WEED? - Knowledgebase Question

Longview, Wa
Question by buffulogirl
August 19, 2010
I have an abundance of Horsetails... what can I use to kill them, so they wont come back?


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Answer from NGA
August 19, 2010

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Equisetum is the botanical name of the weed that's causing all the frustration for you. It is considered a wetland plant and grows best in moist soils so you might address the drainage issues. Horsetails are a primitive plant with a vascular system such that herbicides will only kill the top of the plant, but not travel down to the roots. The roots can grow both down and sideways for 10 to 12 feet. It's a formidable opponent of more desireable plants in the garden. If you're persistent you can keep the tops of the plants cut down as they sprout, and eventually you'll starve the roots out. In lawns, simply mowing the grass at regular intervals is sometimes enough to wipe the horsetails out -- but it can take two or three years. Some gardeners have had success with the flame weeders -- torches designed to burn weeds out of tight place, such as between concrete walkways and driveways. If you use a flamer, you don't need to cremate the weed, just pass the flame over the plant's tissues long enough to heat the fluids, which in turn rupture the leaves and stems. If you're persistent with your eradication treatment, you'll prevail.

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