L
L
  • Hometalker
  • Bothell, WA
Asked on Jul 27, 2012

Gardening, A cure for Horse Tail...

LEvelyn RDouglas Hunt
+9

Answered

Does anyone know how to get rid of Horse tail in my flower beds. It is everywhere and when I go to dig it up, I kill my flowers and dig my bulbs up. It gets worse every year. Please can anyone help me!
12 answers
  • KMS Woodworks
    on Jul 27, 2012

    Horse tial is a real bugger to get rid of once it becomes established, Keep in mind this plant has survived since the dinosaurs walked the planet. tilling and allowing the under ground resources to die off over time is one of the better methods. http://bulletin.ipm.illinois.edu/article.php?id=324

  • L
    on Jul 28, 2012

    Thanks for the answers, but I'm still hoping for more ideas. I don't want to dig my flower gardens up. I wonder if I can dig up my gardens and sift the soil to get the roots out. Do you think this would work? I use vinegar to kill it in my rockery and walkways. And it works pretty good. I have been looking for awhile to get rid of it. I was just hoping someone out there had a cure. So I guess for now I just have to keep picking it out of my gardens. Thanks so much for your reply...

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Jul 28, 2012

    Washington State University recommends using the herbicide Dichlobenil (Casoron) in the midwinter just prior to an anticipated cold rain. Until then, I think you have little option but persistent weeding.

  • Jeanette S
    on Jul 28, 2012

    When you get an invader all you can do is take out what you want, set them aside in buckets in the shade and then kill off everything in the area to start over! No other way! Putting down plastic for a long period of time will kill off everything without chemicals. Tilling sometimes only replants the invader and makes it worse. Kill it!

  • L
    on Jul 28, 2012

    Thank you all for replying. I know it is an invasive weed, I just hoped someone knew a trick. I think I am going to take my bulbs out and lay weed gaurd down and put bark in. I hope this works...If it will not work please let me know so I don't go through all the work for nothing..LOL Thanks again to all of you that responed to my cries.

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Jul 29, 2012

    I think landscape fabric is far more trouble than it's worth. And then you'll lose your bulbs.

  • L
    on Jul 29, 2012

    When I am out their pulling all the horse tail I sometimes think losing all my bulbs would be worth it putting in landscape fabric.. Douglas why do you say landscape fabric is far more trouble that it's worth? I am learning so much on this site, I love it. Thank you for teaching me 101 in gardening.. My sister told me she heard there was male and female horse tail and said if you keep the male or female out (don't remember which one she said) of your garden the horse tail will go away. How do you tell which is a male of female... Is this just false?

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Jul 30, 2012

    There are male and female horsetail plants, Lynn, but they are tiny, and, because male sperm must travel through water to reach an egg-bearing female part, sexual reproduction is thought to be rare in horsetails. Most reproduction, therefore, is asexually, through the underground rhizomes. As to landscape fabric, if you ever want to add a plant, or one dies and you need to change it, the landscape fabric makes that a pain in the you know what. And, weed seeds get trapped in the mulch on top of the fabric and sprout anyway, sometimes rooting through the fabric, which you then pull up when you pull out the weeds.

  • L
    on Jul 30, 2012

    Wow, thank you very much Douglas. So you think I should just deal with the horse tail and just keep pulling it out? I am sure laying plastic is just like the fabric. When I bought the house 6 years ago the outside was covered with black plastic and rocks on top of it. And belive me, it covered an acre. Now I know why, the horse tail. When I bought the home I went and ripped the plastic out and put in gardens not knowing about horse tail. Thanks Douglas for all your professional insight.

  • Douglas Hunt
    on Jul 31, 2012

    Black plastic is even worse because the soil can't breath under it. Look at it this way, would you be willing to not have a garden to not have horsetail?

  • Evelyn R
    on Aug 1, 2012

    There are a few tips here you might want to try http://www.ehow.com/how_5626277_rid-horsetail.html

  • L
    on Aug 1, 2012

    Thank you Evelyn for the link. I didn't know horse tail seeded...

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