Saturday, November 13, 2010

The grapes

The large farm behind me grew grapes and that landowner had told us that we could pick all the grapes we wanted.  Each year we picked lots of grapes to eat fresh and made enough raisins to last all year.  A couple of years ago the land was put up for sale.  Since that time the grapes have mostly all died.  There went my grape supply.  Another neighbor said that I could pick some of their grapes but I decided I better plant my own.

I planted four grapevines last spring and hope to plant more this spring.  When you transplant bareroot trees or vines it takes a year or two before they really come out of shock at start growing well.  I expect the grapes to grow some this spring and who knows, they may really take off.  I figured that I needed to make some kind of arbor for them and since it was a nice day out today, today was the day to do it. 

I decided to use some of my new t-posts.  It was an easy project.  I pounded in a t-post a foot away from each vine.  I pounded in three additional posts for the location of the vines I hope to plant in the spring.  I may put in more but I really don’t need to get the arbor in for those until I decide if I will plant them or not. 

I think I want to have them line the front yard area and use them as a break between the parking space and the “lawn”.  The lawn looks great in my front yard during the spring and even right now in fall since we’ve had some rain and then a warm spell.  I don’t water the lawn because that would mean I’d have to mow it.  Don’t get me wrong, I’d like the look of a lawn, I just would rather not spend the time on its upkeep.  Boy wants to mow but he’s not quite old enough.  I’d like him to keep his toes for a couple more years.      

There are so many different ways you can train grapes.  My friend has an open patio cover and the grapes climb on that and hang down over his patio.  It looks wonderful.  That is until they start rotting because he doesn’t pick them, or the animals climb on the patio and house at all hours to steal the grapes, or they fall onto his patio and make a slimy mess.  Perhaps if it wasn’t attached to the house and had a dirt floor, such as a gazebo in the backyard.  I would like one of those too.  Of course, if I had a gazebo it would have a hot tub in the middle of it.  Wishful thinking…

When we went to the friends house the other day to pick the berries, I noticed he had grapes trained on the wire with t-posts set up at each plant.  I liked the way it looked and figure that it will be easy to care for and also easy to get to the grapes.  After I put in the posts I strung a double fencing wire across the whole thing, then wrapped it around itself and put a second layer of the wire on.  It looks great and took less than an hour to put in the posts and stretch the wire.  I had to hang flagging across the wire because it’s at neck height.  I certainly don’t need a kid to run through the yard and run into the wire.  I don’t want to deal with that medical issue.  By next summer the grapes should have grown enough that the wire will be visible.    

I need to buy more t-posts for the front fruit trees.

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