Planting vines

first_imgBy Robert R. WesterfieldUniversity ofGeorgiaOrnamental vines can make an interesting addition to your yardand serve more than one purpose. Following a few tips can helpyou grow thriving vines in your yard.Most flowering vines need at least a half-day of sun to grow welland bloom abundantly. Other vines, like variegated English ivy,will develop more vivid leaf patterns with a few hours of morningsun.Most vines grow best in fertile, well-drained soils. Bare-rootvines are best transplanted during the fall and winter.Container-grown vines can be planted anytime if you water them.If you need organic matter to improve the soil, rotary-till about4 inches of it into the top 12 inches of soil before you dig theplanting hole. Compost is an excellent amendment.A proper holeDig the hole as deep and twice as wide as the root ball. Make thetop of the root ball level with the soil surface. Then backfillwith soil removed from the hole, tamping it lightly to eliminateair pockets. Water right after planting, and use a mulch to keepmoisture in the soil.A low-cost way to plant a lot of vines as a ground cover is tobuy and plant rooted cuttings or “liner” plants. Ask yournurseryman about liners.If you plant during fall and winter, wait until spring tofertilize. If you plant in the spring and summer, wait four tosix weeks for the plants to get established before fertilizing.Then lightly sprinkle about a tablespoon of a complete, balancedfertilizer such as 8-8-8 or 10-10-10 around the perimeter of theplanting hole and water it in.Then…Once the vines are established, fertilize in early spring andmidsummer with a complete fertilizer such as 6-12-12 or 5-10-10at 1.5 pounds per 100 square feet. Take a soil sample to yourcounty Extension Service office to find your soil’s precisenutritional needs.Vines have different pruning requirements. Generally, prune toremove dead, diseased and damaged wood, reduce size and promotebranching. Vigorous vines such as honeysuckle, trumpet vine andwisteria may require regular pruning to keep them confined to thesupport.As a rule, prune flowering vines after they bloom. This isparticularly true for vines like wisteria and spring-floweringclematis that bloom on last season’s growth. Pruning these vinesbefore they bloom will reduce flowering.The amount of pruning depends on the vigor of the vine and theamount of foliage you want. Some vines will form layer on layerof growth unless they’re thinned out regularly.Wisteria, for instance, requires annual pruning to reduce theamount of growth. Removing about one-third of the canopy eachyear will lead it to grow short spurs on the remaining branchesthat will bear next season’s flowers.(Bob Westerfield is an Extension Service consumerhorticulturist with the University of Georgia College ofAgricultural and Environmental Sciences.)last_img

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