vines.—Work together 1 part calcined oyster shells beaten to a fine powder in a mortar and 3 parts cheese until they form a sort of paste. This mixture is to be spread into the pores of the wood, when bleeding takes place, by means of the thumb and finger. A second application is sometimes necessary.
Mildew on Grapes.—As soon as the leaves are fairly out of the buds apply flowers of sulphur, and again when the stems are formed and the blossoms are fully open. No mildew will occur as the sulphur enters among the circulation of the plant.
Keeping Grapes.—In cutting the grapes leave the bunches at­tached to the branches that bore them ; sharpen the points of the branches where they have been detached from the parent stem and run them a couple of inches into mangel wortzel beets; then lay them on a shelf of the fruit room and allow the grapes to hang over the shelf, where they can be cut as required. They will keep plump all the winter.
The Grape is an important branch of rural economy, and should have a sunny exposure. There are more than 1,500 varieties of the grape. It should never be planted in a moist soil.
The history of the grape is as old as that of man. All varie­ties of the wine grape came originally from Persia. The Mus­cat and Hamburgh, the most popular when dried, forms the rai­sin of commerce, and produce the finest of wines.
Keeping Grapes.—They should remain on the vine until the end of November, taking care to supply them with plenty of air and a