Farm Life: My Blackberries’s Got the Blues

Last week, I noticed that our blackberries had the blues… well actually orange rust.  Shriveled leaves that looked as if someone had gone wild with a can of blaze-orange spray paint.  A quick check in the growing-guide-book on berries instructed my weekend: cut them all out, start a fire, burn everything that had the least bit of orange color on it.  With a close inspection this went from those obvious orange leaves to cankered canes and new sprouts looking as if they had been dusted with paprika.  By the time I was done, 98% of the blackberry bramble was gone.  I flame-weeded the ground twice (before & after raking the leaves and mulch out from the area) for a controlled burn.  We will see what grows back.  At least our other berry brambles are clear…



About hermitsdoor

Up here in the mountains, we have a saying, "You can't get there from here", which really means "We wouldn't go the trouble to do that". Another concept is that "If you don't know, we ain't telling." For the rest, you'll have to read between the lines.
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13 Responses to Farm Life: My Blackberries’s Got the Blues

  1. danzak44 says:

    That sucks! I sure hope it doesn’t come back and your blackberries survive!

    • hermitsdoor says:

      Gardening is full of risks. Orange rust is one of thoes for those of living in the Eastern USA. Just like bears, skunks, and oppossums… unless you like the bluegrass song, “I’ve got five pounds of ‘possum in my head-lights tonight”. Thanks for dropping by. More Farm Life posts to come soon.

  2. cindy knoke says:

    Eeeeeks! What a lot of work!

  3. Laurie Graves says:

    How discouraging! At least you have others that haven’t been affected.

  4. Flame weeding!!!! That sounds so dangerous 😉

    • hermitsdoor says:

      In your semi-arid region of the country such a device would be close to arson. Here, we have enough wet days to reduce the risk to wild-fires.

      • Even in this wet year, I am right now looking at golden hillsides (you remember those from your childhood!) – one end of the country to another, such a different landscape.

  5. KerryCan says:

    Oh, no! So, now you have to wait until bushes grow back from scratch, and hope they will be okay?

    • hermitsdoor says:

      Amusingly, while we have planted two brambles, one blackberry and one raspberry, these represent only about 1/3 of the total berry bushes around our gardens. The birds have planted wild berries of all sorts including spring golden-raspberries and wild blackberries (with enough thorns to hide Brer Rabbit and Tar Baby). Then outside of our gardens, along the woods edge, the birds have spread Wineberries everywhere. Thus, the loss of one patch of brambles is merry a set back. Happy picking.

  6. Lavinia Ross says:

    I don’t see much rust here, but there is supposed to be some kind of blackberry virus working its way down from Washington.

    • hermitsdoor says:

      From what I read, orange rust is an east coast fungus. Our hot-humid conditions foster it. If you are in Washington (the state), in the damper western regions, I image that you get lots of fungus too, just the cool variety (I lived in Seattle 35 years ago)… mildew, anyone? ☔️

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