Weed ID

Hi, I have had problems the last few years with this weed....it was everywhere on the veg patch when we moved in and although is now a lot less it has reappeared this year.  The roots are quite deep and I do try to dig them all out, it is perennial as dies down in the winter but has come back this week now it is warm, but inky between the paving and dividers at the moment.

Pic below if someone could help please image





  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,623
    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
  • landgirl100landgirl100 Posts: 655

    It's a horsetail, Equisetum arvense. Keep on pulling it out!

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,623

    I was going to say, also known as Horsetail - there's a recent thread on it image

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
  • LynLyn Posts: 8,378

    I saw a remedy for this on a gardening prog this eeek, Garden Hopping.  She said as its stalks are very shiny, weed killer doesnt touch it, but beat it about with a strong stick so that you break the coating on the stems then spray on glysophate. Digging it up doesnt work very well.  Every tiny bit of root left in will grow again.  I dont have it so cant speak from experience.

    Gardening on the wild, windy west side of Dartmoor. 
  • Orchid LadyOrchid Lady Posts: 5,800

    It is a nightmare, I have been digging some up this morning, I lied when I said it wasn't actually in the veg patch, it is on the bit prepared for my brassicas!!!  It sort of camouflages itself.  Anyway, I've got my weeding tool on it and dug up some deep roots.  Can't really do the bashing thing when it grows between my veg,mi will just have to keep on too if it and try to get as much root as possible.

    Nightmare image

  • Autumn dhAutumn dh Posts: 51

    Glyphosate won't work. Weedkillers are absolutely useless on this thing. 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.

    I've been out in my garden screaming "Nightmare!" for days because of these. Beyond nightmare.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,231

    I think you've made your point now Autumn

  • Orchid LadyOrchid Lady Posts: 5,800

    Thanks Autumn, as I've already said. I won't use weed killers as it is my veg patch, I haven't time now to follow all your advice but as I have said previously, I am pulling up ALL shoots that I see using one of those tools where you can go quite deep into the soil to pull up roots.

    The problem is a lot better than it was.

    Nut image

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,231

    Eight posts all the same on one day Tracey. I bet nobody else has done that

  • Orchid LadyOrchid Lady Posts: 5,800

    Is there a reason why you have just joined the forum, found every thread re horsetail and ONLY commented on those, exactly the same post?  Just seems a little strange????

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