We've got a resident population of wild blackberries here , and they are
a real pain to harvest - thorns . And not just thorns , but wicked curved
little bas***ds that dig deeper the harder you pull and then break off deep
so you have to dig them out . But my wife likes them <well , so do I ...>
so I've been trying different things to be able to harvest them . This year
I've "bundled" them by tieing a string around several plants . Started off
by removing dead and diseased canes , of course , but this seems to solve
the "tangled" problem with these . I also cut them all at about chest height
, expecting the remaining canes to produce better . As this year's new canes
grow , I plan to guide them into the containing string/cord , so next year
I'll only have to prune this year's fruiting canes . This just might work !
It will work, I'm laughing because of all the hours I've spent training
those canes, and pruning. Blackberries are a labor of love. They make
raspberries seem easy. The question is, is it worth it? If my wife liked
them (and mine does as well), the answer is, yes. Everyone should have
"The 1960's called. They want their recipe back."
Yeah , "they" do , but I'm "me" , not "they" . These are native to this
area , and in a year with sufficient rainfall they're good producers .
Besides , have you ever tried to kill a largish patch of them ? Ain't gonna
happen , especially since they're all over up here and the birds and other
small animals spread the seeds ...
I was laughing as I read your description of controlling blackberries as
I'm sure David H-S was if he read what you wrote.
In my country it's compulsory for land holders to not only control, but
also to kill infestations of blackberries. That applies to a single
bush or to hillsides or valleys of them. It's a declared noxious weed
which in past decades took over many acres of farmland and made it
I have a small illegal patch and every time we spray it some, in the
very centre of the clump, evades the herbicide. I'm just glad the weeds
inspector hasn't noticed it or he'd be back each year and threatening to
impose fines for ineffective control.
Along with a pair of gauntlet welding gloves ... but I'm trying to avoid
having to go to extreme measures to harvest the fruit . And I think the
bunching is going to work . Minimum labor after the initial setup , but easy
access to the plants to harvest .
They're not really a problem here except in some clearings <our land is
heavily wooded for the most part> and in particular the power line easements
. They come thru with a bushhog every few years and knock them and the small
trees down . I've tilled a lot under for the garden , still had a few shoots
this spring from when I broke that ground last year ... I've cleared a lot
of small trees in order to encourage the berry patch to migrate downhill a
bit to regain the plants I've tilled under .
That's interesting about being treed and not having big infestations
because where the foresters grow radiata pines here, the blackberry
infestation is amazing.
The one really wonderful thing about backberries (other than the
berries) is how wonderful the soil is under the canopy once a big old
long lived clump is finally killed off. All those years of dropped
leaves and bird poop creates wonderful soil.
Yes , it does make great soil . That part of last year's garden where I
removed berry bushes was the most productive . I expect this year to be good
too , most all of the garden is now on former blackberry areas .
This is going off on a tangent, but I finally finished my
blackberry/raspberry enclosure. It's a 9' x 10' by 6' high structure made
from PVC pipe, and I have been covering it in bird netting every year.
What a pain. This year, I did everything but the top with chicken wire,
and only used the netting for the top.
The birds might get most of my cherries, and the squirrels most of my
peaches and plums, but this year the berries belong to the humans.
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