How to remove blackberry bushes

How to remove blackberry bushes

So, as many of you know last fall (late fall) we bought a house! We did some work to the house such as updating the kitchen, painting the inside and outside of the house. Ripping up carpets and shining up the hardwood floors we found underneath. Now it’s almost time to step outside.

We still have some projects to do inside, but with spring arriving – we want to start thinking about outdoor projects too. After all, we moved in so close to winter that we had our first snowfall within a week! We didn’t even have all the boxes unpacked. So, anyways – we need to do some outdoor work!

Our first, and most ambition project will be taming the blackberry bushes that have over-taken the huge garden that the previous owners had. It appears the garden had been neglected for several years and now is full of blackberry bushes. So, we need to trim, pull, and cultivate the crap out of those bushes and get down to some solid ground.

Ultimately, we want to clear the bushes out to build a base, install a patio and finish up the landscaping in the back yard with grass. Perhaps some flower boxes or something too? I don’t know. I think we’ll have a better idea of what we want to do when we remove the really tall blackberry bushes. Seriously, the garden in about 50′ x 25′ (on the left side in the picture above). You can’t even see that the garden is 50′ long in the picture below because the blackberry bushes are so overgrown.

Backyard Garden and View

As you can see, we have a pretty awesome view of the White Mountains and rather than a huge overgrown garden, we definitely want a nice patio to enjoy. I think we’ll get a lot of use out of a patio. Plus, there’s three or four other gardening plots around the house, apparently the previous owner had quite the green thumb.

Clearing out overgrown blackberry bushes

Crazy amounts of blackberry bushes. I’m surprised how many there are, but other people don’t seem as surprised, I guess they’re an invasive berry bush that just keep spreading! Eeks!

How to clear out blackberry bushes quickly!

So, I searched online for solutions for quickly clearing out blackberry bushes and found a few. Some people recommended using a weed whacker brush cutting blade, but we found that our local hardware store only carried versions that would fit on a weed whacker that had a straight shaft, ours is a curved shaft – so that wasn’t an option.

The other option (and I’m glad we chose this option!) was to use a hedge trimmer. We called our local rental center and it was $50 to rent a hedge trimmer for a full day (gas powered 30″ hedge trimmer). Well, we checked the store and ended up buying a 22″ Black and Decker electric hedge trimmer ← Click to buy! for the same price. It only took about 3 hours total to clear the whole area including clean up. We raked the trimmings (they were 6 – 7 feet tall lol) onto a large tarp and dragged it off to the corner of the property where we dump leaves.

Don’t forget to use a nice thick pair of gloves! Those prickly jerks like to poke, and it hurts!

Removing blackberry bushes

Spring is here and the grass hasn’t even turned green. I told you we’d clear the blackberry bushes out before everything started blooming! So, we cleared out the blackberry bushes using a hedge trimmer and now we can see our deck!

The picture above was taken before we were finished trimming and cleaned up, but you get the idea. Check the picture further up the page to see what they looked like during full bloom – it’s a pretty big deal (lol). We found an unbelievable amount of stuff under those blackberry bushes, there was even a brick patio, so what the heck – we’ll replace the patio and have our own space to relax!

How to remove blackberry bushes

Finally, you need to pull up all the roots (or as many as you can). You can rent a backhoe or hire someone to do it, or get a great workout and pull them by hand, like we did. We spent an hour or two each evening for about a week pulling roots. There were hundreds if not thousands of root balls under ground. They all need to come out or you’ll have blackberry bushes popping up all over the place, they don’t go away!

We learned that, since we’re on a slope, if you start towards the top of the hill, you can pull one root ball down the slope and sometimes get 3 or 4 root balls and 10-15 feet of roots out at once. Flex those muscles, it’s not easy work – we had what seemed like miles of roots!

While we were clearing out the blackberry bushes, we discovered that at one point someone had a mini-golf course set up around the garden. No joke! There were coffee tins for cups, there were rock paths winding throughout the area and even a “Next Tee →” sign stuck in the ground next to where they had what looked like a fire pit built into their patio – lots of coal in a hole in the middle of the patio. Pretty cool, but nothing really salvageable, so it all went in the dumpster – wah.

We plan to install stairs in the center of the deck between the two posts which will lead down to a walkway and patio where we will have our BBQ grill and a fire pit — we’ll landscape the rest of the area with grass. click here ← We did it! Keeping it simple, easy and low maintenance is what we want to do.

Here’s the area after the blackberry bushes and roots have been removed!

Blackberry Bushes Removed

So, tackling the backyard garden is the biggest project, but we do have other projects we need to get done around the exterior of the house too.

Exterior projects:

Until next time..

Bonus Photos

Look at what we found buried in the Blackberry mess! An antique tin cat playing the fiddle. He stands about 2 feet tall, pretty neat!

Tin cat playing the fiddle - Antique

We love our yard and this little guy. If you’ve ever wondered how paper beats rock – ask this rock! We’re going to try to make sure this little tree grows tall and strong so he can split the rock and turn into something completely awesome!

Paper Beats Rock