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Sixteenth Street
Sixteenth Street
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16th St. NE, Massillon, Ohio, US
Climate zone:
Cool Temperate

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Pruned grapes and gooseberry bush

Project: Sixteenth Street

Posted by John Oberlin over 10 years ago

Grapes and gooseberries trimmed back, thinking about a better ground cover

In the last couple years, I have ignored both the grapes and the gooseberries as far as pruning went, probably because I do not live at the property, and was away doing other things. But finally this winter I pruned the two grape vines and the gooseberry bush quite far back. I left at least two buds on the grapes and trimmed the gooseberry down, cutting out branches growing toward the center as well as runners. My wife and I would like to try to make jam out of both.

I have been considering ground cover options, as my father, who own the property dislikes the random weeds that grow, which have been my no-maintenance ground cover. The strawberries should begin this year to be a good ground cover, and the sweet woodruff may grow out a bit, at least under the shade of the vines and bush. Otherwise, I think the full sun is too much for them to be substantial ground cover. I plan to look into some kind of short, pretty legume to interplant and add nitrogen to the soil.

My worm bin at my parents has been totally converted to worm castings. And I plan to use cast a lot of that onto the garden in early spring.

My dad started a compost pile/brush pile on one half of the garden, and we both plan to clean that up in the spring. I would expect that the pile has added to the soil health and life. I need to think of an attractive perennial to plant in that space.

Comments (2)

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Sven Horner
Sven Horner : If you mean short in terms of growth height, then I could recommend you white clover (trifolium repens). Masanobu Fukuoka ("One Straw Revolution") had long experimented with ground covers until he concluded that white clover is best. It is of course a nitrogen fixing legume and it seems to surpress weeds. But I feel only using white clover is too mono. Im sure theres more than white clover that suits. It would be great, if you told us, what you found! (you could use pfaf.org, if you dont know it yet)
Posted over 10 years ago

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jordan lowery
jordan lowery : i find that gooseberries are very easy to restore an overgrown plant, simply cut it down to about 4 inches above the ground late fall before the frosts get heavy. in the spring it will burst into life from both dormant buds and from suckers below the soil. and its not uncommon for them to grow 4,5, even 6 ft in one season on an established root system. even giving a good crop as well. they are VERY hardy plants.

as for ground cover i have some that have white clover under, one under a pine tree, as well as some with "weeds". in order of productivity/overall health. the one under the pine tree grows best( as the same with how they grow in nature) but has only pine needles for mulch and a few dandelions, followed by the "Weedy" undercrop, and last the mostly clover groundcover.

overall i find the diverse groundcover to be best in most situations.
Posted over 10 years ago

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