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Author Topic: Horsetail - Marestail Problem Weed Eradication  (Read 17422 times)

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Stevie P

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Horsetail - Marestail Problem Weed Eradication
« on: January 20, 2008, 21:19 »
Hi I am new to the site and as I have recently taken over a Horsetail infested allotment I would be grateful if you out there in the world can recommend a course of action to eradicate it.
The plot is on very light sandy soil and had been left untended for approx 3 years till I took over in August 2007.  Since then I have tried to clear the plot firstly by removing surface weed and burning it and then started digging and weeding the roots.  These have been removed and dumped at household waste site but I fear I have missed up to 30% of the horsetail root and wait for Spring growth.  
I have not added any organic material yet as I think this might well encourage this weed to proliferate.
All options are possible although I prefer an organic route if possible.
Thanks for looking


jack russell

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Horsetail - Marestail Problem Weed Eradication
« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2008, 21:31 »
Hi Stevie and welcome

your approach to mairestail is the best way IMO it is just a matter of weeding and weeding and weeding untill it has gone there is unfortunately no quick fix with this weed :cry: but try to get all the weeds out  :wink: good luck and get a pic of yer plot on here  :wink:
http://i137.photobucket.com/albums/q230/jack-russell_2007/CIMG1386.jpg[/img]http://i137.photobucket.com/albums/q230/jack-russell_2007/roostertop-1.jpg[/img]


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richyrich7

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Horsetail - Marestail Problem Weed Eradication
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2008, 21:37 »
Hi stevie p welcome to the forums :D ,  like JR says no quick fix just plant up and go keep pulling it up as soon as it emerges and eventually it will give up long haul tho' you can't dig it out the roots go mighty deep.
He who asks is a fool for five minutes, but he who does not ask remains a fool forever.

ditchdigger

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Horsetail - Marestail Problem Weed Eradication
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2008, 22:16 »
Deep Root or Rootout.
If it wasn't for chemicals we'd be organic.

Sally A

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Horsetail - Marestail Problem Weed Eradication
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2008, 22:22 »
Mare's tail has been around since the dinosaurs.  It's a persistant little bogger, all you can do is pull it out before it releases spores.  I think the roots go down about 10 miles :(

splodger

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Horsetail - Marestail Problem Weed Eradication
« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2008, 22:22 »
you just got to keep digging it out - get as deep as you can - without breaking the root - it's a hard one to get rid of

Aunt Sally

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Horsetail - Marestail Problem Weed Eradication
« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2008, 00:37 »
I have a plot which had a lot of mairstail.  We dug it over thoroughly and removed as much root as we could from the top spit of soil.  But obviously not the deeper roots.  When spring came last year I chopped off any spore bodies that appeared only to read later that the spores will only germinate in boggy conditions  :roll:

The best tip I got from another plot holder was "Never let it see a Sunday"

So I hoed it down at least once a week (sometimes twice).  It will weaken and not be a problem, but I doubt it will ever be eradicated completely  :evil:
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Hopalong

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Horsetail- Marestail
« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2008, 02:05 »
Hi Stevie P,
Welcome to the forum. Horsetail can be very invasive and extremely difficukt to eradicate. :?  I use a slightly different approach to the advice you have been given. You see, you will NEVER clear it by digging it out. My method is to wear gloves and rub the plant between my hands to break its surface sheen and the jap it with Roundup. :roll:  The manufactureres claim that it IS organic and that when it comes into contact with the earth it gradually decomposes into a harmless, and organic, substance. :D  The choice is yours - dig or spray. :o
Hopalong

Aidy

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Re: Horsetail- Marestail
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2008, 08:10 »
Quote from: "Hopalong"
Hi Stevie P,
Welcome to the forum. Horsetail can be very invasive and extremely difficukt to eradicate. :?  I use a slightly different approach to the advice you have been given. You see, you will NEVER clear it by digging it out. My method is to wear gloves and rub the plant between my hands to break its surface sheen and the jap it with Roundup. :roll:  The manufactureres claim that it IS organic and that when it comes into contact with the earth it gradually decomposes into a harmless, and organic, substance. :D  The choice is yours - dig or spray. :o

Never worked for me, if you look at lawns you will never see it why "never let it see Sunday"  :wink:  (sorry off to naughty step), I have reduced mine down to a few strands here and there by tilling once a week and chopping it before it starts to convert its food. Keep digging and make sure as soon as some appears dig as much as you can and starve it to death.
Punk isn't dead...it's underground where it belongs. If it comes to the surface it's no longer punk...it's Green Day!


WG.

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Re: Horsetail- Marestail
« Reply #9 on: January 21, 2008, 08:39 »
Quote from: "Hopalong"
Roundup.   The manufactureres claim that it IS organic
I cannot agree with their assertion, sorry.

A Search for glyphosate will match 142 posts on these forums, many of them in http://www.chat.allotment-garden.org/viewtopic.php?t=10019 so you these may present a more objective balance.

I, for one, would not trust Monsanto to honestly tell me the correct time of day, let alone anything which might affect their share price.

Aunt Sally

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Re: Horsetail- Marestail
« Reply #10 on: January 21, 2008, 09:06 »
Quote from: "Aidy"
if you look at lawns you will never see it why "never let it see Sunday"  :wink:  (sorry off to naughty step)


Oh Aidy -  you get a credit note for quoting Aunty  :wink:  :lol:

Rob the rake

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Horsetail - Marestail Problem Weed Eradication
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2008, 09:19 »
Quote from: "Aunt Sally"
I have a plot which had a lot of mairstail.  We dug it over thoroughly and removed as much root as we could from the top spit of soil.  But obviously not the deeper roots.  When spring came last year I chopped off any spore bodies that appeared only to read later that the spores will only germinate in boggy conditions  :roll:

The best tip I got from another plot holder was "Never let it see a Sunday"

So I hoed it down at least once a week (sometimes twice).  It will weaken and not be a problem, but I doubt it will ever be eradicated completely  :evil:


I've got to agree with Aunty. My last plot was covered with the stuff, and no amount of digging could shift it. I just learned to live with it, hoeing it off when it reappeared. It doesn't seem to affect cropping in any way.
A calloused palm and dirty fingernails precede a Green Thumb.

Aunt Sally

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Horsetail - Marestail Problem Weed Eradication
« Reply #12 on: January 21, 2008, 09:28 »
Quote from: "Rob the rake"


I've got to agree with Aunty. My last plot was covered with the stuff, and no amount of digging could shift it. I just learned to live with it, hoeing it off when it reappeared. It doesn't seem to affect cropping in any way.


It doesn't like competition much either - so close planted crops will weaken it too - eg potatoes

brucesgirl

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Horsetail - Marestail Problem Weed Eradication
« Reply #13 on: January 21, 2008, 09:31 »
Hi Stevie - we have it too. At first it was daunting, but we managed quite well last year by pulling it up wherever it popped up (the first year on our site which hadn't been cultivated for 20 years).
At first I panicked, but eventually I calmed down and relaxed.
It doesn't hurt the crops and it is a pain to keep weeding but that is all part of the growing experience.
The plots near us which have been worked for longer than ours have all managed to keep it to a minimum - so if they can do it, so can we!

paintedlady

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Horsetail - Marestail Problem Weed Eradication
« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2008, 09:37 »
I'm trying a slightly different approach on the new plot which is also covered in marestail and bindweed.

Last summer I used glyphosate over the entire plot - most weeds and couch grass died but the marestail and bindweed did not.  Since the end of July I covered large areas with thick black plastic and I have started to cut bed size holes (in a raised bed theme because the area is also prone to waterlogging during very wet seasons like now), dig over the bed and add compost/manure etc, then recover with the plastic I cut out and/or cardboard.  I am going for a few summer fruiting crops (tomatoes, squash, sweetcorn etc) and will plant these through the plastic (there won't be many plants in each bed this year, so watering shouldn't become such an issue)

The theory is that all plants need sunlight, but in perennial weeds a food store is then built up in its root system which is why it keeps coming back.  Remove the sunlight over a long period and it must eventually die or be very weakened as it uses up that food store.  If it works, I admit it may take a few years but I've already had experience of trying to dig up bindweed over and over again, hence a different (ahem, lazy) approach this time....
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