Birds Don't Eat Berries

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hmmmm! Wonder if GWB declared war on them too! :)
Cindy
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Georges :)
Kely Paul Graham
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On Wed, 08 Sep 2004 20:23:08 GMT, "Kelly Paul Graham"

A South Carolina blackberry can whup a Texas blackberry's candy ass any day of the week, and twice on Sundays.
They've whupped mine a few times, but the blackberries wuz worth it.
Penelope
--
"Maybe you'd like to ask the Wizard for a heart."
"ElissaAnn" < snipped-for-privacy@everybodycansing.com>
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Thornless in the yard, thorny variety back in the woods.
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snipped-for-privacy@mousepotato.com writes:

Tragically, when a parent loses a child, there is a horribly long adjustment time. I know from experience. The yard work was not even on their minds while dealing with the incredible and unbearable pain that only those who have been there can even begin to understand. I hope you were kind to them and understanding that they could not function normally in a world that was shattered beyond repair for them.

My eldest son attended Reed College during the time they were trying to eradicate the Himalayan Blackberries that had overrun the canyon there. The HB are *not* native to this country and, like Starlings, are an import by a well-meaning but ignorant person.
It took them several years to get rid of the berries but finally achieved their goal. The secret? Diligence in following this method.
Cut every vine back as far as you can cut it (below soil level if possible). Every two weeks, check for any new growth and cut it back. The reason this works is that the blackberry plant pulls energy into the roots from the greenery. As it starts new shoots, it must use some of that stored energy to continue to grow. Each time the young sprout is cut back (which is why it must happen with the new growth before it has time to store much energy), the root system has a negative balance on energy stored which eventually destroys the plant's root system which leaves that plant dead.
I know this works because I have done it. When I purchased my home, it, also, was the victim of extensive blackberry growth. The largest patch (at least 12 feet high and 500 ft. square) was on the RV pad which we cleaned out with the backhoe and had the soil/roots/branches hauled off in a dump truck. Then we lay down construction fabric and a new supply of gravel. With no light for what was left, there was no way they could store energy. There have been, of course, many "babies" around the edges. Those have been the victims with the cut-at-the-soil method as well as the many that grew along the alleyway beside my fruit trees.
The method works if you are diligent and, unlike sprays designed to kill them, causes no harm to any surrounding vegetation or to the soil or air. You do, of course, need to repeat the method on all new growth whether it be from a sprout from a root or from a seed dropped by birds.
On a local gardening program, the person there suggested cutting them back to a 2-inch length and then "painting on" the spray and wrapping it in plastic to ensure better absorption of the spray into the root system. This would work much better (and is less invasive) than spraying the leaves.
There you have two methods, organic and non-organic, that both work. While both involve much work, they will do the job. Diligence is the key to this imported, and unwelcome, aggressor.
When you can dig them out, that is the best way, and works well with all the little starts which will happen every place the vine touches damp soil/leaves. Its reproductive system is one of the best on the planet. Even the smallest root will develop into a plant and, left untended, become a thicket.
Those who have dealt with this particular blackberry will tell you there is not a more aggressive berry. In too many areas, it has wiped out the population of native blackberries which are smaller but more flavorful and not nearly so aggressive.
Be certain to dispose of the vines via garbage can, *not* compost pile. They incredibly adept at starting from pieces that don't seem possible, even those seemingly too dry.
As with many things, understanding the characteristics of the plant helps with knowing how to control/improve/destroy it.
Good luck with the blackberry free yard. Though it takes a lot of effort and follow-up, it's worth it.
Glenna
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writes:

Glenna, you have lost a child, and I convey my condolences to you and the rest of your family.

Without asking, I did things like pruning their shrubs and pulling weeds. I didn't want to embarrass them. I trimmed back the blackberries on their property for a couple of years to a limited extent. Eventually the blackberries got to be too much, and I gave it up and the berries took over.
If there was anyone who really suffered the most from this infestation, it was the grandmother. She lived upstairs, and could not get down the stairs on her own to the front door to unlock it if someone were to come calling. However, there was a stairway up to the second floor from the back yard. Before the blackberries took over, I could get through their back yard and up the back steps to help her out, fetch her the mail and bring it in to her. After the blackberries, she was imprisoned in her own house, with no way for anyone other than family to come in.

Exactly, which is why I mentioned my need for patroling our yard on a continuing basis to keep the blackberries at bay. I do not use a commercial poison.
The people who purchased the home were also a multi-generational family. Grandma stayed at home and cared for her grandchildren while the parents worked. Grandpa's occupation was vegetable growing. He turned that vacant patch into a lovingly-tended garden.
Now, they've moved out, too, and there's a commercial gardening service that comes by and maintains the property. But grandpa's garden has grassed over, and no one's growing vegetables there now.
--
Warm Regards,

Claire Petersky
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snipped-for-privacy@pmug.org (Glenna Rose) wrote:

Cut and pour on some boiling water.
--

Charles
The significant problems we face cannot be solved
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