Expert Advice

How to manage brambles and shrubs

Brambles, whose name derives from the scientific name «Rubus», can be of different varieties, of which blackberries and raspberries are the most common. In this article, we will see all types, including those that proliferate at high speed, but following our advice you will be able to manage brambles and shrubs, saving your garden from invasion.

If you previously planted a “Rubus” shrub in your garden, you may have already noticed that they are practically indestructible. Who hasn’t happened to plant a raspberry plant and realize too late that the plant has taken over the garden?

These are plants that require very little care and adapt to any type of soil, however poor it may be. They develop at the beginning of the season and grow undisturbed until the end of October.

At the base of the brambles: a complete ecosystem

It is necessary to preserve the local fauna and flora that surround it, so as not to let this invasive plant expand uncontrollably. Brambles can cause many problems in the garden, destroying the rest of the vegetation, which is why learning to manage brambles and shrubs is so important.

There are however many animals, such as hedgehogs, rabbits, and other rodents, who find in the brambles a good refuge to protect themselves from predators. It is therefore also a place to live, many birds, in fact, lay their nests here and eat their fruits. They act as a pantry and protection for these animals.

Limit the development of the base

It can be done in two ways:

  • If it comes to edible fruit shrubs, such as blackberries or raspberries, you can put them in pots. In this way, their invasive tendency will be significantly limited. But be sure to keep them in good development condition: water them regularly and give them the necessary supply of minerals using appropriate fertilizers.
  • You can guide them with the help of a net, bamboo sticks or any other support system. Don’t forget to redirect the branches that will reach the ground in mid-season.
  • In the fall, you can divide them using a garden fork or shovel. In this way, you will reduce the number of plants, keep the species and share them with your neighbors.
  • You can use them to coat the soil, pruning them periodically. You can add the branches you cut to your compost bin to take advantage of all the organic matter. But make sure they are very dry, so they don’t take root again!
  • If you want instead lighten a bit ‘the brambles, always remove older branches by cutting at ground level with the help of a pruner, a lopper or pruning shears.

Remove wild brambles

Let’s now deal with how to manage wild brambles and shrubs, which have thorns but also give juicy fruits. In this case, we recommend eliminating them only if necessary when they damage the rest of the vegetation.

  • To eliminate them it is necessary to remove the complete root system during autumn. With the help of a shovel, dig a hole about 40 x 40 cm and remove the soil by destroying all the roots.
  • During the growing season, if the base is small, remove all the shoots from the root with shears. If, on the other hand, the base is too large, use a brush cutter to take less time. And don’t forget about security: make sure there are no curls hidden between the roots, better avoid dramas before launching into action.

Handle brambles and shrubs safely

  • Do not forget about safety: wild brambles are very thorny and can be dangerous, not only for children but also for adults. Remember to wear gloves, boots and protective clothing that covers you and protects you from thorns. If you prick yourself with its thorns, make sure you have performed the tetanus vaccination recall.

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