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Can mare's-tail spread on tools?

Hi there,

We have two allotments and one has loads of mare's-tail, should we have seperate tools for each allotment? Not sure if it can spread in bits of soil on the tools? At the moment we are washing the tools after use in the allotment with mare'stail is that enough? 

Also any tips for plants that grow well alongside mare'stail or can crowd it out a bit?

Many thanks


  • madpenguinmadpenguin Posts: 2,466
    I think you should be OK if you clean the tools thoroughly.
    “Every day is ordinary, until it isn't.” - Bernard Cornwell-Death of Kings
  • BenCottoBenCotto Posts: 4,120
    I think you are being ultra cautious. I would definitely not bother with having a separate set of tools and I doubt I would clean the same set.

    The plant can propagate by wind borne spores but they are short lived and I cannot see how your tools could be a more effective agent of transmission compared to the wind, a force you can do nothing about.

    The main way the plant propagates is by its network of roots. A 4” rhizome can grow to 70 yards within a year. This is what you have to protect yourself from and just make sure you are not carrying root from one allotment to the other.

    As horsetail does not have effective leaves, the best way of living with it is to grow tall plants that outcompete it for light. That should suppress it, albeit only slightly. Otherwise cut it every time you see it. Come the next millennium you’ll win the battle.
    Rutland, England
  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 4,353
    Only if everyone else does the same!
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