Keeping Your Blackberries Under Control

Blackberries are delicious summer treats. If you have a blackberry bush, it's essential to understand how to keep it under control. Without yearly maintenance, your blackberry bush will soon dominate your gardening area, suffocating other plants and making it difficult to harvest. Here's how to keep your blackberry bushes under control.

Remove Dead Canes and Rid the Plant of Weeds

Remove the brown and brittle dead blackberry bush canes each spring. By the time these canes die, the bush will have already replaced them with healthier canes. If you leave the dead canes on the bush, it starves the rest of the plant from nutrients because its roots continue to supply the cane nutrients.

While you remove the dead canes, make sure you weed around the base of the bush. Remove any plants which may compete with or hinder the growth of your bush.

Prune the Bush to Maintain Health and Shape

Blackberries should be pruned on a yearly basis. About two weeks after harvest, when the plant enters dormancy, use hedge clippers to cut back the plant. You should remove at least one third of its mass. Clip off any canes which stray away from the bush’s natural shape and all of those canes which severely impair the rest of the plant from receiving sun.