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Thread: How to kill horsetail

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  1. #1
    Like an engineer alternety's Avatar
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    Default How to kill horsetail

    I am a relatively new enemy of horsetail after moving to the Pacific NW. I have tried Roundup and Weed-b-gone and a couple of other things. The Weed-B-Gone lists horsetail and it does kill the above ground portion. But it does not appear to kill the mother plant underground. The underground system keeps putting up new surface plants.

    I remove spore pods in the spring before they ripen (you have to check every day - they are incredibly rapid growing). I have been killing the surface plants whenever I find them for the last two years. The theory I am working on is to eventaully starve the mother plant to death. This is my second year of this approach and this years crop is way more than last year.

    Anyone know of a way to eliminate these primative plants?

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    Last edited by Terry; 04-26-2011 at 10:51 PM.

  2. #2
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
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    Default Kill the Babies! Kill! Kill! and Kill again!!!

    http://www.hillgardens.com/horsetail.htm

    Round 'em up while they are small. Kill! Kill! and Kill again!!!

  3. #3
    DIY Senior Member Mike50's Avatar
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    Man, that looks like a nasty one. Good luck.
    We are being slowly invaded by a variety of mustard here in the desert.
    Mother nature takes care of most others due to lack of water and extreme heat.

  4. #4

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    Horsetail doesn't die easily with glyphosate.

    Your best bet is a thick, dense lawn.

    I'd use a combo of round up and daily weeding until the fall. Then I'd aerate and overseed. Use a healthy dose of starter fertilizer. Grass seedlings will respond well to it; while it does little for the htail. Straw mulch will shade the area, which htail hates.

    It's really gotta be a couple-year process to eradicate. But as with most weeds, the best defense is to fill every possible space with a better weed - grass!
    (important note: I'm not a pro)

  5. #5
    In the Trades Gary Swart's Avatar
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    I haven't seen a plant yet that I couldn't kill with Round-Up. Only thing is, it only will kill the existing plants. Any seeds in the ground will grow new plants, so you have to repeat the Round-Up every so often until there are no more seeds, and new seeds may blow in from elsewhere so you're probably never going to be 100% weed free.

  6. #6

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    Roundup on weeds in the grass is a bad idea , IMHO. For accuracy, you can "paint" it on carefully with a foam brush, or you can grab the weeds with a roundup soaked glove (wear a rubber one inside of that).

    I've tried both.

    Until you get really good at it, you end up with ugly dead patches.

    You're best off killing it mechanically as much as possible and relying on new grass to crowd it out.
    (important note: I'm not a pro)

  7. #7
    DIY Senior Member Mike50's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gary Swart
    I haven't seen a plant yet that I couldn't kill with Round-Up. Only thing is, it only will kill the existing plants. Any seeds in the ground will grow new plants, so you have to repeat the Round-Up every so often until there are no more seeds, and new seeds may blow in from elsewhere so you're probably never going to be 100% weed free.

    I have one bird of paradise bush near my septic that has to go.
    Didn't think round up was strong enough but I just may try it out Gary.

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