Thursday, June 16, 2011

Clearing Blackberries

This has been a particularly wet and cool spring, which has been perfect for blackberry vines. They have been growing up everywhere around the yard. Over by the trailer, next to the chicken coop, and a massive wall of them towering across the backyard, threatening to creep over the deck and moving ever closer to the house.


I should have taken a 'before' picture - this was after we'd already spent a couple hours cutting them back a good five feet from where they had been. To cut them back required several tools, including my new Stihl electric weed trimmer (which I LOVE), loppers, hedge trimmers, and my scythe! Last year I used the scythe on grass and I wasn't too impressed with it. I knew it was a brush scythe, but I thought, if it can't do grass well, how can it do anything else? Turns out I was wrong, it cuts through blackberry vines like butter! But it's tiring to use, and extremely sharp and dangerous, so I'm very careful with it. But it certainly has a place in clearing vines.


And after a couple more hours of work (over a couple days) we had beaten them away entirely, and we could see the rest of the backyard again!


 It seems like everything in our backyard is out to hurt us. The Blackberry vines are covered in these awful little thorns, and of course you can't cut them down without a few whipping around and hitting you.


And the trees are Thorny Locusts, which have these terrible stiff thorns on them which will go through anything - pants, leather gloves, lawnmower tires. And the locusts send up little baby trees all over the yard so there are lots of tiny saplings mixed in with the blackberry vines, just waiting to jab you!



The chicken coop/shed was about to be swallowed up again by vines, even though I had beaten them down just a few weeks ago.


After an hour of lopping, scything, and raking back the debris, it's looking good. Nothing to do but figure out where to haul the debris to.

Winning the blackberry war is just one of the projects I am using my new-found energy on (yay for weight loss). Another is reclaiming the planting beds around the house.


When we moved here there were planting beds extending out from the foundation for about 4 feet, but the grass has invaded and taken them over. I sprayed roundup today to try and reclaim them.

The other project is refinishing the decks, but I'll save that for another post.
_

3 comments:

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Wow! Your yard sounds like a dangerous jungle that you've got to constantly battle. Reminds me of the nasty Kudzu we had growing back in South Carolina. That stuff grew more than a foot per day and would smother everything in it's path if not kept in check. The highway dept has a bear of a job keeping it from climbing the power lines and weighing down the electric lines. And I think if you took a long nap you'd wake up to find kudzu covering your entire body! No lie!

Those thorns look scary. I think I'd be trimming that stuff wearing a full chain mail suit. Yikes!

We're you covered in blood by the end of the day?

Good for you for getting it done! :)

~Lisa

StefRobrts said...

I'm pretty good at avoiding getting poked, but I did come in for lunch and notice my hand was bloody, and it turned out I'd sliced my thumb on a thorn somewhere along the way. I also stepped on one of those big thorns and it went right through the bottom of my shoe, but luckily the tread on my boot was deep enough it barely poked me! I wish we didn't have so many thorny trees!

heather said...

The property is looking great ! Hopefully you didn't end up with too many scars ;)