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Highland Laddie


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Mare's Tail

Posted: 06/09/2013 at 18:19

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Mare’s Tail – Yes, there’s Hope!

Had significant amount of Mare’s Tail in our last garden. No attempts to dig it out, kill-it, smother it worked and 37 years later, retired and moved, leaving vast quantities to be challenged by fresh minds. What did we find in the garden of our new home? – Mare’s Tail. I’m an engineer – not a gardener, and tackled the problem from that angle. So – we, like most folk had Mare’s Tail alongside my wife’s treasured plants over the whole garden – indeed vast qualntities! I had copious quantities of  2” and 3” plastic piping left over from the house-build. I cut off  approx.  200 pieces, each 12 – 18” long. I also made the same number of what can best be called tent pegs from fence wire approx. 2ft long.

Have you guessed yet – I systematically covered each individual frond of Mare’s Tail with a piece of pipe and held it in place with the wire tent peg. So the garden now looks as if has been raining plastic pipes!! OK? Then I purchased some  weed-killer – and sprayed a little down each pipe every couple of days for a week. I also added a little wash-up liquid to the weed-killer. This appeared to work – and several months later – approx. 50 fresh tails appeared, which I dealt with immediately.

One year later – I had approx. 70 tails to deal with, and on this our third year, just a couple of dozen.

Conclusions:- While I used the pipes to protect the surrounding vegetation – I suspect that the weed-killer was remaining moist on the weeds for longer and thus hopefully penetrating the waxy surface.  I also used a slightly weaker concentration that recommended in the hope that the deep roots would be reached before the surface ones were killed off. I applied this weakened dose over several days.

I obtained some Glufosinate-Ammonium based weed-killer – this having extremely rigorous restrictions and health-hazard issues - all of which I followed.

While I may never eradicate the problem completely our garden is now effectively free of Mare’s Tail and to my wife’s delight  free of a couple of hundred ridiculous looking pieces of plastic pipe. Coping with this year’s problem was a joy compared to the soul-destroying efforts of the last 40 years.

I hope this helps – must go now and see if can get rid of 200 plastic pipes on Ebay

 

Mares Tail - how to win

Posted: 17/05/2013 at 12:11

Just for the record - in the past I have tried many well known week-killers. Have hand dug - chasing the roots to approx 18"depth - backbreaking. Hired rotovator and dug up the whole garden removing roots as they appeared. This has all been a soul-destroying venture, but with a happy ending after only a couple of days labour. The preparation of all the pipe lengths and wire pegs took some time - during winter months - I made a batch of approx 50 and treated the garden in three sections to kill the 150 (approx) fronds. This has been a long and weary learning curve - but I'm smiling now as I've reached this particular summit. The "pipe" system completely isolates the weed from surrounding plants - essential in a part of the world where the wind can carry weedkiller to healthy plants. The use of an inverted cone on a standard spray nozzle (prior to the pipe method) - was a failure - as the spray often reached neighbouring plants, and perhaps allowed the weekiller to dry-off too quickly on the marestail.

Hope this helps.

Mares Tail - how to win

Posted: 17/05/2013 at 11:42

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I have battled with Marestail for 20 years in the gardens of our last 2 homes. Everything - absolutely everything - YES absolutely everything has failed until two years ago.

In our new house Mares Tail appeared around my wife's precious plants and not just an odd one or two - a veritable forest. Having tried everything over the last 20 years I started from scratch. THIS HAS WORKED!!!!

1) Purchased 1/2 litre of "Kurtail" from Progreen - easy to find on the internet.

2) Waited until all the Mares Tails were healthy and strong - in my case approx 150  were evident. Placed 1ft long section of 2" drainage pipe around each individual frond, and kept each pipe in place with a wire peg made from old fence wire. This took approx. 1 day.

3) Using recommended dose of Kurtail I sprayed into each pipe - a short 1 second burst. The use of the pipe protected the surrounding healthy plants. I was advised that maybe 3 applications would be required. FOLLOW ALL THE SAFETY ADVICE RE CLOTHING ETC.

4) I left the pipes in place for 4 weeks - each week applying a couple of doses.

Results:-

Initially all seemed well with no evidence of the dreaded culprit.

The following year approx 20 fronds appeared - I repeated the above treatment.

This Year:- COMPLETELY CLEAR.

PS:- This treatment has worked in a garden that has been ruined by Mares Tail over a 20 year period. The work involved is considerable - but totalling approx 2 days - in the scheme of things a fantastic result, especially as it has been in a cultivated garden where the risk of collateral damage is very high.

 

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