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How do I eradicate mares Tail weeds?

  1. How do I eradicate mares tail weeds?
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  • KT53KT53 South WestPosts: 6,807
    With great difficulty and a lot of persistence!  There have been many threads on the topic which you may be able to search for. 
    Pulling them will weaken them over time, just don't drop what you've pulled back onto the soil or there's a real chance that more will grow from broken sections of root.  If it's a fairly open area I've had some success by trampling the growth to break the surface of the stem and then spraying with high concentration Roundup or SBK Brushwood killer.
    Kurtail is another product people say they've had success with but it's not something I've tried myself.
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,030
    It's ancient, it's tough, its roots go down for metres and it is very persistent but will weaken with constant pulling and hoeing.   You can even make a "tea" which acts as a fungicide against mildew and rust and other problems.  Just soak 100g of fresh horsetail in 1 litre of water for 24 hours then boil and strain.  Dilute 1 part to 10 parts water for a fungicide spray.  

    This is what the RHS advises for clearing it - https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=257 
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 32,329

    IMHO, the more honest, but less diplomatic answer is , " you can't" Weaken it yes, make it less of a problem, but I've never known anyone eradicate it completely. 
    Roots have been recorded 300, yes three hundred, metres below ground.
    Devon.
  • micearguersmicearguers CambridgePosts: 598
    @Hostafan1 I'd love that to be true, but it sounds a bit fantastic. Nothing much I can find online except the RHS saying 'may go down as deep as 2m'. Any sources for this claim?



  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 16,152
    edited August 2018
    There is anecdotal evidence that roots have been seen in coal mines.  I know my mum dug down three feet, and seived all the soil. It is still infested. This year it is worse than ever. It seems to be the only thing accessing water.
    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,030
    It does well in poor soils so increasing soil fertility with plenty of organic matter will help, along with the regular hoeing and pulling.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • Mary370Mary370 Limerick, Ireland Posts: 2,003
    After having imported it into my garden with topsoil several years ago............I've found the best thing is as stated above, keep hoeing/pulling it out whenever you see it.  There appears to be a lot less of it this year compared to the last few years, but I don't for one minute think I've eradicated it.  
  • Paul B3Paul B3 Posts: 2,965
    edited August 2018
    If such a thing as a time-machine was possible , and you could go back in time at the rate of one-year per second ,thirty minutes and you'd be approaching 'biblical' times .
     But , you would have to sit for nearly twenty-years to approach the Carboniferous era , an unimaginably remote period in the planets past when giant-Marestail's evolved to contribute to the coal-seams we extract today .

    Eradication may prove difficult !


    It has been around a long long time !
  • Dirty HarryDirty Harry Posts: 1,008
    Nipping it in the bud with a good weedkiller?

    I've had some appear at the wall and Gallup 360 soon gets rid of it with a couple of applications. I've never had it bad, just a few leaves appearing.

    I suspect regularly checking so that it can never grow much in the first place might help.
  • PurplerainPurplerain Posts: 1,053
    edited August 2018
    I used Kurtail in the past. It was very expensive but the gel like substance worked well and had a good dilution rate. However, this weed is never completely eradiicated, so I bought another batch a couple of years ago just incase EU regulations came into force and it was banned.

    The stuff I was sent was watery and the dilution rate is nothing like its predecessor, in that I only got the same effect by not using water. I would not spend £40 + now, and will try bruising it before using a general weedkiller. It is the only weed that I would contemplate using a weedkiller on.




    SW Scotland
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