How to keep blackberries from spreading can be delicious!
If you’re trying to figure out how to keep blackberries from spreading, you’re going to love this easy method for controlling blackberries. That’s because it involves eating blackberries. And it is an environmentally friendly way to get rid of invasive blackberry weeds. Moreover, you’ll find the world’s easiest blackberry cobbler included in this article!
Are you trying to get rid of lots of blackberries?
Our rural property has a lot of blackberry weeds. But local old-timers tell us about playing here, not many decades ago, when it was all forest without any blackberry weeds. But today only a relatively small section of our land is still forested. And the forest is still full of blackberry brambles. That means there are lots of these tough, prickly-painful weeds to eradicate.
Not all blackberries are invasive weeds!
Many blackberry plants are non-native plants in North America. But there some blackberry plants are indigenous to areas in North America, but you might be worried they’re weeds. That’s because most blackberries have thorns. In fact, while we love the native blackberries in our garden, we refer to them as “Devil’s shoelaces”. That’s because they trail the ground and readily slice at our bare, summer ankles. Still, we encourage these to grow because they are native species with ecological purpose. So hopefully you aren’t here looking for ways to keep blackberries from spreading if they’re native plants in your garden.
However, many blackberries are classified as noxious weeds.
For instance, Himalayan blackberry is likely the blackberry weed you’re struggling to eradicate. That’s because it likes to live in just about every spot where every seed lands. And Himalayan blackberry is an introduced species that crowds out indigenous plants. Plus, it is painfully thorny and grows really fast. But it produces some really delicious berries!
The same negative aspects are true of cutleaf blackberry, which is also called evergreen blackberry. This one is an introduced species. And while it may be a little less aggressive than Himalayan blackberries, its fruit isn’t very tasty. So, you’re probably looking ways to get rid of blackberries like both of these.
So what is the best way to keep blackberries from spreading?
Preemptive weeding is one of our best solutions to keep blackberries from spreading! That’s because every blackberry contains many seeds. And keeping blackberry seeds from growing in the first place is an easy way to keep blackberries from spreading.
So each berry we keep out of the mouths of birds (that poop plantable seeds) helps get rid of blackberries.
Plus, we get an abundant harvest of yummy berries that we make into this delicious blackberry cobbler!
3 Ways to keep blackberries from spreading in summer:
Try these methods to beat back your blackberry patch in the summer months:
- While harvesting blackberries, carry a machete or clippers. And use these to remove or reduce the length of green blackberry shoots that don’t have berries yet. That’s because if blackberry shoots touch the ground, they will root into the earth. And the blackberry thicket will expand.
- Remove blackberry clusters with hard, pithy fruit we won’t eat. And dispose of it off-site. That’s because even if the fruit is past its prime for eating, those blackberry seeds can still germinate. So by getting rid of them, we reduce the plant’s ability to produce more plants.
- Pull young blackberry plant volunteers as soon as you see them. That’s because these plants grow fast. And if you let them grow, they’ll be more difficult to remove later. The reality is: young, supple blackberry shoots are easy to pull. Plus, you may not even need gloves against those tiny prickles and roots.
3 Ways to keep blackberries from spreading in fall & winter:
Fall and winter are a good time to get rid of blackberries. There are a few reasons for this:
- If hornets nested in your blackberry patch, they’re probably dead after a freeze. So you aren’t as likely to get stung when you’re deep in the briar patch.
- If it has snowed (and melted), your blackberry patch may be weakened. So that means it may be easier to clean out canes this time of year.
- And once the ground has been saturated by fall and winter storms, it should be easier to dig out blackberry roots. But be sure to wait until the earth has thawed!
How to make the most of your blackberry weeds:
There are so many delicious things to craft from your blackberries. So while you might be anxious to get rid of invasive blackberries permanently, there are some reasons to celebrate these fruits! In fact, every summer we pick blackberries daily. Some we eat fresh. Much we save for making some of the delicious suggestions below.
Recipe ideas for your blackberry harvests…
Following are some of the delicious recipes we love to make from our abundant blackberry weeds:
- Blackberry cobbler
- Blackberry sauce
- Blackberry chicken
- Blackberry margaritas & blackberry cordials & sodas
- Blackberry jam
- Blackberry, aronia, wild rose hip & elderberry syrup & more that we teach in maker classes like these!
Preemptive Weeding Blackberry CobblerPrint
- 4-6 cups fresh blackberries, rinsed & picked over for bugs & prickles*
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup flour, sifted
- 1/4 cup coconut sugar (or regular granulated sugar)
- dash of sea salt
- 6 tablespoons melted & cooled unsalted butter
Preheat oven to 350F. Place baking rack in middle of oven. Place another rack below it, and put a lined cookie sheet on the lower rack to catch any bubbling over messes.
Fill a deep 8-9″ pie dish about 3/4 of the way full with berries. Sprinkle with cinnamon and toss very gently. Set aside.
Place sifted flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Whisk together with a fork. Pour in butter and blend quickly. It will be very buttery and slightly crumbly. Don’t overwork it or you may have a tough crust.
Scoop tablespoon sized clumps of dough into your palm and flatten slightly. Place each clump into an overlapping layer to cover the berries. If you have some extra dough, crumble it over the top. Don’t expect a pie-perfect look! The cobbled-together look is what gives cobbler it name.
Place filled pie plate onto the middle rack of the oven & be sure the cookie sheet is positioned below it to catch anything that bubbles over.
Bake 50-75 minutes or until berries are bubbly and the crust is a golden brown.
Remove from oven and allow to cool for at least 15-30 minutes so the liquids gel a bit and to keep your mouth from getting burned. (Since I don’t call for a thickener, expect lots of succulent juice. If you prefer thick juice, toss the berries with a bit of flour before cooking.)
Serve warm or cold with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.
*If you freeze your summer berries, they’ll work great in this recipe. You may want to defrost the berries a bit before cooking, or it will take extra long to finish in the oven.