Blackberries are a great summer crop, but they can become invasive. Blackberries are an easy to grow fruit that takes very little care and will give you a great harvest. Don’t be scared to add blackberries to your urban homestead. Here’s how to keep blackberries from spreading!
Related Post: How To Grow Blackberries Without a Hostile Takeover
How Do Blackberries Spread?
Blackberries primarily spread underground from nodes on the roots that send out new roots to establish new plants. They can also develop roots from branches that are touching the ground. Blackberries can also be spread by seeds that are carried by birds, and can remain in the soil.
In some areas they can be very tenacious, or even invasive. If you have blackberries taking over your property, or if you planted some and they got out of control, it’s time to take back your space.
How To Keep Blackberries From Spreading
If you want to completely change a large patch of blackberries to lawn, till the entire patch under the ground and then plant grass in their place to compete with any volunteers that try to pop back up in the future. If your patch is small enough, instead of tilling the roots in, try to dig up and remove the root balls completely. This will help them not to return.
If you’re just trying to keep them under control, mowing them down regularly, or letting goats graze on the leaves can help starve the roots for nutrients and eventually they will die off. You can also use herbicides to kill blackberries growing where you don’t want them.
And of course, as you reclaim your land from errant blackberries, make sure you’re planting new crops in that space. These will crowd out and shade out new blackberries and keep them from re-establishing themselves. If you want to completely eradicate your blackberries, be patient, and make sure to keep at it!
Source: OSU Extension Service
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