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The entire area where I live is infested with this weed.  3 years ago I felt despondent as my previous years weeding seemed to increase this beast into a multi-headed monster.  I researched this and found this advice.  It has worked, but I will always have a problem but one which now takes 15 minutes every month to work at.

Mix a sachet of super strength Glysophate in the recommended amount of water. Once it has dispersed, add wallpaper paste to make a thick paste.  Wearing rubber gloves and using a paint brush, apply this mixture to any of the weed that is in full growth, that is, it looks like a large loose bottle brush.  You need to make sure each piece is covered from soil up over.  Once it is covered, I gently get the frond to stick together and loosely coil it around itself and lay it on the ground.  Don't waste time and paste on any shoots that are coming up, it wont have the desired effect.

3 Years ago, the task was monumental, last year much less so and this year its a case of working on any that pops up - and their isn't much of it. 

At the start of the season, I mixed up a small plastic tupperware about a 1 pint size of the mixture.  I leave it in the potting shed.  When I find any of the beast I nip down to the shed and get my "rescue remedy".  It works.  Even if it pours down with half an hour of pasting it stays put.

Happy gardening.



Hi Monica

Your message made me smilevas i has been doing a similar thing, until i was recommended a product callled Pure Reap from a shop called Chemigro which is a different weedkiller to glyphosate amd much more effective. It really does the trick!!! I was soooo pleased as i been trying to get on top of this wretched weed for years - the more i tried to gt rid of it the faster it seemed to grow! Now ive found this i want everyone to share in this andcto know that there is life after marestail 

Happy days 


Digging up old threads to post an advert. What will they think of next


lol nutcutlet: I was thinking the same. Shame on you Mabel and your shameless advertising.


Bugger - thought I had been given the answer to my prayers... Continue with the vigilance then!
Advertising on an evening to get maximum exposure?



Pure Reap -  Pure #**#  more like....


Just keep on hoeing.

Whilst hoeing helps it is better to dig out as far as possible - easier said than done!

As its name suggests it is a weed of fields as well as gardens.  Farmers control it with weedkillers and regular cultivation - I've never heard of a field going out of production because of it. 

Has anyone experience of marestail being controlled with strong glycosphate and using a surfactant like washing up liquid or Iso Propyl alcohol to allow the chemical in.  My allotment has always had it since my father in laws days and wonder whether anyone has had success - if so can we have the recipie



Scottish Waterways Trust has created a sensory garden in Auchinstarrey Marina next to the town of Kilsyth. The garden creation was funded and the work carried out by volunteers assisted by excellent gardeners who gave up their working time to assist. The planting areas are maintained by volunteers from the local areas and 16 to 24 year olds who are working on getting into the work environment and facilitated by Scottish Waterways Trust. The planting areas have now got a heavy dose of this horsetail weed. We need to devise a plan to get the weed out but after reading the comments already posted it may well be too late for some of the planting areas. I have no idea what to do so here I am looking for advice. At present the worse areas are being targeted for digging out and starting again. BUT if the weed has survived dinosaurs, ice age, volcanic action and probably nuclear rays from the sun I am not confident I will see the back of this problem. Looking for advice

I have this weed in my garden and this year it has gone mad! I try to control it by digging as much of the root out as possible. It does come back but the growth is much thinner & weaker. The use of chemicals is not possible because of leaching into the stream which borders our garden. It is a mammoth task but one which hopefully, will decrease. You have to remove all pieces of the plant though. I just go out on a daily basis.

I put lidl 23p vinegar on horsetail weed that's all over my gravel it did kill it off going brown and dried up after a few days. it has came back this year should I have tried to pick up the bits? Area is far too big to dig and garden smells like a chippy all summer?? What to do?? More vinegar?? Girl in lidl must think im a weirdo :$

Have had trouble of lots and lots of mares/horse tails coming into my plot from the one next door, which has not been cultivated for years!

Luckily it has only got as far as the path dividing our plots and not into the growing area!

I sprayed it with  gypsophate which had little or no effect, but last year I tried Verdone extra and it worked a treat no more showing through the remaining  part of the year!

I also covered some after spraying with black plant pots with a brick on top, this killed them even quicker!!

But they have returned again this year, though not so many, I have just sprayed them again this week, so hopefully this will weaken them further as they go so deep as if trying to reach Aussie land!!

One strong word of caution Verdone contains Clopyralid which should not be used on land that is for growing vegetables as it gives them a taste and makes them inedible!


Margaret - vinegar won't kill it.  It only burns the top growth - the roots go down 20+ feet and live to fight another day


This terrible, terrible weed is driving me insane, I can deal with any other weed but not this one, when I see it growing right in the middle of a beautiful lupin, , delphinium, lavender, & many more beautiful plants I know they are going to suffer,I try to dig it out but I know its root is still there, how can I spray anything on it without killing my plants, I am so sad as amI now thinking of just putting gravel down & having just a few dotted plants, I know I wont be happy as I have always had a cottage garden, before I so I will ask the farmers around me what they use, sorry for sounding so sad but I am!

It grows through gravel. Mines appeared through weed membrane and gravel. Fighting it with glosphated by bruising it abs eubbibg it in. It dies back but still getting shoots. Hopefully if I keep at it I'll fight it back next door
I have horsetail between my roses, can I take the roses out in winter and dig out my borders to eradicate the horsetail and then plant my roses back in the border?

Sadly, you will not impress your roses with their upheaval and the horsetail will just laugh in your face.

If you have it, you have it. If you don't like having it you can either keep removing it or move house.

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