NZ Lifestyle Block - - Grow & Tell -

A VINE WHINE. I won’t be plant­ing any more, and if any of my friends talk about putting them in I im­me­di­ately go on a rant about their beauty ver­sus the work they cre­ate. Gor­geous yes, as in the case of our won­der­ful wis­te­ria, but it is con­stantly try­ing to pull the house apart and is des­per­ate to go off ex­plor­ing the coun­try­side.

There’s one ex­cep­tion: if you can get around the base of vines and con­sis­tently con­trol the run­ners with a lawn mower or lop­pers, for the en­tire life of the plant, then go ahead and plant one. It’s the run­ners that cause the prob­lem, and we have an in­ter­wo­ven net­work un­der the veran­dah and house which I have to chop back ev­ery year.

The other thing about vines is that if – and ob­vi­ously it’s a big ‘if’ – I were to plant more, I would train them up and along a chain that was de­tach­able from the house. That way, when main­te­nance needs to be done on the house, the vine can be laid down. The vine could also be taken down an­nu­ally to dis­con­nect any ten­drils that have tried to start in­ves­ti­gat­ing in­side the cladding.

Keep­ing on top of prun­ing is also a ne­ces­sity. Each year dur­ing the win­ter clean-up of the gar­den, I hack back the wis­te­ria and the jas­mine so growth is con­trolled. The big­gest chal­lenge, as with many things, is be­ing con­sis­tent. toma­toes beans pep­pers corn yams pump­kin zuc­chini salad greens peas silverbeet car­rots parsnips pota­toes any­thing else you would like to grow and eat

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