Blackberries are delicious, but they can quickly gain the upper hand in the garden and become a nuisance. Here you can find out everything about removing blackberries.
The prickly blackberry ( Rubus fruticosus ) is an eye-catcher and ensures a delicious supply of fruit every year. Despite the good points, the blackberry often shows its annoying facade if you don’t steer its lush growth in the right direction. Since some blackberry varieties also spread through subterranean runners, controlling their growth is sometimes not that easy. We’ll tell you how you can effectively combat blackberries that are overgrown and question whether pesticides really help.
Effectively remove and permanently fight blackberries
Everyone has probably experienced it before: Summer is not quite as sunny as you would like it to be and the motivation for gardening is down. The half-hearted approach to gardening will then take revenge next year because many construction sites have been abandoned. The blackberry punishes its gardener immediately if he has not looked after it properly. The otherwise friendly berry sprawls beyond its bed, spreading through subterranean runners and gradually robbing your other plants of light and space.
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The first measure is often a rigorous pruning of the prickly blackberry shoots. This can be done by hand with rose or hedge shears or with a motorized brush cutter. The brush cutter should be equipped with a special hedge knife, as the woody blackberry shoots are too firm to be cut with a conventional plastic cord.
Tip: Don’t be too squeamish when cutting off the shoots. The blackberry recovers quickly and can compensate for a generous cut well.
Important: Be sure to wear appropriate protective clothing. Thick gloves are recommended anyway to counter the prickly shoots. If you are working with a brush cutter, protective goggles, hearing protection, long trousers, and steel toe shoes are mandatory.
For detailed instructions on how to cut blackberries, see this article.
Remove blackberry: dig up runners
To reward your efforts, in the long run, you should also remove a large part of the subterranean runners, especially if you are dealing with creeping blackberry growths. You can partially pull these out of the ground together with the above-ground shoots. If the shoots tear or residues are left behind, it is advisable to dig them up. This is the best way to avoid blackberry overgrowth. To keep your neighbor’s invasive blackberry runners or wild blackberries out of your garden, consider creating a root barrier along your fence.
Warning: do not throw the blackberry runners you have dug up on the compost. There these could sprout again under certain circumstances and the blackberry plague starts all over again.
Our tip: dispose of the runners in the organic waste bin, put them through the garden shredder, or burn them if your community allows it on some days of the year.
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