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It's all been downhill since Jethro Tull

The agriculturalist and not the prog rock band, that is.

We have an allotment, the one in the NW corner of this map.

Many things about it are good, principally the price (£3.58 per annum) and the location (our house is four houses away due west). What's less good was the state when we assumed the lease: thigh-deep in brambles. We've been gradually clearing them - currently about 20% done - but what's clear is that the previous leaseholders didn't bother clearing the brambles by hand, preferring to chop them up with a rotorvator. I'm pulling out about a dozen large roots the thickness of my thumb per square metre, mostly rooted about 50cm down, and many small fragments around 15cm long.

This could be a long struggle. Suggestions welcome.

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RHS say the brushwood killer is even more effective than glyphosphate, though it does take 6 weeks to break down in the soil. Glyphosphate is very good in terms of breakdown - far better than many organic products.

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