Thanks to its fast growth rate and profound roots, horsetail is one of the most problematic weeds to control.
Its sheer resiliency toppled with the fact that farmers have not found a fast way to kill it is part of the reason this weed has been a nuisance for more than 300 million years.
However, with proper removal tips, you should be able to eradicate horsetail from your yard completely.
What is horsetail?
Horsetail is a rhizome weed belonging to the Equisetum spp family that is close in appearance to the Fern plant.
This weed can grow roots as deep as 7 feet long if not regulated. It reproduces by spores. This is why you are likely to start noticing it when the weather is windy.
Though there are over 30 species of horsetail today, they all fall into two categories.
One has no leaves but comes with rough intertwined stems, and the other has green jointed branches with small leaves.
Tips on how to kill horsetail weeds
Here are some of the fastest and most-effective ways to get rid of horsetail weeds:
1. Using dolomite
Dolomite is a derivative of limestone, and although it is very nutritious for plants, it hinders the growth of Horsetail and other weeds.
All you need to do is spread the dolomite powder all over the affected area. Usually, the recommended application amount is 2 pounds per 100 square feet.
Afterward, use a shovel to dig through the area so that the Dolomite can sift through to other layers.
The next step will be to water the whole garden thoroughly to enable the Dolomite to be adequately absorbed by the weed’s roots.
For effective results, reapply the dolomite powder every planting season since horseweed is remarkably resilient.
It is imperative to note that you will need to wait at least three weeks after the application of Dolomite before you apply fertilizer. Otherwise, the fertilizer and the limestone will cancel each other out.
Feel free to supplement this tip with the ones below.
2. Dig and sift method
If you are working with a small garden, you should consider the dig and sit method.
First, you will need to dig up or hand-pull all the horsetail plants you can see and dispose of them somewhere they cannot regrow.
Proceed to scoop out at least 1-foot of the garden’s topsoil, then sift it in batches using a soil sifter as you return the soil to the garden.
You will need to repeat this procedure twice over different planting periods for excellent results.
3. Use Monterey LG5190 Remuda full strength
The Monterey LG5190 Remuda is formulated with 41% Glyphosate concentrate with a surfactant which substantiates its claim of killing the majority of weeds, including the horsetail.
In addition, it is non-selective, making it ideal for use in a garden where you do not mind if everything dies.
Since it already comes with a surfactant, you will only need to mix it with water and spray it on your plants.
Ensure you keep all the children and pets away from the area you have just sprayed until it dries. If it rains before the chemicals dry, you will need to reapply. If possible, fill up every depression in your garden to improve soil drainage
4. Use Roundup-5100110 herbicide
Mix your chemical with water as per the instructions, and then spray everything on the farm. Although the chemicals start working immediately, you will see results after two weeks.
Also, remember there is a waiting period before you can plant anything on the treated area.
What not to do when trying to kill horsetail weeds
To avoid a recurrence after destroying horsetail weeds, you shouldn’t do these things:
1. Use weedkillers inconsistently
If you find a weed killer that claims it can deal with Horsetail, then do not use it once or twice and hope for a miracle.
Each time you apply the chemicals, only the top growth will die and then eventually regrow. Therefore, you need to keep reapplying so that it can destroy the plant.
2. Pull out or dig roots
Digging out Horsetail is tiring and time-consuming. Additionally, any small piece of root you leave behind will sprout afresh, making this method too much of a gamble.
3. Using nylon plant cover-ups or polythene bags
Horsetail thrives in warm and dark places that have little oxygen; therefore, covering them up will not do any harm
4. Covering your farm with mulch
Using mulch is a short-term solution because Horsetail will regrow after a few weeks.
This is mainly because mulch creates an acidic environment that benefits the plant.
You should now be able to kill horsetail weeds completely using the methods we’ve explained above. If you opt for a weed killer, ensure to follow the instructions as indicated by the manufacturer.
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IW’s Chief Editor and a lover of green spaces.