If you've never tried it come and have a go next time. It's a cross between weeding and a combat sport! You don't actually bash it, just pull it out by its rather feeble roots. There is loads and loads of it and it needs pulling up before it flowers to keep it at bay. We had already devastated quite a large area by 12noon when I had to leave, but the others continued longer. I hope there are some photos of the felled stalks as it's very satisfying to see the fruits of your labours.
- balsam likes growing alongside nettles and brambles so my gloves were definitely needed
- it is hot work but you need long sleeves to avoid thorns and stings
- thicker trousers would also have resisted the thorns better - do NOT even think of doing this in shorts!
Here's to next time!