My husband and I have some rather ambitious plans for the backyard next year. There is a tree that needs to come down and in its place, we are considering some sort of wooden structure covered with vines to provide a shaded seating area. I have started reading up on vine growing tips so that I know what I want to plant and how to ensure that they don’t take over the rest of the yard. Have you considered adding vines into your landscaping? They can be used in a variety of different ways throughout the yard and can help create a striking visual impression for all who visit the home and garden.
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Benefits of Growing Vines
For those gardeners who have grown tired of the same old annuals, perennials, and bulbs, vines can be a welcome addition and a great way to break the monotony. Vines have a number of benefits to the landscape, including stunning colors, hardiness and the ability to provide extra shade and shelter. They are the perfect way to make use of vertical space that might otherwise be wasted. Vines also make the perfect ground cover for those areas of the garden prone to erosion and runoff. Some vines can even provide edible fruit, bringing a taste of nature to the kitchen. In the past few years, we have grown both hops and muscadine grapes, although we quickly realized that we did not have the sun nor space for them to truly thrive.
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Types of Vines
One of the first vine growing tips you need to remember is to know what you are actually planting. When bringing vines into the garden, it’s important to realize that there are several different varieties of vines, each with their own unique benefits and features. For instance, some of the most common vines are known as twiners – these are the vines with very flexible stems that twine around a support, such as an arbor, an archway or even a tree. Popular twiners include morning glory vines, hyacinth bean, and wisteria. You will need to invest in the right support system if you plan on growing this type of vine.
Some vines attach themselves via a root system. These vines can attach themselves to any number of surfaces, including walls and posts. English ivy and Virginia creeper are two well-known root attaching vines.
Tendrils are another popular form of vine, and these vines come with modified leaves or stems which wrap themselves around a support, such as a post, fence or tree. Passion flower and sweet pea vines are popular tendril varieties for the garden.
Still, other vines are known as leaners – for obvious reasons. These vines lack any type of built in supporting structure, and therefore they must be tied to or woven into the desired structure. These leaners can be woven through or tied to supporting structures such as fences, posts, trellises or arbors. Climbing roses are perhaps the best-known leaners.
Annual versus Perennial Vines
Want to know one of the best vine growing tips? Plant ONCE and enjoy for a lifetime! In addition to the various varieties, it is important for gardeners to be aware that, just like other plants, vines come in both annual and perennial forms. Some of the most well-known perennial vines are gold honeysuckle and climbing roses. Popular annual vines include morning glory and moon vine.
As with any other type of plant, it is important to choose vines that will be hardy in your home environment. Tropical vines may not grow well in cold climates, just as cold tolerant varieties may fail to thrive in areas where the weather is perpetually warm. Here in the south, wisteria vines are very popular, although several steps have to be taken to avoid letting them take over the entire yard. The huge purple clusters of flowers are beautiful but the vines can destroy trees and landscaping if left unchecked.
It’s also important to provide plenty of support for the vines that need it and to keep in mind that some of those vines will grow very large and may need larger and larger support structures on which to grow. Caring for vines doesn’t have to be difficult, but it is important to take the needs of each variety into account.
Basic Vine Growing Tips to Remember
Every variety of vine you plant will have its own unique needs. Think about how and where you’ll use your vines before you go shopping. Here are a few things to keep in mind when planting vines in your garden landscape:
- Some vines are evergreen, while others die off in the winter. Do you have a preference?
- What will your vine grow on? Will the support structure be sturdy enough for full grown vine in 10 years?
- How much assistance will the vine need to attach to the support structure? Will you need vine clips or garden twine to help provide full support?
- Keep vines away from your home. Vine roots are incredibly strong and can ruin the brick of your home.
- Unless you’re growing annuals, choose a vine rated for your hardiness zone.
- Ensure proper growing conditions. Check the type of conditions your vine will need in terms of sunlight, soil fertility, and drainage.
- Your vine will need quite a bit of watering the first year until it becomes established. Unless your plant is drought-tolerant, try to plant it near a convenient source of water. Drip irrigation hoses are very helpful.
Growing vines is a great way to add visual interest to your garden landscape. There are many varieties to choose from, some of which will provide you food, shade, flowers, or even dried vines for basket weaving. Do your research before you plant but vines are a great addition to your backyard space!
Have any other vine growing tips to share?
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Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.