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Latest posts by dizzylizzy

Mares Tail - how to win

Posted: 04/06/2014 at 16:33

The border is a walled semi-circle on a slope, 14 m long by 6 m wide- the problem is all in the bed and only have 4 shrubs in it. 1 small  box tree, a small picea conifer and 3 potentillas, the rest is bareground other than masses of maretails, annual grass, thistles, bombsite weeds, forgetme-nots and lots of annual weeds.

Grew annual daisies when the maretails had been browned off one year. did try the green manure- hungarian rye grass- but that didn't work.

Used nearly all the bottle of kurtail, there was some for the missed few, but not that hard to miss as nothing much growing in the bed.  I cover the shrubs with industrial clingfilm.  I didn't trapple the marestails just sprayed as instructed by Progreen.

I am at my wits end with it, I just want to be able to plant here as this is the main border and next to the patio.  Even if it means waiting till next year to plant I don't mind but don't want to see another forest of it next year.

Amazingley the soil is easy to work, clay based as per the rest of the garden, but seems as though it has had sand added at some point- I believe the original owners had an alpine bed here.  Which I would love to do. 

I find an odd frone of MT elsewhere in the garden each year, but that is all- which I dig up  immediately.

The like periscope shoots in early spring,- I cover with a bag best I can and remove the top to stop the spores spreading.  Probably only avout 15-20 of those.

Just that one large border with the problem- guessing it was introduced with imported soil or manure at some point.

this year they are nearly ready to treat but this time the border has more rubbish weeds as above- too which I thought I should treat first to ensure the MT gets my full undivided attention.

Mares Tail - how to win

Posted: 04/06/2014 at 15:49

As you can see from the photo- kurtail did nothing- other than fool you in to thinking it had worked by burning the tops off.  teh following year it was back to its normal self.
This is the photo of the bed the following spring after using Kurtail- the Kurtail had not done anything. 

Last year tried again with Kurtail - this spring up they have come again.  Originally it was called kibosh- so maybe the ingredients in that were different and worked- but not under the name Kurtail.  I can't understand how it worked for you?

Others are saying glysophate works, if the MT are trappled and a spot of washing up liquid is used in the sprayer.  The brand Roundup (gylsohate) has worked for some gardeners if used 2 years running

Mares Tail - how to win

Posted: 04/06/2014 at 15:21

2 months after spraying- tried it 2 years in a row.  some roots are dead i.e. black inside but 90% are still live.


I have dug some up and threw them in the council garden wheelie bin and a week later can see them sprouting up ready for new sproutings.

Mares Tail - how to win

Posted: 04/06/2014 at 14:56

They have brown roots, like shoe laces, and the very young are white roots, what I was referring to is the inside of the live root which is green.  If you snap a brown root if it is still live it will be green indisde.   After using Kurtail it looked dead above the surface, but under ground it was still live.

Mares Tail - how to win

Posted: 04/06/2014 at 14:07

I've been trying to beat it for 5 years, tried Progreen's Kurtail 2 years running and all it does is kill the tops, they blacken and you have a lovely clean bed until you check the roots and find they are still green inside and ready to grow again.  Indeed the following year they are up in the hundreds, not affected by Kurtail.

This year I am going to try glysophate.  Also am going to test the soil to see if it is acidic and look at liming it- anyone know how successful this is? 

Luckily my MT problem is contained in one very large walled bed- just in front of the patio. 

Saw the post re Ammonium Sulphamte works-where can you buy it?

identify please

Posted: 15/05/2014 at 09:37

Yes Weigela- pruning flowered shoots makes the flowers better next year, and needs the old stems removing periodically.  I rejuvenated 3 in my new house by cutting to a low framework- flowers great now.- before only had 3 or 4 sprigs of flowers

If you can get a 4-5 incj cutting or 2 you will find it takes really well.- Propagator or flower pot with a plastic bag over it works really well.

Just getting started and had several garden thefts

Posted: 13/05/2014 at 09:51


Could it be the guy you bought them from on ebay-the bargain- perhaps he is going to resell, again and again......

Help...marestail and other nasties...

Posted: 13/05/2014 at 09:20

Thanks for all the responses, keep them coming.

The Kurtails I used seemed to kill them but after several weeks when the tops had burnt off I dug up a few roots- like balck boot laces- thick and crisp to the snap- the inner was green.  and when i left ehm in the council garden wheelie bin saw they wer starting to sprout - so thought I better burn.

Alf dig up a few roots and check if they are dead or if they make a crisp snap and green inside.........nightmare tails whether mares or horse!

Mine are just startign to sprout now about 0.5 in to an inch apart een though this year they are competing with gras dandys, thistle, bombsite weeds etc.

Harrogate Show 23rd April

Posted: 07/05/2014 at 10:06

Thanks dove from above- has anyone out there created a bog garden and can give me suggestions or photos, or should I create a pond and have a bog garden round the edge. 

A pond would be a huge job, but I do actual love Monty Don's and couldn't believe how marvelous it looked in a matter of weeks.  Like Monty, mine too will flood by the river, but it didn't seem to spoil his pond going by GW March 2014.  The difference with his is, he will have had a lot of volunteers digging it out and layering the pondliner and completed it in days, I 'm sure it wasn't just Monty and Joe!  So unless I get some volunteers I will stick to a mini bog garden!

Harrogate Show 23rd April

Posted: 06/05/2014 at 10:43


I had a lovely day at the show and came away with some lovely plants and bulbs.  Ofcourse I didn't take a note of the full name of the bulbs so I could check on growing conditions, soil, frost, size, colur etc. and will they flower this year and indeed should I plant them now?

Anyone know the store holder's name, it was a stall selling loose bulbs- you bagged them yourself, it was outside on the avenue, they probably do all the shows.

The bulbs are Chimanthe x3 (corms) and a large spark plug looking bulb Jack in the Pulpit- Arisaema - unknown variety which is the main problem.

Would love to have the exact names and advise on growing them.  i have clay soil on a north facing slope, which has been improved- shady area of hosta, astilbes, dicentra, etc.

I also have a darmera peltata and gunnera manicata to plant out, with a dilema as to whether to clean up the weeds round the side of the shed which is wet/ boggy but not very big- 2ft- 3ft  wide, or to dig up a section of the lawn and create a bog garden with a pondliner or?  Or do I go the whole hog and plant by the river at the bottom of the garden, which never seems damp to me, currently it is full of weeds, -  a few docks, ground elder, grass and a beautiful huge willow tree, and does flood every year.

Look forward to your suggestions


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