Blackberries: the most notorious weed in Australia. If you have a blackberry problem in your lawn, backyard or garden, know that you’re not alone. The CRC for Australian Weed Management and the Commonwealth Department of the Environment and Heritage lists blackberries under the category of weeds of national significance. The damage caused by this type of weed not only impacts the property owner, but also extends to the community, the environment and the economy.
Why is it crucial to know how to kill of blackberries effectively?
- The weed is highly invasive. The seeds germinate easily, and the first plant can occupy a large area fast. Once it has taken root, it is difficult to eliminate.
- Control costs are expensive, especially if the infestation has not been addressed early on.
- Blackberries often bring about pest problems in your property as well; their bushes are a good source of shelter and food for wild animals, critters and rodents.
- They can restrict waterways and irrigation.
- For commercial establishments and farm properties, the presence of blackberries hikes up business costs because the bushes may be a hindrance to their operations.
- Dead blackberry thickets are a fire hazard.
- Heavy infestation lowers property values.
- Landowners in most states and territories in Australia are mandated by law to control blackberries. Seek advice from your local lawn and garden specialists on control requirements established by the local council or the appropriate government agency.
Three important steps are important to eradicate blackberry:
- Stop further spread.
- Minimise and control existing growth.
- Once affected areas have been treated, be vigilant about rehabilitation and further protection to avoid regrowth.
This three-step process isn’t as clear-cut as it looks. The major challenge of managing blackberries is that they are so persistent and resilient that landowners should be prepared to invest significant time, energy and resources to establish a sustainable regimen. Often, a mix of methods should be used and implemented over a period of several years.
The following are the most common and proven methods to consider:
Preventive and proactive
For properties with zero to minimal infestation, the approach is to always see to it that the land is clear of weeds. Make sure to completely uproot isolated growths before their seeds spread.
The use of herbicide
For properties with existing plants, herbicide application is the usual course. It’s best to seek the help of lawn and garden experts when using herbicide control. Determining the appropriate and registered herbicides to use, as well as the right concentration, application procedures and application schedule can be tricky and will often need the management of a specialist. If not done properly, herbicides can kill other healthy plants and grass or may unintentionally be applied to edible fruits.
Slashing – Can be used as a follow-up control after initial methods have been implemented.
Digging – This involves cutting the stems of the plan and then digging u the root ball. Make sure no stems, root fragments or any plant bits are left on the ground, as even a short cutting can already bring about a new regrowth.
Tilling – Weekly tilling will kill new growth.
Bulldozing or mowing – Used for dense and large area growth, but must be used carefully and with follow-up treatment because this method may spread out plant fragments that cause regrowth.
This method uses blackberry leaf rust to attack the plant. Used for extensive infestations, the government says this will not completely eliminate blackberries but can help in effectively slowing down growth.
The most practical way to implement a truly effective blackberry control strategy is to get help from a specialist. Consult a lawn and gardening contractor in your area to learn about the solutions that will allow you to finally get rid of pesky blackberries in your property once and for all.