Struggling with wild brambles? Here is a comprehensive guide on how to get rid of brambles in the garden.
Brambles, also known as blackberry bush, which is never a nice sight to have around the garden. Unfortunately, in certain areas, their growth rate is so prolific gardens can become covered in just a matter of weeks.
As perennials, they grow yearly and have a low bar when it comes to conditions for growth. Eradication can be difficult once they become established.
That said, making your garden is free of the nuisance is easier than you think. In this article, you’ll be shown how to get rid of brambles in the garden effectively.
There are different methods of going about this. you’ll discover the most common methods, how to dispose of the bushes, and ensure you never have to deal with the problem again.
Getting Rid Of Brambles In Your Garden.
As stated earlier, as perennials, brambles are always likely to regrow. So getting rid of them must also include mechanisms or techniques of preventing the plant from growing again. Though removing the brambles require some effort especially if it has become established in your garden, it can be done.
Removing Bramble Tangles
For a garden that has been neglected for a long time, the brambles are usually in thick tangles growing several feet above the ground with woody vines. The first step is to cut this tangles down leaving about 5 – 7 inches of vine above the soil. This makes it easier to pull off the roots later.
You could hire a professional handyman to do this part for you if you don’t have a brush cutter or secateurs. But, if you don’t mind the hard work, you could do it yourself. You would need the following implements to get started
- Bush/hedge pruner or secateurs
- Dust mask to cover your face if you suffer from asthma or allergies
- Goggles to protect your eyes
And to protect yourself against the thorns, you need to wear thick work gloves, long sleeve work clothes, denim pants or pants made from thick cloth, work boots or socks pulled high up so nothing gets in your shoes.
Now start cutting. Don’t overstretch yourself while cutting so you don’t tire easily. Keep on cutting in small sections until you get to the root leaving about six inches of the vine above the ground.
After cutting all the bramble, use the rake to gather the bramble pieces into a tidy pile. Ensure you don’t leave any debris behind. If you see berries, don’t leave them behind as the seeds inside could lead to new plants.
Now you can dispose of the bramble pile by burning them or any method that is convenient for you.
Digging up and removing bramble roots
This is the penultimate stage of getting rid of brambles in your garden after cutting or pruning as described above. In addition to your gloves and work clothes, you would also need a shovel to dig out the roots.
This stage might require a bit more effort especially if you have a large garden to work on.
After raking all the cuttings, you have to start digging up the roots using your garden shovel. Sadly, there is no quick way of doing this. You have to do this for each bramble sprout, shoot, or stump you see.
Keep in mind that brambles thrive very well below ground level. So you might have to dig very deep to get at the entire root system. Be on the lookout for blurbs so you don’t miss the right root to be uprooted.
Completely removing the root system of brambles that are well-established and overgrown is almost impossible. The smart move is to always keep an eye out for any new growth over the next few weeks.
Then remove any new sprout you see by digging them out with a shovel. Removing them at this stage is the best way to control garden brambles and prevent them from taking over your garden again.
Killing the root system
If the blackberry bush is just sprouting, you wouldn’t have to through the first stage described above. It’s as simple as killing the small shoots and root system.
There are two ways to go about this via:
- Natural weed killers using some homemade formulations
- Synthetic or chemical weed killers
The natural method of Killing brambles sprouts
Many people prefer this method because of the dangers that can be posed by chemicals to other plants, children, and pets. But, this method can only be employed for minor growths. Established brambles with extensive root systems would need a more aggressive method to kill them effectively.
For the natural method, you would need the following ingredients to make your weed killer:
- Garden pressure sprayer
Dissolve about 1kg of the salt in 3 liters of vinegar. Add a small amount of dish soap to the mix. Allow the solution to sit for roughly five minutes so the ingredients can combine very well. Then pour the resultant solution into the sprayer.
Spray the entire bramble roots as close to the base as possible. Leave this for a few days for the solution to take effect before digging up the dead roots.
Synthetic Method of killing brambles
This method employs chemical weed killers. This is faster than the natural method and relatively cheaper since the chemicals are not expensive.
The common synthetic weed killers are glyphosate and triclopyr-based chemicals. Both are very effective and systemic in their action. Weeds absorb the chemicals right down to the entire root system. This kills the entire plant completely thus ensuring the plant never grows again the following year.
With glyphosate, the roots and bramble growth are killed in no time at all. But if you have other plants or grass you don’t want to harm, this isn’t the best option.
However, if the plan is to reclaim the soil by replanting, a glyphosate-based chemical is recommended. This is because the active ingredients in the chemical become inactive on the soil after a few days.
A triclopyr-based weed killer can be safely applied all over the garden without harming other plants or valuable grass.
To effectively rid your garden of brambles using this chemical, it is recommended that cut the bush as described in the first method before applying the chemicals preferably at ground levels.
How to dispose of Cut Brambles
It is important to dispose of the cut brambles as soon as possible after using a rake to gather the bushes in a pile. Some people, due to tiredness or some other reason, would simply gather the bushes in a corner of the garden with a non-committal promise to deal with it another day.
This is wrong. The cut shoots can easily take advantage of the soil, get rooted, and start growing all over again.
If the bushes are not too much, packing them in a waste bag and dumping them in waste bins would he enough. But when dealing with a huge amount of bramble waste, a different approach is required.
First, you could gather the waste and simply set them on fire. But make sure the fire is located in a place where the smoke won’t be a nuisance to neighbors. So it’s best to check the direction of the prevailing wind before lighting up.
However, if burning is impossible, you’d have to find and take advantage of your local council’s facility responsible for the disposal of garden waste.
The aftermath of Ridding A Garden of brambles
When you are done eliminating brambles in your garden, the logical move is ensuring you never have to face that problem again.
Here a few tips to prevent brambles from growing again:
1. Be watchful for new sprouts. When you see them, uproot them immediately. This means you need to inspect your property at regular intervals.
2. If the neighbor’s garden is susceptible to brambles, you have your work cut out for you ensuring that the brambles don’t encroach on your property.
If there is a fence separating the two gardens, lay as much mulch as you can on your side of the fence. This ensures you can easily spot smaller bramble sprouts as they appear. Remove them instantly.
If the bramble on the other side is so thick it grows over the wall, use your pruner to cut any leave or vine that shows over the wall. Then clear and dispose the debris including any berries on the ground.
Brambles can be a huge nuisance in any garden. Because they grow fast, they can take up valuable garden space. Without taking action, they can grow up to 8 feet quickly turning your garden into a small forest.
There are several ways of removing and making sure they never grow again. The best strategy is preventive by immediately uprooting young plants as soon as they appear.
However, if you find your garden overtaken by fully-grown brambles, (after coming back from a long trip perhaps) your problem becomes more difficult than just uprooting young plants.
Don’t despair though, clearing that bush and making sure it never grows again is not difficult as it might seem at first. With the right chemicals, some common garden implements, and a bit of effort, you can reclaim your garden back from the brambles invasion.