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Problem solving

Does anyone know a proven way to rid my allottment of mares tail?

Help my allottment is becoming over run with mates tail and my application s of does not work - does anyone have any proven tips? Thanks!

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Hi does anyone have any proven tips for ridding my allottment of mates tail? I am going crazy as I have applied glyphosphate in the autumn after bruising the foliage but it hasn't worked - does anyone have any get em solutions? Thanks
Peat B

As mares tail has  been around for several million years, don't expect it to be an easy job !  I had it in my allotment fo a few years after taking it over, and have made continuous raids on it, buy digging it out by the root, CAREFULLY, and trying to get EVERY bit of the root our, even the small bits, as they will just regenerate if left, from the tiniest remnant overlooked. Dig, scratch, root out at every chance appearance, and accept that it is an ongoing task. Be vigilant and patient. You will eventuaally reduce it to a manageable level.  Goof luck.  Oh yes ! If you can get a pig in to rootle it up, then this is even better !

Thanks for that! I don't think a pig is our answer as I don't think the trustees will see it the same way as me!! I have read ammonium sulphamate will work and as the weather is crap and I am a fair weather gardener I am going to get on the case of tracking some down! Thanks!
Peat B

Just read my last entry, and apologies for absurd spelling mistakes, like 'goof luck'. Perhaps this is a Freudian slip !  GOOD luck anyway. 

Thank you I didn't even notice!!! I am just googling how to buy the ammonium sulphamate and it's dosing amounts and will re post if it works!


What happens when you got lots of mares tails ( horsetails ) in your rose bed?

Well when I get the ammonium sulphamate and try it I shall let u know if it works - my Allottment is not cultivated where the infestation is so spraying should not damage any plants so I don't know what to suggest other than a sponge dabbed on the mates tail being careful no splashes touch your roses? Hope this helps!
Peat B

Funny thing about these mares tails............... we were in south of france a few years back, and much of the hilltop towns, where there was cultivation going on, was savagely over run with this stuff. Completely covered with it ! No attention paid to the stuff.  The French have a different attitude to gardening. Its a sort of 'laissez faire' philosophy, and despite the size of the 'cosmetic' industry, gardens are allowed to let rip  'au naturale', as they say in Paris ! Are we too obsessed with appearances ?


pinging this for Alison.


Thanks Daintiness- good to hear others have the problem- I'm going to try the wee-killer specially for Maretials- Curtail- it burns the tops off in acouple of weeks, then I can then replant with bedding and hope they don't come back next year, or a few may I am told but by the 2nd season should be fully's hoping after spending many hours digging the roots out over the last few years and to no avail.

Hi what is this weed killer curtail? Where did you get it? I would appreciate any advice on this chemical!! Thanks sooo much!

Claire Richards,With regards to Mares Tail.Yes we gently squash the Mares Tail between two small pieces of wood,then apply Round up Stump Tree killer by using a spray bottle spray to the  length of the plant.I treat each plant individually.So far it's worked on my Allotment and has done for the last 3 years.

Keyser Soze

Sodium Chlorate would have done the trick but I haven't seen it for years, banned maybe?

Does tend to sterilise the garden for months afterwards so best left alone!


Peat B
I used to use sodium chlorate, but this was when I was a young lad, and it was part of my gunpowder period ! You could try getting an IRA manual and learn how to blow the stuff out of the ground !


Keyser Soze

Funny you should say that, I remember going into the chemists as a kid and asking for all sorts of gunpowder ingredients.

It was ok as long as I said "It's for my chemistry set"!

It wouldn't happen now although the youth of today would probably be more interested cooking up more mind bending recipes!

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