|I have recently purchased an old farmhouse with many raspberries growing wild. It has been at least 20 to 30 years since anyone has taken care of them. They are growing all over the place. We have picked one location that we would like to keep and will be removing the rest. What is the best way to give them new life?
|Brambles will grow themselves right into oblivion. They need you, isn't that nice?
The best thing you can do for them is to cut out all the old branches. They are quite obvious because they look old and gray. The bark is kind of ragged looking and often they have many branches coming out of them. Cut those right to the ground. (I don't think it'll be necessary to tell you to wear heavy gloves!) It would also be a good time to cut out weak, spindly canes as well. Leave healthy, large ones but even they should have about 6 inches between them to encourage good air circulation. So thin them as well. Every once in awhile as you're pruning, it's good to step back and look objectively at your work. Is the bush looking balanced? A healthy bush is a good looking one.
Do not put this discarded stuff in your compost, because often it has insects and various plant diseases hiding out in the old wood. Bramble wood also takes FOREVER to break down.
Any other plantsthat pop up where you don't want them can either be pulled out, or just mowed down with the lawn mower.