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By Billy27

United Kingdom Gb

I have an allotment which is infested with mares tail. I know you can't get rid of it, but to keep it under control do I pull it out of the ground as it comes up or is it best to cut it off at ground level when it appears. Which is the best method to weaken it?



Personally I'd paint it with a systemic weed killer...

1 Apr, 2012


Yes I think that's the only way - its roots go down several feet so you can never dig it out. Be specially careful to remove the fertile shoots, the ones with little knobby tops as they will spread by spores, so don't let them "flower".

Cutting everything off as it appears will certainly weaken it but it is very tenacious. Try Glyphosate but it will probably need several applications.

1 Apr, 2012


Try this site for advice ... ... scroll through until you get to the mares tail section. As the above say - a systemic weed killer may be your best option, and agree totally to never let it flower!! Like ground elder ...

1 Apr, 2012


Best way is to get 2 rocks and mush the Marestail between them, then add weedkiller. Marestail is a very tough plant and will often ignore weedkiller and come back unless you get it into the plant itself.

3 Apr, 2012 I hope that lot cheers you up...

3 Apr, 2012


Have to say it wouldn't cheer me up!

3 Apr, 2012


lol, MG :)

6 Apr, 2012


I also have mare's tail. It used to get me down until I met an old school science teacher who said that coal is made of mare's tail - so if it wasn't for equisetum I wouldn't be living in the 1930s miners cottage I bought for a very reasonable price in 1996! Joking apart, definitely do not pull this up - each piece will multiply. And they grow for metres, not feet. We also have some that grew through tarmac - it's indomitable! Bruise/sand the heads as soon as they start to appear and paint them with weed killer as previously recommended. You will have to do this for many years before you turn the tide but keep at it. If you garden organically then all you can do is keep pulling it, burn it and make sure you don't drop any on the ground. GOOD LUCK!

6 Apr, 2012

How do I say thanks?

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