Blackberry roots - Knowledgebase Question

Vancouver, Wa
Question by tamigalbreat
March 27, 2010
I had a massive amount of blackberry bushes taking over my back yard that I spent the better of the winter months cutting them down. I dug up all the large roots remaining. I want to plant grass there, but there are a ton of little vieny roots running throughout the whole area just under the soil. can i just lay my grass seed as is or will the berries come back if I don't remove all that?


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Answer from NGA
March 27, 2010

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I'm afraid that the remaining blackberry roots will send up sprouts. There are a couple of ways to approach the problem. The easiest is to simply plant the grass seed and then mow everything down on a regular basis. You'll be mowing blackberry sprouts and grass. If you keep mowing everything down before the sprouts can develop leaves, the roots will eventually run out of energy and will stop sprouting. Of course this means you won't have a bramble-free lawn for about 3 years. Or, you can systematically cut the new sprouts when they emerge and paint full strength Round Up (or Brush B Gon) on the stubs. This herbicide will be transported down to the root and kill the root. But, since there are tons of roots lurking in the soil, this process will have to be repeated all summer and fall and into next spring, too. This process will also take two or three years to eradicate the brambles. I know it doesn't sound very positive, but reclaiming an area from blackberry bushes is a time consuming venture. Just be persistent and you'll eventually get control.

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