My wife tells me she cannot figure out how I think when we talk projects, she exhales a little and says I am being too complicated; I guess I should not give her informational overload. An example of my simple project turned too complicated would be our fence.
The primary goal of the fence, and the only goal Genny cared to understand was that we needed a fence so we could get a dog (specifically a great big Pyrenees like her parent’s have), and maybe a couple goats (which I think is the only reason to have a great big Pyrenees like her parent’s have).
I also wanted a fence for security and privacy reasons, as well as to form a natural trellis. Being lazy, or at least wanting to get he most out of any work, I have thought quite a lot on what type of fence and what type of vine would fit all these objectives in a cost effective bundle.
More Than One Use of a Fence
My mistake was how I briefed the decision to my bride, she was on board with lets build a fence, but “Lets build a fence so we can grow an edible thorny vine next to it to provide fruit to make jelly and wine, as well as keeping kids from climbing the fence because of the thorns, dogs from digging under due to the vine’s roots, and the vines themselves providing a kind of privacy hedge….” As Genny says, it’s overwhelming. I should have said “once we get the fence built, would you mind me planting blackberries to grow along the fence?” She would have said (because she is sweet that way) sure, if you want too, go ahead.
SO… When I ordered my trees, I ordered 4 sets of Kiowa blackberries; these are a large thorny blackberry. Each set was about 4 dollars and held three small plants.
We penned the dog up because both him, and the neighbor’s dog like to dig, and have some significant holes along the fence. We used these holes to plant the vines, spacing them in between the fence posts. Hopefully they will vine out and reproduce, making a very thick wall of thorns and roots along the top edge of my yard, as it’s the one space too steep to put raised bed planters.
How Many Blackberry Plants are Enough?
I have heard that 4 vines of blackberries will provide enough blackberries for a family, by multiplying that by 3 I will have some to share with the neighbors that border my fence, as they have been nice about the chickens and rabbits, and bees… The neighbors have kids, and if a kid or two picked some berries I wanted to still have enough.
There really wasn’t anything to planting them, they came in little plastic trays of potting mix, and we just broke up the soil a little and dropped them in.
In a year or two we hope they grow out nice and strong and we can make a video on blackberry wine and jelly… I also expect the flowers to help flavor the honey when the bees make it, which will be interesting.