Best control of blackberries has been mowing, so I am presently involved in reducing areas in my yard that have been too overgrown to mow, or had barriers. Sometimes this just involves cutting down a lot of blackberries, but in some areas I have to remove logs on the ground that have kept us from mowing in the past. One log was harboring a nest of termites! Our previous owners logged the property and piled up a lot of big logs behind our shop. Many of these have been in place so long they are falling apart. There are also brush piles which I considered wildlife refuges, so I am having to remove some of them.
This area has been overrun with blackberries ever since we moved in, and still cannot be mowed, though the logs are starting to break down enough to crumble. I picked up one small crumbly log and found a cute little nest of a salamander mother and her tiny puplets. I hope she doesn't abandon them after being disturbed, though I am unable to find if she is actually caring for them at this point. Here is the same area after several days cutting out vines and stacking them for chipping. I left some wild roses and a few thimbleberries, and a native flowering currant. I have a Trazel planted there as well, a hybrid Hazelnut. But a couple of others self-sown trees will go. The bamboo, shown in a previous post, looks much nicer all weeded as well.
I am hoping to plant some shrubs with edible fruits there this fall or next spring, to provide some shade cover to discourage the blackberry vines. Although I have been an organic gardener, I am using a very small amount of brush killer, Triclopyr, by applying it to the fresh cut surface of the canes with a bottle with small tubular applicator. It does seem to help prevent regrowth of the cane.
Then there are areas where blackberry vines have crept in around the bases of rows of trees. I hope to remove the vines and cut off lower limbs or remove dead trees as here, so I can mow in closer and reduce hand weeding and cutting.
Well, it's raining so I may have to postpone getting this one done, so I am going to post anyway. Happy Fall! BTW my MIL whom we cargive was 100 years old yesterday!