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Mare's Tail

Is there anything I can do or use to control the masses of mares tail that are currently running rampant through my lovely shrub bed


  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,577

    Is it in just the one bed or does it extend to other areas such as your neighbours' gardens?

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • MancLadMancLad Posts: 3
    It's just in one big bed not in neighbours gardens as far as I know
  • pansyfacepansyface Posts: 21,577

    What sort of shrubs? Are they old and well established or newly planted or both?

    If old, you could carefully treat the mare's tail with weedkiller and avoid the shrubs. If newly planted, you might be better taking them up and going through the bed with a fine-toothed comb to remove as much MT as you can. Then you could replant and treat each stem as it emerges.

    If it is only in the one bed it sounds as if it might have been brought in with some top soil or a plant.

    You will probably never be totally rid of it.

    Apophthegm -  a big word for a small thought.
    If you live in Derbyshire, as I do.
  • KT53KT53 Posts: 7,781

    If you are going to try weedkiller you need to crush the stems first.  Either by walking on them or cruching up by hand.  That helps to break the surface of the stems and lets the weedkiller in.

    Possibly not an option for an established border, but I'm currently working on a plot about 25 x 15 ft which doesn't have any planting.  I'm using a garden fork to get as deep as possible and going through each clump by hand to remove as much as I can.  Our soil is light so, before this rain!, it was easy to crumble the soil off the MT and find roots left behind.  I'm under no illusion that it will completely eradicate the problem but I will hopefully be able to keep regrowth under control then.  It is a big job though.

  • JAGJAG Posts: 9

    we have an enormous problem with mare's tail and horsetail in our garden, and I have found the best thing to be either A) hire a digger and dig up as much as possible of the area. Go down at least 60cm, maybe a metre?(depends how established it is), get rid of that soil and leave the hole for a while to see what comes up(if any more mare's tail) and/or treat it with special weedkiller designed for these plants. Then after that refill the hole with good soil and replant or B) follow the following: Horsetail/Marestail hates fertile soil(lots of compost!), hates dry, hates alkaline soil(not good if you are growing rhododendrons..) and loves shade. We have an established flowerbed in an area of the garden where the horsetail is growing, and I have been digging out by hand every scrap of that weed that appears, mulching the bed and so far so good. I just need to dig up the lawn though... it is rife in there...

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