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PostPosted: Tue Sep 21, 2010 4:30 pm 
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How do I eliminate bermuda grass from growing in my blackberry plants? The grass is getting taller than the blackberries and I'm sure is a magnet for snakes, etc. I can't pull it up because of the blackberry thorns. Any ideas on a natural solution?

I've read elsewhere in the forum that a vinegar spray will kill the grass, but will it also kill the blackberries?
Thanks!


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 11:34 am 
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Location: Fort Worth,TEXAS
Bermuda grass is the number one weed I deal with down here in North Texas also.

What do you know about the variety of blackberries that you are growing? Do you cut them down or back every year? You may not be able to do anything about the Bermuda now, but once the growing season is over, you can work on it for next year.

If you cut the vines back, then I would at the same time pull out or use a trowel or something to pull all of the tall grass out of the area, then fold newspaper in strips that you can lay on the ground, overlap if you need to, to cover the ground (pave) around your vines. Use strips because I assume you wouldn't cut vines to the ground, you'd still have some stems for new growth to emerge from. Once you have folded paper (and make sure each layer of newspaper has several sheets in it) then I would put a good quality compost or mulch at least a couple inches deep on top of the newspaper. This will at least slow down the Bermuda next year. And if you see it coming through, then you might spot spray with the 10% vinegar.

This is all based on the removal of at least some of your berry vines so you can push the paper through the area from the outer edges, or work directly on top if you remove most of the sharp parts with the annual trimming.

If you don't cut the vines back, you still might be able to drop a lot of mulch down through the existing vines and try to smother the grass. And spot spray next year to prevent it from growing big. Once the vines are woody I doubt the vinegar would hurt them, probably only fertilize them.

Hope this helps. I grew up in the Pacific Northwest where we were trying to get rid of the blackberries, not the grass! (Himalaya blackberries are the kudzu of the Puget Sound region.) :)

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PostPosted: Sat Oct 09, 2010 2:01 pm 
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Joined: Tue Sep 21, 2010 4:26 pm
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Thanks so much for your advice and input. I'll definitely try this. I really don't know what variety the berry plants are. They were growing wild in a pasture and we dug them up and started them at home. They have huge, delicious berries when they are producing and I'll really hate to kill the plants, but hate the bermuda. It's getting taller than the berry plants. I'll let ya'll know how this works.

Addl note: We tried cutting them down one year and mulching with straw, but the plants didn't produce the next summer so this time we're just going to trim them back a little. The first year they produced we hadn't cut them down and they produced lots of beautiful juicy berries. Hopefully, just trimming will do the trick this time.

Thanks again!


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