Organic Gardening on the Great Anoka Sand Plain.

Greening a Chain Link Fence

Three months after moving in, we had most of the yard fenced in for the dogs. It’s a big yard, so we picked the cheapest option with the intention of turning it green.

The first summer, we transplanted a bunch of wild grapes from my parents’ cabin. I thought they were a complete failure but they are doing very well now!

A few months later, a local restaurant called “The Vineyard” closed its doors, and I called up the owner to ask about their vines. Obviously, a restaurant named “The Vineyard” is required to have some pretty spectacular vineage going on outside their front door. The plants were more than 30 years old and too large to transplant, but we spent a day taking cuttings, and two days rooting them. I didn’t think they amounted to anything either – but there are quite a few coming up this spring!

The second summer, I bought six “real” grape vines.

2 year old grape vines

Those are doing very well this year. But after doing a ton of Google research on “how to make a green fence”, I realized that we needed way more than some cabin and restaurant transplants to green our fence.

Being the impulsive buyer that I am, and also the impatient type who doesn’t want to wait 10 years for the wild grapes to take over…. I found a Minnesota Vineyard, and ordered an ungodly amount of grapes.

1-month old Grapes from Great River Vineyard

This is a Somerset Seedless grape from Great River Vineyard, which is located in Lake City, Minnesota. I ordered 100 vines from them (5 different varieties) – and all but *maybe* 5 of them look like this, or better.

We didn’t do anything special with planting; simply dug holes around the fence, plopped in the vines, covered and watered.

The grapes are planted about 2 feet apart (5 grape vines per 10-foot fence section), and since this is the first year I don’t have much else to report! I did take four of the best edible varieties and plant them on my arbors in the garden; the primary purpose of these fence-grapes is to cover the chain link and provide some privacy. But we do hope to enjoy a small crop every year for table eating, jams, and maybe one day wine.

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