Killing horsetail

Lotte Faber on 04-07-2019

Horsetail weed is common in the wild, but horsetail plants can also be found in many garden centers. If you are planning to purchase this plant, you may think differently about it after reading this article. Horsetail is in fact a plant that can take over your entire garden without you noticing. Is it too late in your garden and has horsetail taken over your garden? We tell you how you can best fight this battle. 

Horsetail plant or horsetail weed?

You can get horsetail in the garden in two different ways: you have it planted in the garden yourself or it came through the garden via the neighbours.  If you have had it planted yourself, it quickly becomes clear that this plant is less fun than you think. If horsetail has blown over or grown under the fence through the neighbours, that is extra frustrating. To begin with, as with all weeds, it is better to prevent than to fight. Try to avoid getting horsetail in the yard. If you notice that your neighbours bought some of these plants at the nursery, tell them to bring it back or to not plant it in their garden. This saves you many problems. 

How to kill horsetail weed?

Horsetail grows fast and is a deep-rooted weed that will spread quickly. You can either start killing horsetail by using chemicals or you can start doing it the biological way. Getting rid of horsetail can be hard and can take a long time, but in the end it will all be worth it and your garden will look better than ever before. 

Removing horsetail

Weed killer for horsetail

As you might know, there are many different kinds of weed killer for horsetail. If the horsetail is in the garden next to other plants, bulbs or crops it will be harder to find a weed killer that does not kill the plants in the surrounding of the horsetail. Always make sure you read the information on the bottle that you buy. For instance, SBM Job Done Path Weedkiller is a weed killer that makes sure there will not be any new shoots coming anytime soon. The difficult thing about horsetail is that it is very persistent. To completely kill horsetail you will have to apply weed killer many times; it may even take longer than a year! 

How to get rid of horsetail organically?

The big problem with horsetail is that you can not simply dig it out of the garden. The roots from horsetail can go until 7 feet below the surface. It will take a long time and a lot of digging before you reach the bottom of the roots. This makes it even harder to kill horsetail organically. Removing horsetail in the garden by hand can even make the problem much worse, because this plant can regrow as a new plant from a single small piece left behind. Other weeds may be killed easily by using bleach or vinegar, but you can not kill horsetail with bleach or vinegar.There is one way to kill horsetail organically. If you follow this step-by-step plan you might never have to see that horsetail in the garden again:

  1. In April you will have to cut the upcoming stalks. Put the stalks immediately into a plastic bag to prevent further spreading. 
  2. Remove mulch from the area where the horsetail is growing. You should throw this away as well. You can put it in the same plastic bag where you put the stalks. 
  3. But and apply dolomite lime. Read the instructions on the package before use. 
  4. After two weeks you can apply a layer of fertilizer. This will make sure the soil will aerate. 
  5. Now you can plant perennial ground-cover plants.

Let us know your way of killing horsetail!