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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Unruly Blackberry Canes

When we moved to Magnolia Holler there were three massive areas of overgrown blackberries. We were so overwhelmed with everything else on the "To Do" list; we haven't had time to properly care for the blackberries. Now, don't get me wrong, we've been enjoying them; I've been picking blackberries galore the past two summers.
But this year, things have relaxed a bit and I’ve been reading up how to properly prune and care for them. Now I understand their growth habits, only fruiting on two-year old canes, trimming the spend canes at the end of the summer, and pruning the remaining canes to about 24" tall in late winter/early spring.
Seeing how we’re experiencing nice weather, I decided to head out and tackle this project. My fingers, writs, and arms are NOT thanking me! I need steel plated armor for this job! Ouch! I spent two hours and haven’t made a dent.

This is what I’m dealing with. We have three clumps that look just like this.

Standing back and looking at them, what I should do (and can’t bear to think about) is give up a growing season, and mow them all down – to give a fresh start.

Any suggestions? Have you ever had to untangle and manage an unruly mass of blackberry canes? What was your trick?

-Live Simple, Be Happy-
Magnolia Holler

4 comments:

  1. I would love to have canes all nicely in a row and easy to pick. We are always trudging through the woods on a mission. With lots of bleeding involved!

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  2. Wow! I've never had blackberry canes so I have no idea what would be best. We do have some wild blackberries growing on our property, but they are all spaced out and small plants. Good luck!

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  3. Are they wild?
    I would probably mow them down and plant a variety without the thorns. :)

    If they are a good variety work at it a little every day.I don't know if you mowed them down, would they come back up?

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  4. Hi! I am in southern mississippi and I have a front chain link fence that our black berries grow wild on. they don't take over or venture too far out so maybe a type of lattice or maybe even posts with galvanized wire would work? when they are finished producing I always just mow over the ones that shot out on the ground and weed wack the rest down from the fence. I don't think I could kill them off even if I wanted to.

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