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Marestail / Horsetail on my allotment

NewBoy2NewBoy2 BristolPosts: 1,704
https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-horsetail-plant-51693882.html?pv=1&stamp=2&imageid=BED7A570-C2FF-4B8A-A328-68780B1EA32D&p=91109&n=0&orientation=0&pn=1&searchtype=0&IsFromSearch=1

Just spotted one about 12 inches tall on the other side of the path on my allotment.

reported it to " T' Committee "....scary looking thing.
Everyone is just trying to be Happy.....So lets help Them.

Posts

  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 5,963
    Rip those heads off as soon as you see them and before they spread their spores. 
  • NewBoy2NewBoy2 BristolPosts: 1,704
    I feel I ought to dig it up with the attached soil and dispose of it off site and safely .

    Any suggestions folks.
    Everyone is just trying to be Happy.....So lets help Them.
  • Mr. Vine EyeMr. Vine Eye Posts: 1,523
    My allotment plot is completely covered in horsetail. At least it was when we got it. It's definitley weakened after a year of hoeing/mowing and ripping up whenever it rears its head.

    Don't be too panicky about it. As long as you keep on top of it it's no worse than any other weed. At least it makes good compost - one of those plants that sucks up nutrients with the deep roots.

    It's not Japanese knotweed!

  • ObelixxObelixx Vendée, Western FrancePosts: 24,889
    I agree. Make sure you tackle it before the spores ripen and are released.  Its roots go down for miles and break and propagate easily so don't try digging it out.  It can be managed with regular hoeing and then making sure the cut pieces are dried completely before they go anywhere near a compost heap, even the council one.   

    It contains a lot of silica so if you want to try weed killers you need to crush the stems to bruise them or it will just run off.

    You can also make a "tea" with the cut stems.  The French call it a purin and it's apparently a good fungicide.
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." - George Bernard Shaw
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 15,016
    There is no way I would put the bits on a compost heap.  Dry and burn.  We moved a retaining wall back at mums. The mares tail roots were at least three feet down. Just keep pulling with as much of the roots as you can.  If it is a new occurrence, could it have come in with manure? If so, you could probably fork out the bits if you keep on top of it, before the roots get down where they are inaccessible.
    You don't stop doing new things because you get old, you get old because you stop doing new things. <3
  • FlyDragonFlyDragon Greater ManchesterPosts: 742
    edited 3 May
    NewBoy2 said:
    I feel I ought to dig it up with the attached soil and dispose of it off site and safely .

    Any suggestions folks.
    Don't dig it up, just pick it.  They grow on really long rhizomes and you will never get them all up.  I've read that damaging the rhizomes encourages it to grow more shoots! 

    Just pick it as soon as you see it, over time you will start to see less and less.  Its been around since before the dinosaurs though so there is an element of learning to live with it!  

    Definitely do not put it in compost!
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