The Q&A Archives: Out Of Control Blackberry Vines

Question: Over the past few years my mother's lawn has been overtaken with blackberry vines that managed to get out of control. These vines volunteered from wild vines in nearby woods and have been left to run rampant! We are trying to do something about it but in the spring the vines grow so thick that you can't even really get in there with a weedwhacker to cut them down. I know the best time to get them out is probably before they set seed but it is discouraging. This winter when the canes became brittle we mowed them under. Will this help or will it be the same problem in the spring? Would it be better to rent some heavy duty equipment to dig up the soil? (She lives on a hill so she doesn't want dirt to wash away before new grass could grow). Any economical suggestions to getting her lawn in shape?<br><br>Thank you,<br>Lisa Reynolds

Answer: The problem with berries spreading rampantly like this is because they spread by underground runners. Many times you have to control brambles in a bed designated for berries because they grow so wildly. This is usually accomplished with an underground barrier. Try cutting down the bramble (as you have done) and then going to the source of the blackberry (if you can find it, perhaps go to where the woods meet her lawn) and dig down 2-3 feet and put in a wood or metal barrier so the roots can't spread. A little edging would need to be left at a few inches above soil level, because they will "jump" the barrier in the summer....keep an eye out for them, they are very, very aggressive. Short of that, you could just keep mowing the new sprouts down as soon as they appear. Hope this helps, my mother has a Sweet Autumn Clematis that is trying to eat her house so I can sympathize!

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