Help! I'm losing battle with Equisetum

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by Chrissie1976, Jun 5, 2017.

  1. Chrissie1976

    Chrissie1976 New Member

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    Can anyone give me any advice as to how I can get rid of that pernicious weed Equisetum, (Horse or Mare's Tail), please? It is rapidly taking over my garden, happily growing through the weed barrier membrane I laid, and the layer of gravel on top of that. The soil is fairly heavy clay. My neighbour has some growing up between her block paving. She tried a herbicide, I'm not sure which type, but think it may have been a systemic one. I told her to crush the plant first, because of the silica, and she did have some success, albeit temporary, in taking off the top growth. But it obviously didn't reach the roots, as it keeps reappearing. I know it is impossible to dig out, so at the moment I am just removing stems manually, working on the assumption that if I can stop it getting any light it's bound to die eventually. But I can't keep up with it. It's getting worse every year. If some sort of hard landscaping, for example resin bonded gravel, could stop it in the paths, I could perhaps then manage to keep on top of it in the flower beds. But I don't want to waste money paying someone to lay the paths, if it is still going to get through and ruin them.
    No wonder it's been around for millions of years! It's a survivor. I'm beginning to think that in another million years it'll be the only plant left in what used to be my beloved rose garden. I'd welcome any success stories. Thanks.
     
  2. Yo_Jo

    Yo_Jo New Member

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  3. Chrissie1976

    Chrissie1976 New Member

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    Thanks for the advice Yo-Jo. Also, thanks to everyone who posted advice on how to solve this problem. Perhaps if I try all of your suggestions in a concerted attack I might get rid of, or at least control, this pernicious weed. Out of interest I looked at gardens in the village where I live as I walked up the road. It seems to be pretty widespread in this area. I saw it growing through tarmac and cracks in concrete paths, and it is coming through my neighbour's block paving. The soil is quite heavy clay around here, so I wonder if horsetail likes this type of soil. It's great for roses, but hard work to cultivate. I have a large garden which is becoming too much work for me now. I plan to have more hard landscaping put down and have mostly raised flower beds. If I work plenty of compost or good topsoil into the beds it should improve drainage. As well as making life easier for me, it may also help to get rid of the horsetail, (fingers crossed).
     
  4. Yo_Jo

    Yo_Jo New Member

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    I thought I saw one post that recommended full strength vinegar to bust out those weeds.
    Incidentally, I didn't know what horsetail was until this last weekend when I saw them on the side of the roads and trails on a small Island off the Vancouver coastline and one of the other posters ID'd it.
     
  5. Michael F

    Michael F Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    For clarification - Horsetail.

    Mare's-tail (Hippuris vulgaris) is a completely different wetland plant, found in lakes and pools.
     
  6. Yo_Jo

    Yo_Jo New Member

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    Two different plants that might use the same common name. Michael has a point there...maybe a photo will help clear it up.
     

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