It seems that we are spending every nice afternoon and weekend trimming and weed-whipping our blackberries. The established rows (all 5 of them), were not that difficult, since we did some preliminary trimming and tying up last fall. For those rows, none of the branches could reach the ground, re-root and send runners. We snipped off all the old “ties” and re-tied the branches with baler twine.
But the other 8 rows are a different story – there we need to find the plant (next to the irrigation hoses close to an emitter), weed around it, and trim it back. Jeff likes to call this “aggressive trimming” – he wants all the energy of the plant to go into root development, not into any sort of fruiting effort for this year. Plants in these 8 rows are only in their second year. After all this, we then weed-whip around the rows until everything looks perfectly clean. Only problem is that once in a while, the weed-whip tears off one of the emitters – it does not break them, but we need to make sure that we stick the emitter back in before the water is turned on.