So basically, I got no grapes off my backyard grape vine last year. While part of it probably had to do with the weather, I think most of the problem had to do with improper pruning. I did a lot of reading about grape vine pruning: University of Maryland, Penn State, NC State. Frankly, I'm still confused. So I decided that I don't want to fuss with it anymore: I'm saying goodbye to my grape vine.
This presents a new opportunity to plant more natives for good bugs. The native plant sale at the National Arboretum is Saturday, March 30. I will be looking for joe-pye weed, New York ironweed, and maple leaf viburnum to go along with the natives that I'd previously planted. Viburnums offer berries for birds and host butterfly caterpillars while the flowers offer nectar and pollen for good bugs. Through applied ecology, I hope to see fewer pests and greater vegetable productivity this summer. Or at the very least, I hope that my neighbors will marvel about how they see so many butterflies in my backyard.
Goodbye, grapevine (along the fence). And hello, cat-proof raised bed covers.