How can I get rid of Horsetail Weeds?

Discussion in 'Garden Pest Management and Identification' started by Ron B, Apr 9, 2005.

  1. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years of Activity

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    Crowding out with taller plants.
     
  2. viking46

    viking46 Member

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    I have tried Roundup and hand pulling for two growing seasons to no avail! Roundup just doesn't work. Coming from the Prairies to Vancouver island - I can say this weed (Horsetail) is the worst I have seen - much worse than anything the Prairies can throw at you. So can anybody help? Something has to be able to kill it - what?

    Thanks
     
  3. Chris Klapwijk

    Chris Klapwijk Active Member 10 Years of Activity

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    Re: How do you get rid of Horsetail?

    Common horsetail, Equisetum arvense was the first vascular plant seen recovering after the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption and therein lies the answer.
    Equisetum arvense is found in areas with soil with little or no nutritional content, for example, gravel pits. Simply raising the nutritional content of your soil by adding generous quantities of composted materials will, in time, get rid of your horsetail.
     
  4. Eric La Fountaine

    Eric La Fountaine Rising Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years of Activity

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    This thread was merged to consolidate replies made to a thread in the test-bed. Thus the first reply predates the actual question.
     
  5. Lance

    Lance Member

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    Sheet mulching works fine. It depends upon the size of the area of course. Knock over and spray the offending weed with a high nitrogen (for organic purposes, use Metanaturals 16-0-0) spray. Cover it with thick cardboard, a layer of compost or soil (weedfree!) and whatever good mulch you have handy. This will kill it off quickly, and enrich the soil so that each year, there will be less and less.
    In lake'ch
    lance
     
  6. i live in pa- usa and have had horsetail for 3 years now in a flower garden. i would like to know the best way to get rid of this weed once and for all. i would appreciate any help you can give me. thank you riverby@enter.net
     
  7. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years of Activity

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    Hi Arlene,

    If you read all the responses you will find the answer from Chris.

    Newt
     
  8. viking46

    viking46 Member

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    After some hit and miss - I have found the answer - plain vinegar straight out of the bottle sprayed onto the soil just around the offending weed (s). With no rain in the next 24 hours - they turn brown and die. Also no new ones! Love it!

    Then in 2 weeks time I can plant anything and it will grow quite nicely. The dead weed patch is about 2 inches in diameter so nothing nearby gets damaged. I also tried that on some clover in the lawn and it worked too! I think I just put Monsanto (Roundup) out of business!
     
  9. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years of Activity

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    Hi Viking,

    I tell folks to use vinegar all the time! There's even a horticultural vinegar that is 20% acidic as opposed to the 5% household stuff. Glad to know it works on clover too!

    http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2002/020515.htm

    Newt
     
  10. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years of Activity

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    Watch you don't acidify your soil with vinegar applications. Horsetail has chambered rootstocks, can renew itself from small sections that were not reached by chemicals that killed the rest. Repeat applications may be necessary. It also gives off spores before the foliage emerges.
     
  11. chuckrkc

    chuckrkc Active Member

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    You won't get rid of all of it, but I have seen it at several gardeners plant exchanges. The last exchange, the stuff went like wildfire.

    Sorry for being a smart alec, but I did learn something from Chris's response as well as Ron B's.
     
  12. Just Curious

    Just Curious Active Member

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    Dichlobenil any time know works very well. Situation and rates are key. Depending on soil type, even low rates can keep horsetail in check.
     
  13. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years of Activity

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    That is a control for horsetail, not an eradicant. And it affects other plants.

    Horsetail is just about the only plant growing on the tailings at the Tacoma smelter. What does that tell you?
     
  14. Just Curious

    Just Curious Active Member

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    Another control I've tried is Simple Green. It's a degreaser. You may need more than one application at 25%.

    Doesn't affect much else but sometimes mottles leaves a bit.
     
  15. Ivygirl

    Ivygirl Member

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    Thank you thankyou! I love this suggestion! I get a liitle horsetail here and there and really hate to use the round up with the animals around but I usually just pull them out..now I will try vinegar! Thanks so much!
     
  16. Ron B

    Ron B Esteemed Contributor 10 Years of Activity

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    I think glyphosate actually encourages field horsetail by eliminating competing plants.
     
  17. jimweed

    jimweed Active Member

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    Round up does nothing to horsetail, Round up is good as a grassy weed killer. 2,4 -D eliminates horsetail right away, and it won't hurt your turf grasses. And is extremely low in toxicity to people and scientists are trying to find some evidence that it might be slightly toxic to pets. http://www.24d.org/published.htm . Likely your best and safest solution to rid horse tail. Jim. please read feel free to read some of the articles in the link if you think degreasers, and vinagers are any safer then 2,4-D. And it works awesome on horsetail. As well casoron will keep it down once you have removed it. Horsetail is one of the easiest weeds to control. Jim
     
  18. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years of Activity

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    You decide for yourself. I think I like vinegar better considering
    http://www.pesticideinfo.org/Detail_Chemical.jsp?Rec_Id=PC33440

    Newt
     
  19. jimweed

    jimweed Active Member

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    {24-D is a chlorophenoxy-herbicide which as a group has been classified as possibly carcinogenic to humans. Depending on the degree of exposure periodic medical examination is indicated.} Thats about all I can find in that link that says it poison humans? I guess if you were to acidently drink a bottle of it unmixed, wow, maybe you might have some concern to learn those toxology reports on this pesticide, but were only trying to control a few weeds with a .6% mixture.
    Is the general public view on 2,4-D mislead by the word Pesticide? When,

    1996
    World Health Organization completes its toxicological review of 2,4-D and determines the compound does not present a risk to human health.

    2005
    EPA releases 2,4-D Reregistration Eligibility Decision (RED). EPA's review of human health and environmental data concludes there is no additional evidence that would implicate 2,4-D as a cause of cancer and it does not pose an unacceptable risk to human health when product instructions are followed.

    The EPA concluded that acute and short-term margins of exposure for homeowner applications of 2,4-D to lawns were "not of concern." Epidemiological studies of animal and human data by the EPA found no definitive link between human cancer cases and 2,4-D.
    "EPA's comprehensive findings are consistent with decisions of other authorities such as the World Health Organization, Health Canada, European Commission and recent studies by the U.S. National Cancer Institute on 2,4-D,"

    http://www.24d.org/newsarticles/Page-only-bad-science.pdf

    These are not made up or wrote by me. As far as lawn weed control goes there is no other alternative then hand pulling. And thats about as realistic as a jeweler making his own diamonds. And used properly really causes little concern to pulbic health. Vinager will kill your grass. It might taste a little better.
    As for horsetail, they are all rooted together and do need a translocative herbicide to get a good control, burning off the top will not do much. Jim
     
  20. greendude

    greendude Member

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    Eliminating this weed is not easy and will take much persistence, continual removal will work - eventually! Regular close mowing will exhaust the rhizomes, but the patch must be isolated as growth will re-emerge from an adjoining area. Check early in the year for the cone-bearing shoots to stop the production of spores and remove any of the branched shoots later. In the garden, sowing turnips in the area has been shown to inhibit the growth of shoots, probably due to an inhibiting substance produced by the turnip; this would need to be done for a few seasons to exhaust the rhizomes. From www.usagardener.com
     
  21. Yanzi

    Yanzi Member

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    where can I purchase this horticulture vinegar, 20% here in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada?
     
  22. Newt

    Newt Well-Known Member 10 Years of Activity

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    Yanzi, I found this source in Ontario.
    http://www.natural-care.ca/liquid products.htm

    Here's an interesting conversation. I've selected the parts that pertain to your situation in BC. This first poster lives in BC and the post was from 2006.
    http://forums2.gardenweb.com/forums/load/organic/msg0621514210084.html

    This post was from 2004 and the poster 'trying 2b organic' lives in BC.
    http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=59477&page=3

    Please keep in mind that vinegar at that strength can be very dangerous and you must take precautions not to get it in your eyes or on your skin.

    Newt
     
  23. mandyksmith

    mandyksmith Member

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    if this helps with any more idea's with ridding us of this awful weed, it's made up of a silicon compound, this is what makes it so hardy, this plant has been around since before the dinosaurs.
     
  24. Slavex

    Slavex New Member

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    pure acetic acid (vinegar 99%) can be obtained from some farm chemical supply companies. we use it on our farm as a preservative in the feed for our animals. Be aware it freezes at common room temps, and is quite dangerous to work with if you are not used to it. Very very corrosive and noxious gas producing. Typically comes in plastic carboys. We mix down to just slightly stronger than household strengths and it also helps reduce the chances of kidney and bladder stones in the animals.

    Regarding horsetail, I just bought a nice big jug of MCPA AMINE 500. mixed at 25ml per L and sprayed on, it doesn't affect grass but wipes out Horsetail, both types as well as clover. Incredibly effective and fast. It is supposed to get down into the root system as well, which I believe as I've not seen any new shoots of either type showing up since I sprayed. Same goes for the clover.
     
  25. CanadaGoose

    CanadaGoose New Member

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    To Slavex: You say you haven't seen any new shoots since spraying. Your post is dated June 2013. It is now only early July. How long has it been since you actually sprayed? Are you still seeing no recurrence of the horsetail? Has it been at least one month?
    I have a client with lots of horsetail and I'd be absolutely delighted to find a way to get rid of it - or at least control it for more than a month!
     

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