Horsetail Weed

Discussion in 'Plant Pests, Diseases and Weeds' started by Andie155, Jun 28, 2005.

  1. Andie155

    Andie155 New Seed

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    I have a weed growing in a bed in my yard (Horsetail). From my research I have found out that this is a very hard thing to get rid of. Unfortunately it has begun to spread in my lawn and into another vegetable bed that I have. I don't want it to get much further, but from what I am reading most weed killers do nothing for this. Has anyone ever dealt with this weed before? Any suggestions? (I have pets and don't want to expose them to anything toxic in my yard.)
    Thanks.
     
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  3. Frank

    Frank GardenStew Founder Staff Member Administrator

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    Hi Andie,

    From my research I have found a quite simple solution you could try. Seemingly spraying normal household vinegar (5% acidic) on the soil just around the weed will kill it off if you get no rain for 24 hours. You can even find horticultural vinegar with a 20% strength for even more power.

    Leave a 2 week period before planting. The dead patch is about 2 inches in diameter so there is no nearby damage. :)

    I suggest trying this out on the Horsetail on your lawn first and see what happens. I wish you the best of luck in getting rid of this pesky weed. Be sure to come back and tell us how you got on. :smt023
     
  4. eileen

    eileen Resident Taxonomist Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    Hi Andie,

    There is a plant who's roots are said to be toxic to Horestail/Marestail if you have it in your flower beds or lawn. It's called 'Tagetes Minuta' and it's a Mexican marigold.

    Quite a few organic allotmenteers put in these plants where they have HT/MT growing as they don't want to contaminate their soil with chemicals.

    Hope you get rid of your problem soon.
     
  5. Andie155

    Andie155 New Seed

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    Oh Thank You so much for your suggestions. I am going to give them a try! I feel like I am doomed to live with this thing in my yard forever now because of how fast it has spread. I killed myself 2 weekends in a row weeding this and now this weekend it is coming back full force. I really do not want to spend my summer doing this every weekend! So I will give your suggestions a try and let you know the results. Thanks again!!!
     



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  6. eileen

    eileen Resident Taxonomist Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    I know how you feel Andie so can sympathise with you. I have a neighbour who flatly refuses to destroy the bindweed in her garden (she thinks it's pretty ) so it's growing under the fence into mine! We've been trying to get rid of it for years. It is getting weaker every year but it's still around. One of these days, if she ever goes away on holiday, I'm going to nip into her garden and drown the stuff in Glyphosate!
     
  7. Andie155

    Andie155 New Seed

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    Eileen
    That's funny you say that about your neighbor, I have almost the same problem. It is growing on my neighbor's side of the fence also, but at least my neighbor doesn't like it either. They have a landscaper take care of pulling it for them though. I have do my side on my own for now. I am going to have to try and see if I can convince them to try the vinegar or the marigolds too because if I only do it on my side, eventually the stuff is going to be back anyway. What a pain! :x They will no way use any chemicals, they have these 2 beautiful golden retrievers, they are their babies and if anything happened to them it would be terrible. (I love my dog too) but they are so extra careful with theirs. They would never agree to any strong chemicals. So I think I am going to try the vinegar on a patch of mine and see what happens, and if it looks good I will bring it up to them and see if they will give it a try also.
     
  8. eileen

    eileen Resident Taxonomist Staff Member Moderator Plants Contributor

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    I think their landscaper is doing more harm than good Andie 'cause pulling it up just breaks the stems and roots and allows it to spread even faster. Hope the vinegar or marigolds do the trick. :D

    Cheers.
     
  9. Andie155

    Andie155 New Seed

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    Update on horsetail

    Well today was a beautiful and warm sunny day here, with no chance of rain in site, so I decided to give the vinegar a shot on the weeds. I only had a gallon of it, so I didn't get very very far with it (I'm going shopping tomorrow to buy more), but where I did get to spray it, it looks like it may be working! By the end of the day today some of the weeds were wilted and brown, burnt looking. :D this was me spraying them :twisted: I was enjoying poisoning them...die weeds, die! :D
    I'm very looking forward to getting at least 5 more gallons of the stuff tomorrow and having a field day!
    So thank you again for the great advice.
     
  10. Anonymous

    Anonymous Guest

    horsetail

    Andie,

    I'm new to the forum and unfortunately have a new horsetail infestation in my flower bed too. I was wondering if anything has worked for you. This weed is satanic, I am afraid it will take over our whole lot.

    Best of luck, I sure can empathize with you!

    Kristin
     
  11. cnymike

    cnymike New Seed

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    I was searching for information on Google about horsetail and discovered this thread.

    I have an infestation of horsetail in our rock garden that was planted 2 years ago. The landscaper brought the weed in and now it is beginning to take over the entire garden.

    I've tried pulling it out and it grows back even faster. I've tried digging it out and that only has made things worse as it grows even more rapidly than before. So I read with great interest the suggestion to try vinegar. But alas, noone replied with any followup regarding the long-term effectiveness vinegar had in killing the weed. So has anyone got any positive results to report with using vinegar?

    Roundup has had no effect in killing this weed. I've read that Casoron might work but have not tried it yet. Vinegar is appealing as it is not highly toxic.
     
  12. Primsong

    Primsong Young Pine

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    I've used a mixture of vinegar and lemon juice in my backpack sprayer to fry weed seedlings here, though it was in areas that didn't have any desirable plants growing (only big trees) so I didn't have to be concerned about hitting anything else. It works by changing the ph long enough to kill the plant then within about 3 days your soil should reassert its normal ph.

    In other words, it works but not with long-term effect, you'll have to spray again AND I've found it had limited effectiveness on larger weeds (the smaller, the more likely to die - maybe because of deeper roots?) plus there were a couple varities that seemed to survive it when others died. Still, it made for a lot less hand-weeding later and the ingredients were cheap. I mixed 1 bottle of lemon juice to a big jug of vingear.

    I've also heard of using baking soda (either making up a 20% dilution or sprinkling it dry on the weedy area) as it is highly alkaline and kills them for similar reasons. I intend to try it, but haven't yet.
     
  13. Andie155

    Andie155 New Seed

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    Update on Horsetail Weed Problem

    Hi,
    Well my story continues with this treterous weed. I did use the vinegar on it last season with some success. The key is that it must be a very sunny day for that to work so that it can burn off. Otherwise it is a waste of time. I have reverted to pulling it in places where it really stands out and the rest I have given up on if it is behind an area that it is not so visible. Last summer I killed myself weeding in the hot weather and I decided I would not waste my entire weekends (days off from work) weeding. So here and there I pull some but I have taken my focus off of it and it has not bothered me as much. Unfortunately there is no chance of me using any toxic chemicals since our neighbors and us have pets that are in the area there and I wouldn't take a chance on poisoning them! Good luck with your gardens.
     
  14. cajunbelle

    cajunbelle Daylily Diva

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    Frank, does vinegar work on any other weeds that you know of?
     
  15. Frank

    Frank GardenStew Founder Staff Member Administrator

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    Thanks for the update Andie but sorry to hear that the horsetail is still as rampant. Would the area be lacking in nutrition by any chance? A area with a high nutritional content may hurt the survival of horsetail as it seems to prefer places where other find it hard to grow.

    Yes it seems to Sharon. I suggest reading this topic we posted before you arrived ;) http://www.gardenstew.com/about319.html
     
  16. Primsong

    Primsong Young Pine

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    I was poking around our local nursery here and was surprised to find little pots of horsetail being sold among the ornamental grasses - it made me think of this thread. Thankfully, they at least labelled them with a hand-lettered sign saying "Warning: horsetail has been known to be very invasive. Plant with care."
     

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