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Getting rid of horsetail.

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So you have horsetail in your garden? Congrats!

So you've dug up your horsetail. And it came back. So you dug it up again. And it came back again. And you dug it up again. And it came back again.

Horsetail has an extensive root structure. More than you could ever dream of. Not for nothing is horsetail a remnant of dinosaur times: these plants know how to survive.

The roots go down for 30 cm (1'), go horizontally for meters (yards) at a time, go 30 cm deeper, go horizontally for meters at a time, go 30 cm deeper, go horizontally for meters at a time - and this layering continues to a depth of about 2.5 meters.

So you take out your backhoe and really start to shift (and sift - gotta get rid of those roots) your yard dirt. Congratulations, you're now horsetail-free! ... for a few minutes. Because horsetail reproduces with spores, and you have lots of those in your dirt already.

So you have horsetail again, the minute you turn your back.

No, if you want to get rid of horsetail you shouldn't try to dig it up: that won't work, at all at all.

You want to reduce soil acidity. Give it a nice round 7 or even 8 and watch the horsetail go away.

Or look at your horsetails as blessings: they contain lots of potassium. Tomatoes need lots of potassium. Mulch!

And medicinal herb, of course, but there's lots of horsetail all over the place, over here; I don't need it in my garden, too.

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Related entry: Picking and using horsetail.

Comments

I just put an entry on equisetum arvense on my blog. Perhaps you would like to check it out and comment?

"Give it a nice round 7 or even 8 and watch the horsetail go away"

can you explain what the above sentence means for us non gardeners? in english?

also, i thought you want to INCREASE acidity like with vinegar to get rid of it. cheers

You've heard of pH?
Dunno how things are where you're at, but we have naturally acidic soil, and the only thing that works when you try to get rid of horsetail is to make the soil basic. pH 7 or 8, not pH 6. Lots of lime, NOT vinegar.

Regarding the horsetail. Do I just buy lime and sprinkle it around the base of the plants? How much? I don't want to kill the soil for anything else to be planted later. Thanks!

Go for a pH of 7 or 8, not 6.



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