After my poor berry plants being given minimal support and, for all
practical purposes, being neglected, today they finally have proper
supports. I used 6-ft metal posts with wire cross supports. I'm a
semi-dedicated recycler and purchased both posts and wire at a farm estate
auction last summer. Untangling the wire from the several coils was not
fun but kept it out of the landfill where it might have gone which gives a
certain amount of satisfaction (and both were old enough to be made in the
My question is, since vining berries bear on last year's growth, how do
you vine/train them with that in mind? I was thinking of placing the wire
so that the new growth each year was placed on every other wire, perhaps
odd years on the odd-numbered wires and even years on the even-numbered
wires. How close together is practical for the rows of support wires?
Yesterday, after years of neglect, I finally gave my grapes proper support
and am looking forward to a bountiful harvest next year. This year will
likely be light since so many branches were broken in the "fixing"
process, but next year should be grape lovers' heaven.
Oh, and that organic versus chemical thing . . . my garden has been 100
percent organic from the first day with no pest or disease problems.
True, this is only going into my seventh year, but so far it's all good.
It's amazing what good drainage, a lot of natural manure (horse/steer),
leaves, etc., will do combined with love. It cannot be my gardening
skills because those don't exist; I'm about as novice as they get, but the
garden apparently loves my ignorant love. Another explanation is that it
takes pity on such a novice who grew up on a farm at least making a try at
it. Oh, that farm I grew up on . . . my grandfather did not believe in
chemicals; he did believe in crop rotation, planting by the moon, etc.,
and had a very productive farm. He grew up on a farm in another part of
the country, before gas tractors, widespread commercial fertilizers, etc.,
so learned to do it with minimal harm to the land. Last summer/fall, NPR
had a program about an all organic farm (large) in the midwest that
practiced crop and livestock rotation and outproduces its neighbors so it
can work if one wants to provide the effort of learning and practicing.
We tend to forget that we all are here as a result of non-intentional
organic farming. It is important to remember things that kill continue to
kill, we are all in the food chain. Denis Hayes, among others, said,
"Walk lightly on the earth." Good advice for us all. To me that means
use any non-natural "supplements" sparingly and carefully as well as only
when really needed, not just convenient. Hauling manure into the garden
and shoveling it in place has been good exercise; watching the growing
population of earthworms has been satisfying; the resulting produce has
So how spacing about those cross wires for the loganberries,
boysenberries, etc., and training?