The Wide Angle: I might have misheard it through the grapevine

Published 5:20 pm Tuesday, May 14, 2024

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In the quest of becoming some sort of green thumb that doesn’t just let dandelions run rampant on our lawn, I’m forming  a nexus of two hobbies of mine that could, admittedly, be a mistake.

The first part of this nexus isn’t truly revolutionary and that was the planting of my garden a couple weekends ago. In the previous seasons of Adventures in Gardening, our hero (that’s me in case you’re wondering) has successfully and to varying degrees successfully grown produce that has been rewarding and mind distracting.

Mind distracting in the idea that simply rooting about in the dirt on things so simple as pulling weeds can take me from a day with far too many stresses and headaches. That was something many who garden told me is among the best aspects of having a plot of land.

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To be honest, starting a garden was somewhat intimidating when I first opened up a portion of our backyard. Believe it or not, it’s not as simple as just throwing seeds in a line and waiting for them to grow. There’s watering, weeding, soil maintenance, mounting defensive campaigns comparable to the Siege of Troy in order to keep rabbits out of the garden.

Luckily, I have yet to be offered a Trojan Rabbit.

Still, it’s been truly enjoyable and yes, eating your own produce is a lot better than most anything else. This has been accented by experimentation and trying new things each year — to varying degrees of success.

This year, I’ve really stretched out my wings to form the aforementioned nexus of hobbies and that’s gardening and brewing. How do I do this? By planting two grape vines in the backyard.

Now, before you all start clamoring to tell me what I should do and what I’m doing wrong, you should all know that this could wildly go south and again, I have to be brutally honest with all 35 of you — my confidants.

About the only thing I do know is that where I put them gets plenty of sun throughout the day. After that, it jumbles together in a vast tangle of gray area that could be my downfall.

First, we should consider that this will be another testament of patience, something I’ve admitted recently is not a strong suit of mine. If I read things right in my research (I know right? If nothing else we should all be proud of the fact that I simply didn’t jump into this without at least looking at what I was jumping into. Progress) it could take as long as three years to get tangible, harvestable results.

That’s a long time for something to happen and I’ve proven in the past that 30 seconds is a long time for something to happen. Assuming I can hold out for that long, I will have to grasp a competent measure of pruning and care that will ensure the plants make it that far.

I should probably admit that I wasn’t very on the ball when it came to even knowing if the soil is right. I know you need a certain pH level in the soil, but for something so small I wasn’t going to pay to get the soil tested and I was pretty lazy about even looking in stores for any possible kit that might be out there.

And by lazy I mean I just didn’t look. I can admit progress, but I can’t necessarily claim perfection here. What am I, the Rick Flair of gardening? Nobody is going to confuse me with Nature Boy.


There’s also going to take a little bit of construction in the form of a certain kind of trestle that will allow the vines to crawl in the appropriate manner. I am not a good tool man or builder of any kind. Heck, I can’t even be saved by duct tape.

I’ll hobble something together because design wise it’s not too terribly complicated. At the same time, complex has a number of variables associated with it, so my construction could be an abomination at the end.

So, now we get to the real question — why?

Well, it’s this whole nexus I’ve been telling you about — probably awkwardly so. I’m trying to grow grapes so I can add wine-making to my collective of home brewing and I like the idea of growing my own grapes.

Now, will I grow enough from two plants to make even a gallon of wine. I don’t know, but I have to be realistic and say that I’ll probably have to augment the bounty somehow. But that doesn’t change the fact that I want to add winemaker to my list of self-important home brewing titles that mean nothing to anybody else.

Again, will this work? I don’t know, but if nothing else you, my dear readers, will have plenty of future content to judge me by.