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cutting a deep slot

I need to cut a 2ft deep slot at the back of a bank to prevent brambles from the adjoining hedgerow pushing their roots forward. The idea would be to slip a sheet of heavy duty plastic into the slot.
I know there are dedicated tools out there, and the standard crowbar would work if it was a foot or two longer. I also have a long handled bolster but, again, not long enough.
Any advice appreciated


  • treehugger80treehugger80 Posts: 1,923
    bramble roots tend not to travel too deeply, so 1 foot down should be fine
  • Posts: 127
    bramble roots tend not to travel too deeply, so 1 foot down should be fine
    That's reassuring. Maybe I was being too pessimistic
  • wild edgeswild edges Posts: 10,455
    You can get trench shovels which usually have a 16" narrow blade for digging drainage channels and the like. I hope your soil is better than mine though as I'd never get a spade in that deep.
    If you can keep your head, while those around you are losing theirs, you may not have grasped the seriousness of the situation.
  • Blue OnionBlue Onion Posts: 2,995
    What about renting one of those machines for laying cables?  How long do you need this trench to be?
    Utah, USA.
  • Posts: 127
    This is only about 3-4 metres long, so ideally I don't want to spend anything. Whatever happened to those lengths of steel pipe you used to see lying about? Holding up someone's runners probably  :)
  • hogweedhogweed Posts: 4,053
    edited April 2018
    Just take your (sharp) spade and start digging! Sometimes there is just no alternative to a  bit of hard work. 
    'Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement' - Helen Keller
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,384
    One of the many jobs to which a mattock is well suited (together with a spade to remove the loosened soil.)
    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • NollieNollie Posts: 7,512
    Everyone uses Mattocks over here for everything, Bob, from clearing brambles and digging out trenches to earthing up potatoes - didn’t know what all the fuss was about until I tried one - so much easier than a spade or fork- I have a great collection of forks with bent tines and spades with broke off shafts.
    Mountainous Northern Catalunya, Spain. Hot summers, cold winters.
  • WaysideWayside Posts: 845
    Brambles arch, fall, bed-in, and re-shoot.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,904
    Wayside said:
    Brambles arch, fall, bed-in, and re-shoot.
    Yes ... the roots aren't the main problem ...

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

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