Most of my property is wooded, I cut a trail down through it with a machete but I want to expand my yard out a little. The area I want to expand into is thick with honeysuckle and blackberry briars. They've grown together so it's almost impossible to pull the blackberry bushes out because the honeysuckle vines are tangled in them and holding them down. I've thought about everything from just covering it all with a tarp and waiting for it to die to getting a goat. I tried two bottles some kind of poison last year and it barely put a dent in it. I'd rather not resort to poison again because there's a lot of wildlife I don't want to do any harm to, but if I have to use it again I will. What can I do?
I've got some ruella and plumbago stands that I try to keep as tight bushes but am getting 'knuckles' galore, is the appropriate approach to cut-back below the knuckles or start cutting above them and let the silhouette of the plant enlarge over time? I guess I'm having trouble seeing how to possibly keep a dense bush at the same size, seems it'd always have to get bigger or be cut-back (and sparse until recovery), hoping to find if there's other methods!
I want to remove all of the green cover the previous owner had in the beds. In the past I've tried newspaper to cover up weeds but it just came back years later. I want to do it correctly this time. I could actually poison all of the cover but that feels wrong. I've also been told I can use the black fabric material to block out the light. My plan is to just remove everything except the shrubs and dark mulch it to get a clean start. What's the best way? I'm in Massachusetts zone 6A.