Wild Blackberries and Purslane

I have wild blackberries in my yard that I fight all the time (growing through deck and coming farther and farther into my yard).

I love eating blackberries but the wild ones are so invasive. Is there a simple and natural way to confine/contain them and permanently get rid of the ones that spring up all over my yard in all the wrong places?

I was also wondering if purslane should be added to your edible perennials list? I don't know whether it is an annual (some new varieties are I think), or just readily reseeds itself, but I love the stuff either cooked, or raw in salads.

Many consider it invasive, but the wild purslane that grew in my garden years ago had shallow roots that didn't usually interfere with any the plants in our veggie garden, and when they did, they were really easy to pull/dig up. I have seen some cultivated varieties that are supposed to be less invasive and have larger leaves; however, I prefer the wild ones and am having a hard time finding some to plant in my current yard/garden.

Thank you and have a great day!

Jeanette Ward :)

Hi, Jeanette --

Blackberries mostly spread by dropping their seeds, so if you keep the area around them cleaned up of dropped fruit this will help curb their spread a great deal.

For plants that go where you don't want them (I have the same problem in my garden!), the best way to deal with that is to dig the plant up when it is young and move it to where you want it (or give it to your animals for feed, or sell the plant, or compost it, or whatever you want to do).

Purslane is an annual succulent ... but thanks for the reminder! I absolutely adore purslane (it tastes wonderful in stews), but I had forgotten to put it on the annuals list!

Anyone have other suggestions for Jeannette about her blackberry bush problem?

Comments for Wild Blackberries and Purslane

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Jun 14, 2014
those blackberries
by: elsie

I share Jeanette's frustration. No matter how deep I dig and rogue out those canes, they come back, it seems from the underground runners way down there. Maybe Round-up would help, but I don't want to contaminate my soil. Plus, Roundup just knocked back the ivy I used it on repeatedly, these two plants are impressively persistent survivors! I sure hope someone has a remedy for these things that are rooted too deep to get rid of. It reminds me of the time my friends learned to give up digging out bindweed- they had a septic tank removed and discovered that bindweed actually went all the way down under the tank and up the other side!

Hi, Elsie --

I'm not sure where you live, but in a lot of areas you have to treat blackberries like you would bamboo or mint -- only plant it in an area where you don't care if it spreads out, or else put a deep barrier around it (sort of like a sunken bed) so it CAN'T spread out.

Even so, you have to be vigilant about cleaning up dropped fruit, not letting branches touch the ground outside the sunken barrier, etc.

That said, the best way to beat back really rampant blackberries is to cut them off at ground level when they first appear in the spring (assuming you don't want to transplant them). At this point in the year, taking a lopper to the stalks at ground level should slow them down a bit, but you'll have to dig out the roots or they will be back next year.

Some people have had luck putting down black plastic over the areas they cut back to prevent new shoots from coming up. You can try that and see how it works for you.

I just found this article that might help keep your blackberry bushes under better control: How to prune blackberries

Please don't use Roundup. Not only is it harmful to people but also to your soil's beneficial insects. And I'm not sure it would even work on blackberries.

Bindweed is a problem in my front yard too. I didn't realize what it was until it about took over my garden plot, and now we're on a search and destroy mission beginning early in the year!

Good luck! Please let us know if you come across something else that works for you.

Sep 03, 2014
Bind weed
by: Equestrienne

I have been successful in removing bind weed in an area by covering it in black plastic for between 6 months and a year. A month or so is not enough. It is very difficult to get rid of and it spreads underground and by seeds as well. On a positive note :-).... Rodale has, of course, found something good to say about it. They point out that its deep roots can bring up nutrients from deep below the surface. So take heart, there's always a positive side! Where I live, it is so dry that the soil has very little organic matter. I'm trying to keep in mind that most organic matter needs to be made good use of by composting. There's never enough compost here. And although yes, weed seeds are undesirable, even the weeds are valuable for the organic matter they offer up for composting. Good luck...

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