Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Horsetail

Some years the infestation of horsetail can be particularly bad. As it spreads by spores, as well as by rhizomes, it certainly has the mechanics for successful invasions. But can this weed be controlled in any way?

lf you are not an organic gardener you might try glyphosate, but this will only suppress it for one season, and there is evidence that the plant is becoming glyphosate resistant.

You have more options by choosing an organic method, but these have varying success rates. Double digging a plot is the least successful, and some argue it can make matters worse. Other organic methods require you actively to set aside the plot for at least a year, and preferably two. 

After this use a smothering technique. The most successful smothering technique is to seed the plot with perennial rye grass, and mow it regularly. But you have to do this for two years, and then hope no stray spore enters your plot!. Another method is to keep on top of the weed by cutting it below the surface, and pulling it out by hand. This of course takes time and effort.

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