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  • CeresCeres Posts: 2,271
    It has roots that go down to hell. It is practically impossible to eradicate and many people recommend pulling the tops off every time they appear. Some guys at the allotments have used Roundup with a bit of success in the short term but it will come back. It has been around longer than humans and will probably outlast us.
  • The most effective, though uncommon, approach to eliminating horsetail is to alter the conditions in which the plant is growing, to make the site inhospitable to horsetail. Horsetail thrives in wet conditions, so improve drainage by filling in low spots that hold water and install drainage ditches or small swales or dry streambeds to divert water. The plant also prefers poor, infertile soil so boost its nutrient content with chemical fertilizer or organic compost, aged manure or fish emulsion. Raising the soil's pH is a key element in a horsetail-control plan as well, since the plant prefers acidic soil. Add agricultural lime to the soil two weeks before or after the fertilizer for best results. Though it may take up to five years, the plants will go away on their own using this tactic. Keeping the greenery and spore cones cut hastens success.

    Hope this helps and good luck.

    If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.
  • TopsoiledTopsoiled Posts: 113

    That's a really good tip "The Gardeners Boy" - we often have so much trouble growing something because the conditions aren't right but I haven't thought of applying that to something we don't want.image

  • WintersongWintersong Posts: 2,436

    I saw a recommendation to spray with weed killer but only after you have beaten the stems to make the plants flop sideways.  I've never had this weed so this is not a personal experience, but can sympathise 

  • mollismollis Posts: 151

    I had an allotment that was covered by this awful weed...I dug deep and pulled what roots I could (the roots are black and waxy).. I added loads of organic matter and some sharp sand and made sure that regrowth was hoed off or pulled as soon as they showed through.... I never really got rid of it but it became less of a problem and I grew some super crops over many years....

    If you do go the weed killer route, they say that crushing the stems, so the weed killer can penetrate the plant may work. But as has been said, this weed was around a long time before we were. Good luck but don't give up hope... The old saying goes that you shouldn't let it see Monday. image

  • cajarycajary Posts: 26

    Yeah. It's a pain isn't it? You could try Googling "mares tail weed killer." I've found two products that are very effective. Don't want to put the names up in case I'm accused of advertising. These products are for professional use so please follow their guidelines. Especially make sure you wear goggles!!

    Ceres is spot on about the characteristics of this plant!

  • DorsetUKDorsetUK Posts: 441

    Back in the Carboniferous (300,000,000 years ago) they grew a lot bigger than they do today. They're in the same category as sharks, very successful 'design' as not changed a lot in all that time.  There are two sorts really but in water and greensand they will grow to several feet high even now. Fortunately I'm on chalk and halfway up a hill so the only horsetails I've got are fossil ones image

  • as007as007 Posts: 94

    move house image

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