Horse Tail Weed?

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Horse Tail Weed?

Post by zaman » Sun May 21, 2006 1:42 pm

I have an ongoing problem with a weed - not sure what it's correct name is, but my mother always called a horse tail weed?

It comes through as tiny, inoccuous looking little spikes then overnight they seem to go out into this brushy tail looking thing. I tried commercial weedkillers, although that is out of the question now as they grow right through my plants/shrubs. They have a kind of waxy coating on them so the weedkiller doesn't have any effect on them. I tried one year bruising them all and crushing them before putting the weedkiller on but still they came back. I pull them out, and try to dig as deep as possible to get roots out but still they come back.

Any ideas as to a solution?


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Post by despair » Sun May 21, 2006 3:03 pm

You could try what I do with bindweed

cut the base off a 2 lite Lemonade/coke bottle

feed the weed through the small hole end and then ensure the weed is tightly coiled /packed inside the lemonade bottle .......then heavily spray into the bottle with glyphosate weedkiller

This way the weedkiller is concentrated and cant damage surrounding plants .........repeat the weedkiller spray every few days and with luck it will be absorbed into the roots

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Post by Conveyancer » Sun May 21, 2006 4:18 pm

You must use a weedkiller in accordance with the instructions; failure to do so is a criminal offence.

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Post by chezan » Mon May 22, 2006 12:03 am

Mares Tail? dreadful stuff - I was told that you should never pull it up as that caused lots of tiny seeds to drop and make matters even worse! I was also told that if you plant turnips where the mares tail is growing it will die as turnip roots give off some sort of chemical that kill the roots of mares tail :wink: Haven't tried that one :wink:

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Post by Cytania » Mon May 22, 2006 9:41 am

The latin name is equisetum and these are very tough plants. Don't waste your time with weedkiller. Instead look to follow and remove the roots wherever they spring up. The real annoyance is if they are coming over from a neighbour's - some kind of barrier perhaps?
They cut down all the trees, put 'em in a tree museum and charged all the people just to see 'em

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Post by despair » Mon May 22, 2006 10:16 am

In Homeopathy
Equisetum is often used for treating bed wetting in children

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Post by zaman » Mon May 22, 2006 3:07 pm


Yes it is coming in from the neighbouring property - a council owned hall. I can only dig so far then I am intruding on their property, plus they have over the last 4-5 years kept flinging more and more soil onto their border as a *cure* for weeds which gives me the added problem if I take it too far back of their soil falling into mine. I had placed a log roll border hoping it would stop some of it, and had dug down a half foot or so at my side of the border but its not stopped them.

I agree, its a dreadful plant!

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Post by jenny wren » Mon Apr 09, 2007 7:18 pm

The mind boggles, take a sample of this stuff to your council dept, ( for Identifaction) This sounds like a infestation of ? Knot weed, od Gaint knot weed, if it is what I say, you must report this, as it is very invasive, grows as you say overnight, and will get in to your foundations, and cause a great deal of trouble. I hope I am wrong!!! :(
jenny wren

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Post by Dragon Lady » Mon Apr 30, 2007 11:23 pm

Conveyancer wrote:You must use a weedkiller in accordance with the instructions; failure to do so is a criminal offence.
Is this British law, Conveyancer? I had never heard of that! In fact I remember my old mum used to put weedkiller into a small glass jar and put the ends of bindweed into it to kill it! :shock:

By the way, I was always told that Mare's Tail contained a small amount of gold. Don't get excited though, its only a trace and you would need tons of the stuff to extract enough gold for a ring!

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Post by zaman » Tue May 01, 2007 3:57 pm

I have tons of the stuff :lol:

I couldn't really use weedkiller anyway, because it has grown up and through existing plants that I don't want to kill. I notice it is spreading further now though and is coming up through the grass on the other side of the border.

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Post by Hassled! » Wed May 02, 2007 12:52 pm

We also have tons of this stuff coming through from a neighbours garden which has been neglected for years. Didn't know what it was til now so at least we've got it identified now!

Any more ideas on how to kill it would be really appreciated!!

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Post by Rowan » Wed May 02, 2007 1:37 pm

This plant is a survivor of Earth's earliest plantlife - which makes it a real tough weed to get rid of!

Roots can go down more than 6' underground, and every tiny bit of root left can spring to life and more plants appear - it is very invasive

My neighbour across the (tarmaced) road has it and I dread the day it crosses over and gets established on our side :x

This RHS advice gives both chemical and cultural control methods

My neighbour has laid geo-textile under the gravel driveway which does seem to have suppressed the bulk of the weed - been down 4 years and so far it has not come through - her flowerbeds are still host to it though!

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mares tail

Post by JAQ » Thu May 24, 2007 11:24 am

I have this stuff in my garden. I go round every day and keep pulling out the shoots, as far down as I can. It is getting less as time goes on, but I know the roots are there, under the soil, spreading everywhere. I don't think there is a permanent solution other than keep on pulling it up wherever it pops up. What is worrying me is the Japanese knotweed rapidly approaching from the back, and next door but one from the front.

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Post by carpinus » Thu May 24, 2007 9:41 pm

Japanese Knotweed is officially listed as a pernicious weed. Get on to your council, they should come out to treat it. If it is growing on private land, then report the matter to your council.

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Post by xoggoth » Mon Jul 09, 2007 10:25 pm

That's Horse tail/Mares tail. Nowt to do with Japanese Notweed.

What they have in common is a quite nonsensical hysteria about them. Believe it is a criminal offence to dispose of the latter incorrectly, why I have no idea. Neither has any significant capacity to spread, indeed the latter cannot as it does not produce seeds in Britain.
My view of the law may be incorrect, but it will certainly be more logical than the reality. (Reality may not be that prevailing in this dimension)

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