Monday, May 14, 2012

Taming of the Beast; Clearing Vines from the Trees

If vines are allow to climb up your trees, they can take over the tree & kill it as they will shade the trees leaves & block out all sun.

Since NOTHING likes full sun in Florida, I've decided to start clearing the vines from the area near the creek & leave only the shrubs & trees for partial shade of the borderline Zone 9 edibles I wish to grow.

Morning sun will come right in, but afternoon shade will keep the plants from wilting in the summer heat. Well, at least that's my hope.

So where to begin?

1. Start from the outer edge.

2. Clip as close to the ground as possible as many vines as I can get to.

3. Then I clip the same vines as high as I can reach with my telscoping loppers ( love them).  I found that if I just clip at ground level, the new sprouts will just grab onto the old vines all climb again.

4. Then, I rake out that small section or row. This will expose ones that I missed in the ground, so I clip them out.

5. Then I do another section or row, raking all the clippings out to a big pile in the sun to cook so they won't try to re-root.

6. Some vines are full of thorns so doing layers at a time helps from getting snagged all over.

7. Slowly, I will reach the epicenter of this mess, which is one gnarly, twisted multi-trunked bohemouth!  He will have to be cut with a chain saw.

8. To help prevent new growth, I'm layering cardboard from shipping boxes where I want my new beds to be and covering with pine needles and all my new composting materials from the yard.

9. In about 6 months I can go back to the dead vines still hanging in the trees and pull them out, but
I have way too much to do that, so I will let nature take care of shedding the dead vines

This is quite a workout, so I am doing it in sections, a little at a time. Of course, this will be a continual maintenance, but if I don't let it get out of control, I should have a wonderful, fertile & partly shady garden!

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