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Thread: How to kill horsetail

  1. #16
    Like an engineer alternety's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006


    I have been attacking them now for several years.

    Watch carefully for spore pods in the spring. These things grow very fast. You have to look daily.

    Every thing big that comes up I pull it up. Smaller stems, probably from spores or offshoots of the mother plant, I pull or spray.

    This year I had only one spore pod. Last year it was over 100. Other patches about a block away had a big crop of spore pods. I figure I am wearing them down. Basically denying them energy and starving them.

    Maybe I will win eventually.

  2. #17
    DIY Junior Member Reba71's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011


    Hi Alternety: fellow Washingtonian and horsetail obsessed gardener! I have been struggling with horsetail in my front yard (terraced hillside and adjacent gardens at level) for years. Lots of water issues given that we live on a hillside in Washington, so this doesn't help. The front yard is huge and fully landscaped (more every year). I have pulled out probably HUNDREDS of spores from the a spall rock covered portion of a bank. They come up fully grown under the rocks- they are absolutely not deterred by complete lack of light. We already have probably a thousand plants that have emerged into the yard. We have tried digging up, spraying the beds with extra strength roundup (killed a bunch of the nearby plants), and this year digging combined with 50% glyphosate painted on several test beds. This only turned the really small lacy plants brown (same as always), but the bigger shoots just laugh and emerge green anyway. Right under the soil is a defiant vibrant green.

    I am dying to know how your eradication project has turned out. Can you share?

    This is a great source of info- tons online if you do different searches on horsetail eradication.
    Glyphosate products are often used to suppress horsetail; however, you should expect
    regrowth. To eradicate a horsetail stand you may have to make several applications over
    several years. In many cases, control of horsetail with glyphosate is inconsistent. Casoron

    (dichlobenil) has also been reported to have activity on horsetail. MCPA has been used in
    small grains to suppress horsetail. Richardson and Zandstra of Michigan State University
    reported control ranging from 77% to 92% with Curtail M
    (MCPA + clopyralid) at 3.5 pts/A.
    Curtail M
    is not labled in the state of Indiana and has a 30-day rotation to field corn, and a
    12- to 18-month rotation, depending on organic matter, to soybean.
    Peter Sikkema of the University of Guelph, Ontario, has reported more than 80% control (and
    as high as 95% control) with combinations of glyphosate and flumetsulam. Flumetsulam can
    be found in the product Python.

    Best of luck!!!


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