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#428936 - 3rd Sep 2010 4:57pm Hardcore garden weed
DavidB Offline
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Registered: 7th Dec 2003
Posts: 5634
Loc: Bebington, Wirral
Saw this mutha of a weed in my garden a few years ago. I can't get rid of it and it grows everywhere, on the grass, on soil, between pavements. I want to stop it before it spreads, does anyone know what it's called, I've been told before, but forgotten.

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#428940 - 3rd Sep 2010 5:01pm Re: Hardcore garden weed [Re: DavidB]
MissGuided Offline

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Registered: 18th Jul 2008
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Could be field horsetail or corn spurry?
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#428942 - 3rd Sep 2010 5:05pm Re: Hardcore garden weed [Re: DavidB]
DavidB Offline
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Registered: 7th Dec 2003
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Loc: Bebington, Wirral
Just been told, it's called Horse Tail Weed!

It says normal vinegar can kill it, over time.
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#428957 - 3rd Sep 2010 6:11pm Re: Hardcore garden weed [Re: DavidB]
Sanchez Offline

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Registered: 17th Dec 2003
Posts: 8019
Loc: my house
oooo I've just had to remove a shed load of this from a house last week, hardcore weed is right!
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#428960 - 3rd Sep 2010 6:26pm Re: Hardcore garden weed [Re: Sanchez]
Pete_Robbo Offline

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wow hardcore
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#428964 - 3rd Sep 2010 6:38pm Re: Hardcore garden weed [Re: Pete_Robbo]
diggingdeeper Offline

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Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 10667
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Mare's Tail - that stuff can go through concrete, the trick to kill it is to bruise the surface slightly and put a bag around it with a bit of systemic weedkiller in it, it will then feed down to the roots and kill it off - this process can take four weeks, don't be tempted to interfere to try and speed it up, the faster you kill it, the more likely parts of it will survive. the bag can come off after a couple of days.

Whatever you do, don't just go around plucking it out the ground, that seems to make it spread faster.

It is one of the most stubborn and strongest weeds, I don't know what keeps it in check in the wild, possibly just grass.
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#428972 - 3rd Sep 2010 7:18pm Re: Hardcore garden weed [Re: diggingdeeper]
DavidB Offline
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Registered: 7th Dec 2003
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Loc: Bebington, Wirral
Think it's constant watering, it's only really growing in parts that are getting watered/fed, ie plants against the fence, grass, etc. There is part of the garden that has none of it, but it's starting to spread, I'm worried it'll only get worse as it's really nasty looking stuff.

What do you mean bruise the surface DD?
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#428981 - 3rd Sep 2010 7:39pm Re: Hardcore garden weed [Re: DavidB]
diggingdeeper Offline

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You have to damage the surface enough so it becomes porous to let the weed-killer in, but not enough damage that it immediately repairs/seals itself, also that stuff has a tendancy to drop end bits off when they are damaged which is no good for getting the systemic into its roots.

If the "wound" is too big, the systemic will get in too fast and kill the the "branch" off before getting down to the roots.

Its a very delicate balance because its such a survivor.

"Very light abrasion" may have been a better term, just enough to break some of the water-proof surface.
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#428994 - 3rd Sep 2010 8:31pm Re: Hardcore garden weed [Re: diggingdeeper]
phalinmegob Offline

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Registered: 26th Dec 2008
Posts: 818
Loc: tranmere
i have bind weed all over my garden from empty land behind me,now that is a hard core weed.

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#428998 - 3rd Sep 2010 8:43pm Re: Hardcore garden weed [Re: phalinmegob]
diggingdeeper Offline

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Registered: 9th Jul 2008
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Same treatment for bindweed - bag parts of it in systemic, although it is possible to defeat bindweed by persistence but it is a similar operation to panning for gold.

I found a lot of these persistent weeds have spreading roots at two levels underground, the worst offender is Ground Elder you leave even quarter of inch of damaged root and up it pops again. I found the best thing for ground elder was just to live with it, mow it down every now and then expect it back. Managed to beat the Mare's Tail and Bind Weed but not Ground Elder.

Just remembered, if you spot Mare's Tail just starting to poke through tarmac, damage it and give it a drink of Path-Clear. Difficult to spot it, initially it grows very fast in a thin spine before splaying out, but if you catch the sprouting bit just as it surfaces, it seems quite vulnerable. Note that Path-Clear, will kill most other things as well so not for lawns etc
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#429000 - 3rd Sep 2010 8:56pm Re: Hardcore garden weed [Re: diggingdeeper]
Snodvan Offline

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Registered: 19th Mar 2008
Posts: 1289
Loc: Wallasey Village
Mares Tail - oo nasty stuff. I had to deal with this on my allotment some years back

mild bruising (squeeze with hand) then systemic in a bag is fine for smaller amounts but is time consuming. You have to judge whether you can do that.

The problem is that Mares Tail weed has a natural waxy coating that means most water soluble weedkillers just run off. Either the weedkiller has to contain a REALLY strong detergent (difficult and still not really effective) or you need an oil soluble weedkiller.

What I did was
Put some SBK (Systemic Brushwood Killer) in motor oil with a bit of paraffin to thin it down. You do NOT want this material to get onto other plants or the ground so spray application is a -NO.

What I did was get a really GOOD, industrial, solvent handling rubber glove. Put that on first. Then put an old cotton or woolly glove on top of that. Dip the gloved hand into the SBK/ oil mix and starting at the base of the plant stem squeeze your hand gently and move it up so that as much of the plant as possible is coated with the "gunge". You have to do this on EACH plant.

It takes time but it will work. It took me 3 years to fully clear 10 sq yards on the allotment

Be careful what you do with any left over oil/ SBK. Not nice stuff.Mine went in the waste oil tank at Bidston tip. Probably not a legit place - but safer than down the drain (NO) or trying to burn it (NO)

Snod
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#429068 - 4th Sep 2010 9:22am Re: Hardcore garden weed [Re: Snodvan]
jabber_Ish Offline
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Registered: 7th Jan 2010
Posts: 2944
Loc: Black Rock
Horsetail, Equisetum arvense, is a perennial plant also called `marestail' or `pipeweed'. It is an ancient relic of primeval times -a link between modern plants and extinct orders. Many of our coal measures are composed of fossilized remains of immense equisetum-like plants - forests of which once covered the earth.

Description

Equisetum can be found on all types of soils. It grows from an underground stem or rhizome, and produces two types of above-ground stem. Brown 'fertile' stems emerge in the spring and these are topped with a cone-shaped structure which produces spores. These spores only develop in very moist situations and are rarely important in a garden situation.

When the fertile stems have died down, brush-like, green vegetative stems emerge. These are rich in silica so have a tough, wiry feel (they were once used to scour pots and pans). There are no true leaves; the characteristic bushy appearance is caused by whorls of branches up the stem. The underground stems or rhizomes are black in colour. They can penetrate deeply into the soil and are the main means of spreading. When these stems are broken-up, individual pieces will regrow very readily in the same way as couch grass.

Prevention and control

∑ Digging it out: really not a viable proposition unless you only have a small patch and a lot of time!

∑ Shading: as they do not have significant leaves, horsetails do not compete well with vigorously growing crops. In the vegetable garden a couple of crops of potatoes, for example would help to control this weed. A tall growing summer green manure, such as Phacelia tanacetifolia or buckwheat, might be an alternative. One reference states that a crop of nasturtiums will smother it out, but this is not something we have tried. It will take several seasons before the weed is controlled.

∑ Hoeing off the tops: another reference says that continual removing of the tops should kill off the weed in 3-4 years. A combination of hoeing and growing a smothering crop might well be a good method to try.

∑ Mulching: a heavy, light-excluding mulch can be used around ornamentals to keep this weed in hand. Try newspaper or cardboard, covered with woodchips, bark or leafmould to make it look more attractive.

∑ Improve the soil: horsetail tends to thrive in poor conditions, so improve the soil by adding plenty of organic matter.



Edited by jabber (4th Sep 2010 9:23am)
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#429097 - 4th Sep 2010 1:53pm Re: Hardcore garden weed [Re: jabber_Ish]
DavidB Offline
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Registered: 7th Dec 2003
Posts: 5634
Loc: Bebington, Wirral
Jesus, my garden is huge, but got to get rid of it!
They seem to disappear in the winter completely, and then come back with a hateful passion in the middle of spring. I'm going to try and cover with the cardboard thing first.

Does using the glove thing kill the root, does it spread down?


Edited by DavidB (4th Sep 2010 1:55pm)
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#429127 - 4th Sep 2010 5:06pm Re: Hardcore garden weed [Re: DavidB]
diggingdeeper Offline

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Registered: 9th Jul 2008
Posts: 10667
Loc: Birkenhead
I am sure covering won't work, these have fast growing roots and stems, if they are covered they spread. Just think of this plant as the ultimate survivor, it almost has an answer for everything. I have seen it grow inside the rendering in walls and pop the rendering off, this happened because someone concreted over the area beside the wall trying to seal it in.

SBK is a systemic which means it kill the roots, so the glove method will work.
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#429151 - 4th Sep 2010 6:08pm Re: Hardcore garden weed [Re: diggingdeeper]
Capt_America Offline
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Registered: 26th Jul 2008
Posts: 1503
Loc: Wallasey
It seems to break easily into bits which can grow themselves, we had it and it was a bugger to get rid of. It only has a short growing period though.
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