In today’s adventure in the caring for Indian Runner Ducklings, I spent time in the food forest finding ways to close up the canopy until the fruit and ornamental trees grow in to break the line of sight during the day time hours so as to put off flying predators from swooping down and snatching up the Indian Runner Ducklings.
Naturally, the ducklings don’t appreciate any of my hard work, and yet, I struggled onwards in figuring out how to coerce overgrown grape and pea vines into growing up trees, over branches, and across open spaces.
Although I did use padded wires that were labeled as being “plant supports” for things like tomatoes and peppers that will tip over as their fruit begins to way heavily on the tender-ish vines, cable ties, yarn, rope, or any other string can be used to similar effect, though maybe with a bit more effort. The padded plant support wires work well because you can wrap them relatively tight without damaging the grape or pea vines.
The sweet potato vines were less effort as I find that they tangle a lot less and don’t have tendrils, like grape vines, that grab onto canes, comfrey, and whatever else is handy, to climb onto.
Something that needs to be kept in mind is that, once winter comes, the sweet potato vines will die back, the pea vines will begin dying back ones the peas are ready to harvest, and the grape vines will drop their leaves for the winter.
Fortunately, once trained, the grape vines can be left alone to leaf out again come spring, giving you a perennial grape vine canopy to protect the ducks from hawks and such during the warm seasons.
These vines can be supplemented with some evergreen vining plants in an effort to give some sort of year round covering to your edible landscape ducks. It is also good to add some evergreen fruit trees like lemon trees, orange trees, or olive trees to give the ducks some cover during the day year round. These fruit trees can also be used to support your grape vines, giving you the maximum amount of ground coverage to help your ducks to be the safest they can be during their daytime foraging hours.