Yesterday, the sun was shining, the temperature was in the low twenties (mid sixties), and since I could do much for the truck, as it was charging, I decided to put a plant in the ground.
Last year, a friend of mine layered some shoot from her Kiwi-berry vine into a milk-crate and covered them over. The rooted and this spring I went and got the milk-crate and put it on my front porch. Just the other day I noticed that it was budding all over, and was overjoyed and realized I should get the thing in the ground.
A couple years ago now, we built a barn by using two shipping containers as side walls and putting a roof over them. It works great and we use one of the shipping containers as the chicken coop. The draw back is that the wall facing into the yard is a big, grey, corrugated metal slab. I decided that I should hide it the easiest and most natural way – with a vine.
So yesterday I combined the two – a vine that needed planting and a wall which needed covering. But there were some things that needed to happen – I couldn’t just stick the plant in the ground and walk away. We have sheep and chickens which means the vine had to be kept safe from both (sheep eat everything except adult thistles and chickens dig up every patch of exposed soil)
I had already built a ‘wall’ out of pallets the year before, and brought in some soil in hopes to raise some vegetables there. That experiment failed miserably (see -chickens). So Before I could plant the vine I had to re-secure the pallet wall, which I did by pounding metal T bars into the ground bracing the pallets. Then I dug up the hard compacted ‘floor’ of the old barn because it is about a foot thick in well aged sheep, and chicken, manure (plant growth gold!). Then I wheelbarrowed that across the soft muddy ground to the planting site, where I shovel the manure into place. Following which, I went and dug out the side of a clay pile, (created when the pond was re-dug) and wheelbarrowed that to the plant site and shovelled it then tamped it down over the manure to keep the chickens out (fingers crossed).
Now I had my soil but nothing for the vine to climb. So i pounded more T bars into the ground and dragged a length of chain-link fence to the site. I unravelled the fence (in itself an exercise worthy of a blog post) and stretched it between the posts and wired it on.
I was finally ready to plant…. after carrying the heavy milk crate from the front porch to the back of the property(1/3 acre). The only thing left was very carefully cutting away the milk crate from the plant with a grinder.
So I used many different muscle groups through out the day – and when I finally stopped (and when I woke up this morning) MAN, DID I HURT! So I have to wonder; is it my age finally telling me I can’t do all that I used to, or is it simply that over the winter I turned into a weak, lazy writer? I guess the answer to that will become clear as the season continues and I tackle more and more ‘projects’
At any rate, it’s in the ground and all the branches entwined with the fence. It will look lovely in a year or two and best of all it will bear clusters of delicious kiwi-berries … as long as the wild birds leave me any