This has been a high priority project because this is where I’ve planned for kiwis to be planted. Fuzzy kiwis take about a billion years before they start producing fruit (ok, 5-9- basically a billion), so I wanted to get them as soon as possible. We got the arbor for the female kiwi built when we redid the chicken pasture last year, but just now started on the planter bed.
To prep the bed area, first I weeded out Bremuda grass by hand, then laid a thick layer of cardboard for further weed suppression. Under the area where the concrete was going, I used strips of cotton sheets, to act as further weed barrier and prevent the concrete from cutting up the cardboard (and giving the Bermuda an easy way in). Then, I pieced together chunks of concrete and the occasional rock I’ve hauled home from various adventures, to stack a perimeter wall about 1′ high. The bed isn’t completed, as I first need to MOVE the pile of concrete I’ve been pulling from (placement fail!!) but I’ve backfilled the area that’s created with purchased well-draining soil.Once we had the planting area prepped, we went kiwi shopping! In the pouring rain, we picked out the pair of fuzzy kiwis (you need both a male and female for fruit) and managed to load the tall vines into my Civic. They rode shotgun while Matt sat in the back. We planted the female fuzzy kiwi alongside the arbor, using twine to support the branches until it can twine itself. She’s “Vincent” variety, and her mate “Tomuri” will get planted on the other side of the bed to trellis along the fence.
We also planted one of our potted pomegranate trees into the bed, a Kashmir, and I’ve planted some prostate rosemary to trail down the rock front. I have plans for other plantings, including a handful of strawberries, additional herbs, and pollinator friendly flowering perennials.
Why did we use urbanite, instead of imported stone? There are several reasons, the main being it was free. Last June, we broke up our concrete ‘patio’, yielding me with giant piles of urbanite. You can read about that project here. Reusing materials is an important aspect of ecological gardening- no new materials needed to be mined or transported, reducing the environmental impact of my garden. I also chose to use the urbanite because the stacked concrete and stone will create habitat for lizards and other invertebrates. It’s a multi-use function to create a usable space and a wildlife habitat.
How are your spring projects coming?