Posted: 09/07/2013 at 13:28
Hello. No green fingers here but I can follow one syllable instructions, honest.
I have an influx of Mare’s Tail from under next door initially but now it has taken hold in a rockery and needs remedial asap. I guess I need to try & get a barrier in there first of all – will Visqueen be strong enough for this below soil level?
For info, the rockery is approx. a 2’ span across a 2’ drop from a lawn to the top and flags / patio to the base.
Initially, I have gone ‘scorched earth’ on the middle bit (taken the large rocks out to the top and middle and dug the lot over several times – being as careful as possible to get all the roots as well.)
Plan for the middle bit (the ‘bed’): is to leave this open short-term and spot any shoots and re-dig. Then Visqueen the lot (other black plastic sheeting is available) and leave for 12 months. I can then abandon the bed and fill with decorative gravel / stones & pots or try again.
That said, I have seen a similar problem at an allotment where they carpeted the lot but only for the MT to emerge everywhere around the edges (so I guess they haven’t dug it also). Any shoots underneath weren’t 100% dead either. Any other tactics please?
Plan for the lawn: when digging the rockery below, I have unearthed some meaty old roots heading into & under the lawn – eeek.
If I dig these along and into the lawn, I doubt I’ll ever get them all out anyway (little blighters break as easy as) and make a right old mess of the lawn. So as well as mowing and picking every head as it emerges, can I treat the roots with something direct (i.e. soak them in a weed killer)? Or is that too Heath Robinson?
(Strangely enough while some of the MT has emerged in the lawn, the bigger, stronger, beefier shoots have sprouted in the far bed(s). So does it cleverly miss the lawn and risk of mowing and head for open soil?)
Plan for the base of the rockery: this is anchored by some big unit rocks at the bottom (unsurprisingly) and getting these out will mean a digger and / or a damn good osteopath (not easy) but the roots clearly go under these and up and out in the pea gravel channel before the flags and even under some of the flags in places – eek.
So can I treat these with a weed killer (crush the shoots first to break the waxy seal) or will I have to remove the rocks / lift the flags and dig first as well? I am obviously keen to get rid of it under any flags but obviously don’t want to disturb them as they never go back correctly?
Finally, what is the best weed killer please?
Thanks in anticipation.
p.s. although I now hate Mare’s Tail with a passion, I do, now have a bizarre & grudging respect for its refusal to die.