Last week, I noticed the wine berries in my backyard were getting close to ripe.  In case, you’re wondering, wine berries are essentially wild raspberries. But they aren’t actually raspberries, just very close. And they are native to this part of the country. And they’re invasive. A few years back, I noticed them in my back yard. They weren’t there when we first bought the house. It’s like they just showed up one day. Doesn’t bother me a bit, actually.

Last year, I didn’t get a single one because the birds beat me to them. This year, I was determined not to let that happen.

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While these are invasive, I plan to keep close check on them in my backyard. And, last winter, in my Master Gardener class, we learned about how to prune and take care of berry brambles. They definitely need pruned. You can’t just let me grown… Unless you want them to take over your backyard. Brambles like blackberries and raspberries bear fruit on the second-year canes only. These are called floricanes, and the first-year canes are called primocanes. So, in pruning, it’s important to know this and not cut the wrong ones. Wine berries are no different. The difference is easy to see this time of year. The primocanes are bright green, and the floricanes are dark brown. But come winter, when it’s time to prune, they all look the same–dark brown.

So, I came up with a plan. I flagged the floricanes so I know that I can prune those this winter.

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I have plans to move these brambles. But supposedly the sewer company is going to be putting in some new lines and needs to come onto our property to make a connector. It was supposed to happen this spring, but it never did. Now, it’s set for fall. So, I am trying to wait until I know where they will be tearing up the yard before I move these.

For a great article on growing your own berries, John Porter, the Kanawha County WVU Extension Agent (and incidentally, instructor of the Master Gardener Class) described how easy they are to grow in last Sunday’s paper.

So far, I’ve only gotten about a cup and a half.  There aren’t many berries, probably because I pruned all the wrong canes last winter. I cut them back pretty good.

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They’ve been great in smoothies. I hope I have more next summer. In a new, contained, patch. We’ll see.