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Vinager works a treat!
The problem with Marestail is that it has a tough outer coating that resists herbicides. The thing to do is to get 2 stones and mush the Marestail up. That opens it up to herbicides and you can kill and eradicate it. Undiluted vinegar may work!
Mares tail is one of the hardiest and most long lived plants there is. We live in a mining area, the roots are often seen several meters down in the pits, those liquorice look stems are quite distinctive. It was grazed upon by dinosaurs, we're not going to beat it! You can keep it slightly under control by regularly chopping its head off, even that doesn't kill it but usually keeps it small enough so you can almost ignore it.
Sadly we had to give up an allotment because of it, there was just a solid mass of root over the whole area, and nothing was possible to do with it.
If it is in a small area, chopping will just about keep it in check - you will I'm sorry to say just have to learn to live with it and accept this is a battle you are not going to win completely.
I Have tried salt, Kurtail and lots of others on my allotment and also in my garden but Salt seems to do the trick in my garden but NOT on cultivated soil(for obvious reasons) I have been mildly successfull with kurtail from Pro green.
I have this all over my garden and have decided I will just have to learn to live with this dinosaur of a weed... its easy to pull up when it appears, the only issue is getting rid of it as you cant composte it at home.
Horsetail and Marestail are two different plants. Marestail (Hippuris vulgaris) is an unbranched erect perennial classed as a flowering plant found mainly submerged in streams. It bears small pink flowers (male and female separate) that have no petals between June and July. They reproduce by means of a small greenish nut.
Horsetail (Equisetum arvensis) however is classed as a vascular plant that reproduces by means of spores not seed. The plant is toxic to sheep, cattle and horses if eaten green or dried in hay. It thrives in wet meadows and gardens. They are known as 'living fossils' as they are the only survivor of plants living on earth over 100 million years ago. Some as tall as 30 metres.
I have been fighting this for 4 years! Tried a lot of stuff, with limited sucess. It does, however get less invasive if one keeps pulling up fresh erruptions regularly. Thinking of trying SBK. Blairs tip to crush does help! Just been to Harlow Carr whre they've abandoned one of their beds infested with this and have grassed it. For those with in their lawns regular mowing seems to disuade! Good luck!
An old wives tale says you can eradicate this weed by picking it on a Sunday afternoon. Perhaps not as daft as it sounds because you will eventually weeken it even if the roots do go down to the centre of the earth!