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Blackberries pruned & fertilized; Miter saw assembled and ready to go!

03 Aug 2012
Sunny 38°C / 100°F

Project updates:

On Thursday, I dug up the area in front of the blackberries and removed the pesky Bermuda grass that was infiltrating there (in spite of a double layer of cardboard covered with mulch), in preparation for putting a new 4′ × 10′ raised vegetable bed in that spot.

On Friday morning, DH and I went to Lowes and bought a miter saw, a miter saw stand, and a 60T blade for my raised vegetable bed project.

On Friday afternoon, I started removing a mix of Bermuda grass (arg!) and Saint Augustine grass (so much easier!) along the fence in front of the main vegetable garden, and DH changed the positions of the eye hooks securing the wire for the blackberry trellis (moved them further inward and below the cross bars instead atop them).

This morning, I tied each blackberry cane to the trellis, using this truly awesome velcro product from Gardener’s Supply. I thought that this was going to be a relatively quick and easy task, but since it was my first time doing this and it was way overdue it ended up taking well over 2 hours. In the sun, in 100’F heat. Blegh! Some of the canes had rooted where the tips touched the ground. Many were so long and horizontal that it was a challenge to untangle them from other canes and position them upright without snapping the stems (but I only snapped a couple). After tying the canes to the trellis, I snipped off the tips of the longer canes to encourage branching, pruned off the lower leaves to reduce the chance of fungal infections, and pruned off the floricanes (the 2-year-old canes that fruited this year) since they’ll never fruit again.

This afternoon, I fertilized the blackberries: pushed aside the mulch, scattered generous handfuls of Black Hen (2-3-2) fertilizer, spread 1 bag of county compost, re-covered the blackberry bed with the mulch, and thoroughly watered it all in. I also fertilized the Rugosa roses with Black Hen (finishing off the bag), and fertilized the blueberries with ammonium sulfate (which simultaneously provides nitrogen and reduces the pH of the soil). Finally, I pruned the Pyracantha, used our plug-in hedge trimmer to prune the boxwoods, and did some light weeding.

This evening, after a break, DH and I assembled the miter saw and attached it to the miter saw stand. We were both pretty tired by the time we finished with that, so decided to wait until tomorrow to switch to the 60T blade and start cutting the wood for my raised garden beds. We also watched some “How To” miter saw videos on YouTube tonight, which was helpful, such as this one: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=015ET8ioHjg

Goals for tomorrow: Cut the wood for the the 3 smallest beds (two 4′ × 4′ beds, one 4′ × 10′ bed) and build them.

Photo #1: Blackberries after trellising, pruning, fertilizing,and watering (and removal of Bermuda grass roots/runners from the foreground)
Photo #2: The blackberry patch, a few days ago (before trellising and pruning and digging)


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We have a massive problem with Bermuda grass. Even when we pull it out, put down thick fabric and gravel it still comes back because it’s in areas where it’s getting at least some water. I’m at a loss as to how to kill it and still have plants nearby get the water that they need.

Posted on 07 Aug 12 (over 5 years ago)

I feel your pain! Bermuda grass is the absolute worst weed in my yard. It’s widely distributed, and almost impossible to eradicate after it gets established due to the underground stem and root structure. I’m a mostly organic gardener (I was a completely organic gardener before moving down to SC and having to deal with fire ants and invasive Wisteria), but my Bermuda grass problem has led me to look into the possibility of using a selective herbicide that will kill Bermuda grass and few other things. Based on my research, this product from Amazon (Grass-B-Gone) looks like it might be a good supplement to my physical removal and barrier exclusion methods of dealing with Bermuda grass.

Posted on 07 Aug 12 (over 5 years ago)

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