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22/03/2013 at 23:03
My farther has the dreaded mares tail. He spent a fortune on perennials last yeAr and its swamped everything! If he digs it comes thicker, if he leaves it it just engulfs everything. This has come from a neighbour and has now nearly taken over all of his garden. In his veg plot he manages and ignores it then turns the soil as normal, but when it comes to flower beds it suffocates everything. Anyone won or managed the war, please help!
23/03/2013 at 00:36

marestail equals heavy duty weed matting, not the pound shop type.. You will need like no light for 2 maybe 3 years to get rid of it.. sorry but marestail is worse than bind weed in that respect.. personally I'd weed mat then everytime it rose it's head I'd paint it with double strength glyphosphate.. just my own routine mind

23/03/2013 at 08:51

I had this in one garden. If it is coming from next door, it will keep coming until you put a physical barrier there - slate or similar sunk in the ground. I also had Japanese knotweed!! Full strength Roundup was my solution - paiinted on the mares tail and pured into the cut stems of the knotweed. The best solution, some say, may be to get in a  firm to spray the whole garden with strong weedkiller then leave it uncultivated for a year, but of course this is frustrating in the extreme for a gardener 

23/03/2013 at 11:21
23/03/2013 at 14:24

red if you want a telephone number of a man to talk to i can email it to you if your site will let me, hes an expert on such things and was very helpful to Kate and i last year with similar probs


23/03/2013 at 19:44

If someone has won this war, I'd like to speak to them pronto. Been trying for 8yrs with no success.

I don't have a flowerbed of the stuff but a massive allotment. Breaks my back digging it every year.

23/03/2013 at 19:55
marshmello wrote (see)

If someone has won this war, I'd like to speak to them pronto. Been trying for 8yrs with no success.

I don't have a flowerbed of the stuff but a massive allotment. Breaks my back digging it every year.

Soul destroying. I had similar problem with a neighbour and smothering does seem to be the best solution but on a big area it's not always feasible. Constantly chopping them off at the ankles helps weaken them too but they come up so quickly that it's tough to keep on top of them. As GG says a physical  barrier works too but very hard unless it's only a small section.

23/03/2013 at 20:51

Yeh, it can be. I must admit I've tried all of those ideas and nothings worked - well not for me.


24/03/2013 at 11:17
Sounds like moving to a pest free garden then!!
24/03/2013 at 11:18
My farther keeps offering me little seedlings etc and horrid as it sounds I decline as I'm currently free of any nasty weeds and want to stay that way!
24/03/2013 at 11:51

You must remember that Horse tails/Mares tail were around when the Dinosaurs where on the planet,  600 million years ago and it used to grow to around 6 feet tall,  so if it survived the extinction of them and all the various things that has happened to this planet in the meanwhile you must admire it's tenacity even though we don't like it,  so I doubt that much will kill it on a permanent basis.

24/03/2013 at 12:55

No chance of moving, there's non available to move too.

Yip, that's what they say, been around since the time of the dinosaurs. Looks like I'll have to keep digging it out, and getting a good workout at the same time - saves on gym membership, I suppose.

26/03/2013 at 23:41

If you have only a small infestation the old wive's tale applies. "Pick it on Sunday afternoon!"

Probably means that if you keep picking it you will eventually weaken it to extinction. No idea if this works but makes me smile anyway. My condolences to those who are really suffering from this.

27/03/2013 at 08:59

Digging it just tends to leave lots of broken bits in the ground that self propagate as root cuttings and multiply or maintain the problem.     I have this coming in from a field next door and also in imported soil in some raised beds.

I find it does weakens if it is constantly pulled from beds where you can't spray.  You then need to let it dry out completely in the sun and then either burn it or put it in the dustbin.  Where you can spray, it takes repeated applications through the growing year.

27/03/2013 at 12:22

I agree Obelix..pull not dig...sorry to hear about your losses to cold weather.. my central heating is banging away as I write..more expense..don't know what I shall find in the garden when I venture out. 

27/03/2013 at 13:31


I had an infestation in my allotment when I took it over 1.5 years ago. It is now under control.

The plant is waxy, and it is difficult to get Glyphosate to adhere to it.

The trick is to cut it back under the soil (in a similar way to picking asparagus) removing 2.5-5cm of root each time it rears its ugly head. This eventually weakens the plant. We still have it popping up now and again though it is now relatively easy to control.

Tust that this is of assistance.



27/03/2013 at 15:23

Should have said that when I do spray where it's started coming up in the path, I add a couple of drops of washing up liquid to the mix as this helps the stuff stick.  I also squash and crush the marestails with my boots first as this helps break the surface and allow the active ingredients to be absorbed.

27/03/2013 at 15:25
Ooh I bet you enjoy stomping on it!
28/03/2013 at 19:19

ultra 3000 weedkiller will kill it.

it is made by round up but is very expensive at about £45.00 a bottle.

28/03/2013 at 20:02

I definitely will be giving this a go. Cheers

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