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Planting predator proof grapes

Planting Predator Proof Grapes

I love our property but it comes with challenges. One of those challenges is living within oil drilling country. All of us noticed a huge influx of ground animals once the oil play began. They shy away from the vibrations and seek out calmer areas. Since they are not drilling near houses, they have sought out houses. The results have been pretty devastating:

dead tree

The roots of this crab apple tree were completely consumed.

I have them traveling about in my berms, which is a pretty big concern for me. I have not noticed any dead fruit trees, yet, but I’m waiting.

voles

So when it came time to plant my very expensive grapes, I wanted no ground animal intrusion.

I had many large tree pots from big box stores sitting around at home. So I cut the bottom out of 10 of them and then cut chicken wire large enough to cover the hole.

Then I began digging. I had to dig a hole big enough to hold the pots. I placed the chicken wire in the bottom of the hole and then placed the pot inside. I then filled the sides of the hole around the pot.

fence in hole of grapes

grape protection

my grape planting assistant

Daughter was pleased with the play area I had established for her. She was happy to throw dirt into the  bottom for me.

grape

Then just fill with dirt, compost and a grape seedling. I covered it with straw mulch as a finishing touch.

20140616_200418 20140616_200411 fungus

I had so many problems with my grapes. As you can see here I had mold, fungus and general death. Some of them pulled through with an organic fungicide spray and a few just died.

20140801_194717

This is one of the plants that was suffering from fungus. It pulled through.dead grapes

Same plant dying back in winter. fall

Same plant gone dormant.

I did move all of my grapes in the fall. I moved each of them under a standard sized fruit tree. I then mulched and held the mulch down with cement rip rap.

mulch rocks

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