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09/02/2014 at 20:49

There were brambles growing down one side of an allotment plot I've recently aquired, about 6ft into the plot with random brambles coming up through black plastic which looks to have been down at least a couple of years..

To cut to the chase I've dug up most of the brambles and hadn't realised how deep and long the roots were so some roots are still in the ground. The roots seem to have grown under the plastic too, several feet of roots from some brambles have been pulled out.

On a positve note the area dug looks to be really good soil, black, lots of worms, not many stones, no clay and well draining as the site is on a slope, so even if I can't clear the site before the growing season there will be area's at the side where stuff can be planted. 

The problem is, me thinks the roots left in the ground will start to grow again so was thinking of using roundup painted on the leaves as they show though the soil, would this be a problem if veg was growing in the same area and if so is there another solution...

Advise welcome and thank you for replies in advance...     

09/02/2014 at 21:21

Round up on the new shoots will kill them, and keep removing any suckers that you can find. Problem solved.

09/02/2014 at 21:45

Does roundup not effect any other plants in the area.

I was thinking to use the area dug up to plant out garlic which I have growing in modules and later shallots, currently in pots, then onion sets and leeks..where the bramble roots are likely to grow...


09/02/2014 at 23:09

You will find that although new plants will grow from the roots left in the ground they will get weaker and weaker as you dig them up.  You will win!

09/02/2014 at 23:25

Zoomer.  Firstly Roundup as with so many herbicides today, self neutralises upon contact with the soil.  The action is that it is absorbed by the plants tissues.  Iis then accelerated througout the plant, until is basically leaves the roots after having done it's job.  Seepage into the soil is then neutralised.

Re.  The brambles growing well under the plastic.  In reallity.  The plastic or any other covering has done the plant a favour.  Apart from the main root, which as you have found, can go deep and become very tough.  At the same time, as with brambles growing as it were normally.  As soon as any part of the stem comes into contact with soil.  It will rapidly form roots.  So the plastic has become a propagating aid.  The roots need to be grubbed out.

As you say.  The soil appears to be very good.  This also applies to the soil site, where nettles have been/are growing.  Once again nettles can be difficult at times to get rid of.  The same treatment applies.  Due to the biochemistry of both the bramble and the nettle.  Both plants, along with some others, build up vast amounts of Nitrogen.  Much of this is released into the soil.


I wish you well with your task.

10/02/2014 at 22:00

Welshonion. Pulling up the brambles as they grow back would be my choosen option, I try to be organic and roundup really is a last resort. There are also two tree stumps on the plot, one is huge and drastic measures might be called for to remove that little problem.

Mike. Prehaps not what I wanted to hear about whats under the black plastic but fore warned is fore armed. The roots under it do appear to be close to the surface so will peel it back section at a time to dig them out. On a positve note at least the soil will be full of goodness once the roots have been removed.

I feel less inclined to use roundup now. What would be best grown in the area currently dug if it is enriched with Nitrogen. I was thinking garlic, onions, shallots and leeks although as the rest of the plot is dug over pretty much everything else will be grown in the same rich soil.   

11/02/2014 at 15:16

Personally I would plant potatoes on this patch. They have a way of clearing/cleaning ground. I remember people used to plant potatoes in their front gardens of newly built houses before attempting planting a lawn. Any remaining rambling roots of the blackberry can be removed when you dig your potato crop in the summer. As you might guess I do not use any form of weed killer as I dig out the bindweed and marestail etc each year on my allotment.

11/02/2014 at 20:06

OldCompostHeap. Potaotes were my second choice as I have quite alot chitting. I've also about 30 garlic cloves with small shoots which could go in any time and a dozen shallots which would be ready to go out March time. Was going to start onion sets in the next few weeks in modules hence the reason for suggesting them and they'd fill probably fill that area along with leeks to go out later.    

11/02/2014 at 23:56

Zoomer.  Mike didn't wish to offend you.

There is an alternative but it could work out expensive and labour intensive.  Having many years ago worked in the public park sector.  In the woodland areas such as the ancient Oxleas woods in SE London.  Bramables were so often a pest.  In those days Roundup hadn't been invented.  On vast areas the tractor came to the fore.  Vast areas could be quickly grubbed out screned etc.  Smaller areas.  Basic grubbing out took place.  The soil turned over and then the whole area could be burned.  This was done by using flame guns.  Basically oversized blow lamps.  Fortunately with brambles.  It is only the main root, that hard clump of woodlike root and the above ground  branches trailers etc,that cause the problem.  So a matock is perhaps the best tool to use.


12/02/2014 at 00:22

Mike, will a blow gun work on blambels? will it kill the roots? I only ask because i have one, that was only used on my first allotment to kill seeds off when i was growing for show. It was my first allotment and was freshly turned, I have forgot about the burner i used, but it did the job. I did also spread a few bails of straw on the top after i cut it all back and set light to them before i dug it over. I do not remember having any problems with weeds or chaffer grub/wire worm at the time. 

How the hell did i forget about that?

12/02/2014 at 00:55

Yes.  Firstly cut and clear the above ground growth.  Have a go at grubbing out the harshet of roots.  Then blaze away.  Fair do's the odd stray whisp of a brmble might some day show up, but hells bells.  The masses will be no more.

12/02/2014 at 01:03

Personally I dislike using chemicals in any shape or form.  However please take into account.  Forums such as this.  Members feel relaxed, free to put forward their questions etc, thankfully knowing that they aren't going to get their heads bitten off.

12/02/2014 at 19:24

No offence taken Mike, in fact the blow torch has given me an idea to to burn the dry grass on the other side of the plot before digging it over. 

19/02/2014 at 20:46

Mike/Edd. I asked one of the other allotmenteers about burning stuff. How to do it etc... as everythings wet and there's now a pile of brambles at the top of the site. They gave similar advise to yours and suggested if I was going to burn stuff do it on the bramble site as it would kill the roots.  

The boundaries were also put in last weekend and the grass on the otherside of the plot isn't mine which was good news. Black plastic covers that side up to the boundary and whilst the soil is compact and there are roots under it, these are are near the surface.    

Me thinks the site will be rich in nutrients after being dug over



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