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blackberry control  RSS feed

 
              
Posts: 52
Location: Australia
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I have been searching the gardening web sites since my post and they all say its the worst tasting blackberry and most of the gardeners have given up caring for their thornless blackberry plants or ripped them out.

The old thorny variety seems the best.

Cheers,
PeterD
 
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Thanks.  That settles it: thorns it is.  My feeling is that if you spend the time once, and install a good trellis system, a once a year pruning would be simple maintenance to keep it under control.  Maybe a pair of welder's gloves (long cuff) for harvesting (and let the birds have the hard to reach ones).
 
gardener
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just posted on the aussie permie site

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=5r13x3lmIhI

Revegetating and Reducing Fire Risk in Spring Creek Gully

blackberry control
 
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The thornless ones that I have are good if picked when they fall into your had with very little effort otherwise they are sour. the main benifit of them is big clusters make for faster picking. The root suchers will grow thorns but you don't get many suckers at all, you gota burry the tips of the branches to propogate new plants.
 
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pollinator
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Location: Vermont, off grid for 24 years!
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paul wheaton wrote:
My response was to put a string of electric around the blackberries and then run pigs in there. 



So, not to burst your bubble or anything, but my pigs ate everything BUT the blackberries! The pic is after 3 months of being in that spot!

I don't think this matters but the blackberry spot had the most shade and they chose that spot for pooping.
Pigs-not-eating-blackberries.jpg
[Thumbnail for Pigs-not-eating-blackberries.jpg]
 
Cj Sloane
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Susan Monroe wrote:
The trouble is going to be keeping them down.  I think it was in one of Bill Mollison's books where he reported that a farmer had a gully full of wild blackberry plants that he wanted cleaned out.  He threw bales of hay into the gully and gave his cattle access.  They chewed down and trampled the vines while going after the hay.  As soon as he saw the vines coming up again, he threw more hay down there.  After 30 years, he admitted that the blackberries were winning.

Sue



Having said that pigs wont do the job, I WILL say my cows & sheep have done a great job of keeping them down, getting rid of them. Never had to throw any hay down, they just went for them. Both breeds are great at foraging (Belted Galloways & Black Welsh Mountain Sheep). I haven't seen them come back.
 
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Perhaps Sepp has not seen our NW blackberry deserts? I know he was here, but here we have literally acres upon acres of nothing but blackberries. Pigs don't really like blackberries, eh. They're quite sensitive and don't like to get scratched. Oh sure, they'll eat 'em and plow right through them to get at treats.... but to fence off pigs in a mostly blackberry patch is a bit cruel to the animals. I know because I raise 'em in the NW. They do a bit of munching on the leaves by choice, but that's about it.

I agree with the stomp on 'em advice, but then cutting them up? Put a goat out there, even one or two and they'll eat all the leaves. Eat the goat. And repeat the following year. If you need to, the third year you can do it again. Goats prefer blackberries over all other plants pretty much.

One issue that doesn't seem to have been discussed is that blackberries are filling a tremendous void in their ecosystem. They pretty much grow only in grown up pasture, roadsides, and abandoned railways... so they are filling a void. And they don't last long... about ten years on they finish their job and other, more diversified species take over. Blackberries are a kind of pioneer species that are filling in voids that humans have created.

I would like to know what the NW looked like before white folks showed up...
 
Cj Sloane
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gordwelch wrote:I agree with the stomp on 'em advice, but then cutting them up? Put a goat out there, even one or two and they'll eat all the leaves. Eat the goat. And repeat the following year. If you need to, the third year you can do it again. Goats prefer blackberries over all other plants pretty much.

One issue that doesn't seem to have been discussed is that blackberries are filling a tremendous void in their ecosystem. They pretty much grow only in grown up pasture, roadsides, and abandoned railways... so they are filling a void. And they don't last long... about ten years on they finish their job and other, more diversified species take over. Blackberries are a kind of pioneer species that are filling in voids that humans have created.

I would like to know what the NW looked like before white folks showed up...



My 3rd contrary post...

I'm very anti-goat. I started out with them and they are just not worth the trouble! I have acres & acres of brambles & when I let them free range they wound up spending most of the day circling the house, trying to figure out how to get in (they did). Or they just stood on the deck in front of the sliding glass door, peeing & pooping. Or they went for my blueberries.

Once contained, they did eat the brambles, and I did eat one of them. But on the whole, my sheep do what I wanted the goats to do without trying to get into my house or out of their paddock.
 
pollinator
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gordwelch wrote:One issue that doesn't seem to have been discussed is that blackberries are filling a tremendous void in their ecosystem. They pretty much grow only in grown up pasture, roadsides, and abandoned railways... so they are filling a void. And they don't last long... about ten years on they finish their job and other, more diversified species take over. Blackberries are a kind of pioneer species that are filling in voids that humans have created.


We've lived in our neighborhood for 21 years and the undisturbed spots that were all blackberries when we moved here are still all blackberries.  The only plant that I've seen creep into them is reed canarygrass, another non-native invasive plant, plus a very occasional tree. 

I agree that the blackberries will eventually succumb to other plants, but around here I think that takes more than 20 years.   In our yard, they formed a mat 8-12 feet thick, which let very little light through.

Now if we were to have a fairly normal fire cycle I think the change would happen a lot faster.  Although the blackberry mats look lush and green, underneath they are fully of dead, dry stalks which burn easily.

Elsewhere in this forum I described the procedure I have used to get rid of my blackberries.


I would like to know what the NW looked like before white folks showed up...



I think it was pretty idyllic, especially if you are immune to poison oak.  Pretty much every super aggressive or thorny plant that you see today was brought here by Europeans.  Even our only native blackberry (Rubus ursinus) is very tame.
 
Cj Sloane
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Susan Monroe wrote:
I think it was in one of Bill Mollison's books where he reported that a farmer had a gully full of wild blackberry plants that he wanted cleaned out.  He threw bales of hay into the gully and gave his cattle access.  They chewed down and trampled the vines while going after the hay.  As soon as he saw the vines coming up again, he threw more hay down there.  After 30 years, he admitted that the blackberries were winning.

Sue



I've been reading a transcription (scribd.com) of a lecture Bill Mollison gave & it's quite different from the story above:

There is a man who had a 14-year-old sow. He fed it a lot of good things, including apples. He had pigs before her. About 17 years ago, in the corner of the pig pen there was a blackberry clump. An apple tree started there, and up it came. Then the apples started to fall, and the pigs got into the blackberries and moved them out, ripped them all out and left the apple tree. This fellow was a man of great sagacity. He went out and got a lot of apple trees, waded into the middle of his blackberries and planted trees in every blackberry clump he could find. He also planted peaches and quinces and figs and pears. He had a lot of blackberry on his farm; he was in fairly heavy rainfall foothill country. Blackberries there are not the weak undersized things you see around here. They are violently rampant blackberries. They will fill gullies and be level across the top of them with the hills. The water flows down below. So he waded in and put in a grafted sometimes, but often seedling trees.

What happens in this situation is that the tree grows straight up to the light.It doesn’t make any low branches. It grows very fast. It is the fastest growing situation you can find for fruit trees. The tree doesn’t have any branches for maybe nine feet, and then it crowns out. When the apples start to fall, there will not be enough of them to attract anything except three or four rabbits, and they eat them. Then, in a couple of seasons, maybe, a lot of apples start to fall, and they start smelling good and getting lost in the blackberries and fermenting. At that point the cattle can’t stand it. They wade into the blackberries up to their chest, picking out apples, and they tread heavy on the blackberries. Then the tree gets bigger, and it drops 30 bushels of apples. It is now partially shading the blackberries out. It also becomes absolutely impossible for the cattle to stay out. They smash the blackberries flat, and you have this gigantic apple tree with the big thick trunk, eight feet clear of branches. One of those trees is 70 feet across, and 60 feet high, yielding 70 bushels of apples. The cattle get about 40 bushels, and you can pick 30. At just 17 years old, it’s a phenomenal tree.


I think the question is really what do you want instead of the blackberries.
 
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