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Morning Glory & Wild Blackberry Vine Control

Morning glory flowers are really rather attractive and, of course, wild black-berries are delicious, especially in jams, jellies, pies and cobblers. But in the garden, both can be a nuisance.

BlackberriesFew things are more annoying than the persistent vines of the morning glory winding their tendrils up through and around your favorite trees and shrubs. These prolific vines seem determined to take over.

The same applies to wild blackberry vines. They are stubborn, rampant growers that insist upon taking over. I know because I've had trouble with both of them in my own garden.

In the springtime a few years ago, I hauled in some dirt to fill in a few low spots in the garden. The native sandy loam soil was loaded with small sections of the roots of wild blackberries. Some took hold and began their rapid growth. No amount of pulling or cultivating seemed to control them. Like morning glories, the more you chop away at them, the more robust they seem to grow. In fact, it seems like two or three plants replace the one you have removed.

Areas that have either wild blackberries or morning glories should never be cultivated with a tiller or tractor or even by hand because the small pieces of roots that are disturbed will begin growing, intensifying the problem instead of eliminating it.

Both plants are barren of leaves during the winter season and weed killers or brush killers are generally not as effective at that time. The best time to control both vines is when the new growth starts in mid-spring. Cut the vines back and let new growth develop to about twelve or eighteen inches in length. Then apply the weed killer.

Blackberry vine or brush killers are generally used to control these two perennial nuisance weeds. The brand names will usually include the word "blackberry" or "brush killer". You will also find that some specialty weed killers will do the job, in which case the label will so state this fact. Do not use any material on any vegetation unless it is specifically referred to on the label.

You will have to use different methods of control in varying situations in your garden.

When either of these vines is growing in open areas, they can be treated with a coarse spray solution. Always follow application directions on the label of the brand you use. Spray the entire leaf surface, covering from the crown of the plant, clear out to the very tip ends.

When wild blackberries or morning glories come up in your flower or shrub beds., they have to be treated in another manner, as the mist from the spray might carry onto desirable plants and either burn or kill them, too. To control the vines in such places, wipe the leaf surface with the liquid solution. You can use either a paintbrush or a rag for this purpose. Mix a spreader-sticker with the solution, to hold the spray on the leaf surface and also to spread the solution so it covers as much of the leaf as possible.

Don't be surprised if some new growth appears after you have applied the solution in the proper manner. This often occurs and the growth is usually that of another plant which has been dormant or a seedling that has developed. So you can see that you must be as persistent as these two weeds are, if you intend to be victorious over them. It may take several repeat applications over a period of a year or more to finally control them all.

Some Northwest gardeners have reported good results by using the "drinking" method to control either wild blackberry or morning glory vines. To use this method cut off the young tip growth and place the vine in a solution of the specialty weed killer, at the point of the cut. Jars or metal containers can be used for this purpose. Let the tip ends remain in the solution for two or three days, as this is generally long enough for the plant to drink up enough solution to kill it. I do not recommend this method when either children or pets are present in the area.

The pores of the vines are open in early morning and during the evening hours so those are the best times to apply the weed killer. Remember that overdoses just burn the leaves and weak solutions are not effective, so follow all the directions as stated on the label of the brand you use. Do not apply at a time when the wind is blowing and select a day when there is no chance of rain for a twenty-four hour period.

You can control wild blackberry vines and morning glory if you will be as persistent as they area

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