Introduction: Grapevine Edging for Flowerbeds

About: Steward to about 20,000 trees on 40 acres.
Use the grapevines you prune from your domestic or wild grapes to create free, attractive edging for your flower beds.

Materials needed:  last year's grape vines
Tools needed: hand pruners
                          : bucket or tub for soaking cuttings
When:  late Winter of early Spring

Step 1: How Many Pieces to Cut and the Cutting Details.

Measure the edge of the flower bed where you want to add a rustic edging. You will need one piece of vine per 6-7".  Prune the grapes as you usually do.  Pull one cut vine at a time to your work area.  You will be cutting sections about 30" long.  Placing a 30" board on the ground or poking a couple of sticks into the ground 30" apart will make a good guide to help keep the cut vine sections consistent in length.    

Start at the thick, cut end of the vine and continue to cut sections until the vine becomes too small in diameter.  I usually don't use anything less than the diameter of a pencil.  Aside the pieces you want to keep.  Into another pile, cut the rest of the vine into sections for disposal however is appropriate where you live.     

Tie your bundle of cuttings and store for use later in the year.

Step 2: Installing the Edging

The day before you want to install your vine arch edging, submerge the bundle of cuttings in water.  Weigh them down with a brick or large rock so that all of the vines are under water.  Soaking will make them more flexible at installation time.

To install, push one end of the first section 4-5" into the soil at the edge of your flower bed.  Bend the vine and push the other end into the soil about a foot away, along the edge of the bed.  A 12" guide block may help with consistency.  At the middle of the first arch, insert the first end of the second vine section.  Repeat the bend and insert the other end about 6-7" past the end of the first arch.  Continue installing overlapping arches until your border is complete.  

The vine arches can be saved from year-to-year but they will be brittle after storage.  A good soaking will help but you should expect some breakage.

A bundle of cut vines and some help with installation might be appreciated by a gardener friend.