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What is this thing?

Can anyone tell me what this is? It seems to sprout up everywhere in my garden. Is it a weed?


  • Horsetail, a weed which you will have for ever!
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 82,289
    edited August 2019
    That’s the polite word for it ... it’s horsetail.

    Mention it among gardeners and you’ll have to cover your ears to avoid hearing cuss words. 

    “I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” Winnie the Pooh

  • FallonFallon Posts: 59
    Oh thank you for the replies. I thought it might be a weed. I dug it out and it is sprouting up again!
  • We have it in our garden too @Fallon and the advice we were given was to keep cutting it right down and eventually the plant will weaken - is this true - I have no experience of this weed until we discovered it growing here this year.

  • AnniDAnniD South West UKPosts: 11,021
    You will find some more information here @Fallon :) lt might help.
  • FallonFallon Posts: 59
    Thanks for all the replies. Very helpful
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 21,145
    I often advise people of this method, never gets a mention though, 

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 28,587
    Unfortunately, that method won't work on horsetail.   We had it in our last garden and just used to do a regular decapitation then gathered it up and left it to ry in the sun for a few days and only then did it go in the general waste bin, never on the compost heap.

    It's a prehistoric weed whose roots go down for metres.  The bits above ground have silica content so for any weedkiller to work they need to be crushed and then have the product applied by hand, wearing rubber gloves to massage it into the growing parts.   I got fed up doing that so took to the hoeing method. 

    It will eventually weaken.  Needs a lot of patience tho.  Years......
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • LynLyn DevonPosts: 21,145
    That’s what the article says, cut down to 8” then twist a screw driver down the hole. 
    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 

  • Joy*Joy* Posts: 571
    The article posted is not mares tail. The stalks on what you have wont be the same so twisting a screwdriver down it won't work. Your weed is a survivor and you just have to keep ripping it out and hope.....sorry 
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