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Diagram of the “Experiment Vineyard” at College Park, Maryland

January 26, 2015 1 comment

In 1891 the “experiment vineyard” was laid out at the Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station of the Maryland Agricultural College which is now known as The University of Maryland.  The goal of the experiment was to determine the best grape varieties and methods of treatment specific to Maryland.  Over much objection, a portion of the old college garden was chosen for the vineyard.  The soils was plowed “as if for corn” then harrowed.  The rows were ten feet apart and sown with rye to counteract erosion from winter rains.  Trellises made from posts and wire were put in.  The vineyard was planted with 294 vines representing 108 different varieties as well as several dozen wild vines.  Below you will find the the diagram of this scientifically laid out vineyard.

Diagram of Vineyard at College Park, Maryland. 1891. [1]

Diagram of Vineyard at College Park, Maryland. 1891. [1]

I have not researched the history of the vineyard but it was still around in 1920 for it is named in the University of Maryland’s 1920-21 Catalogue.[2]  One could study grapes in three classes of “Small Fruit Culture” that ran through Junior year.  Given Prohibition there is sadly no mention of wine.


[1] “Experiment vineyard”, Bulletin No. 15 of the Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station. December 1891. URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2027/uiug.30112019612123
[2] Catalogue. University of Maryland, College Park. 1920. URL: https://books.google.com/books?id=aH_OAAAAMAAJ&pg=PP1#v=onepage&q&f=false