How to Kill Horsetail weed

identifying Horsetail, what is the difference between Horsetail and Marestail weeds?

Is it Horsetail or Marestail?
Is it Horsetail or Marestail?
Is it Horsetail or Marestail?
 
The confusion with these two different plants may well be the similarity in the name, also Horsetail, a non-flowering plant, does not appear in many wild flower books, whereas Marestail does flower and is often featured.
Horsetail weed, is a deep-rooted fast growing weed with dense foliage.The leaves have a waxy coat, making the weed difficult to eradicate. Correct and regular treatment with glyphosate weed killer will eventually kill the plant, more about that later.
 
Marestail is an aquatic weed, Hippuris vulgaris, commonly found in ponds, slow flowing streams, bog land and even poorly drained domestic gardens, it is often the weed blamed for causing problems in cultivated gardens, when the real culprit is the Horsetail weed.
 
The Horsetail weed has survived our attempts to wipe it out for millions of years and just as you think you have killed it all, it will appear again. Once you have cleared this weed from your garden, don't dig over the area for at least a year, otherwise the Horsetail weed is almost certain to spring up from the root cuttings. The roots penetrate deep into all types of soil from clay to sand and wet to dry and even a four centimeter length brought to the surface by digging can grow into a  new plant.
 
The effect of Horsetail weed on horses
 
It is a real garden pest, a gardener's nightmare, but to Grazing horses it is worse than that, it is dangerous!!  destroying Vitamin B in the horse's blood. When mixed with hay, the toxin has a greater effect than in the fresh plant.

Symptoms of Horsetail poisoning in Horses are:

  • weakness
  • stumbling
  • arrhythmia of increased pulse
  • irritability
  • death

Best Weed-killer and method to kill Horsetail weed.

 Weed-killer to kill Horsetail weed. 
If you are unlucky enough to have horsetail growing in yours or your neighbour's garden it is very difficult to eradicate it completely, But it can be kept under control by using Glyphosate and following the method I use to apply it to the waxy leaves and stem.
 
This is the most productive method of applying weedkiller to hill horsetail weed. 
  • Mix Glyphosate with a small amount of wallpaper paste until it becomes sticky enough to stick to the waxy horsetail stems and leaves without running off. 
  • On a dry day, brush or spray the mix directly onto the Horsetail. You will almost certainly need to repeat this as new shoots appear.
  • Crushing or cutting the weed will help the glyphosate enter the plant and get taken down into the roots. 
  • If you are cutting the plant back before applying the weedkiller mix, dispose of the cuttings by burning or rotting down in a bin liner. Never add them to compost, send to landfill or dump in the countryside.

The Horsetail weedkiller I use

It is also the cheapest way of killing horsetail 

If you are killing and clearing a large area of horsetail, use this concentrated weedkiller, rather than the sprays. Instructions for best way to apply liquid Glyphosate weed killer to the waxy stem and leaves in the article above.  

To purchase Concentrated (360g/l) glyphosate weed killer click on the amazon picture 

for more product info.visit the shop for weedliller

Always check Strength actually is 360g/l when buying concentrated Glyphosate weed-killer from other sources

 
Eradicating Horsetail weed
This really is one of the most difficult weeds to eradicate from the garden. Once you have started the process, keep on top of it !! If new growth is spotted, treat it immediately.
Horsetail weed is a  perennial weed growing in a wide variety of places from, boggy ground to sand dunes.
It has two types of growth, in spring brown asparagus-like shoots appear with cones at the tips and these produce spores that are dispersed by wind and reproducing almost wherever they land. Later  thin green, branched stems appear dieing back in winter. Both are produced from creeping underground roots called rhizomes, which can grow down about 4ft.
 
Organic control of Horse tail. 
An organic method would be to cover the weed with weed suppressing membrane, black plastic sheet or old carpet, anything that shuts out light, all living things need light to survive,  but this will take at least a year to be effective and you may find this horrible weed creeping up around the edges.
 
Land used for grazing horses infested with horsetail weed.
 
Unfortunately there is not a quick and easy way to clear a field of horsetail for grazing horses, short term, fencing of the infected area will stop the horses eating horsetail and make room for treatment by chemical or organic methods, but the spread  by spores and rhizomes can rapidly cause the weed to spread to other areas.
If most of the field becomes infected the only answer is to stop grazing and seek professional advice.
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