Fighting wild raspberries

Wild raspberries (or blackberries?) are spreading in our garden. They are not a useful plant, so we want to get rid of them.

We’re talking about plants that casually form three metre high tendrils in the air and four metre long tendrils on the ground. These plants hardly bear any fruit, their benefit to wildlife is very limited and we have many other productive shrubs and trees in the garden for the birds. As Nabu recommends, we also feed the birds during the breeding season. But insects also find enough space and food in our semi-wild garden. Not to mention the other creatures.

The thorns of these vines get caught everywhere and have already torn many holes in our clothes. These plants are reminiscent of Sleeping Beauty, except you can’t cut through them with a sword. The tendrils are a kind of natural natural wire that can even get caught in metal garden tools. If you step on a vine with Crocs, the hard thorns easily penetrate the sole.

These wild raspberries grow extremely quickly, even in winter. Two metres seems to be no problem for them in a week, as I noticed when mowing the lawn.

But what do we have now? Blackberries or raspberries? Both, as Google Lens assured me. And a few more vines. But that’s irrelevant. The stuff has to go!


There are many suggestions. Vinegar, salt and herbicides are out of the question for us. Mulching is not practical and you would also have to go very deep into the soil, which would also destroy all the other plants in the area. Root films or bark mulch don’t help at all either. The tendrils infiltrate the fleece and even through 20 centimetres of mulch – we had to chop up some trees – the tendrils grow through without any problems.

Fighting them with pruning shears, a brush cutter or even a lawnmower only removes the tendrils. As the plant has a widely ramified root system, it quickly forms new tendrils. To get rid of the plants, you have to destroy their roots.

You can try this with a spade. It’s just a lot of work and sometimes not possible here if the roots are hidden between other shrubs or on a slope that is difficult to reach. It would be good to be able to pull out the vines together with the roots! But that’s not possible, because the thorns pierce through all standard gardening and work gloves and get completely entangled. The attempts ended in a painful bloodbath.


Whilst searching for a solution, I found a tip in the comments on another blog (which I can’t find again) to use welding gloves.

I ordered exactly these gloves from Amazon:
Hase Granada-Long welding gloves for EUR 8.52.

They came in a plastic bag, which really surprised me. Shouldn’t they be hard and stiff? But they feel soft and cuddly! And not as thick as expected! Surely the thorns go right through them?

Tried them out

I don’t shy away from daring experiments for you! My loyal readers (and the garden) expect me to take the risks that they don’t dare to take themselves!

I choose a nice thick tendril and ..

MAN! That always hurts so much! What if that … ?
NO! I grab it with courage and ..

No pain! Nothing! Madness! I pull on the tendril and have soon pulled it out by the root.

Wow! That went well. I soon had a pile together, but also a lot of sweat on my forehead. No question, when the ground is firmer, I’ll have to dig around the root with the spade so that I can loosen it more easily.

Speaking of vines?

You’ve removed the ivy from the front of your house, but you’re left with big, ugly patches? No problem!

Quickly remove traces of ivy

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