How can I get rid of Horsetail Weeds?

Discussion in 'HortForum' started by Ron B, Apr 9, 2005.

  1. InsectBea

    InsectBea New Member

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    Location:
    Sherwood Park, AB CANADA
    Use vinegar which is 10% or higher. I found some at home hardware in Canada. Item # 4581-225. Be careful not to get this on other plants. Hope it works.
     
  2. borderless

    borderless New Member

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    Hawick, Scotland
    JUST FOUND YOUR QUOTE AND HAVE LOTS! OF HORSETAIL IN PART OF A DRIVEWAY ADJOINING GRASS - TRIED BURNING, POSIONING WITH VARIOUS MIXES AND EVEN CONSISTENTLY PULLING IT OUT - ALONG WITH MY HAIR!!! CAN YOU REPORT BACK ON WHAT'S HAPPENING WITH YOUR WEEDS PLEASE - WOULD LIKE TO TRY AND GET IT BEFORE IT DIES BACK NATURALLY SO CAN TRY AND AVOID SPRING TIME SPORES AGAIN. THANKYOU - borderless - Scotland
     
  3. FudgeUK

    FudgeUK New Member

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    Stockport, UK
    Borderless - we too are in the UK. Horsetail is an absolute pain to get rid of, in fact I am not sure you can actually eradicate it. I have settled for controlling it after spending a fortune on various weedkillers and hours of my time fruitlessly trying to deal with it. In our garden it has been treated for the past couple of years with Kurtail, the only thing I have seen have an effect on it (this was discovered after extensive online research and with the help of a professional gardener). This kills the spikes and degrades on contact with the soil so it is possible to plant the treated area shortly afterwards. We also lost a lot of other plants in this process because it was impossible to isolate the horsetail when applying the Kurtail - it had not been controlled for a number of years when the only gardening was mowing the grass by the previous occupants. I am now going to work on improving the soil to try to discourage it further.

    Unfortunately we live next door to a completely overgrown/left to grow wild garden which is full of the stuff April - September. In an ideal world I would pay to treat that garden too, but our neighbour hasn't accepted our offer to do this stating that nothing works. You won't stop the spore heads by getting ridding of the spikes the previous year - it really is the plant kingdom's answer to the cockroach: it can survive pretty much anything and those sporeheads appear overnight like weird aliens! My mother calls it a bombsite plant - it was the first thing to grow on sites bombed in WWII. It has a rhizome system which can be very deep in the ground with a large spread. If you have it in grass then regular mowing is as good as anything to control it. In our garden it is most problematic in the borders adjoining the 'wild' garden next door.

    I am hoping I can demonstrate the difference controlling it makes and persuade our neighbours to buy in to getting it treated in their garden.
     
  4. charlie110

    charlie110 New Member

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    coquitlam british columbia
    Looking to get ride of horse tail at my work, it has over run all of the other plants and I have tried the vinegar it works but just not strong enough, I am a resident of coquitlam vancouver, but I don't know where to find horticultural vinegar, if anyone knows of a local place to obtain this it would be very much appreciated

    Charlie..
     
  5. bcgreen

    bcgreen New Member

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    Hi Charlie, I guess this is not all over vancouver, because as I remember it as a child living in Burnably, we never saw this weed and never heard anyone discuss this problem.
     
  6. Shazz

    Shazz New Member

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    Hi
    We have been plagued with horsetail in our back garden since we moved to our new house 8 years ago. Each year we have laboriously picked the horsetail from the lawn in the hope it will not reappear (wishful thinking on our part) but to no avail. Last year we bought a new weed killer called 'Herbanatur' and sprayed a few horsetail shoots in the lawn to see what happened. To my surprise, the next day the horsetail looked limp and the following day it showed significant die back without any damage to the lawn. Throughout the remaining summer season we picked the horsetail and sprayed the base of the stem. This year (so far), there is a significant decrease in the amount of horsetail we have in our lawn and we hope we have found a solution that works, for now. Although horsetail is not listed on the herbanatur.com website as a horsetail eliminator, it is certainly working for us, and it is most satisfying to see horsetail shrivel up. Herbanatur is a little expensive but if you can buy the granules and make up the solution yourself it is cheaper. The solution remains stable when made up, so there is no need to use it within a specific time frame. It is pet friendly, phosphate free, and a good Canadian product. Hope this is of some help.
    Shazz
     
  7. bcgreen

    bcgreen New Member

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    Is it possible to make 10% vinegar by boiling?
     
  8. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Renowned Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    That seems to be suggested by earlier postings, though I see that there are now a number of Canadian-registered pesticides with acetic acid as the (main) active ingredient. Given that > 10% concentration acetic acid has handling cautions / warnings, I suggest it is probably better off to find a product with a label detailing the hazards and safety concerns.
     
  9. bcgreen

    bcgreen New Member

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    My problem is that I am now south of the border.
     
  10. Shazz

    Shazz New Member

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    I believe Sears.com sells it online.
     
  11. AnnK

    AnnK New Member

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    Sedro Woolley
    I've lived in our place for eight years, and the first few years I realized that I could not have a pretty garden bed, because horsetail can come up through cement! The roots go about 12 feet all around. All you can do is sterilize the spray over and over again with a herbicide containing tryclopar (?), which I learned from working with a Master Gardner/MA in horticulture and another coworker with a BA in horticulture. Tryclopar is the only ingredient that attacks the whole thing, the ingredient in all brush killers. It's the only thing I've found effective. I just sprayed an area of bare soil (already tried having woody bushes with casoran down), which is ugly, so planning on gravel. We've had to plant grass to actually get rid of the horsetail. The only problem is, horsetail exists in our woods and along nearby ditches, and they release 40,000 spores per plant! If you want a garden, an actual garden, then you'll be doing a lot of pulling (can't kill them), but it could be worth it to you for pretty flowers. I for one, have thought about moving to Arizona to get away from it, lol! It has driven me mad countless summers! I'm not so patient! Good luck. :)
     
  12. fergal

    fergal New Member

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    Hi All,

    To successfully kill this weed to the root use a systemic weed killer with the active ingredient being "2.4,D".

    I use a product called Mortox50 here in Ireland to kill Equisetum arvense (horsetail) and I have a successful kill within 7days of application in dry weather with active growth.

    Remember you have to kill the weed before it goes to seed.

    F
     
  13. saraheco

    saraheco New Member

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    does anyone know if and where this product can be purchased in Canada? I have a horse riding ring full of the horsetails (no pun intended) and they sure are thriving ...
     
  14. Yard Surgeons

    Yard Surgeons New Member

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    I am a gardener North Shore Vancouver. In gathering knowledge from the comments my solution then is prevention and iron.

    Manufactured soil began the epidemic. Prior to we went to local recycle dirt farms. My suspicion is the manufactured is spreading it.

    Brand new home with a forest of horsetails neighbors my newest clients' long established home.
    They have crept in next door into the garden and lawn.

    So the new soil appears to be a better carrier somehow. I could be wrong but going with what I experience. I, we have to start asking I think.

    As to control without 24d, and on the labels of:

    Scotts 'weed be gone' controls horsetails in lawn, it is iron.
    Scotts 'path clear' controls horsetails everywhere and everything else, it is concentrate acidic acid.

    I am going to use the high organic nutrient content solution but specifically high iron. Horsetails are dormant here along with flora. So I think I can concentrate on iron in the garden and on lawn during the next growing season to better effect the horsetails.

    I'll continue to keep the Scotts handy too.










    Acid/vinagar concentrate like scotts works too an extent
     
  15. Yard Surgeons

    Yard Surgeons New Member

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    I suspect the answer is more iron. The iron based weed killer knocks the plant back. I spot spray to control them in lawn and gardens. But with little strength of course the vigorous root beneath branches to make the result temporary. I am going to try to maximize the iron content of the soil by using moss control. The lawn will love it and mowing become a better chore but I believe it to be a viable approach. Perhaps someone can suggest an alternative method for maximizing iron content in soil too.
     
  16. Roger44

    Roger44 New Member

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    Location:
    France
    Hello
    This is my first posting on this forum. I think I'm winning the battle against horsetail in my garden. This photo taken the 3rd of June shows what's left, each stick corresponding to a growth of horsetail.
    2015-06-03 10.28.55.jpg

    The 2nd photo is typical of a bit of horstail beside the red spot. What's left is mangy, and probably comes from broken bits left in the ground near the surface. There are five healthy growths in my lawn close to the neighbours fence which emerged a good month later but have grown quickly and are now high. I suspect they come from a deep root network.
    2015-06-03 10.31.47.jpg

    The third photo shows the neighbours garden behind a piece of corrugated plastic (over on the left of the first photo). He sprayed with round-up 3 weeks ago, to no avail. (He thoughtfully put the plastic to protect my lawn). He also put down some lime earlier on this year as horsetail is reputed not to like lime.
    2015-06-03 10.29.33.jpg

    Back in the 1970's I burrowed down vertically to follow the root of a piece of horsetail just in front of the door of the white toolshed. I was horrified to find a a yard deep horizontal root network as dense as a tennis net. At the bottom of the garden near the brook there were two-yard long horizontal pieces just below the surface. As this was then a vegetable garden I systematically pulled out every piece of horsetail that dared grow and quite often they came with a good foot of root (sandy soil). And after 10 years or so the horsetail gave up. But later we stopped cultivating the garden and in the last 20 years it has all spread back from the neighbour's garden again.

    And then we decided to refurbish the house; bring in 8" of good soil and plant a lawn. I had to solve the problem before the lawn was laid. Spraying Round-Up around June last year had no effect whatsoever. Around August I brushed the horsetail to break its waxy protective skin and sprayed again, alas to no avail. At the end of august I got down on my hands and knees and every evening for about two weeks, cut the stems an inch or so above the ground and injected 20% Round-Up directly into the stems. Every stem more than about 2mm wide, wide enough to have a hollow inside, got its dose. Maybe a thousand injections in all. . This photo shows me in action, sorting out what's injectable. All that's green on the ground is horsetail. And then the new soil arrived, we planted the lawn and I crossed my fingers till this spring
    20140822 papa prèle.jpg

    I'm letting what's left in my lawn grow in order to have a nice thick hollow stem, you know why. I mow around the sticks and shout at the grandchildren not to walk near the sticks.
     
  17. Brandon2

    Brandon2 New Member

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    Although vinegar helps control the horsetail weed, it won't get rid of it. I found that crossbow does a very effective job and has gotten rid of it with very little return (a piece here and there every few weeks, but overall it is gone and a spot of crossbow gets rid of the ones that do come back.)
     
  18. Shazz

    Shazz New Member

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    We have finally got rid of all the horsetail in our lawn. No shoots came up this Spring and we continue to be horsetail free. We used 'Herbanatur Adios Ambros' successfully as per my last post, #30. We picked the horsetail from the lawn and sprayed the root throughout last summer and we are now horsetail free, and without any damage to the lawn.
     
  19. Ania_Gardener

    Ania_Gardener New Member

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    Location:
    Langley, BC
    Here is how I’m eradicating Horsetail infestation in my new garden in Langley.

    I’ve moved to Langley last fall from the North and I’m shocked how many gardens here are infested with this weed.

    It’s all about chemistry of your topsoil.

    Horsetail thrives in acidic soil that doesn't get a lot of oxygen (covered with plastic or fabric mulch).

    Just one plant can take over your entire garden and whether you pull them at the surface, spray them with weed killer, poor over them vinegar no matter how strong or even dig them up by the rhizome and secondary roots, this stubborn weed will prevail. In order to eradicate these invasive plants from your yard is to change the conditions of the soil they grow in.

    In the spring (April) cut the stalks off with gardening pruners and dispose of them immediately, put the stalks into a plastic bag and throw the bag into the trash.

    Remove any soil from around the horsetail stalks the ones you're already cut down, and throw it away to help prevent the spread of horsetail. Pull up any plastic or other mulch material that has been laid around the area where the horsetail is growing. Throw this away as well.

    Each hole should get a scoop of dolomite lime. Dolopril is a good choice. Then poor water over the holes so the granules will dissolve faster.

    Wait 2 weeks and then apply a 2-inch layer of fertilizer, compost or manure. This will encourage earthworm activity, which will aerate the soil. Aerating the soil will help kill horsetail weeds because they thrive in low-oxygen areas.

    Plant perennial ground-cover plants. Living plants are the most effective way to eradicate horsetail from your yard because they will take space, light and moisture away from the weeds.

    As soon the new shoots pop up, cut them immediately and repeat the procedure.

    Don’t get discouraged; it can take as long as 5 years to completely eradicate horsetail weeds from your garden, be diligent and patient. At the end you will win the organic natural way without using carcinogenic chemicals suggested on this forum.

    Please don’t use weed killers on horsetail. They only kill the top layer of the weed, and aren't effective for destroying the roots.

    And one more tip - don't cover horsetail with plastic or cloth mulch. The rhizomes and secondary roots thrive in soil that is deprived of oxygen, so this will actually encourage growth.
     
  20. Slavex

    Slavex Member

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    I have had great success with the Amine 500 I bought so many years ago. Still have most of the jug too. I was gone for all of last summer/fall for work and the horsetail came back in droves. Since it was wet after that I left it alone. Will be doing my first spray next week if we have a few clear days in a row.
     
  21. Tweety

    Tweety New Member

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    I had a guy cut all grass down and haul it away. I got rid of horsetail grass by not watering the area. Dumping lots of fertilizer. Water area to get fertilizer going and not watering it after that. Plucked stems as they popped up. It is dead now. But it did takes awhile. It has been 2 years now. No horsetail grass. Yes!!!!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 15, 2018
  22. Janthegardenlady

    Janthegardenlady New Member

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    I have oodles and oodles of horsetail that comes up every season in my flowerbeds and in the surrounding areas. I won't use RoundUp, but diligent and persistent digging them out while they're small helps minimize them, temporarily. I have found cider vinegar to be very effective at killing small thistles, and now I'm going to try it on the horsetails. It's amazing the things vinegar is useful for. Glad I read this thread.
     
  23. Janthegardenlady

    Janthegardenlady New Member

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    I have found that perennial groundcovers, no matter how thick, are ineffective at thwarting weeds of any kind, including horsetail. They just grow right up through the groundcover, and removing them can result in tearing up the groundcover surrounding them. I have a very thick mass of Lily-of-the-Valley and other thick masses of groundcovers, and thistles still come up through them. I do plan on trying some of the products recommended here, especially if they won't harm my good plants.
     
  24. Slavex

    Slavex Member

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    So my horsetail has come back a couple times, but always years apart. I just respray with the Amine 500 and it's gone for a couple years. My neighbors have it as does the ravine by my house, so it will always find a way to show up. Same with the blackberries, I spray them too, but they come back a bit quicker, as they are a fast grower.
     
  25. Ania_Gardener

    Ania_Gardener New Member

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    Unfortunately I’ve found the following on 2,4D:

    “2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid is one of the most common and most toxic herbicides used on US and Canadian lawns and gardens. 2,4-D has a notorious past. It was one of the two chemicals in the defoliants Agent Orange and Agent Purple. It was also one of the two chemicals in Agent White.

    These carcinogenic herbicides were heavily used during the Vietnam War and now the Vietnamese population and Vietnam war veterans are haunted by the horrific effects of these herbicides, including miscarriages, birth defects, and cancer.

    2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic is being banned by municipalities, provinces and countries worldwide. In turn, the lawn care industry is fighting back with misleading information and science that is questionable as to the safety of this herbicide.”

    Hence beware of using this chemical in your garden.
     

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