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    • Somerset
    • By Somerset 24th Jun 08, 9:26 AM
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    horse-tail - how do you kill it?
    • #1
    • 24th Jun 08, 9:26 AM
    horse-tail - how do you kill it? 24th Jun 08 at 9:26 AM
    We've got a plague of horse-tail which is spreading everywhere. I've tried tumbleweed and roundup, both at their max level, you know 10ml easy weeds 40ml bramble etc so I went 40ml or max. Didn't touch it.

    Someone told me say triple the weedkiller, if you do it strong enough it will kill anything. Someone else said use diesel. Neither option sounds great, not particularly nice to environment or moneysaving.

    Has anyone else got horse-tail, successfully killed it and what did you use ?
Page 2
    • hotcookie101
    • By hotcookie101 1st Jul 08, 5:40 PM
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    I have given up all hope of getting rid of this It is EVERYWHERE in the neighbourhood, so I round up it sometimes but generally just pull it out when i see it. especially in the spring when the plain spikes come up(did someone say that was the female?)
    Have had good results with concentrated round up and a garden sprayer to get rid of the HUGE amount that likes to grow under the decking..
    • Somerset
    • By Somerset 1st Jul 08, 6:17 PM
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    What a shame I hadn't read this post earlier because I read somewhere years ago that if you use Sodium Chlorate as a weedkiller,you have to be careful where it is sprayed because it can seep across the soil and will kill off any plant material that it comes into contact with.

    The information said that nothing can be grown in the soil for at least six months afterwards such is the potency of the stuff.

    I hope I am wrong as the information I read was when we first got our allotment plots 28 years ago.

    Horsetail roots can go down to a great depth over 40ft in some places and it is murder to erradicate.One of the old boys on our allotments had it all over his land so he grass seeded it and when it was long enough he put a load of lambs on the land.Within a few years of then nibbling the horsetail had all gone.

    Good Luck and I do hope that you suceed in eradicating it...
    Originally posted by kandyfloss
    Just got off the phone with a friend who says you can't grow anything on the ground for 5 years In my case it is ( or used to be ) a gravel drive so I wouldn't be growing on it anyway. I was very careful but I'm just keeping my fingers crossed. I am amazed that horsetail roots can go down 40ft - I don't disbelieve you - it just seems increadible
    • Horace
    • By Horace 1st Jul 08, 6:30 PM
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    Roundup usually works along with lots of digging, don't pull it because it just splits.
    Semper in faeces profundum variat

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    • Somerset
    • By Somerset 5th Jul 08, 4:15 PM
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    Well I said I'd update. The horsetail is dying where it was sprayed with sodium chlorade. It's gone brown. Nothing else ( the adjoining stuff ) appears to be affected so still keeping fingers crossed.

    I'll not do it yet, I'll give it another week, but do people know if it's ok to pull it up and dispose of it later? It's very unsightly, but I'm mindful of what someone said in an earlier post about not pulling it because it splits and grows again, but if it's dead will it still split and grow again ?
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 5th Jul 08, 9:49 PM
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    In my case it is (or used to be) a gravel drive so I wouldn't be growing on it anyway.
    Originally posted by Somerset
    The problem is that the chemical can "creep" sideways through the soil so I hope you don't have any favourite plants alongside the drive.
  • Anchorman
    I have been struggling with horsetail/marestail for years. I recently heard about a product called Kibosh available on the internet and it works.

    7 days after spraying the horsetail is black and very dead. There has been no regrowth since I sprayed about 3 weeks ago. There are videos on youtube about this The product is expensive but is diluted down to make enough to last the average gardener several lifetimes.

    You can also replant the area sprayed as soon as the spray has dried.

    I have no links whatsoever with the makers of this product but from reading the previous thread posts I can see people are as desperate as I was to get rid of it. I hope this information helps
  • bapowley
    Killing Horses Tail
    Try this - mix Glyphosate 360 at 30ml per litre plus Weedol 2 at 20g per litre then spray the horses tail in the warmest possible conditions - a good dry warm sunny day. As soon as the spray is dry repeat on the same day in the same conditions three times - each time waiting till the previous spraying is dry.

    Repeat on Day two - then sit back and watch.


  • Scotsbride
    Thanks for the replies.

    I'll try the scrunching & roundup this time. We're got a mess of it on a big stretch of gravel drive. It's spread from there to the lawn, which at least gets mowed so though it's there you can't see it. It's also travelled to inside the greenhouse. Over the last two years, I've pulled it up - but it takes time and it's spreading/getting worse. There must be something I can spray on eg gravel stretches ??? mustn't there ??
    Originally posted by Somerset
    Have you tried using a flame gun to burn the leaves in the gravel areas also there are stronger chemicals available for gravel area (can't remember names)that will kill a lot of things but also stay in the soil for up to six months.
  • SAC13
    Horsetail or Marestail weed eradication
    This is a dreadful weed to eradicate. The more you pull it out the more it grows back! AT LASTthough I've found a weed killer that actually works - LORAM from Progreen Weed Control Solutions Ltd of Bourne, Lincs. Apply to the growth - wait 7 to 20 days and it will go brown, die down and disappear totally. FABULOUS result if you've had this problem for years. N.B> be warned it kills all weeds etc except grass.
  • SAC13
    Should add it's very expensive - 85 for a bottle. But it's cheap in reality as I was about to get a JCB in to dig everything out and start again
  • Leif
    Spammy pinky meaty smelly spam spam spam. Reported.
    • iharding
    • By iharding 28th Aug 12, 3:58 PM
    • 64 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    Seeing as this thread has come back to life after a long sleep...

    The site I used to have an allotment on was full of marestail, but most people found that regular hoeing kept it under control.

    Interesting to hear about the effect of growing turnips though. One year I planted a dense patch of agricultural mustard green manure (a brassica, like turnips). No marestail grew in that patch for a couple of years afterwards, and then returned only sparsely, even though adjoining areas had plenty.
    • graspandsave
    • By graspandsave 28th Aug 12, 9:39 PM
    • 1,276 Posts
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    It is rife in our neighbourhood, I always thought pull it out when I see it, as least it keeps it out of sight.

    I will definitely give the turnips a go, might be nice extra veggies to boot.

    I know this thread has been dozing for a while but somewhere some said that horsetail made a good plant feed.........could some one please advise what to do and what /when to use it as a plant food
    many thanks
    • Mojisola
    • By Mojisola 28th Aug 12, 9:52 PM
    • 31,196 Posts
    • 80,048 Thanks
    Here's some advice -
    • Michael Campbell
    • By Michael Campbell 23rd Mar 13, 11:41 AM
    • 12 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    Michael Campbell
    Somerset - how did you get on with tackling the horsetail, I am at war with it in my garden at the moment.
  • evilgoose
    I have terrible trouble with it in the garden.

    Here's a couple of things I've found with it - hopefully it will be of use to others!

    I've not found any weedkiller that kills it (even after bruising the stems) + I dont really want to use weedkiller.

    This time of year the 'flower heads' start to appear, dig or pull them up and put in bin. If you miss any, and they grow through, cup your hand over them and gently pull them off. You'll see your hand covered in the green spores. Again bin it, and give your hands a wash.

    Regularly cut the lawns where it is growing through the grass.

    Veg beds, dig thoroughly - with a garden fork, NOT spade. Remove the roots and throw in bin, not compost.

    Flower beds - dig out where possible. Pull the plant regularly, where digging not possible. (I think the green parts can be composted, but as I'm not sure, I leave on the path for several days to make sure it's good and dead before putting it in the compost)

    I've certainly not defeated it, and with it in both next doors gardens, I doubt I will. But I've certainly reduced it quite drastically. Its taken a few years. but i'm getting there!
    • sassyblue
    • By sassyblue 15th Apr 13, 11:23 AM
    • 3,206 Posts
    • 8,121 Thanks
    We used to have a fair bit of it, all l've been doing is constantly pulling it out when weeding and it does seem to be getting better....
    Always overpaying on mortgage.

    Happy moneysaving all.

    • fwor
    • By fwor 16th Apr 13, 12:20 AM
    • 6,201 Posts
    • 4,260 Thanks
    As I've said before, my Gran's advice on marestail was "never let it see the light of day", and it works.

    It's labour-intensive to start with, but all you need to do is to find each shoot, press down as far as you can below ground level, grip the shoot and pull it. It will come out with a length of (usually black) root attached.

    The remaining underground root now needs to grow much further to reach light before it can get sustenance to continue growing.

    If you do this every few days you ~will~ kill it - no chemicals required.
    • jicms
    • By jicms 4th Jun 13, 5:09 PM
    • 373 Posts
    • 42 Thanks
    Any updates on eradicating horse (or is it mares) tail?

    My block patio is being taken over. Will be able to mow it soon!! It's next to a pond so spraying weedklller's not an option.

    It's the only good thing about winter is that it dies off!
  • noimad
    Interesting article on organic control of Horsetail on PushingUpDandelions (can't post link as I'm a newbie but search for 'PushingUpDandelions Horsetail') - sounds involved but argues that weedkillers only kill off top growth, not the immensely deep roots.
    Creator of the free Allotmentor vegetable garden/allotment plot planner
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