I Decided To Dig Up The Beets
I decided to dig up the beets and try to figure out why they did so poorly. I discovered a web of wood like roots so dense that they held the soil together like sod. They were blackberry roots from the other side of the fence. I didn’t know blackberry’s sent out shallow roots because they can survive in the wild all summer long. I assumed they were deep rooted. Apparently if given nearby surface water their root system will migrate to it. The grapes have been getting blamed for some of what the blackberries have been doing. This is one of the disadvantages of no till gardening. The roots should have been cut year after year. I’m going to monitor the perennial plantings in the garden to see if they also need root trimmings, and use a shovel around their base.
I read a crazy article on how to get rid of blackberries that involved using a hand trowel. People that have dealt with blackberries know that you need a flamethrower and a bulldozer year after year :). You can kill the leaves and stems with Round up, but the roots will send up new ones that are mutated and distorted to the point where you just know you’ve created a monster. You can weed eat them to the ground but the vibrations stimulate the roots into rapid growth mode :). You can dig out the root ball and get every remaining root to give you a brand new plant. Agent Orange might work but dealing with the dark web is a way to get Satan’s attention :). Multiple applications of super strength Round up over the course of a year can be effective, but it lulls you into a sense of complacency. They, or their progeny, will be back. My approach has become to know that I’ll always have blackberries there, and just keep cutting them to the ground. I think occulting them would work so that’s my next step.