Girl's grape. Assistant, not a source of problems
Girl's grape is rightfully considered one of the largest, fastest growing and hardy perennial vines. Its luxurious look, effectively blushing at the end of the foliage season, is well known to everyone, because it’s the girl’s grapes that are most often used in urban landscaping to decorate buildings. In private gardens, this plant is not found so often. He is considered too aggressive, practically uncontrollable, and even conducive to the spread of rodents and pests throughout the site and house. But such a reputation is completely undeserved.
Girl's grapes, being one of the easiest to grow large garden plants, can become a real lifesaver. Indeed, the drapery of high walls does not limit the scope of its use in garden design.
Girl's grapes and his hidden talents
All types and varieties of girl's grapes are used as large and powerful vines. With their help, you can effectively drape the surface of any area. Girl's grapes create a dense, seemingly ornamental and almost tiled cover due to the peculiar arrangement of leaves and self-regulation of the uniform distribution of light coming to them.
The dazzlingly bright orange or scarlet autumn color, the beauty and splendor of the crown, the ease and reliability of the self-attachment of the plant do not know the competitors among the vines. In all types of girl's grapes, tendrils densely branch and cling so tightly to even even walls that the plant is not even threatened by its own considerable weight at a respectable age.
Girl’s grapes are not afraid of pollution, smoke, any even the most difficult conditions, while maintaining a light gloss of attractive foliage. It is perfect for spectacular landscaping of walls, even sheer walls, any powerful and tall supports, decorating the dark, empty sides of buildings and gigantic fences, creating the so-called solid landscaping and thick even coverage.
Girl's grapes are able to form amazingly beautiful green tunnels, turn pergolas into luxurious objects, decorate old trees, arbors and pavilions. And even these functions do not exhaust the possibilities of its use in landscape design.
Girl's grapes are very good as a ground-cover creeping plant. It can be used to create amazingly beautiful and lush, dense carpets in those areas where it is impossible to break grass lawns or clearings from grassy groundcover. It is not afraid of dry open places and rocky slopes, grows well even in the poorest soils, does not lose the ability to effectively green the soil even in the thickest shade, and at the same time retains all the advantages of greenery in a horizontal plane.
As a groundcover plant, girl’s grapes can also be grown from cuttings, seedlings arranged at intervals of about 1 meter will create a thick carpet, and to speed up the process, you can place seedlings twice as close. A decorative and elegant carpet will create a girl’s grape amazingly fast, and it will require almost no care.
Weeds do not grow or spread under grapes, it does not interfere with the growth and development of large shrubs and trees, which makes it one of the most promising crops for landscaping large areas and areas with difficult conditions.
We should not forget the purely practical virtues of girl's grapes. Thanks to the use of this plant in landscaping, it is possible to achieve much greater efficiency from thermal insulation, to protect buildings and garden pavilions with gazebos from wind and rain, because the canopy of leaves of girl's grapes is really amazingly dense and for a long time keeps the structures from the damaging effects of the external environment.
Landscaping from girl's grapes allows you to enjoy the coolness of the room or gazebo in the summer even on the hottest day, in winter - to make the heating system as efficient as possible, and heat loss - minimal.
Simple rules for controlling girl's grapes
The notorious aggressiveness of girl's grapes is manifested only when the plant is given full freedom and does not even care about the elementary control of its development or care for decades. False grapes, with careful monitoring of their distribution and timely containment, will never creep into the garden uncontrollably, damage wall or roofing materials, create shade, dampness and braid everything around.
Simple control pruning is all that this plant needs. If you see that the grapes are developing too actively or its shoots begin to creep in the territory where they are not needed, just cut off the excess and shorten the lashes of the vine. The more pruned the girl’s grapes, the more their leaves are thickened, the crown’s ornamental pattern and leaf color are revealed, and the easier it is to cope with its tendency to grow rapidly.
But this is not all simple tricks that will help restrain the aggressiveness of girl's grapes and avoid unwanted seizure of the territory. Having achieved a spectacular drapery of the surface and the desired effect, it is enough to exclude watering and top dressing from the grape care system completely - and its growth will not stop, but it will slow down significantly. The plant will look good and fresh, but will cease to actively increase its height and volume.
Selection of conditions for a powerful creeper
In order for girl’s grapes to successfully develop and grow, for him it is not even necessary to select particular parameters of lighting or soil very carefully. This is one of the most unpretentious and hardy garden plants. Girl's grapes are able to adapt to almost any conditions, survive even where there is no fertile soil or if it grows in a limited amount.
It can be planted both in the most illuminated areas of the garden, suitable for photophilous cultures, on the south side of buildings, and in a fairly thick shade. These are shade-tolerant, but not shade-loving vines, and under the dense crowns of trees or on the north side of buildings it is better to plant it only when the plant is lit by the sun at least for several hours a day. The greatest effectiveness of all types and varieties of girl's grapes in partial shade of very different intensities from deep to scattered.
As for the soil, any of its shortcomings, from poor cultivation and compaction to a poor nutrient content or excessive lime and acidity can be compensated for when planting. Girl's grapes can grow literally in any soil, even dry, but when planting plants, some rules of elementary agricultural technology must be observed. The merits of girl grapes include the ability to tolerate transplant at any age.
Rules for planting girl's grapes
Planting is essentially the only difficult component of growing this vine. Girl's grapes can be planted both in spring and in mid-autumn.
Seedlings of girl's grapes should be located 1 m from the buildings or supports, on which they will have to rise and at a distance of about 1 m from other large plants.
Before planting, it is better to dig the soil for future cultivation together. For girl’s grapes, large planting pits are harvested, similar to woody plants. The optimal size of the landing hole is about 60 cm in depth and width. A powerful drainage layer with a height of about 20 cm is necessarily laid at the bottom, using fragments of broken brick, crushed stone and sand to create the most effective water permeability.
The whole earth removed from the landing hole must be improved: completely replace it with ready-made soil mixture or just mix peat, compost and sand. The best mix for girl’s grapes is considered to be an earth mixture consisting of equal parts of peat, compost and leafy land with the addition of a half fraction of sand.
In order for girl's grapes to successfully take root and begin to develop rapidly, it is enough to correctly install seedlings in the planting pit. The root neck of young plants should be located exactly at the level of the soil. It must not be buried or raised above the soil line. After planting, you must immediately recharge the irrigation using up to 2 buckets of water for each plant.
In the first year after planting, especially if you use seedlings obtained by cuttings, it is better to provide plants with minimal care. The girl’s grapes gratefully respond to mulching the soil with a height of about 6 cm, which will completely abandon weeding and loosening, and irrigation with top dressing.
Elementary Care for Girl's Grapes
This plant practically does not need any additional procedures. More intensive care will be needed only for young plants, and even then if you want to achieve the most rapid upholstery of the wall or structure in the shortest possible time.
In order to stimulate the active growth of girl's grapes, two top dressings per year can be carried out for plants. In the spring or in June, about 40-50 g of any complete mineral fertilizer is applied to it, and about a month or two after the first feeding, organic matter is used or mineral feeding is repeated. But fertilizers are applied only for that girl’s grape in which they want to stimulate an active increase in height and size.
Watering this vine as such is not needed. But prolonged drought can provoke an actual growth halt, therefore, in dry and hot summers, a plant is watered 3-4 times in the morning or in the evening, providing compensation for adverse weather conditions. For girl's grapes use 1-2 buckets of water for each vine. If you restrain the growth of the climbers, then watering can also be excluded from care.
At least once a year, try to loosen the soil, remove large weeds or mulch, preventing their development in the near-stem circle.
Girl's grapes are prone to a gradual uplift in the soil and exposure of the rhizome. If you notice that the roots of the plant begin to protrude above the ground, be sure to sprinkle with fresh soil and slightly spud the vine. Usually this procedure is carried out in the fall, in preparation for the wintering garden.
Pruning as such is not necessary for girl’s grapes, except for the removal of dry and damaged shoots and situations where it is necessary to restrain the vine and not let it go beyond the allocated area. Elementary cutting of some branches or shortening the excess will allow you to effectively control plant growth.
Girl's grapes are completely resistant to diseases and pests. It is easy to make their way to rodents along its lashes, but elementary measures at the base of the vine in the form of traps and baits make it easy to solve this problem.
Wintering Girl's Grapes
In regions with harsh winters, the only completely winter-hardy species is the Virginia grape, better known as five-leafed. Although the grapes of Henry, triangular, Thompson leaves are even more decorative and they are also very good as a vine and as a groundcover, they will need shelter and removal from the supports for the winter.
In the first year after planting, it is better to cover all the girl’s grapes with dry leaves and spruce branches, in the future the five-leafed ones will not need any protection.