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10 Ways to Get Rid of Brambles (No Chemicals!)

If you’ve ever had a prickly problem, then you know it’s not great. Whether it’s briars growing in that perfect sunny spot, an overgrown hedge, or even a forest of young trees – brambles are one of the most pesky and persistent weeds around. They are also very challenging to remove. Unless you have access to special chemicals (which is usually only available from licensed professionals), getting rid of brambles is not easy. However, there are numerous ways to tackle this prickly problem which don’t involve any chemicals and can be done by just about anyone who has access to some basic tools and yard supplies. These ten tips will help you get rid of brambles without using dangerous chemicals or spending a fortune!



Cut It Out

The first step in getting rid of brambles is to cut them out. This will help prevent the roots from spreading out and growing back. When you have a bramble patch, it is best to cut out all of the briars as far away from the main root as possible. If you don’t want to cut every single one out by hand, you can also use a weed whip to cut the briars down, then pluck them out. If brambles are in a sunny patch, try to cut them out before they go to seed so you don’t have to fight new briars the next year. You can also try to pull up the stump, but it’s very tough and often doesn’t work very well.


Tilling and Plowing

One thing to remember about getting rid of brambles is that you need to work on the soil as well as the weeds. This means tilling or plowing to loosen up the soil and break up the compacted earth underneath where the roots are growing. In fact, you can even till or plow away the top layer of soil, then plant a crop that will grow tall enough to shade out the bramble roots. This is a great way to control weeds while also growing something useful like sunflowers or corn.


Vinegar Spraying

If you have a small patch of briars, you can try spraying it with vinegar. This is a great organic way to kill weeds like brambles, chickweed, dock weeds, and other common weeds that are sensitive to vinegar. Vinegar works best on young plants and is most effective when you spray it on a cloudy day so that the sun doesn’t evaporate it too quickly. You’ll want to cover your face, arms, and legs to avoid getting it on your skin. You can try spraying the vinegar on the weeds themselves or put it into a spray bottle and then spray the soil around them.


Weed Mesh Mats

One thing you may not have considered when getting rid of brambles is that you can use actual bramble plants to do it. The blackberry and other bramble plants are really good at taking out unwanted weeds. For example, you can lay down a weed mat of common blackberry plants to choke out other weeds like thistles, dandelions, burdock, and couch grass. You can also use a weed mat made of blackberry plants to prevent weeds from coming through cracks in a pavement or a path. If you want to keep a path weed-free, you can lay down a weed mat every 6 inches apart to keep weeds from creeping through the cracks in the path. How to get rid of brambles

Foaming Game Repellent

If brambles keep coming back in a spot where you really want to keep them out, you can try foaming game repellent on the ground. Game repellent is a soap-based spray that kills weeds. You should spray the soap on the ground around the briars. Make sure you wear gloves while you do this and avoid getting the soap spray on any plants you don’t want to kill. Foaming game repellent will last a few weeks and should keep new weeds from growing. It’s important to remember that it doesn’t kill the weeds, it just repels them by clogging the pores on their leaves so they can’t photosynthesize and therefore don’t grow new roots. You can also try mixing foaming game repellent with a little bit of vinegar for extra effectiveness against stubborn weeds.


Drip Irrigation of Weed Killer

If you prefer to kill the weeds rather than just cover them up, you can try drip irrigation with weed killer. You can put the weed killer in pipes that are set on the ground and then have the water drip out of the pipes onto the weeds. You should be careful when using any type of chemical in drip irrigation because it’s easy to spill some of the chemical onto the ground next to the weeds you’re trying to kill – which can kill your lawn or garden plants as well.


Rotary Hoeing or Cultivating

If you have a large bramble patch, you can try hoeing or cultivating the soil around the brambles to break up the soil. This will help kill the roots. You can do this by hand with a hoe or with a rototiller (depending on how large the area is). Be careful not to till too deeply or you might kill the soil underneath. When you cultivate soil, you want to disrupt it just enough to kill the weeds growing in the soil. If you till too far, you could end up bringing up weeds and seeds from deep in the soil that you don’t want.


Light Harrowing or Spring Clearing

Finally, if you want a long-term way to get rid of brambles, you can try harrowing or spring clearing the soil in early spring or just after harvest time. This will allow you to cultivate the soil without damaging it too much. You can also try harrowing (also called spring cleaning) the soil in fall just before the first frost. This will allow you to kill off the brambles without harming other plants in the soil. When harrowing or spring clearing, you want to take a fork and go over the soil without going too deep. You can also try using a rotary cultivator if that’s easier.



Brambles are extremely tough weeds and they can be very hard to get rid of. The best thing you can do is try to manage the soil around them so that you don’t let their roots grow too deep. If you start working on the soil now, you should be able to get rid of the brambles next year without too much trouble. It’s best to start as early as possible and use all of these methods to get rid of brambles. The longer you wait, the more work it will be and the more likely it will be that you’ll harm other plants in the process.

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