You may also recall how Basil completely destroyed one of them (at least we thought he did) shortly thereafter:
Well, we let them hang out in their same planters over the rest of the winter, spring and summer and just continued to water and watch to see if anything would happen. In early April, the one plant had new growth and even sprouted mini bunches of grapes, which we pinched off the vine in an effort to strengthen the base plant for transplanting later on:
In late May, we came out on the landing one morning to discover what we thought would be a lost cause — the dead, destroyed plant had literally sprung a new vine next to the dead one and rapidly regrew itself. We were beyond thrilled.
Here's what we've been looking like more recently:
Now that you've got the full background on these grapevines, let's get to today's update — transplanting them! Since moving in the house and getting these vines, we figured having them grow and vine up the little enclave we have under our back landing staircase (where we have our hanging herb planters) could be a great place for them. We'd also scored these two giant half whiskey barrels over the winter that just happened to fit this little space perfectly. They've been hanging out upside-down like this for a few months:
Now can you see where Mary's been "wearing me out" to get these guys transplanted? Haha, only joking — but really, just look at that look on her face:
I whipped out the trusty power drill, did my best Tim Allen ARR ARR ARR and got to it! I drilled 5 holes (1 in the center and 4 in each corner) in the bottom of each barrel to allow for drainage, using one of my largest drill bits:
Then I flipped each of the barrels over to get started prepping them. They had been upside-down for so long that spiders had made new homes in each of them:
Knowing we wanted to transplant these guys this weekend, we picked up 2 cheap bags of river pebbles and 4 bags of topsoil from the hardware store. I poured a thick layer of the river pebbles into the base of each barrel, again, to allow for proper drainage, then rinsed off all the extra sediment:
Next came a healthy pouring of topsoil in each barrel over the river pebbles:
We'd been collecting each of the planters from our spring plantings that we'd either harvested or were just over for the season on our back patio table so we could reuse the potting soil to mix in with the dirt in these new planters. One thing we've realized with moving into the city is how much simple dirt and soil have become a commodity for us — we would never have thought we'd ever "save soil" to reuse again, but here we are doing it!
In any case, we cleaned out the plants, leaves and roots from each of the spring planters and collected those to toss into our compost bin (read all about our compost bin and how it works here):
We thought this might be the perfect opportunity to actually mix in and use some of the compost that's been breaking down over the past several months, but when I checked it out from the bottom, it just wasn't ready for use yet — we're still waiting for that "black gold."
So, we mixed in some of the old soil with the new, then pulled the grapevines from their original pots, loosened up the vines as best we could and placed them gently into the barrels as we continued to layer and mix old and new soil together over the root ball:
After giving them a heavy watering, we stood back and marveled at how great they look in their new homes:
They just already look like happier, healthier plants, even if it's just in our heads. I can just imagine they feel like they can stretch out and continue to grow now.
When all was said and done, I rinsed out all of the planters from spring and we put them away in the garage to use again either later this fall or early next spring:
As you probably noticed, Basil was very keen on investigating this entire planting process. We are just hoping we don't come outside to any more devastating incidents like before — but I made a gentleman's agreement with him that I don't want to see any funny business. We shall see.
Have you started planning your fall plantings or had success growing grapevines in your space? We're excited to see how these guys take shape in their new planters — who knows, maybe we'll even get grapes at some point!