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In the past i have had a huge problem with marestail and always used glyphosate to try and control it. This was as good as it got, until landscaping friend of mine told me about a product he had recently discovered called Pure Reap. I used it for the first time last year and it was fantastic! I just wanted to share this gem of info in the hope it helps a fellow green fingered friend image

Happy gardening!


  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,295

    Reported to mods as an ad

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,227

    Minimal systemic effect, so only kills off the tops. looks to be pretty nasty stuff.- dessicant, defoliant, preemergent and post emergent weeds. Sounds like agent orange that the Americans used in Vietnam.image

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,295

    Probably kill the gardener before the marestail.

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • iGrowiGrow Posts: 183
    Bugger - thought I had been given the answer to my prayers... Continue with the vigilance then!
  • Agent Orange brings back unpleasant memories Fidget. In the 1970's all the major US  pharmaceutical companies were ordered by the Government to produce AO, (and also Agent Purple)as defoliants to use against the Vietcong. Years later, it was found that it was causing huge health problems with ex-servicemen who had handled it.

    When those servicemen, or their surviving families tried to seek financial assistance from the US government they were refused help, with their government citing " Governmental Immunity".

    I was working in the Insurance industry,and my company insured most of the major US drug companies - what I saw and heard about Agent Orange was horrendous, and  the European insurance industry eventually ended up paying out hundreds of millions of dollars to those poor unfortunates.

    Since those times, I'm afraid I have nothing but contempt for most American politicians!

    If anyone has any doubts about using noxious chemicals in the garden - DON'T use them!

  • iGrowiGrow Posts: 183
    I grow totally organically but the horsetail/marestail is really getting on my nerves.

    Sound advice in that final sentence in the post above.
  • Rubbish ad anyway as Marestail grows in fresh water and not in gardens. Or perhaps it's all the floods causing a problem!

  • iGrowiGrow Posts: 183
    Yes... I realise that it is Horsetail that I have but a lot of people call it Marestail.
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 8,447

    It's generally referred to as Marestail in my kneck of the wood.

  • Autumn dhAutumn dh Posts: 51

    We have this all over our lawn and garden. I've dug out the lawn as it was full of moss and horsetails. I guess this indicates how poor the soil is. The roots go far deeper than any herbicide will be able to reach. Glyphosate won't work. There are other threads on here where people have said they have used it to no avail.  Glyphosate actually encourages field horsetail by eliminating competing plants. Horsetails (and they are called horsetails, not marestails...which are a different plant that grows in water) love poor drainage, low oxygen, and acidic soil.

    You need to improve your soil by applying lime. After AT LEAST two weeks, apply horse manure. Then some nice compost. I've tried killing them with industrial grade vinegar (20%) but, like anything applied to them, it will only kill the tops and do nothing for the roots (which can go as far down as 7 meters...or over to Japan). Also, it acidifies the soil.

    Covering any parts of your garden with membrane or plastic will just make the roots really happy without the oxygen and horsetails will pop out everywhere along the sides. Don't do it. That's what the previous owner did here. You lift up the sheet of plastic and it is nothing but horsetail roots under there. They don't like shade so you can crowd some of them out with taller plants.

    From March to May you must be very vigilant and pull out any female (the one in the photo is a female) horsetails as soon as possible as they spread thousands of spores everywhere. If you can, pick them up in a plastic baggie to contain the spores and landfill those suckers. Do not till as it will make things worse. Every bit of root will regenerate into a new plant.

    We need to realise that they may never, ever fully go away. They take a lot of silicone from your soil so you can compost them after drying them out in order the replace the silicone. Try to improve your drainage by sloping the land away from your property and adding some ditches for the water to flow down. Some simply say it is best to pull out what you can and then just deal with them.

    The roots go so far down that they don't compete too much with plants for nutrients (allegedly) and the best thing to do is encourage them to move along by improving the soil. Very hard to do if your neighbour has them.


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