Spring is here at last and we are finding ourselves very busy with all the spring cleanup and garden prep that is common this time of year in Michigan. On this fine spring morning my outdoor project will be taking a pile of grapevine clippings and transforming them into a useable planter.
Grapevines are strong, pliable and make a lovely statement in gardens.
With the pruning season behind me I have on hand some small wood cuttings and vines. I like to recycle these as often as I can into useful garden planters, wattled walls and trellises.
Gather your precut sticks and vines that you will be using to the location you have preselected. This will be a permanent planter. I used sticks that had a similar diameter and height. (You do not need to remove the sod or pre-weed).
Take a sledgehammer and drive your sticks into the pattern that you want. Try to have the sticks about the same height when done. Space the sticks evenly around your shape. Circles are pretty simple and make a good first try. Drive the stakes about 6 inches down or until they are firmly placed. The vines will put pressure on them so they must be deep enough to withstand.
Begin weaving the vines around the sticks. Long vines may go around a couple times. If it is too long reverse course by simple passing completely around the stick and reverse direction.
I use my foot to stomp the vines down to compress them as I progressed. Continue until you reach the desired height. Each time you start a new vine weave it opposite the vine before.
To finish the project I placed layers of cardboard inside on the bottom to block weeds from growing up. (This is an important step if you did not remove the sod layer). I filled it with compost, organic materials and soil and planted it with my favorite spring beauties.
Tip: If you do not have tame grapevines on hand, you may be able to find wild grapevines. Grapes get there leaves later in the spring so there is still time to go find some.