Creating a Berry Patch Behind the Garage
Monday, June 23, 2014 at 8:08AM
Lisa in Backyard, Gardening, Home

The small strip of land behind the garage has always been a hot mess. When I bought the house it was a jungle of overgrown black raspberries with poison ivy lurking along with other weeds. I had tried to unsuccessfully clear it out with nothing but a bad case of poison ivy for my troubles and ended up hiring someone to do it for me. Of course, the next summer everything was back with a vengeance. Since I didn't learn my lesson the first time I tried tackling it myself with the same itchy results and ended up hiring to have it cleared out again. Unfortunately, I wasn't so clear about the fact the black raspberries were keepers and to my dismay it was all wiped out. Last summer Frank put several bags of mulch down to keep the weeds and poison ivy at bay but this year I wanted to have a more permanent solution as well as plant some berries again.

We started by cleaning out all of the random things that had been stashed behind the garage and getting rid of the few weeds that had popped up again. Frank rototilled the dirt and then I spread it with a rake to level things out.

Next, I evenly spaced out our berry plants (4 raspberry and 4 blackberry) along the garage and planted them.

To define the berry patch border we decided to use black composite edging. I rolled it out on the patio, weighing it down with bricks to flatten it. Once we were ready to install it, I attached a stake to the edging every four feet.

Frank dug a shallow ditch where we wanted to place the edging and then I put the edging in place, hammering in the stakes and backfilling and tamping the soil down around it.

I definitely wanted to keep weeds at bay so I spread a bunch of mulch around the berries and laid out a sheet of landscape fabric on the pathway we were creating.

The biggest part of the project was filling in the path with nearly a square yard of marble rocks. Frank used a wheelbarrow to move all of the rock and then after he dumped it I spread it out with a rake. It was pretty exhausting but I love how it looks.

We finished off the project by putting down some more mulch along the fence and laying down a piece of sod. I think it looks great and in the three weeks since we did this it has remained gloriously weed and poison ivy free. The plants have been growing and some of the blackberry bushes have several young berries on them. I'm not expecting many berries this year but I have high hopes for the years to come.


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