Its surprising what you can achieve in just a few weeks.
The area pictured was the start of the plot. I didn't tackle too much at a time, but this area approx 9x6 foot took a considerable amount of effort to clear. Kneeling down and pulling weeds is the way I was taught. There is no other way of getting the soil conditioned. Even dousing with chemicals would not generate such a quick result. The area was double dug, and then forked through to open it up. Luck was on my side, as it remained pretty mild and dry up to this point in time, meaning that I could work the heavy clay soil. If the rains had arrived any earlier than they did, then this work would of had to wait. Its much later in the year now as I write, but I can easily ( with finger pressure only ) push a six foot cane 4' into the soil. That is the fruit of the effort. Love the fork too - thanks Bill & Edna. It a Wilkinson Sword version with stainless steel tines, and not too heavy either.