Many of you may have heard that my new book Vertical Vegetable Gardening launched on New Year’s Eve. This was one of my favorite books to write and I’m hoping readers find more than they bargained for between the front & back covers. By the way, planting climbing plants such as peas is merely one way to garden vertically.
Another fun (and beautiful) vertical technique is to plant specific trees and shrubs against a wall, fence, or trellis and then prune them into geometric patterns against the support. You may have seen this done with apple or pear trees, but did you know that you can do the same thing with shrubs such as currants? In fact, versatile currant plants grow around 3′ to 5′ tall which makes them perfect for containers. Plus they’re a turn-off for garden-munching deer which is a big deal here in the foothills. *Bonus: currants are garden trendy for 2013, so there’s that (trust me on this).
To espalier currant plants, you’ll want to plant them near a support (like a trellis or a wall). We planted our sleeping beauties in large containers and then placed them next to horse fencing, so we’d have something to guide them along when they wake in the spring.
A few friends and I want to encourage you to grow up (there’s a pun in there somewhere) by giving away some vertical goodies to ya’ll. We’ve got Vertical Vegetable Gardening by yours truly, as well as The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Small-Space Gardening because they complement each other.
Peaceful Valley/GrowOrganic.com is generously sharing four of their red currant plants (‘Wilder’ and ‘Red Lake’) for your jelly-canning, pie-baking, or ice cream-making pleasure (the Beekman Boys have a recipe for making fabulous currant jelly and A Crafty Lass swears that they’re brilliant in booze). Both varieties are resistant to White Pine Blister Rust (which can be deadly for white pines).
However, Peaceful Valley/GrowOrganic.com can only ship them to the lower 48 states. White pines are grown in some states specifically for lumber, so currants cannot be shipped to residents of HI, MA, ME, MI, NC, NH, NJ, PR, RI, WV.
Your plants will arrive looking like a bag of sticks — I assure they are not. They’re dormant currants disguised as a bag of sticks.
By the way, the good folks at Peaceful Valley have all the information you need on growing currants at your place — they even have a video for those of you that prefer faces and voice over printed words.
Of course you’ll want to nourish your plants organically, so Authentic Haven Brand Natural Brew is rounding out the vertical gardening package with their fabulous Soil Conditioning Tea! It’s all the fertilizing your currants will need this season.
Toss your hat into the giveaway by one (or up your chances by doing all three):
1. Leave me a comment below letting me know if you’ve grown, eaten, or used currants before.
2. Like my FB page (oh, for the love of Pete just go like the poor thing — I tend to neglect my own page)
3. Like Peaceful Valley/GrowOrganic FB page.
For each hoop you jump through (with Rafflecopter below), your name is added into the drawing for more chances to win. The giveaway ends Monday, January 21 at midnight.
~ This Giveaway has ended ~
a Rafflecopter giveaway