The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Twist Ties for Brambles

Using a twist tie to train berries.The raspberry buds are already starting to disgorge their first tiny leaves --- time to prune and train them before it's too late!

Two years ago, I just let my brambles (blackberries and raspberries) run wild.  But once I put them on simple trellises, my life became a lot easier --- no more carefully lifting up thorny vines as I pushed the mower under them, accidentally cutting through a stem here and there.

Now I use leftover twist ties to attach the bramble vines onto the trellis wires.  As I pruned out old canes on Sunday, I realized that the twist ties were even more utilitarian than I thought --- I easily untwisted ties from canes I was pruning out and then reused the twist ties to attach new canes to the trellis.  A definite training time-saver!

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I usually cull the old vines at the end of their fruiting season in the fall. I hear this helps keep disease away from the new vines. Any reason why you're doing it in the spring, or does it not matter?

PS: I wish there was a "subscribe to this comment" button or something so I could tell when a reply comes. :-)


Comment by Everett Tue Mar 24 11:39:11 2009

The main reason I didn't prune in the fall is because fall is such a busy season. There seem to be pros and cons to fall and spring pruning --- like you said, fall pruning would prevent disease, but some of the canes might die over the winter, leaving you with fewer canes than you meant to keep. Winter kill doesn't seem to be a big deal around here, though --- maybe fall pruning would have been better.

I wish there was a subscribe to this comment button too! I'm hoping that eventually the ikiwiki community will come up with one. For now, you can click on "Recent Comments" on the sidebar and see all the recent comments.

Comment by anna Tue Mar 24 13:12:08 2009

Thanks for this timeless tip--I used it on my little bramble patch this year.

Ordered some twist ties online at



Comment by Matt Wed Nov 5 15:37:21 2014

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