Neighbor’s Grape Vine


#1

My neighbor has muscadine grapes growing on his side of a fence we both share. They are constantly growing on my side of the fence. If I would let them go, my side of the fence would look like Sleeping Beauty’s overgrown castle in a year or two. They are prolific.

And, these are old grape vines, so I can’t plant anything on my side of the fence there, because there’s too many roots.

Now I wouldn’t begrudge him his grape vines if he actually took care of them. He doesn’t. They’re very crowded and harbor all sorts of fungal disease and insects during the summer. They’re muscadines, so they can shrug this off. However, my vegetables in my raised beds, which are ten feet from the fence line, have my trouble. I’m almost positive they’re why I have to constantly spray my vegetables if I want to grow anything (granted, I’m in the South, so I expect to spray, but I almost have to follow a commercial spray schedule if I want decent produce.)

And to top it all off, the grapes taste like crap.

Now, a year ago, when I was cleaning up my side of the fence (which took considerable effort, because the previous owners let it go—grape vines the diameter of my thumb, intertwined with various other vines like poison ivy, porcelain berry, and Virginia creeper) I offered to clean up their side of the fence, for free, up to and including digging out the roots of the grapes. They declined.

They’re jack***** so I cant readdress this with them—if they wont let me do it for free, they certainly aren’t going to do it themselves.

Anyway, I just did a fall pruning of their grape vines that ended up on my side (heh) but I’m fed up with this.

Any suggestions for what I can do? I respect property rights, so I’m not going on their property, but anything I can do on my side to at least weaken the darn things?


#2

This problem is as old as the world itself. I’m sorry but you are doing what you can to not start a fight with your neighbors. It’s always a balance between getting along with others and self interest. If it was me I would address it slowly the way the problem started. Maybe plant yourself a nice disease resistant kieffer or pineapple pear four feet from the fence. It might shade his muscadine and steal the nutrients over the next 10-20 years but hey it’s on your side. His muscadine will stay alive and try to climb the pear but if you keep it’s tendrils off you can have a crop of some type there. The big thing is stay flexible and be patient. When I came here a neighbor turned his dogs on me but over time I cured the dogs of that but I did some running also. He tried to own my property to which you cannot allow. The dogs learned not to chase me after a few confrontations on my property but I picked my battles. You need to find out exactly where your border is you may actually own that muscadine. The place I live is tamed down a lot from when I grew up here but people still do things like the muscadine all the time some of which you overlook and sometimes you simply cannot.


#3

That’s not a bad idea, except for my raised beds are already there.

I have a pretty big backyard for suburbia, but I try to keep a big part of the middle free for my kids to run around and play, so I’m constantly trying to cram things around the edges—hence why my raised beds are ten feet from the fence. Grr. I know it’s not a problem with an easy solution though, that’s why I threw it out there to see if anybody had any ideas—which, yours is really good, but unfortunately not really an option.


#4

Maybe put up some taller poles and plant a
kiwi plant or something you can harvest that is a vine. Another grape that tastes good perhaps your own muscadine. What can he say your muscadine is crawling all over mine? You might need to give up a little raised bed but if you need that spot to be productive that’s one way. Sometimes I have the luxury of overlooking things since I have 35 acres. Getting a long with my neighbors is important to me.


#5

We’re not friendly bake-you-a-pie type neighbors, we keep mostly to ourselves, but if a neighbor ever needs a hand (tree fell or something like that) we’ll lend a hand. Or we’ll give some extra produce to our neighbors. Stuff like that.

Problem with these neighbors is their kid. When we first moved here, our kids played with their kids, and the boy, who was three years older (and a foot taller) than my son, would pick on him. I try to stay out of my kids’ business, preferring to let them solve things themselves. After telling my son to try a bunch of things, which didn’t work, I finally told my son to hit the kid back if he got hit again.

In my day, that would’ve worked. In today’s day and age, however…their kid started to cry and ran inside to tell his mommy and daddy. When they confronted us, I pointed out the obvious (the age/weight/height mismatch) told them my son was defending himself after multiple times of their son acting like a bully, and perhaps they out to remove the plank in their own eye before getting indignant with the speck in mine.

So, suffice it to say, I dislike them intensely (and I’m sure the feeling is mutual) but we both are keeping things very frigidly polite.


#6

Yes you stood up to them and people hate that. It had to be done by the sounds of it since a bigger kid was bullying yours. That’s most likely why they are leaving that nasty tasting grape there. If you Tordan their grape then you are biting on the line they are fishing with.


#7

I wonder if you can use something sharp to go into the ground to cut off the root on your side of property, that may slow down the growth. Or is it too hard? It looks like your neighbor doesn’t really care about the vine, they may not even notice the change😛 Then you can grow something like a grape on your side.


#8

I bet a few maypops could finish off that grape eventually if they don’t weed it. You’d have to deal with the spreading on your side though, not sure how deep root barrier would need to be to keep it contained.


#9

I think you’ll just have to keep trimming it. I had a similar situation at my last place. Neighbor had overgrown wisteria & clematis coming over the fence. I constantly trimmed them back but what bothered me most was vermin were nesting in the clematis (which had grown all over his roof, probably messing his shingles up). They would come out at dusk and feast on my fruit & veggies on other side of fence.

The only other thing I can think is say “Hey, I think these plants are spreading disease to my vegetables, since you don’t eat them I’ll remove them AND give you 200$ as a thank you”.

Sometimes money talks.


#10

Difficult situation with no easy answers. If the neighbor is the type that can’t be safely approached to discuss the issue I might be tempted to plant a more aggressive Kiwi but two wrongs could escalate bad feeling. I have an 18v hedge trimmer that can easily be used to keep the muscadine cut back which might be the best means to control the vine without creating issues between neighbors.


#11

Maybe plant your own grape vine on your side and keep it small. But, it gives you cover to spray and when you are spraying you can take care of the fungal issues he is having on his muscadine, keeping it from being a problem with your veggies. Once you hit it a few times, i wouldn’t think it would be too bad of a problem- aren’t muscadines pretty resistant to most issues? I didn’t spray mine at all this year and while normal grapes had issue (even with 1 or 2 sprays), the muscadines were clean with none.

Are they sending up suckers on your side of the fence? Maybe they share the same root system and will transfer herbicide to the mother plants?


#12

While they are away put some long lasting round up on the main stem as close to the ground as you can get. Make sure you don’t get any on the weeds so it is not obvious. Sorry I have little patience for BS - this is not the right thing to do but then again your dealing with not so nice people.

Not sure what your zoning laws are but put putting up a a second fence might be a n option. Put up an 8 ft high picket fence on your side of the property. Not sure if that will work with the beds you have in place. A solid fence should keep the disease out, you won’t have to see them ands will likely piss them off.


#13

Never bring a muscadine to an actinidia fight!

As a practical matter, what kind of fence is it? I like Bob V’s suggestion about planting something else you can spray as a pretext for hitting the muscadine with the “overspray.” But that only works if it’s the kind of fence you can spray through.

From what you’re saying, it’s sounding like it’s more of a neighbor problem than a vine problem, which definitely complicates things.